The Boss doesn’t always feel that way.
Bruce Springsteen, even at 66, is a rock star to the core. He recently played his longest concert ever at a time when he should be coasting on his career laurels. Then he broke his new record days later.
His long-running battle with depression takes its toll all the same.
Springsteen opened up about that condition in the run-up to his upcoming autobiography’s release. Called, what else, “Born to Run,” the book chronicles one of music’s most enduring stars. In it, Springsteen shares how depression has haunted him for years, from lean times to the very heights of his fame.
You’d think Springsteen’s fortune would make him immune, particularly now. Not a chance.
“I was crushed between sixty and sixty-two, good for a year and out again from sixty-three to sixty-four,” he said.
He’s human. And his now-public fight against depression does more than help sell books. It registers with fans and non-fans alike. Suddenly, we’re talking about how depression can rob from the richest among us.
Those declarations only coarsen the public discourse. The celebrity brigade that embraced the deeply flawed Hillary Clinton a few weeks back at the Democratic National Convention? That hardly moves the public opinion needle for the betterment of society.
A rock icon admitting he’s human? That matters.
Recall the impact the late Christopher Reeve had on spinal research. The “Superman” star became a quadriplegic after falling off a horse in a 1995 accident. He started the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation to help find a cure for similar injuries.
Michael J. Fox similarly embraced a starring role in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. The “Family Ties” standout’s career appeared in doubt when he admitted to having the condition, which includes uncontrollable tremors.
Instead, Fox used his celebrity to fight back. He, too, created a foundation to help others like him. He also opened up about the condition, the medications he used to keep the tremors at bay and how he refused to let Parkinson’s define him.
Celebrities are afforded rare gifts in our culture. They become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Fans clamor for them everywhere they go.
And, at times, they give back in ways beyond their artistic achievements.
Springsteen’s recent revelations may be just as important as his musical legacy … if it helps some with depression seek help.