Bruce Springsteen was trying to make a statement when he released “War” in 1985. I believe he accomplished that through the song but also through what he stated whenever he would play the song live. In particular, what he said before he performed “War” in his 1985 live Los Angeles concert demonstrates why he recorded the song. This week, I would like to focus on what he said.
Springsteen starts off by talking about what it was like growing up in the 60’s and 70’s during the Vietnam War. While Springsteen did not go to Vietnam, he had multiple friends who did go. He tells the story of one of his friends who came over to Springsteen’s house in his marine uniform to say he was being sent to Vietnam. The friend then goes on to ask where Vietnam is. This is a true demonstration of the American philosophy. Before the war, hardly anyone knew where it was because we seem to focus on ourselves, not on the world as a whole. We are a pretty self-centered country and that can be shown throughout history.
Next, Springsteen goes on to say “Blind faith in 1985 in anything, in leaders will get you killed.” These words are probably very fitting of many US citizens opinions of our leaders. After Vietnam and the Iran-Contra Affairs, many citizens were hesitant to trust anyone in government because they seem to keep the truth from the public quite a bit around this time. This statement is what really hits me about Springsteen’s speech because a lot of people cheer after he says this. At this point in history, so many people did not have faith in the elected officials who were supposed to be representing us. So while Springsteen was very vocal of his opinion including releasing the song, he was backed by many citizens which truly shows that the song represents the 1980’s in our history.