My Lunch With Bruce Springsteen


Some of you have made the mistake of training yourself to skim and not read things thoroughly so I probably should begin by saying that I didn’t have lunch with Bruce Springsteen…yet.

I probably should add that I haven’t scheduled a date for said lunch nor do I have any immediate plans to do so. I don’t know Bruce Springsteen nor can I say that I know people who know him orhis people.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find out otherwise. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that there is some sort of connection between me and him but I wouldn’t count on it.  The world is a small place and getting smaller all the time. You never know what can happen or who might stumble onto this post.

Maybe Bruce will decide to “google” himself and wonder  what this post is about. Maybe he’ll see the headline, read the post and wonder who I am. I probably should tell him that my name is Josh Wilner and that I am a 43 year-old writer who told his son last night that he wants him to live his dreams and not dream his life.

Bruce might like knowing that my daughter is learning how to play the violin and that music is a constant presence in our lives. I am not really sure if that would get his attention. I can’t say that I would be the first person to tell him that I want to learn more about how he writes songs and finds the music to go along with it.

Natural Ability Versus Learned Skills

“I been around the world and all across the seven seas
Been paid a king’s ransom for doin’ what comes naturally” Ain’t Got You from Tunnel of Love

If we had lunch I would want to ask him about how much of this comes from natural talent and how much comes from practice. I would want to know if he thinks we can learn how to do what he does or if that is just a silly pipe dream.

That line from Ain’t Got You makes it sound like his ability is more of a natural talent. I want to know more. When I try to understand it I think about writing and how easy it is for me. I don’t have to try very hard to do this. Some of that is because I have spent countless hours writing and there are benefits that come along with all that practice.

Still it doesn’t negate the ease with which the words flow from my fingertips onto the paper or from keyboard to screen. When there is passion and purpose behind the prose the flow is even stronger and almost always effortless.

I want to know if that is how it feels to Bruce.

I am curious. I am not particularly interested in trying to become a rock star nor do I have a lot of faith that I am going to suddenly learn how to sing. I am ok with that.

My primary focus lies in writing and trying to learn how to become better at it.

10,000 Hours

Gladwell talks about the outliers who used 10,000 hours to become experts at their craft. He also covers how there is something to be said for luck and timing too. I am a believer in both. I suspect that Bruce might be as well.

You can be the best at what you do but if the right opportunity doesn’t present itself you might not ever have the chance to show that skill to others. It certainly begs the question of what can you do to help facilitate making those opportunities appear. You can’t sit at home and wait for your fairy godmother to wave her magic wand.

On the off chance that I am mistaken about that I would like to give notice to my fairy godmother that your presence is long overdue and not appreciated. Consider this fair warning that I am not pleased by your absence and that you might be defenestrated.

Lunch is on Me

Back to lunch with Bruce. Bruce, I don’t know how often you get out to Los Angeles or where you are spending most of your time. But if you are still hanging your hat in New Jersey I’d be happy to come out there. Got a kid sister who moved out your way more than a few years ago.

I’ll be heading out that way next year to hit my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah so I am sure I can find time to grab a bite to eat with you too. I need to share one complaint with you about New Jersey. I hate the damn jughandles. I don’t understand why we can’t make a normal left turn, but aside from that, the funny accents and the snow I like the place just fine.

So what do you say Bruce, can we get a sandwich or some coffee?

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  1. Krissy Brady, Writer September 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I love this post Josh! I’m going to see Bruce in concert next month with my brother (who’s going to see him four times during the current tour, I might add). I’ll try to throw a note on stage for you – the restraining order would be worth it, LOL! :0)

  2. Bill Dorman September 12, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Well, it certainly won’t happen if you don’t ask, huh? The ball is in his court now…..

    It’s a combo of things; luck, talent, timing, opportunity, etc.

    I see the same thing in sales; you see some people with all of the talent in the world but just don’t seem to be able to equate it to steady income. I’ve seen others who just happened to be in the right place at the right time with just enough talent to write their meal ticket. It’s just getting everything to align just right…..

    • Josh September 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      It is no different than selling, sometimes you have to ask for the order.

      The only thing we can control is our own work ethic and effort. It may not always produce the results we want but it can help to push things into alignment for us. Got to make our own luck.

  3. Kaarina Dillabough September 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Love this line that you told your son you are a man who wants to “live his dreams and not dream his life”. And I’ll put a call into Bruce for you 😉 😉 Cheers! Kaarina

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