See the Springsteen interview in Rolling Stone last month? Turns out he’s been in therapy since 1982. There’s nothing wrong with that–‘cept now he’s beginning to talk about it, and God knows what sort of psychotherapeutic rationalizations produced the double disaster of Lucky Town and Human Touch. I hate to put it so cruelly, but I like my superheroes fucked up. And I want them fighting for justice out on the streets, not on the couch. The prospects of Bruce’s upcoming shows in Tinley Park are accordingly perilous; on his Saturday Night Live appearance a few months back, certainly, he looked bleak and enervated. But remember that Bruce Springsteen’s problems come from misdirection, not slacking off; he’s confused, not unarmed. The challenges he now faces each night onstage are those that he has shown himself–almost with exception and for nearly 20 years as child and man, pretender and hero–to be uniquely equipped to handle. Balancing that confusion at least onstage, is his immensely good-humored, wholly indomitable sense of self. Don’t be surprised if he’s found his current debacle liberating. In the past, remember, he’s had business to take care of; now he’s only here for fun. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 PM, World Music Theater, routes 80 and 43 (Harlem Avenue), Tinley Park; 708-614-1616.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Pamela Springsteen.