It was a random post in a Facebook group for podcasters that I’m in. It began this way:
“Do you love music? Has music helped you through a difficult time in your life?”
For me, yes! And yes!
I reached out to Jesse Jackson (no, not THAT Jesse Jackson) via email and gave him a quick rundown of my Gang of Youths story, and how the band saved me during a dark time a couple years ago. We traded a couple emails IIRC and scheduled a time to chat on his podcast, Set Lusting Bruce.
It was one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve ever had!
We talked about my U2 fandom and what made it go away, how I discovered Gang of Youths and the song that blew me away on first listen, and I did my best to give his listeners a rundown of the band’s/Dave’s Springsteen fandom and some songs for them to listen to. (i.e., “Fear and Trembling” and “The Diving Bell”) There’s some candid talk about mental health, music fandom, and the power of music to heal.
Please give it a listen here: https://setlustingbruce.libsyn.com/matt-mcgee-slb
Oh, one more thing: You see that “part 1” in the title of this post? Jesse does this thing on his show sometimes where he invites a new/casual Springsteen fan to be the guest. He gives the “Bruce newbie” a list of 10 songs to listen to and then they record a conversation about those 10 songs.
Well, Jesse has invited me to be on his show again, only this time I’m going to be the host of the show and it’s a “Gang of Youths newbie” episode! I’ve already sent him a list of 10 songs and he’s listening to them now:
- Fear and Trembling
- Let Me Down Easy
- The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows
- Still Unbeaten Life
- The Heart Is A Muscle
- Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane
- The Diving Bell
- Say Yes To Life
That was a really tough list to put together! Obviously had to include the ones with the Springsteen connections, though.
So Jesse and I will chat again soon, but this time mostly about Gang of Youths, and then he’ll share the episode with his audience of Springsteen fans, and I’ll share it with all of you! And that’ll be part 2 of evangelizing Gang of Youths on a Bruce Springsteen podcast.
UPDATE: We’ll be recording the “Gang of Youths newbie” episode on August 19, so look for an update after that!