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The Unfortunate Man: A Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

Guest Column: Why Do I Always Get Booed During My Shows?

Chris Andrus

By Bruce Springsteen

I think I work pretty hard. I'm well into my 60s, and I still get out and tour the world when a lot of musicians my age are content to reflect on past achievements and collect easy money when it comes. Not me, brother. Sure, being a quote-unquote rock star certainly comes with its share of perks. But entertaining 20,000 people isn't as easy as it might look. I still play my guts out every night like my life depends on it. 

Yet, every time I set foot onstage, or when the E Street Band finishes a song, I hear the same thing: thousands of people booing me and the musicians that I've been playing alongside all these years.

Doesn't matter what song it is. It could be an older classic like "Born to Run," "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" or "Rosalita." Booooooooo! Or more recent material such as "We Take Care of Our Own," "High Hopes" or "Radio Nowhere." Same thing: Booooooooo!

It starts as soon as the lights go down and the band walks out. From every corner of the room, people just boo. I've been doing this for a while, and I can handle honest criticism, but this kind of greeting doesn't really get me excited to perform. 

On this tour, we've been playing "The River" in its entirety. That was an important album for us, and it was pretty well-received when it came out. The songs on that record -- "Ties That Bind," "Hungry Heart," "Out in the Street," "Fade Away" -- have always meant a lot to me and, even though my opinion is obviously biased, still hold up pretty well. But what does the crowd think? You guessed it: Booooooooo!

Now that I think about it, I seem to remember this starting a long time ago, back when I was still grinding away in clubs on the East Coast, struggling to make a name for myself. By the time the E Street Band was coming together in the early to mid-70s and we started playing some bigger venues, people were booing me pretty regularly at shows. I saw it as a challenge. It built character and motivated me to work harder.

But even when we hit it big with "Born to Run" in 1975 and straight on through "Born in the USA" in the mid-'80s -- the span that is considered our golden period -- people still booed. That was more than 30 years ago, and nothing's changed. Now I'm a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which you'd think would close the book on this discussion. But no. The weird thing is, this doesn't really seem to happen with anybody else. I've never heard Bob Seger get booed. Neil Young doesn't have to deal with this every night of his life. Prince plays even more shows than I do. Do you go and boo Prince? Didn't think so.

I mean, everyone's entitled to his or her opinion. There's certainly a lot of music out there that just doesn't do it for me. But why would you buy a concert ticket -- which, admittedly, is pricier than it used to be -- then take work off or get a sitter and drive all the way to an arena if you're going to boo the artist? It doesn't make sense. Sometimes I look out in the audience and some of the same people booing are even holding up signs that say how much they like me! What's that all about?

Anyway, it's very discouraging. Imagine if you were just trying to do your job, and there were thousands of people going "booooooooo" the whole time. Doesn't sound fun, does it? Frankly, it makes me wonder how long I want to keep doing this if I know I'll never win your approval.

Try to show a little more respect.

Bruce Springsteen is a musician from New Jersey. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of That's Unfortunate or its corporate partners.

Help Pick Our Next Cookie!

Chris Andrus

We need your help! Well, not really, but let's just pretend.

We need your help! Well, not really, but let's just pretend.

Greetings, fortunate consumers! You have already received years of life-affirming and nourishing service from That's Unfortunate, so you know we treat our customers with a tenderness they have not necessarily earned. As a further act of benevolence, we are granting you, the unwashed public, an unprecedented opportunity: You get to pick our next cookie. We'll pause for a moment so you can let that sink in.

Below is a list of recipes developed by our team of flavor disruptors. You'll notice each has a locally relevant name, which proves we care about our community. Enjoy this rare look behind the curtain, choose which cookie you'd most like to see added to our Spring Collection, and prepare to marinate your soul in the bounty of our generosity.

Gently pasteurized sheep’s milk. Effervescent crystallized ginger root. Naan yeast culture. Vigorously whipped cage-free egg whites. Upper Peninsula rain water. St. John's Wort. Amazon basin timber bark.

Non-homogenized cream-top dairy extract. Decadent butter flakes. Genesee saffron threads. Lavender-vanilla cane sugar. Thai fish sauce. Your childhood dreams realized.

European vat-cultured organic yogurt. Reinforced Neapolitan hearth-fired bread flour. Cinnamon buttercream. Hand-crushed Juniper berries. Amaretto-infused artisan sweetener. The inescapable feeling that it's too late to change.

Vine-harvested grape drizzle. Colonial-style whole wheat flour. Dried Yucatan avocado leaves. Solar-nurtured fennel pollen. Nomadic wisdom. Lemon-sprayed shredded coconut husk fiber. Financial freedom.

Yeasted bread-crumb patina. Pomegranate seed. Lake Ontario beach sand. Internet content. Hazelnut-almond confectionery. Steel-cut Aztec oatmeal grains. Drake lyrics. The inevitable decline into obsolescence. 

Cornish game hen egg yolks. Roasted coriander stems. Sun-kissed apple mulch. Foraged honey. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Natural horse flavorings. Cultural appropriation. Going back in time and fixing everything.

Spat-up Narragansett Merlot. Hand-fluffed organic dingleberry seeds. Sioux Indian tear-washed Great Plains maize. Subsidized bacon grease. The emails about Flint's water supply you probably should have read. The churning void. The courage to be an attentive father.

Decorative ham shavings. Seasonal preservatives. Pickle-brined fruit jam. Enthusiastic climate change denial. Rye-floured flaxseed bread. Confusing sex dreams. Dried goat. Appalachian bathtub gin. Random nitrates. White privilege.

Potato-leek risotto. Smoked paprika. Absolution. Brunch, which apparently stops happening in your thirties. Capers. Unspecified glaze. Boundless confidence you come to realize is the manic end of an undiagnosed mood disorder. Scorched polenta aioli. Cable news.

Assorted loaf. Hog effluvium. Concentrated psilocybin. Sriracha-sage kimchi. Disruptive mobile applications. Nantucket bourbon ganache. Brand engagement. Room-temperature octopus. Extemporaneous office banter. The first two months of a long-distance relationship.

Cookie dough squeezed directly into your mouth. Letting a juicy fart go in the gym when you think you're alone only to find out otherwise. Braised quinoa falafel. A promising OK Cupid connection that somehow doesn't pan out. Beet juice. Getting what you've always wanted but still hating yourself. 

Heirloom beef tartare. House-made asiago shallot spread. Soy-mushroom broth. Unrequited love. A Groupon massage. Kumquat chutney. Creationism. Rosemary foie gras confit. The eventual entropic heat death of our universe.

Same shit as before, new name.

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How to Get a Rich Old Lady to Put You in Her Will

Chris Andrus

It is theoretically possible you are attracted to each others' personalities.

It is theoretically possible you are attracted to each others' personalities.

Hey fellas. We know what you're thinking: working suuuuucks. How many years have you spent getting up early every day, pounding your morning shower beer and putting on some stupid collared shirt just to waste your prime-of-life energy copying and pasting numbers into cells of a spreadsheet, watching your 401(k) balance inch upward in cruelly insufficient increments as you become a flaccid husk of the person you dreamed you'd be as a kid? Bummertown, population you!

Sure, there's security in going the square route, working hard and investing an appropriate percentage of your income in lottery tickets. But you know deep down what you should really be doing: boning some rich-ass widow and cashing in! Luckily, the our Men's Lifestyle Braintrust is here to get you into that lucrative pudding. Just follow these six steps in your ongoing journey toward becoming an Unfortunate Man:

1. Pick your location

The natural habitat of the well-greased cougar is the southern United States. Your Tucson McMansions. Your Palm Springs country clubs. Your Key West retirement communities. Demographic info is easy enough to find online: Get somewhere old, warm and rich, son!

2. Show yourself off

If you've been paying attention to our blog, you've already got the package -- an upper body carved from Michigan gypsum, presidential hair, three to five interesting tattoos -- but now you just need a way to sell it. The quickest way to nab the attention of the target demo, our research has determined, is to labor in a service capacity, shirtlessly if possible, at a business uniquely appealing to the wealthy and bereaved. Landscaping and pool maintenance are your best options, but also consider outdoor bartending, physical therapy and geriatric yoga instruction.

3. Reverse your game

Patience is key. Allow yourself to be pursued. Counterintuitive, right!? Once you become the target, be polite and receptive to her advances, but just coy enough to leave a little mystery, which will drive her into a batshit, checkbook-opening frenzy. Before long, you'll be mainlining dead-husband money!


She's been doing this since the Nixon administration.

She's been doing this since the Nixon administration.

4. Know your place; do the work

This is not a standard relationship with typical attached strings, such as shared life goals and emotional reciprocity. (Thank god!) Think of it as more of a boss-employee relationship in which she dictates the terms and controls the purse strings. Primarily, you'll need to make her feel young again. Undertake your sexual duties with gusto and verve, knowing there is a pot of gold -- figuratively, but only sort of -- at the end of this rainbow. Treat this like precisely what it is: your job.

5. Wait

Subtly undermine all of her loved ones so she gradually internalizes your hostility toward them and a mutual estrangement takes root. If you make a habit of this, by the time she begins her final decline into obsolescence, they will have gone years without speaking, and the impenetrable resentment will have simmered long enough to make a last-minute reconciliation improbable. Except: You've brought her happiness, and she clings to life with a tenacious vitality that you never factored into this plan. The months turn into years, the years into decades, and each morning you'll stare into the mirror, wondering what you've done, whether you actually have grown to love her, and how much of your real self still remains behind the increasingly hardened face you splash cold water onto. With any luck, you won't be any older than your early fifties by the time her bell tolls. And by then, she'll have bequeathed to you her assets and granted you power of attorney, so you'll be the one pulling the cord. Solid!

6. $$$$$$$$$

You did it, bro! Shots are on you tonight!

How to Tie a Windsor Knot and Other Things Dad Would Have Taught You If He'd Stayed

Chris Andrus

This would be no problem if you'd grown up with a strong male role model.

This would be no problem if you'd grown up with a strong male role model.


Hey fellas. We all know that distinguishing ourselves from our fellow men isn't always easy. Society says you have to be a go-to guy in any situation, or else you'll just get lost in the herd. Luckily, with a few simple hacks for common challenges life is sure to throw your way, you can demonstrate your value as a person while also compensating for the father-shaped black hole of abandonment that has defined most of your life. Check out these tips from the Unfortunate Men's Style Team:

Tying a Windsor knot

The basic Windsor is a thick, bold tie knot that presents a strong face to the world, conveying the sort of self-assuredness you'd possess if you grew up with a strong male presence in your life. Start with the wide end on the right, hanging about a foot below the short end. Bring the wide end across, then through the loop between your neck and the tie. Bring the wide end down, then pull it to the right, under the narrow end, back through the loop and to the right again. Bring the wide end around the front and through the loop again, then down through the front knot. Tighten as needed, and go into the world confidently, whether you're arguing a case before the Supreme Court or preparing for another day's work at Staples.


Building a campfire

If you stare hard enough, maybe you can undo the past.

If you stare hard enough, maybe you can undo the past.

Here's a counterintuitive trick Dad would have shared if he'd taken you camping instead of moving out to live with his other family in Topeka that you never knew about: Instead of starting with kindling on the bottom, put the largest logs down first, then build a teepee of kindling, paper and smaller logs on top. It takes longer for the fire to grow, but it will burn for hours, giving you plenty of time to stare into the flames and imagine what you'd say to him today.


Throwing a perfect spiral

Imagine how confident you might be if you'd been encouraged to participate in sports.

Imagine how confident you might be if you'd been encouraged to participate in sports.

The fall is a great time to go out in the backyard and toss around the old pigskin, which, luckily, is something you can still do even if you don't have anyone to play with. When throwing a football high in the air to yourself, or at a target such as a tire swing or a can on top of a fencepost, place your middle and ring fingers over the laces with your index finger slightly behind them. Face your target with your opposite shoulder, then snap your wrist at the moment of release. While your perfect spiral is airborne, reflect on the decay and impermanence autumn symbolizes, and how we're really all just dust.


Carving a Thanksgiving turkey

This is a lot of turkey to eat alone.

This is a lot of turkey to eat alone.

Luckily, this one's easier than it looks. Simply remove a Single Serving Stouffer's Turkey Breast dinner from your freezer, take the tray out of the box, and put it in the microwave. You'll want to poke a couple of holes in the plastic film before starting. This is important if you want to preserve moisture in the flash-frozen stuffing and turkey medallions. Cook according to the recommended times on the box, pour another bourbon and see if "It's a Wonderful Life" is on again.