Finding New Solace in Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Rising’ 20 years after 9/11

In the late afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, Bruce Springsteen headed out to a coastal bridge near his home in New Jersey, where, on a clear day in the past, he could see the vertical lines of the Twin Towers. On this cataclysmic day, following the atrocities that appeared on his television screen that morning, he saw only “torrents of smoke lifted from the end of Manhattan Island,” as he recalled in his 2016 memoir Born to Run.

After sitting alone with his restless thoughts on a beach below the foot of the bridge, Springsteen started back to the parking lot. At that moment, a man drove by, with his window open, and yelled out — “Bruce, we need you.”

The week after, Springsteen headlined a national telethon to raise money for the grieving families who lost loved ones when the towers fell on 9/11, and was inspired to begin recording his 12th studio album, “The Rising.” With this 9/11-themed album, released in July 2002, the Boss was back: He was once again at the top of the charts, the band was rocking like it hadn’t since the 1980s, and the music was mournful and uplifting at the same time. The driver who called upon Springsteen at the beach, and seemingly every other fan, got the Bruce they needed.

I have to confess that I wasn’t looking for this Bruce, during the long aftershocks of 9/11.

Read my confession and why I believe we still need Bruce, 20 years later. See the full article.

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