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6 women in Springsteen songs, E Street Radio and the Malibu’s XM radio

Jen’s First Day with Malibu from Jennifer James on Vimeo.

Last Thursday, I picked up a brand new Chevy Malibu from an Oklahoma Chevy dealer. I’ll be driving it for a month and blogging about my experience. Here is a video of my adventure, which I made using a Flip Camera provided to me by Chevy. (See full disclosure below.)

One of the things I’m really enjoying about the Malibu is the XM radio, specifically the E-Street Radio channel. I know that Springsteen first hit it big in the 70s and can hardly be called an 80s sensation, but his music was still a big part of my youth. In case you’re not familiar with Springsteen, E-Street was the name of his band.

The summer after I graduated high school I listened to Born in the U.S.A. every day. It provided some much needed preparation for all the Vietnam Veterans for whom I would one day work. (I mean that in all sincerity.) Anyway, this is the album that features the song, Bobby Jean, which I am lip synching to in this video.

E Street Radio on XM

On Friday night, I stepped out to get some burritos for the family. While sitting in the drive-thru at Taco-Mayo-me-baby, I heard the little-known Springsteen song, Book of Dreams on the Malibu’s XM Radio. This song came out in the 1990s, when I was still pretty entry-level in my career and had no children. I suddenly recalled how much I secretly wanted to be the girl in this song. Then I realized for the first time, I’ve wanted to be the girl in practically every Springsteen song I’ve ever heard.

I wanted to be Mary in Thunder Road, blowing past losers and skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets – on dusty beach roads no less. I wanted to be the woman Springsteen called a friend in Better Days. I think I was the single mom with the lonely ribbon in the 1980 Little Girl I Wanna Marry You. And I wanted to be Wendy in Born to Run. Somedays, I still want to be Wendy.

Finally, I wanted to be the nameless girl in Out in the Street. She was the one who met the guy down on the docks on Friday night, ready to dance when the whistle blew.

Alas, I have rarely been the girl in a Springsteen song, and maybe it’s a good thing. All those lyrics conjure up images of Paula Pokrifki.

So, on Friday night I didn’t dance Out in the Street. I went and got burritos for my starving, screaming, can-we-stop-and-get-a-donut-on-Friday-night kids who sang Crisscross Apple Sauce all through dinner. It was really fun.

No, really.

On the drive home from getting fast food dinner, Springsteen’s My Hometown came on the Malibu’s XM Radio. I thought of an article I read yesterday that said our country is bankrupt. I wondered how on earth it’s all going to work out for Generation X? And Y. And Z.

In 1984, Springsteen released these lyrics:

Now Main Street’s whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain’t nobody wants to come down here no more
They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back to your
Your hometown

In 1983, the GM plant in Fremont, California shut down. My husband’s dad worked at that plant. Robert was just 16. He’d spend his entire life in California, and was forced to move to Oklahoma where he finished his senior year. His dad finished out his career at the GM plant in Oklahoma City. That plant closed a few years aback.

After we all scarfed down our cheap burritos, I cleared the table and sat down at my computer and typed the following string into my favorite search engine: where is the Malibu made. This is the answer I got back:


The 2010 Chevrolet Malibu is made in Kansas City, Kan., and Orion Township, Mich. In our most recent American-Made Index, the 2009 Malibu ranked third in our list of the top 10 most American-made new models.

This is one of the reasons I agreed to participate as a blogger for the Gotta Love Chevy OK campaign. I know some foreign automobile manufacturers have major assembly plants in the U.S. that employ Americans, but still.

But, still.

The people who built the Chevy Malibu I’m test driving probably live in and around Kansas City or Orion Township, Michigan. I’d like to thank them for making such a great car!

I’d also like to point out an article published in the New York Times on Friday, Detroit Goes from Gloom to Economic Bright Spot. Anything is possible, and God love Detroit.


Please become a friend of Gotta Love Chevy OK on Facebook. When you do, you’ll have a chance to win cool prizes daily!


Disclosure: The Girls On The Go campaign is sponsored by southern Chevy dealers who give selected bloggers a new Chevy Malibu to test drive for one month and ask them to blog about the experience using the vehicle. Girlfriend Getaway will give me some fun projects to do and will provide me with gift cards to allow me to do them.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Debra W

    How about the girl that shut out the bedroom light in Jungleland? Great post! And yes, there is nothing like E-street radio on XM…NOTHING!


  2. Yogi♪♪♪

    The car is great but you and Rob are the stars. You guys need your own show. A road show of some sort like Discover Oklahoma. You could come to Tulsa and visit your fans, maybe sell some Chevy’s.

  3. Anonymous

    Great sentiments and thoughts. It’s as if Chevy read your mind and invented a Bruce Springsteen channel. You’re going to do a great job testing the Malibu. Rob

  4. Andi

    You know I am a huge Bruce fan..never had satellite radio would be cool to define the station down to the specificity!

  5. Territory Mom

    What a great car. I want one.
    I love Bruce. I have all of his albums up until this decade. I really thought I was going to marry him.
    “I go down to the river, the river is dry . . .”

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