May 04, 2005
Springsteen vs. Nugent
October 1976, and my 5th grade friend is combing through her older sister’s records, looking for a Bruce Springsteen album because she wants me to hear a certain song. While waiting, I check the finer details of the Ted Nugent Free For All album.
The friend triumphantly holds up the Springsteen album, and I note that The Bruce and The Nuge have very similar album covers. My friend assures me they are not at all the same, and plays “Born To Run” for me. She makes special note of the slightly naughty “Just wrap your legs ‘round these velvet rims/and strap your hands ‘cross my engines,” in case I miss it.
I hold up the Nuge LP and remind her it has even naughtier lyrics like “Beat me beat me/Come on eat me.” She rolls her eyes as I cackle madly, but even then, I preferred comical raunch to overblown angst.
Nugent’s political beliefs are 180 to mine, but he’s an entertaining cartoon character. Springsteen’s political beliefs closely match mine, but he’s bored me since before puberty. Nuge rants come off like carnival barking because he’s a clown, while Springsteen’s new hair plugs kind of undermine his earnest, working man poetry.
Sure, Bruce Springsteen has written lots of great songs, and inspires fervent awe and admiration amongst legions of loyal fans. But there’s also something so joyous, raucous and understandable about this:
Much like the fan art that once graced teeny bop magazines, or Napoleon Dynamite’s drawing for Trisha, there are moments in all our lives when we react with purity of intent. What was once a brief and inconsequential moment can gain great emotional power as time goes on. For the most part, we try to be decent and cool but, truly, how much fun is that? Sometimes you just got to ease up on what’s proper and have a goof; sometimes The Nuge trumps Springsteen.
Posted by tobyweiss.com at 8:08 AM