Bruce Springsteen touched upon the state of America today with the racial and social unrest on top of the ongoing battle against Covid-19. Backstreets.com reported that during his latest DJ stint on SiriusXM's E Street Radio, Springsteen revealed he had planned an entirely different show for his bi-weekly guest spot, but the events of the day forced him to change course.
Springsteen said, quote, “But with 100,000-plus Americans dying over the last few months and the empty, shamed response from our leaders, I'm simply pissed off. Those lives deserve better than just being inconvenient statistics for our president's re-election efforts. It's a national disgrace. . . We will be contemplating on our current circumstances with the coronavirus and the cost that it has drawn from our nation. We will be calculating what we've lost, sending prayers for the deceased and the families they've left behind.”
Prior to playing the first song — Bob Dylan's 1989 Oh Mercy classic, “Disease Of Conceit” — he addressed Donald Trump, saying, “I'm going to start out with sending one to the man sitting behind the Resolute Desk. With all respect, sir, show some consideration for your countrymen and your country. Put on a f**king mask.”
Springsteen went on to say, “One of the most heart-rending aspects of these deaths is that the virus has stolen from us our rituals. Our funerals, our wakes, our house meetings with family after the burial. Our ability to stand by our loved ones, to touch them, to kiss them as they pass, to look into their eyes and let them physically know how we loved them — this is the cruelty of this disease. To say our last goodbyes to our loved ones by phone, and then to return home, alone, to an empty house. It is a heartbreaking and lonely death, for those afflicted and for those left behind to pick up the pieces.”
He added: “Now, when my father died, my close friends and my brother-in-law, we stood in the graveyard, in the midst of our large family, and we took shovels and we buried my father ourselves. It meant a great, great, great deal to me. And it's a memory I'll cherish as long as I live. The importance of that ritual. And to stand with my loved ones on the burying ground.”
Later on in the show, Springsteen said, “Our health care professionals who willingly put themselves in harm's way, risking their own lives for others, deserve some special dispensation in heaven and here on Earth. We owe them our eternal thanks.”
Springsteen spoke of how change can truly come to America by declaring: “The election is only months away. VOTE! God help us all — vote, before it's too late. American citizens, unite. Your country needs you, your countrymen need your care and compassion. And this is our moment. Until we meet again, stay safe, stay strong, mask up! And go in peace.”
Bruce Springsteen told us that he believes his role as an American songwriter extends far beyond the entertainment community in which he works: “You're supposed to remain interested in the world. Y'know, my job was always to put you in somebody else's shoes and, and have you walk a while in those shoes, I've said a lot in the past. You're out there, and you feel what's in the air out there, and you feel what's on people's minds. People are looking for ways to have a dialogue about these ideas, about these issues. They're looking for ways to try to get a handle and, and make sense of, of what's happening, y'know? And I think that music and film and, and art has a service to perform in, in that fashion.”