The audiobook of Bruce Springsteen's autobiography Born To Run is narrated by Bruce himself. It kicks off with a bizarre, unexpected noise: a slow thundering torrent, familiar but eerily transformed. It's the opening of the great rock anthem "Born To Run" played at half speed: booming drum roll, snaky rockabilly guitar, the surprising ping of a glockenspiel — slowed down to reveal the sonic architecture behind the instrumental chaos.
Well, isn't that what a musical autobiography should be all about? And isn't this why I love rock memoirs so much? The uncanny sound that opens Bruce's book prepares us for what we're about to do: slow down musical time, stand still to bask in the ephemeral signposts of subliminal consciousness that bind the listener and the musician together. To apprehend the miracle of musical creativity is an act of wonder, a shared journey, a mystery unfolding for reader and author alike.