Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

Alejandro Escovedo, Bruce Springsteen, and Joe Ely (Photo by Gary Miller)

Three weeks ago, I interviewed with Russ Hartman, who printed an offhand comment of mine in Austin Daze: "Mr. Springsteen, if you're not busy on Wednesday night before your keynote address, I've got a place for you to be, because Alejandro is going to be workin' it up at the end of the show and you're not going to want to miss that. Not that you don't have a million things to do. But remember, Bruce, if you're not busy: Alejandro Escovedo, Music Awards, Wednesday night before your keynote address."

It wasn't as brash as it sounded. I saw two of Springsteen's shows at the Armadillo, witnessed during my own life-changing era around age 20. That time bled for me in a way only possible when you're young – suicide, betrayal, breakup, abortion. One performance I remember for the moment his violin player stepped into the lone spotlight and delivered her heart-aching solo, hope in the darkness that I grasped. Nothing in life would be easy, Springsteen reassured, but we have ourselves and each other. I believed him and his music.

Did I know Bruce Springsteen was going to play?

At about 3pm on Wednesday, Alejandro and Garland Jeffreys were hanging around the staff production room, decompressing from rehearsal as Alejandro was nursing a broken rib. I sat across from the two, eyes closed, being made up by Brandi Cowley and listening to them talk. Even though I was just feet away and we were connected by the energy of the show to come, Al and Garland were in their own sphere.

"I really enjoy playing music more than ever before," the latter enthused, leaning on the door, the joy evident in his voice. He was in high spirits, effusive after singing "Beast of Burden" during soundcheck, hat perched at a jaunty angle on his curly hair. Garland wasn't saying it for anyone's benefit but his own.

Alejandro, sitting in a chair below him with his guitar resting on his knees, just nodded his head. "Me, too."

That's when I knew. – Margaret Moser, March 23, 2012

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Margaret Moser
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

Muse for the Ages: Loreena McKennitt
Muse for the Ages: Loreena McKennitt
Canadian chanteuse warms to vinyl and Texas

March 2, 2016

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle