It’s a little ironic that I ended up meeting Bruce Springsteen at a used record store.
Last week I had the incredible opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet with The Boss at a store outside of Atlanta called 2nd and Charles – a place where you trade in used cds, records, books, movies and games for a fraction of their original value.
I’ve been a Springsteen fanatic for close to 8 years now. But it wasn’t always that way. When I was in high school I went through a phase of trying to expand my musical tastes. In doing so I purchased a copy of “Born In The U.S.A.” to dive into the world of the E Street Band.
I listened to it for about a week before I decided Bruce Springsteen wasn’t for me. I traded in the cd for some spare change at a store just like 2nd and Charles.
I had no idea that one day years in the future I’d be so obsessed with the New Jersey rocker that I’d be willing to stand in line for nearly 4 hours simply to shake his hand and take a picture with him.
Even though I paid $40 to only get about 15 seconds with my idol (more on that later) I thought the experience was worth so much more than I paid for it. Continue reading
After Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band finished their second performance on SNL this past Saturday I was fairly disappointed.
Don’t get me wronged – The Boss and the band put on a couple of great performances of songs from their new box set celebrating the 35th anniversary of “The River” (a great Christmas present for the Bruce Springsteen fan and blog writer in your life).
On any other night I would have been elated to hear performances of “Meet Me In The City” and “The Ties That Bind” live on Saturday night.
The only problem was this was the Christmas show. Continue reading
I got rid of my first Bruce Springsteen CD.
When I was in high school I purchased a copy of Born In The USA. I knew the songs everybody knew – the title track, “Glory Days”, “Dancing In The Dark”. I was all into exploring classic rock artists at the time and so I gave Bruce a shot.
I gave the CD one listen. I just couldn’t get into it. For some reasons Bruce’s brand of tunes didn’t connect to me at age 17.
So I took Born In The USA to the pawn shop and got some terrible trade-in value for it. The Boss and I went our separate ways.
I used to think I simply wasn’t a Bruce Springsteen fan. Then my tune dramatically changed. Continue reading
There’s a lot of great Easter music out there. From traditional hymns to contemporary worship, the music of Easter is one of the best parts of the season.
However, today I want to recommend to you something a little different for your Holy Week listening.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjPU_SGOqCM Continue reading
I’ve never had the chance to be disappointed by a Bruce Springsteen album.
As a relatively new Springsteen obsessive – I’ve only been on board this train for about 5 years – I still feel privileged for any new E Street release in my lifetime.
After all, the wrecking ball will find it’s mark at one point or another on every life. Even Bruce Springsteen will succumb to time. So I’m usually giddy with any news of new Springsteen music.
So, as Bruce’s latest album High Hopes is released worldwide today, why am I so underwhelmed? Continue reading
40 years ago this week, Bruce Springsteen dropped his second album, The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle, a personal favorite of mine.
The record would go on to become one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and help establish the career of a first ballot Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
But nobody knew that 40 years ago. Continue reading
Last night I watched a wonderfully fun and intimate new documentary called “Springsteen and I”. The film is comprised entirely of video footage and testimonials submitted by Bruce Springsteen’s biggest fans.
These aren’t scripted, ‘reality-show’ type testimonials. These are raw, honest, personal tellings of each person’s Springsteen story. Some are shot on cell-phone cameras (some even flipped on the wrong side of the iPhone). All of them are unique in the way they relate to The Boss.
There’s the blue-collar couple who’ve never been at the right place or time to see Springsteen in person but hold their own concerts dancing in the dark in their kitchen. There’s the young female truck driver who wouldn’t seem to fit into Bruce’s demographic but connects to the working life he sings so soulfully of. There are children. There are seniors. Citizens all over the world who share how much one man’s music means to them.
None of the people in “Springsteen and I” are storytellers for living. They’re not actors or performers. Their stories aren’t rehearsed or well-polished. Perhaps this is why they resonate so well – they’re just real. Continue reading
For the bulk of the past 16 months, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have been on the road supporting their latest album “Wrecking Ball”.
Bruce Springsteen has never been the type of artist to stick to one setlist throughout a tour. Every night is a different experience.
But you wouldn’t fault him and the band for taking things easy in their 16th month on the road. Most in the band are in their 50s and 60s. A year and half on the road takes a toll on even a young man. Plus they’re hitting up fans in Europe who might not know the difference if the band played the same setlist the night before in a different country.
That’s just not what Bruce Springsteen does. In fact the setlists and videos from this leg of the tour show Bruce and the Band are digging deeper into their catalog than ever, adding in songs to these shows like “Lucky Town” that haven’t been played in years.
(Click here if you can’t see the video above.)
Why bother changing up the setlist? Why bust these songs out of storage? Bruce could get by like so many other nostalgia acts and play the same 25 songs each night. He doesn’t have to make each performance into a 3 hour plus epic pulling requests from his expansive catalog at random from fan signs in the crowd. What does he have to prove?
Nothing, of course. But who wants to be stuck singing the same song every night for a year and a half? You’ll drive yourself crazy. To keep living and not just existing, you have to expand the setlist time and time again.
It’s Friday. Time to expand your setlist. Try something totally different today. Go to that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Skip work after lunch. Go to a trampoline park and jump around. Play a song you’d rarely hear and make this day a memorable one.
Next week Bruce Springsteen will kick off the second leg of a world tour he began a year ago in Atlanta, GA. I was lucky enough to have tickets to that monumental occasion. Part of why I enjoyed it so much is because I never expected it to happen.
When I first saw The Boss in concert in 2009, I savored the opportunity because I thought it could be my last.
Bruce is only 63 years young. But once an artist crosses into senior citizen territory, you can never be too sure of when their last hoorah is going to be. Everything has to come to an end at some point. Continue reading
“Springsteen aims for moon and stars; hits and moon and stars.” – Rolling Stone review of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, 1978
At the age of 29, Bruce Springsteen was receiving incredible praise like the quote above on a regular basis for his latest album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
Amidst all the accolades though something is missing. What the reviews don’t say is that before reaching for the moon and stars, Bruce Springsteen was nearly dropped from his record label on a couple of occasions because his first three albums failed to light up the charts.
Before he encountered those problems Bruce Springsteen paid his dues for years serving as an opening act for of-the-moment bands who rode a quick wave of success before falling by the wayside. Bands like Sha Na Na (Yes, really – these guys).
Before those problems Bruce Springsteen struggled to find his voice in a number of local New Jersey bands like Steel Mill, Earth, and Dr. Zoom and The Sonic Boom (Yes, really).
Before that Bruce Springsteen got kicked out of one of his first teenage attempts at a band after two days because he just wasn’t good enough.
Success that hits the moon and stars never comes without pain and failure along the way. In fact success only happens because of the opportunities our failues allow us. Continue reading