A late autumn night back in 1980 I heard The River for the first time. There, in this small, warm girl’s room the sound of the harmonica and that hoarse voice went out of the radio and knocked me to the ground. I was 12. I was a top scholar, surrounded by a large family and a lot of friends, but even so I felt lonely and indisposed. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. The frames were wrong, there was to little space for me. The music hit me and suddenly it was all came so clear. There is a choice. You can follow the route others point out for you, or you can make your own journey. It’s your choice whether you follow the dream or the stream.
The experience was so strong, it still follows me. I was twelve and realized that the frames you are born into is just a starting point. The rest is up to you.
We have been together since that night, Mr. Springsteen, the E- Streeters and me. We have gone through joy and sorrows, through break-ups and mistakes. Through victories and loneliness. The music has carried me through, the lyrics has taken place in my heart. The phrases are buried inside of me, they follows me, points out the way. Woven into the everyday life.
We have met many times. The shows has taken me to countries and cities I never would have seen unless. Every show has got its own life, its own style. I’ve got friends from all over the world. We have different social backgrounds and home countries. We are unlike. Religion, way of living, language and life situation. But still, we are in the same family.
When we meet we are one community. Some are old, some are young, the youngest ones have mini t-shirts and headsets at almost same size as their heads. Elizabeth, the oldest one of the tramps, can be number one where ever she goes. But still she sits in the queue together with us. Because she is one of us. Because it’s the atmosphere and the fellowship that counts.
Lists with names on, only first names, we’re all in the same family. We get new friends, we meet again, some haven’t met for a long time. We barbeque, we play, talks, sleeps and hang around. We share. We share food and tickets, phone numbers and best places to eat. We discuss what’s allowed to bring into the stadium, and give the word about who’s got spare tickets. We stay close to make shelter for the rain. We share sunshine and shadows, water and sun lotion. But most of all we share the experiences. We share dreams and memories. We share expectations and hope. We know each others routines and favorite songs. We know our fellows best spot – and gives thumbs up when he makes it. And we share the joy. When one of us is on stage we dance with her. When Eddie got his birthday song in Sydney after been following the whole Australia tour we cry with him. When the Boss gave Marcos his harmonica and made him the happiest man in Frognerparken, we smile with him. When Pauline danced in Haag – our happiness was huge and real. We stick together, take care of each other, we’re forming a wall against the back. Respect and love keep us together. The first one is the boss and the rest follows the unspoken rules. We don’t fight, we only share. It is our herd, this is where we belong.
There’s always an end. Six shows in four countries. Old and new friends pack their bags and go back home. Some still has a show left and goes to Zurich. Other’s heading for USA. We are satisfied, but still wants more. We are tired but happy. We are sad that it’s over, but glad we could join and deeply hoping it will happen again. New record coming up. We’ll be seeing you. Not good bye. We’ll meet again.
You ask if we get tired of standing in line? We are not standing in line…..we’re working on a dream.
Tramps like us…..
All pictures taken by me or by travelling fellows