It's not cool to like Bruce. People feel embarrassed about seeing a macho man show emotion

Anything bad that happens to me is, I'm certain, a result of not touching Bruce Springsteen's hand. It was months ago, but I still feel angry because practically everyone else in the whole of the Brixton Academy got to press flesh with The Boss. It reminded me of all the times I didn't get a going-home bag at a party because the taller kids got in the way and took them all.

It's not been the best week. I can't sleep and everyone hates me and I'm still not Elizabeth Taylor in 1956. The last bit is the worst. Because sometimes, I almost convince myself that I am. Or I forget that I'm not. And then I catch sight of my reflection in the halogen-speared ladies' room of the pub. And I look like a crazy lady. "Wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face!" So now I want to be Bruce Springsteen. It takes less lipstick. It's easier to live "Born to Run" than "Suddenly, Last Summer".

Richard agrees. He's a musician I became mates with because ... he loves Bruce too. This is actually a bigger deal than it sounds because, in modern pop, you're allowed to have about three reference points: The Jam, The Beatles and Madness. That's to say, we're all for working class icons, so long as they're either a) lad rock; b) experimental and sterile; c) jokey. It is not cool to like Bruce. People feel deeply embarrassed about seeing a macho man show that much emotion. It's like watching your father cry. Pop insiders don't approve of anyone who gives that much, who doesn't stand stock still at the microphone, with his hands behind his back, who doesn't in lieu of talent grasp aimlessly at irony.

Richard is older than me, with a family and a real life. But we meet up for a drink now and then and have our little Bruce time before he heads back to the studio and tries to persuade his band to do a cover of "Candy's Room". Today he is on a mission. He must have a jacket like Springsteen's on the cover of Darkness on the Edge of Town. By the end of the day, I swear he has tried on every black leather jacket in London, and still he finds nothing "tough" enough. I get cranky and need to eat, but don't want to stray off the Bruce theme, so we go to the Hard Rock Cafe, where we sit under the platinum disc of "Born in the USA". The waitresses at the Hard Rock are like the air stewardesses on TWA. Middle-aged and stressed, with sore feet and high hair.

As our waitress slams down my Coke, I tell Richard about the time I interviewed Jon Bon Jovi and found myself asking, as my third question, "Hey, you know Bruce Springsteen, don't you? He'd like me, wouldn't he?" Jon Bon looked at me strangely. "No ,I don't think he'd like you at all. I think you'd scare him."

Richard encourages me, and by the time I get home, I am a woman obsessed. Bruce likes red heads? Guess who leans over the tub and dyes their hair? Grace yells that if she has to hear 30 seconds more of "Thunder Road", she will be physically sick. It is at this point that not only must I meet him, but I must also be him. Dad is still hard at work when I pop into the office with the sleeve of Darkness on the Edge of Town to ask if he thinks I look like Bruce. "Yes, a lot. Look: you've both got two eyes and a nose and a mouth. What's wrong with your hair?"

I meet the girls for a few drinks, but that night worse than ever, I really can't sleep. Road workers are doing a little midnight mending outside my window. I watch them for a while. I have a bath, I read a book, I resolve to sit in bed and stare at the ceiling. Then the door bell rings. The screech of the bell ringing always scares me, even in the middle of the day. I creep down the stairs, wrapping my dressing-gown tight around me. Through the intercom I hear his growl. I lean out of the window and see Bruce on his Harley. The road workers are staring but he just calls up to me: "Fix yourself up pretty, come down here and get on that bike, girl. I saw you in the crowd at Brixton and I had to come for you. But you knew I would, didn't you baby? We're going down to the river". And we go.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

    £600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

    Commercial Litigation Associate

    Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

    Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

    £65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

    Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

    Day In a Page

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform