My family and I ended our summer vacation with a week in South Dakota. Everyone associates the state with Mount Rushmore, but there’s other things to do there as well. One of my favorites, and a place that isn’t like any other I’ve ever seen, is the Badlands. It’s about an hour east of Mount Rushmore, not far from the famous Wall Drug.
I mention this because there’s a great Springsteen song called “Badlands” on the Born to Run album. I had the song stuck in my head as we were drove through the actual Badlands, and I wished that there was a radio station (I even named it KBAD in my mind) playing the song on a continuous loop to add to the experience of being there. But I had to make do with my own mental soundtrack, and that was enough.
I went looking for a version of this song online, and came upon the version above, filmed in London’s Hyde Park in 2009. Watching it, and some of the other songs from that set, made me appreciate what a tremendous experience a Springsteen concert is. It’s the sort of thing that you don’t want it to end, but you know that it has to, and so you enjoy it to the hilt as long as it’s going on. Life is the same way.
I don’t know what will happen now that Clarence Clemons has passed away. I hope that Bruce and the rest of his band will tour again, but I can imagine that it would be very strange for them if they did. They’ve all made their money over the years, and it’s more a question of how much would they want to do it. If they do tour again, great, but if they don’t, the mental soundtrack–and existing performance videos like this one–will just have to be enough.