So Bruce S. has a 30th anniversary edition of Born To Run coming out in a boxed set, and he’s doing some media, just like a savvy marketing-driven 56-year old musician should.
He sits down with an NPR interviewer Terry Gross from Fresh Air, and Gross brings up Springsteen’s head-first dive into deep politics on behalf of John Kerry last fall:
TG: In the Kerry_edwards campaign in 2004, you actually played for, for, for the campaign. How did you decide to do that? I think that is something you basically resisted before.
BS: I tended to stay out of the partisan politics, and work on locally with diferent groups and things I shared interests with. But that was an instance where, it was like, you know, I just thought democracy was eroding, (chuckling) so visibly and obviously that if you didn’t do something about it or try and do something about it, you had no right to get up on stage, and sing the songs I was singing, and try and be about some of things I’ve tried to be about for my worklife, so it was, it was, itwas in the no brainer aspect of that election (chuckling) and it wasn’t a big hard decision or anything. You know, it was just like, whoa, this is, you know, if you have built up any credibility this is the time to use it, you know this is the time to expend it, there was just no, no doubt about it (chuckling.)
It was a fine interview, except for this moment wherein Gross rushed past a fascinating opportunity. What exactly did Springsteen mean by “democracy was eroding,” and why didn’t Terry Gross ask? What’s he think about his failure to deliver the votes, and how would the country ahve been different? What’s he think about the nascent democracy in Iraq, and the costs of getting to this point?
This is the problem with pop/rock/movie stars: They are never pushed to explain more fully what it is they believe is going on in the world. From Entertainment Tonight I don’t expect much more, but Terry Gross could have gotten much more from an American icon who isn’t often on the record about such things.