Sometimes the ‘Why are you a fan?’ question is hard

I usually give a throwaway answer and don’t think much more about it.

But then I hear a lyric or come across a story — like when a friend rereads Remnick’s profile from last year and mentions this rereading on Twitter. I end up doing the same look back. On the subway, I get stuck on a pair of a paragraphs for a good five minutes. They remind me of why I’m a fan and of why I give that throwaway reply. Protect the well too much but haven’t become a rock genius or solved things yet? God save a human cannonball.

It took some doing to get Springsteen, an “isolationist” by nature, to settle into a real marriage, and resist the urge to dwell only in his music and onstage. “Now I see that two of the best days of my life,” he once told a reporter for Rolling Stone, “were the day I picked up the guitar and the day that I learned how to put it down.”

Scialfa smiled at that. “When you are that serious and that creative, and non-trusting on an intimate level, and your art has given you so much, your ability to create something becomes your medicine,” she said. “It’s the only thing that’s given you that stability, that joy, that self-esteem. And so you are, like, ‘This part of me no one is going to touch.’ When you’re young, that works, because it gets you from A to B. When you get older, when you are trying to have a family and children, it doesn’t work. I think that some artists can be prone to protecting the well that they fetched their inspiration from so well that they are actually protecting malignant parts of themselves, too. You begin to see that something is broken. It’s not just a matter of being the mythological lone wolf; something is broken. Bruce is very smart. He wanted a family, he wanted a relationship, and he worked really, really, really hard at it — as hard as he works at his music.”