It's borderline criminal that this post hasn't seen any replies yet. I for one would like to thank the author for the time and thought put into this piece. It's insane, but my experience with the boss is almost the exact same as yours. I grew up hating his music, based off of "Born in the U.S.A.", at the time I was deeply into hip hop and when I finally got into more variety in my music consumption again, it was OK Computer that brought me back in. Needless to say, the Boss still wouldn't cut it for me for years. I started playing guitar and writing songs a couple years later around 16 and started getting into a lot of the classic acts that I used to deride for their "irrelevance". The main difference between your story & mine is that it wasn't the Live 75 record that turned me, but the live dvd from the Born to Run reissue (A show from a similar timeframe I suppose). My best friend & roomate at the time finally got me to sit down and just watch and listen, and it is an experience I will never forget. Clemons' sax spoke to me in a way that the instrument never had, Federici's keys were mystifying, the whole band was just spot on, then here was this scrappy blue collar dude singing songs that actually meant something, that actually spoke to my station in life in no uncertain terms. He has since inspired me as a musician and songwriter probably more than any other artist. When I originally dismissed him, it was for the same reasons you mentioned, that he was a cardboard cutout of a "real merikan", foregoing actually listening to something other than what was on the radio, I missed the fact that he was in fact a true American, but more importantly a true human. He speaks to humanity in the most concise terms, his music is not about blind allegiance or ignorance of a greater truth, it speaks more to ideals and romanticized versions of what we strive for, it's amazingly grand and impossibly intimate at the same time. He takes the "zoom in/zoom out" technique to some very interesting and natural places. Sometimes when I'm writing I end up in some obscure and surreal spaces, Bruce taught me that that's okay, as long as there are hooks to reality w/in the work as well, a springboard for others to breach the gap and rest in the same space as the song and understand those surreal situations. That said, I can never come up w/ names as well as Springsteen, he used all of the good ones! Again to the author, if you happen to see this, just like to let you know that this was one unexpected and pleasant surprise, easily one of the best pieces I've seen at any comic site, or website in general, bar none.