Bruce’s Rock Triangle

Filed in Archive, Blog by on February 17, 2014 1 Comment

Bruce Springsteen in Concert

Bruce Springsteen performed one of his legendary four-hour concerts in Melbourne on Sunday 16 February. Tens of thousands of satisfied fans took home all the usual things: more Bruce stories to add to their collections, smartphone videos to post on YouTube, a new appreciation of Born To Run, and ringing ears.

I certainly did. Plus one extra thing. A personal epiphany that occurred during a song whose name I’m struggling to remember – and no, it wasn’t Blinded By The Light. There, on the big stage screens, during a feverish performance by the E Street Band, a 10-metre high triangle burst into shot. The musical type of triangle.

A cameraman had zoomed in for a close-up of what must be the most under-appreciated instrument in rock music. There it was, a triangle in its shiny metallic Zen simplicity, being thrashed into thrilling reverberations by a musician imported all the way from the USA to wow Australian fans. I was too stunned to snap the image, so you’ll have to settle for a photo of Bruce.

It was at that moment I realised I should never have quit the triangle! Yes, it would have been a long road from being a classically trained triangle player at school to the electrifying pinnacles of playing rock triangle.

Of course, there would have been a personal cost. At that moment, however, I conceded I should have paid the price. It would have been worth the four gruelling years at the Juilliard School in New York, the cut-throat auditions of American Idol, and the years of grind on the road to build a fan base.

A past well-spent, as I’m confident the E Street rock triangulator could tell you. Must look for his next interview in Rolling Stone.

My excuse is simple. I shouldn’t have quit triangle after the argument with my music teacher in Year 4. Yes, it was wrong to vary the steady, soothing rhythm of ding-ding-ding-ding during a Peer Gynt pastiche. But, in my defence, the ding-a-ling flourish I improvised added to the atmosphere. My teacher disagreed. Profoundly disagreed.

I regret now that I didn’t keep my temper in check during our post-mortem of the performance. Storming out, yelling that I was going to start my solo project, was an over-reaction in hindsight, but I felt my creativity was being stifled.

Which is why seeing the E Street Band’s rock triangulator up on those giant screens, conjuring his musical magic pierced me with memories still raw yet suddenly so clear with meaning and purpose.

So tell me, please, Bruce, what does it take to play rock triangle with you on stage? Am I still a chance?

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  1. Alex King says:

    You could have been the next Rex Stardust, the lead electric triangle with Toad the Wet Sprocket

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