Your memories from 25 years of Bruce Hornsby

Your memories of the first 25 years of Bruce’s career. Please add yours at the bottom of the page!

Si Twining: I’m adding this memory of Sam Deptula, the ten-year-old who joined Bruce to play The Way It Is in Hyannis back in 2002. I well remember Sam taking the stage, and rising to two challenges from Bruce while he was there. One, to play a solo, and two, a gentle encouragement to deviate from the record. He did, and brought the house down. Bruce had the look of a proud dad as he finished his song on accordion to Sam’s piano. You can hear it using the player below. 

David Day: I remember the first time I heard Bruce, just like it was yesterday! In fact, it could have been today! I was sitting with some friends on a snowy Saturday afternoon in the late 1980s near Chicago, Illinois, and I will confess…..We were doing something that we don’t do anymore, but my friends had some videos on the tube, and…..The Way It Is came on! I immediately pointed out to my friends that this “Bruce guy” could play piano like no one else could and got up, rushed out and bought the record at the local record store! I brought the record back to my friend’s place and we then had one heck of a party. Everyone loved it! I now have a signed copy of that framed vinyl proudly displayed in my office for all to see! Here’s to you Bruce! Thank you for all you do and all the memories! At the end of the day, when the sun is setting and the cows are coming home…..There is no place that I would rather be than…..Bruuuce! That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! >Still havin’ a ball! Even after all these years!

DSC_0348 Andrew Smith: I can’t quite remember where I was the first time I heard “The Way It Is” or just about everything from that album. I just remember I couldn’t quite get enough of it. I was 11 years old when it was released, and to hear those songs wasn’t quite an ephiphany, but I knew I really enjoyed this guy’s groove and the brilliant piano melodies. Then, “Scenes From the Southside” was even better. And it just kept getting better. When Bruce started playing with the Dead, I began listening to the Dead (and became a Deadhead via Bruce … rather than the usual pattern of Deadheads becoming Bruceheads). My parents finally gave in, and I opened a copy of “Harbor Lights” on my 17th birthday … and practically wore the tape out. Andrew’s story

Ginny Franz: How could I not contribute to the wall of fame, after reading some of the wonderful stories. I have to tell my own! I first heard Bruce and the Range on the radio with the radio release of “The Way it is”. I remember thinking, aha,here’s a song with piano solo rather than guitar leads; I had to own it and hear more. I played that first cassette over and over. At the time I was big on Southern artists. I was so pleased to know he was from Virginia. I went to see Bruce and the Range at Chastain Park in Atlanta the summer of 89. Chastain is an open outdoor amphitheater ,at the time there was little security . I could get close to the stage without fear.After watching his antics and his piano capabilities in person, I remember thinking…I have to meet this guy. And that I did after writing a corny fan letter at the time of the release of Night on the Town. Kathy Hornsby answered it herself and the following year invited me back stage. I have been able to stay in close touch all these many years. I am enthralled by Bruce’s craftmanship and his professionalism. He is by far a southern gentleman.

Dsc_0275ars Charlene Barnes: You are the man that without knowing it has been with me as I have grown over the past 25 years – the constant in my life is my love of God and Bruce! Thank you for sharing your musical talent – making us laugh, cry, and think about our own lives and the world around us. You are a musician that keeps pushing yourself to do new and interesting things and has inspired me to do the same! Thanks for always being there – in the dark and sun-shining days of my life! Luv ya!

Rich Holmack: I first received a cassette tape of “the way it is” for christmas in 85, from my brother. He knew that I enjoyed Billy Joel and Elton John’s music, so more piano music was fine with me. As I listened to his music I noticed that he always had a groove to his songs that you could dance to as well as listen. His lyrics are thought provoking as well!! I went to see him once in San Deigo, in 2006, with my wife and 16 y/o son. It was a memorable show due to fact that I was able to meet 3 members of the band, Doug, J.V., and Sonny, who were out in the audience before the show meeting people and talking to us like we were old friends. It was also cool that I was the Third tallest person at the show, behind Bruce and Bill Walton!!! By the end of the 2+ hour show, everyone, including my 16 y/o son, were dancing all over the place!! I have several of his CD’s that are signed by Bruce and enjoy his music frequently, either on sirius radio or the the CD’s of his that I own. When I ask him question on his site he usually answers them, which makes me feel like I’m one of his friends!!! Priceless!!!

Aaron Pritchett: Bruce- Thanks so much for 25 years of enriching our lives with the most creative, influential music around! You continue to amaze and make our lives so much better with such great music! Here’s to many more! Aaron M. Pritchett

A.J. Tobia: Twenty five years and still going strong. It all started with the the love of your piano playing on The Way it Is > Show Goes on (Backdraft) > discovering how eclectic Bruce’s music is > following Bruce over vast distances to see a master at work. Congrats Bruce. Keep it up!

Leslye Thornton: One thing that made the Biltmore shows so great was the addition of R.S. playing with Bruce & the band. His sound was distinct and you could tell he was having as much fun as everyone else. At the most recent show, I was excited on my way to the show, yet sad, as R.S. presence would not be on stage. And I was also thinking that it had to be on Bruce and the band’s mind as well. Oh, what a special night it was! Bruce recognized R.S. on several songs (listening to Doug play the solo R.S. recorded on Continents Drift was chilling). Closing the show, for R.S., with Standing on the Moon and Halcyon Days —– makes me tear up. Bruce couldn’t have honored his nephew any better—-just perfect—at least for this fan.

Jennie Crabbe: In 25 years, the music has grown up right along with me. And even now, every song hits home. Thanks, Bruce, for providing the soundtrack to my life. Jennie’s story

Sunflower Kat: What was most significant was the complete joy that I saw in Meg that night. Here was a woman who struggled with everything life threw at her. She rarely was happy…and for that time on the stage, she was JOYOUS. Kat’s story

Monica Layer: Amazing that 25 years ago I was 12 years old and started listening when “The Way It is” came out and now 25 years later I have two children of my own 6yr Abigail and 7yr Junior who are now fans themselves. Simply amazing where the time goes, but also amazing how we’ve grown with Bruce and his wonderful skills and his musical lifts our spirits and makes us happy. Thanks to Bruce for an amazing, fun and wonderful 25 years full of memories.

Bruce-Northampton-15-jpg Rob Warn: Wow – has it already been 25 years??!!! Still a great album to listen to, and I still find it particularly relevant to today. Congrats Bruce on 25 years!!!

Barry Dowdy: Can remember clearly the first time I heard “The Way it Is”. My wife and I were riding home after a few days on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Heard our rock station on the car radio interviewing Bruce. They played The Way it is and several other cuts off the album. Have been a die hard fan of Bruce ever since.

Munna Munshi: I remember when I first wrote to Bruce year’s ago and he could not determine whether I was a man or a woman,as you know my name is Munna Munshi,married man with 2 kids!!!! At the time I thought it was quite hilarious!!!!

Alain Bergeron: Thanks to Bruce Hornsby for all that wonderful music, I bought that CD (Hot House) out of the blue, I did not know it was such a great opus. Now I work on a computer day in day out and when I need some music to sooth my soul and keep me going late in the night, that’s the CD I put on. Most of the time it’s upbeat, all the collaborators are great musicians, but I enjoy Bruce’s voice most. I have not even started on his great keyboard ability. In short, I am way past impressed, I am under the spell. Thanks again.

Badger: Biggest and best memory is the first time I saw Bruce at the Jazz cafe London October 2003 – knew he was good but not that GREAT!!! meeting him after the gig and then lunch the next day will remain in memory forever – still have the photos on the wall!

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Jackie Estes August 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm

About three years ago,some friends and I were discussing what we liked most about the music of Bruce Hornsby.  As you might imagine, the answers were as varied as the many styles of music Bruce frequently employs. 
After much discussion of singing styles,voicing of chords,subject matter of songs, etc. the answer came to light,”His music feeds the soul;it refreshes the soul.
A simple,but not a simplistic,response. 
When someone treats us unfairly or we feel life is beating us down, the words “Don’t you believe them” from “The Way It Is” feed the soul.
When we’ve been stuck inside an office all day, “Look Out Any Window” reminds us to make time to enjoy and care for our outdoor surroundings.
When we feel joyful,we can express this by dancing to “Hot House Ball,” “Stacked Mary Possum” or “Cartoons And Candy” and our souls are refreshed. For more contemplative moments,we relish the feelings inspired by “Fields Of Gray,” “Sunlight Moon” or “Here We Are Again.”

Bruce’s music portrays all of these emotions and many more.. His ability to connect with our musical hearts is a big reason why I love his music. Thank you, Bruce for invigorating our spirits with the palette of your music.

Chris August 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I’m lucky enough to have seen Bruce in 1986–one of my very first concerts of any kind. He hooked me then, and never lost me–I’ve been a steadfast fan for 25 years. It has sure gone by quickly–feels like only yesterday I was telling my high school buddies, “You know that great new Don Henley song? You know who WROTE it?”

I have been lucky enough to catch Bruce and the various incarnations of his bands a few more times over the years and am always looking forward to the next album and/or tour.

I don’t know if any of these comments will make their way to Bruce, but just in case…

Bruce: your music has made me feel a lot better during dark days, and just as importantly has accompanied me through many more GREAT days. The melodies are well-crafted and the lyrics are always thoughtful and usually amusing. THANKS and cheers to the next 25. I’ll be there at 50–you’ll have to have a big ol’ party.

Sampo from Finland August 10, 2011 at 5:48 am

I’ve been fan since early 90’s and my change to see Bruce finally came in 2003 in Helsinki during European solo tour. I hoped to hear Hooray For Tom and I assumed that he would play it anyway, so I did not put out a request. He did not play it and after the concert I hung around the stage to get my Halcyon Days cover autographed. I did get the autoghraph (he wrote “BRH” with his left hand because of hand troubles) and I said that I wished he played Tom because it’s my all time favourite tune of his. He gave me mock-angry look and said “You should have requested it then, no?”. And then sang part of the song right there.

Yes, by doing that he made great concert even better!!

Bruce – sincere thanks for the 25 years of great music!

Keith Landry August 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I saw Bruce at the North Shore Music Theater in Massachusetts with my sisters during the Hot House tour… To this day it’s still the best show I’ve ever been to, but the best part came after the show. Bruce came out to the tour bus to sign autographs and talk to anyone and everyone who stayed late to say hi, including my older sister Kristen, who has Down’s Syndrome. I will be forever grateful to Bruce for taking the time to make her feel like the most important person in his world during their conversation. So thanks again, Bruce… We will always be fans not only for your music, but for who you are as a person!

Alex August 25, 2011 at 12:44 am

My first live experience with Bruce was his opening for the Grateful Dead@MSG September ’88, the Rainforest Benefit. I already had the 1st album and was digging it and seeing him live only solidified what was to be a life-long love of one of the greatest musicians of all time, immensely talented, profound beyond words and a classy individual to boot. I’ve only seen one bum show (due to the worst audience I’ve ever been a part of, certainly not Bruce’s fault) in all the decades I’ve seen him and he still remains to this day a highlight of whatever year I see him. This year he’s playing on my birthday here in NYC (8/31) and there truly are few artists that I rather spend my birthday with than with Bruce. My life has been musically richer with him in it. Congrats on 25 years! Long Live Bruuuuuuuuuuce!


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