Artists and Depression

Even successful people can be suffering privately.  Those Born to be Artists tend to explore the world through an empathic lens.  Bruce Springsteen’s characters and montages are only possible, because as a writer he was able to slip on the coat, or walk in the shoes of other (usually struggling) people.

Bruce's autobiography reveals his mental health struggles.

Bruce’s autobiography reveals his mental health struggles.

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Spanish Johnny on the bus to NY to see Bruce

After we cross the border, the bus stops at three sleepy upstate towns before we get to Albany.  Plattsburgh is a stop and go.  At Glens Falls we pick up three new passengers.  My traveling companions are paired in the seats ahead of me, leaving me with an empty aisle seat.

Before I look up to assess whether I am likely to get a seatmate, I take note that the men across the aisle have already loaded up their empty seats with belongings and I consider moving my bag to claim my space as well.  The young man coming down the aisle is wearing a baggy beige sort of two piece jumpsuit.  He has short dark curly hair and a tan probably Latino face.  He takes the seat next to me with his leg sprawling out into the aisle, the knee bobbing up and down.  He doesn’t seem to have any bags, but is clutching an envelope with papers in one hand. Continue reading

Tramps Like Us

I have two musical “moments” in my life.

The first was around 1971 in Discus record store in Fairview Shopping Centre in Pointe Claire.  The soundtrack album of The Harder They Come was playing and I had never heard anything like it.  I hung around the store browsing while they played the whole album.  It was my introduction to reggae.

The second was in 1975, when the musician of our teenaged group brought Born to Run to a party.  My memory is so vivid – I know who brought it, whose house we were at, even what I was wearing.  We played it over and over that night.  I soon bought a copy for myself, and then the two previous albums.

I missed the tour in Montréal when he played Place des Arts.  Somehow the concert date passed me by.  (Concerts were so affordable then.  My first show at the Montréal Forum was Bad Company backing up Edgar Winter.  My second show was Eric Clapton with 461 Ocean Boulevard.)

Mooooooose shirt, 2003

Mooooooose shirt, 2003

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