In Love, Broke and Bruce Hornsby

The song, keenly appropriate for two love struck kids with two college loans, one maxed out credit card and one minimum wage job between them. The chorus, “Even though we aint got money, I’m so in love with you honey.” The band, a local group of high school friends from my home town.  The boy on the keyboard in the background, a future rock star.

Ask anyone from Williamsburg, Virginia who the local celebrity is and you will certainly hear, Bruce Hornsby. He is one of a gaggle of Hornsby guys who play at life and play with music and draw in friends who play with them. Bruce has taken the fruit of his legacy, and has made recordings, won a Grammy and performed around the world with every who’s who artist in the business.

On November 10th, Pepper and I celebrate our anniversary and admittedly, I post this picture as evidence to all the folks who may have doubted my claim to have had Bruce Hornsby perform at our wedding, but I’d also like to add him to my play-grand for a loftier purpose and that is to give you a mini-glimpse of his personality.

I have lost contact with many of my old friends since leaving Williamsburg but Bruce made an effort to stay in touch. He came to our home in Milwaukee for a visit while on tour and graciously made wonderful music with our daughter on a badly tuned piano. I am told that he often called on transplanted Williamsburg folks around the country, especially in his early years on the road. I saw him a while back in an airport and he introduced me to his wife and sons with the charm and ease of an old friend and he came by my mom’s house after my Dad’s funeral bringing some much-needed levity by showing us all his signed Jerry Garcia tie.

I am sure that Bruce’s days are filled with family outings, social events, numerous requests and all the glamorous and not so glamorous things that famous people do, which make the few times I’ve seen him over the years even more impressive. It seems to me that notoriety hasn’t changed him all that much. Perhaps the values of a close family, the influence and love of friends and the perspective from being raised and embraced by small caring town help him keep his head on straight, his feet on the ground and his music in the air.

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11 thoughts on “In Love, Broke and Bruce Hornsby

  1. john

    I interupted him and wife were waiting for their dinner at the jewish mother in va beach when i was 19 (1989). I wish i was older and/or smart enough to leave them alone. They spoke to me as if it wasnt a big deal. What i nice couple.

  2. Pingback: REMEMBER in SEPTEMBER a full cup | play-grand

  3. LeAnn

    What a heartwarming story. Bruce is one of the good guys. See him play every chance I get … best show ever was at the Ryman in Nashville.

  4. My God Gwen…you are the true writer as I am moved by the pictures,the words,and the sentiment.I feel like a broken record when I say how special that Williamsburg feeling is to myself after all these years…and I can see that I’m not alone.You described many of the things about Bruce that I never had the pleasure of knowing personally.His music has always represented something about that special Williamsburg feeling.I have told more than one person how I would like to write the words to a song that captures that feeling and give it to Bruce to put to music….so much easier said than done!It is nice to know that some good things don’t get spoiled…but you only confirm what every person I have ever talked to in Williamsburg says about running into him in “the Burg”.That picture is unreal …thanks for sharing with all…Happy Anniversary to you and Pepper…and was Loggins & Messina your wedding song?…such a great story!

  5. Coni Johnston

    How wonderful to see you and Pepper on your wedding day! .Brucie in the backround is an added treat! Most of all I love the pic of Bruce & your daughter who looks just like YOU in that pic :-). What a wonderful guy Bruce is all the Hornsbys are. We’re so lucky to have grown up with them. How many years is this anniversary? AND it’s on your birthday too? That’s SO cool my friend, and so are you. Sending the love my fellow Scorpio and the best of wishes to you and your Prince Charming!

  6. What a lovely piece and so nice to know that not everyone succumbs to the trappings of fame. I saw Bruce & The Range many MANY years ago in London when they supported Huey Lewis & The News; it was a fantastic night which I still remember fondly. The hairs on the back of my neck still prick up when I think about the opening notes to The Way It Is. How brilliant to have had such a talent play at your wedding, congrats by the way on your anniversary,
    Suzanne

    1. What, you don’t love the pic of me? Are you not a fan of perms???? Or could it be the glasses that are bigger than my face and the only ones I was told at the glasses store would hold lens’ as thick as mine were. Sheesh…. Oh, and I’m not smiling with my mouth open because of my big buck teeth. Thank goodness for modern ophthalmology and orthodontics. PS- This is beautiful mom (the rest of it) 🙂

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