Thursday, December 15, 2016

the last book I ever read (Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, excerpt fourteen)

from Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen:

This was the first time where an illness would sideline a band member into missing shows. Danny Federici had contracted melanoma and now needed serious medical treatment. Danny had been misdiagnosed early on and the cancer was now moving through his system. He had been quietly receiving care for a while but could no longer keep it from the band, and so began a long and difficult journey. Charlie Giordano from the Sessions Band was tutored for a few shows by Dan, then quietly stepped in to take over the organ duties while Danny was treated.

One evening on one of Danny’s short returns to the band, he stepped into my dressing room before the show and sat in the chair opposite me. He basically explained things weren’t looking so good. At one point he seemed to run out of words and, gesturing silently, moved one palm over the other, trying to tell me what I already knew. His eyes filled and finally we sat there looking at each other . . . it’d been thirty-five years. I gave him what assurances I could that might ease his mind. We stood up, held each other for a long moment and went out and played. Not long thereafter, Danny appeared with us for the last time, at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on March 20, 2008. In the band we all knew this was it. We wouldn’t see Danny onstage again.

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