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‘Sprung from cages on Highway 9’

NBC

NBC

 

Just twice in my life have I been frozen in my tracks because of music — music so unlike anything I had heard before that it was stunning.

Later in this column, I’ll get to the first time it happened. But I’m starting with the second.

That occurred on a Friday (Saturday?) night in 1975, and I was getting ready to go out. (I ended up being late for the party.)

WNEW-FM was broadcasting a live performance from the Bottom Line in N.Y.C. — some group that was new to me (and a lot of other people, as it turned out).

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine would cite the show as one of the “50 Moments That Changed Rock and Roll.”

When the music started, I stopped — standing in the middle of the room, mesmerized. Who was performing? Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

I have been a fan ever since — although not nearly as big as Chris Christie.

I love Springsteen’s music, but I do not always agree with his political stance. To everything, though, there is an exception, and I am still laughing at the Springsteen- Jimmy Fallon duet on the latter’s show last month. If you missed it, just go to Google or YouTube; the video is all over the web.

Fallon and The Boss took the spotlight about a week after the governor’s two-hour Bridgegate press conference, with a rewrite of “Born to Run.” Below are the lyrics, so you can sing along. Enjoy!

In the day,

we sweat it out on

the streets,

stuck in traffic

on the GWB

They shut down

the tollbooths of glory

‘cause we didn’t endorse Christie.

Sprung from cages

on Highway 9,

we got 3 lanes closed,

so, Jersey,

get your ass in line

Whoa!

Maybe this Bridgegate

was just payback,

it’s a bitchslap

to the state Democrats,

We gotta get out,

but we can’t.

We’re stuck in

Gov. Chris Christie’s

Fort Lee, New Jersey,

traffic jam.

Governor, let me in,

I wanna be your friend,

there’ll be no

partisan divisions.

Let me wrap my legs

round your mighty rims

and relieve your

stressful condition

You’ve got Wall St. masters

stuck cheek-to-cheek with

blue-collar truckers,

and, man, I really

gotta take a leak

But I can’t.

I’m stuck in Gov. Chris Christie’s

Fort Lee, New Jersey

traffic jam.

Highways jammed

with pissed-off drivers

with no place left to go

And the press conference

went on and on,

it was longer than

one of my own

damn shows.

Someday, governor,

I don’t know when,

this will all end,

but till then

you’re killing

the working man

Who’s stuck in the

Gov. Chris Christie

Fort Lee, New Jersey traffic jam

Whoa, oh oh oh

Whoa, oh oh oh (etc.)

Down in Jerseyland.

Now, to the first time music stopped me dead. That was on a Sunday afternoon in January 1964. Again, it was something on the radio. The Beatles. Looking back, I am challenged to recall exactly what sounded so different. I just know it did. But the next day at school, still excited, I could find just one other classmate who had heard the same broadcast and was also enthralled.

The rest thought we were both exaggerating the impact.

Within days, all that would change. Soon everything else would, too.

In a marvelous OpEd piece in the Star-Ledger this week, Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote, “The Beatles rode the forefront of a wave that would reshape everything — music, fashion, culture, politics –and neither America or the world would ever be the same.”

I’d like to thank Pitts for his prose, and also for reminding us that January marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ debut this side of the pond. But it was disconcerting to realize that Beatlemania began just two short months after America was traumatized by the Kennedy assassination. Or maybe it was actually part of the recovery process.

Anyway, when you’re young, two months is an eternity. When you’re older, 50 years is yesterday.

–Karen Zautyk

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