Set Adrift On A Memory Bliss

This summer I was lucky enough to attend some amazing Bruce Springsteen concerts. In Milan, the San Siro arena was packed. No less than 70,000 people waiting the whole day for Bruce and the E Street Band to come out on stage.

Then the lights went down. Almost immediately, thousands of hands went up, and not (only) to applaud. They were holding softly glowing screens. Cameras and smartphones, not necessarily in this order, all straining to capture the show.

Although I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a social media addicted, I tend to limit myself to a snap or two at the beginning or end of a performance, trying to keep my focus on the show and not be distracted by Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

At this show, however, I noticed something different. With the notable exception of someone for whom, apparently, gig recording is a second job, people appeared to be trying to carve in digital form not the show itself, but the mood of the most memorable moments of the show.

Suddenly, I realized that instead of trying to obsessively document the night, Bruce’s fans were interested in capturing small snippets of the show to serve as a placebo in the future. The videos could augment that physical recollection of the night, rather than serve as a replacement for it.

This could be a sign that we are now in a sort of “memories overdose”: because of digital data and networks, we are in a situation where the amount of memories we can reasonably review has exceeded our capacity. Just take a look at YouTube statistics to see what I mean.

BTW, this is a pic taken in Milan from inside the pit. What a show… 😉

Bruce Springsteen from inside the pit. Milan, 2012


A book full of emotions and feelings inspired by the art and work of Bruce Springsteen

Pistoia (Italy), September 2011

It all started with the idea of remembering a young friend, fervid Springsteen fan, and passionate youth basketball coach. Shortly after, a bunch of friends began contacting the vast and diverse world of Springsteen italian fans. 90 of them rose to the challenge: journalists, writers, musicians, designers, photographers, lutists, graphologists, collectors and ordinary fans: all with a common passion for Bruce, the experience of several dozens of concerts around the world and a wealth of stories and anecdotes with the rocker of Freehold as common trait. The result is a collection of short stories, photos, and pictures that will be published under the aegis, approval and support of the Municipality of Pistoia and its Provincial Administration. The book will be the first volume of a new series of publications which will celebrate the the forty years of activity of the Associazione sportiva e culturale Silvano Fedi di Pistoia.

Brucetellers (240 pages, Euro 13, published by Edizioni Nuove Esperienze) will be released on October 22. All the proceeds will be donated to the Meyer Children Hospital Foundation in Florence. The book presentation will be held the same day during a live music event at the Piccolo Teatro Bolognini in Pistoia.

Among the contributors, Vini Lopez (Springsteen’s first drummer), Massimo Bubola, Cristina Donà, Marino Severini (Gang), Graziano Romani, Ermanno Labianca, Stefano Mannucci, Marco Denti, Leonardo Colombati, Gianluca Morozzi, Mauro Zambellini, and many others who have embraced the spirit of charity of this project besides sharing a common sense of belonging to the home of followers of the ‘Jersey Devil’, an artist who has always stood out for sensitivity and altruism.

The book will be released shortly after the death of Clarence Clemons, the E-Street Band memorable sax player, whom has been dedicated the back cover.

Follow the Brucetellers blog or their Facebook page to be updated on the forthcoming news.