Primo (e per ora purtoppo l’ unico) concerto di Springsteen e la E-street band allo stadio L.Ferraris di Genova l’11 giugno del 1999.

Il Reunion tour è iniziato giusto due mesi (e due giorni) prima a Barcelona.

Bootleg di qualità audio/video discreta.

11 GIUGNO 1999
GENOVA ( Stadio L. Ferraris)

My Love Will Not Let You Down
Promise Land
Two Hearts
Darkness on the edge of town
Mansion on the Hill
The River
Murder Incorporated
Out In The Street

10th Avenue Freeze-out( Little Steven plays few notes of”Il Padrino”)
Loose Ends
You can look
Working On The Highway
The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Light Of Day

Bobby Jean
Hungry Heart
Born To Run

Thunder Road
If I Should Fall Behind
Land of Hope And Dreams

Chi di voi era presente?


Seconda ed ultima serata per Bruce Springsteen e la E-Street band al Madison Square Garden di New York durante il tour di Working in a dream.

Il bootleg della Cristal Cat, oltre che la scaletta dell’ intera serata dedicata a The river contiene 8 bonus tracks fra cui London Calling, You May Be Right e Born to Run tratte dal 25esimo anniversario della Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (29 ottobre 2010).

01 Wrecking ball
02 The ties that bind
03 Sherry darling
04 Jackson cage
05 Two hearts
06 Independence day
07 Hungry heart
08 Out in the street
09 Crush on you
10 You can look (but you better not touch)

11 I wanna marry you
12 The river
13 Point blank
14 Cadillac ranch
15 I’m a rocker
16 Fade away
17 Stolen car
18 Ramrod
19 The price you pay
20 Drive all night
21 Wreck on the Highway
22 Waitin’ on a sunny day
23 Atlantic City
24 Badlands
25 Born to run
26 Seven nights to rock
27 Sweet soul music
28 No surrender
29 American land
30 Dancing in the dark
31 Can’t help falling in love
32 Higher and higher


Lunghissima intervista a Springsteen tratta da un numero di Rolling Stones del 1992.

“In the crystal ball , I see romance, I see adventure, I see financial reward. I se those albums,
man, I see them going back up the charts. I see them rising past that old Def Leppard, past that Kris Kross.
I see them all the way up past ‘Weird Al’Yankovic, even…. Wait a minute. We’re slipping, We’re slipping town them charts. We’re going town, town, out of sight, into the darkness….”
It was June 5th, and as Bruce Springsteen was performing “Glory Days” neat the end of a live radio broadcast from a Los Angeles sound stage, he finally offered his commentary on the much-publicized failure of his latest albums Human Touch and Lucky Town to to dominate the charts in the same way that some of their predecessors had. Thankfully, Springsteen demonstrated that while he may have lost a little of his commercial clout, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.
The show, in front of about 250 invited guests and radio-contest winners, was a “dress rehearsal meant to introduce his new band – keyboardist Roy Bittan, guitarist Shane Fontayne, bassist Tommy Sims, drummer Zachary Alford, singer-guitarist Crystal Taliefero and vocalists Bobby king, Gia Ciambotti, Carol Dennis, Cleo Kennedy and Angel Rogers – and to stir up excitement for his summer tour of the States. He succeeded on both counts. The concert proved that even without the E Street Band, Springsteen is still a masterful performer; in fact, his new band rocks harder, and musically it challenges him more than his previous group. And he still has more than a few loyal fans: The day after the radio broadcast, he sold out eleven shows at New Jersey’s Brendan Byrne Arena (more than 200,000 tickets) in just two and a half hours.
Even so, it has been an unusually trying season for Springsteen. Though Human Touch and Lucky Town entered the charts at Numbers Two and Three, respectively, they quickly slipped and eventually dropped out of the Top Forty. On top of that, some segments of the media seemed to be reaping pleasure from Springsteen’s relative lack of success (and indeed, it is relative: Each of the albums has sold more than 1.5 million copies). One magazine, Entertainment Weekly, even put Springsteen on its cover with the headline WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BRUCE?

But things could be worse, as Springsteen well knows For the past several years, he has been waging a far tougher battle – trying to repair what had become a badly damaged personal life. I was real good at music,” he says, ant real bad at everything else.”
Onstage, of course, Springsteen could do it all; offstage, it was a different story. Something of a loner by nature, he had difficulty maintaining any kind of long term relationship Even as he was preaching about “community during his Born in the U.S.A. tour, he himself was keeping his distance from just about everyone. And when he wasn’t working, he wasn’t happy.
When he hit the road in 1988 to support his Tunnel of Love album, the cracks in Springsteen’s personal life were beginning to show. His marriage to actress Julianne Phillips had begun to deteriorate, and thanks to the tabloids, it soon became public knowledge that he was seeing E Street Band singer Patti Scialfa. When he got off the road in late 1988 after playing a series of shows for Amnesty International, Springsteen hit rock bottom.
Gradually, he began to regain control of his life. He went into therapy. He got divorced from Phillips and eventually married Scialfa. He parted ways with the E Street Band. He left New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles. And with Scialfa, he fathered two children: Evan James, who’s almost two, and Jessica Rae, who was born last New Year’s Eve.
Springsteen’s personal trials are documented on Human Touch; his victory over those trials is the subject of Lucky Town. The jury is still out on whether his U.S. tour, which kicks off on July 23rd in New Jersey, will resuscitate those albums. But there’s no question that Springsteen himself is the happiest he’s been in a long time. Over the course of three lengthy interviews in Los Angeles and New York – the first in-depth interviews he’s done since 1986 – he outlined in great detail what he calls “the biggest struggle of my life,” and he addressed a variety of other subjects, ranging from rap music to the presidential race.
The music scene has changed a lot since you last released an album. Where do you see yourself fitting in these days?
I never kind of fit in, in a funny kind of way. In the Seventies the music I wrote was sort of romantic, and there was lots of innocence in it, and it certainly didn’t feel like it was a part of that particular time. And in the Eighties, I was writing and singing about what I felt was happening to the people I was seeing around me or what direction I saw the country going in. And that really wasn’t in step with the times, either.
Well, given the response to your music then, I think you fit in pretty well during the Eighties.
Well, we were popular, but that’s not the same thing. All I try to do is to write music that feels meaningful to me, that has commitment and passion behind it. And I guess I feel that if what I m writing about is real, and if there’s emotion, then hey, there’ll be, somebody who wants to hear it. I don’t know if it’s a big audience or a smaller audience than I’ve had. But that’s never been my primary interest I’ve had a kind of story I’ve been telling, and I’m really only in the middle of it.
At the same time, your new albums haven’t fared as well on the charts as most people expected, and you’ve had to endure some sniping from the
media. How do you feel about that?
I try not to get involved in it. It does seem to be out there in the air for everybody and anybody, but I don’t take it that personally. I mean, if you spend any time in Los Angeles, you see that a lot: “Great, you’re a tremendous success – now fail!” There’s a media game that’s played out there, and I guess it sells newspapers and magazines. But it’s not central to who I am or what I do. You make your music, then you try to find ,whatever audience is out there for it.
Do you think that a teenager who’s into rap or heavy metal would be interested in your new albums?
I don’t know. And I don’t know if you can generalize like that. I think some yes and some no. All I can do is put my music out there. I can’t contrive something that doesn’t feel honest. I don’t write demographically. I don’t write a song to reach these people or those people.
Of course, I’m interested in having a young audience. I’m interested in whoever’s interested in what I’m doing. And what I have to say is “This is how I’ve grown up. Maybe this will have some value. These are the places I’ve been, and these are the things I’ve learned.”
But I want to sing about who I am now. I want to get up onstage and sing with all of the forty-two years that are in me. When I was young, I always said I didn’t want to end up being forty-five or fifty and pretending I was fifteen or sixteen or twenty. That just didn’t interest me. I’m a lifetime musician; I’m going to be playing music forever. I don’t foresee a time when I would not be onstage somewhere, playing a guitar and playing it loud, with power and passion. I look forward to being sixty or sixty-five and doing that.
For the first time in about twenty years you’re embarking on a tour without the E Street Band. What led to your decision to get rid of them?
At the end of the Born in the U.S.A. tour and after we made the live album, I felt like it was the end of the first part of my journey. And then, for the Tunnel of Love tour, I switched the band around quite a bit. I switched where people had stood for fifteen years, just trying to give it a different twist. But you can get to a place where you start to replay the ritual, and nostalgia creeps in. And I decided it was time to mix it up. I just had to cut it loose a little bit so I could have something new to bring to the table. I wanted to get rid of some of the old expectations. People were coming to my shows expecting to hear “Born to Run” or stuff that I wrote fifteen or twenty years ago. And I wanted to get to a spot where if people came to the show, there’d be a feeling of like, well, it’s not going to be this, it’s going to be something else.
Did you call each of the guys to give them the news?
Oh, sure, yeah. Initially, some people were surprised, some people were not so surprised. I’m sure some people were angry, and other people weren’t angry. But as time passed, everything came around to a really nice place. I mean, I wasn’t the guy writing the check every month. Suddenly, I was just Bruce, and some of the friendships started coming forward a little bit. And it was interesting, because we hadn’t had that kind of relationship. We had all been working together for so long that we didn’t really have a relationship outside of the work environment.
You mentioned the ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ tour as marking the end of one phase of your career. How did the enormousness of that album and tour affect your life?
I really enjoyed the success of Born in the U.S.A., but by the end of that whole thing, I just kind of felt “Bruced” out. I was like “Whoa, enough of that.” You end up creating this sort of icon, and eventually it oppresses you.
What specifically are you referring to?
Well, for example, the whole image that had been created – and that I’m sure I promoted – it really always felt like “Hey, that’s not me.” I mean, the macho thing, that was just never me. It might be a little more of me than I think, but when I was a kid, I was a real gentle child, and I was more in touch with those sorts of things.
It’s funny, you know, what you create, but in the end, I think, the only thing you can do is destroy it. So when I wrote Tunnel of Love, I thought I had to reintroduce myself as a songwriter, in a very non iconic role. And it was a relief. And then I got to a place where I had to sit some more of that stuff down, and part of it was coming out here to L.A. and making some music with some different people and seeing what that’s about and living in a different place for a while.
How’s it been out here, compared with New Jersey?
Los Angeles provides a lot of anonymity. You’re not like the big fish in the small pond. People wave to you and say hi, but you’re pretty much left to go your own way. Me in New Jersey, on the other hand, was like Santa Claus at the North Pole [laughs].
What do you mean?
Hmm, how can I put it? It’s like you’re a bit of a figment of a lot of other people’s imaginations. And that always takes some sorting out. But it’s even worse when you see yourself as a figment of your own imagination. And in the last three or four years, that’s something I’ve really freed myself from.
I think what happened was that when I was young, I had this idea of playing out my life like it was some movie, writing the script and making all the pieces fit And I really did that for a long time. But you can get enslaved by your own myth or your
own image, for the lack of a better word And it’s bad enough having other people seeing you that way, but seeing yourself that way is really bad. It’s pathetic And I got to a place, when Patti and I hooked up, where I said I got to stop writing this story. It doesn’t work.
And that’s when I realized I needed a change, and I like the West I like the geography. Los Angeles is a funny city. Thirty minutes and you’re in the mountains, where for 100 miles there’s one store. Or you’re in the desert, where for 500 miles there’s five towns.
So Patti and I came out here and put the house together and had the babies and . . . the thing is, I’d really missed a big part of my life. The only way I could describe it is that being successful in one area is illusory. People think because you’re so good at one particular thing, you’re good at many things. And that’s almost always not the case. You’re good at that particular thing, and the danger is that that particular thing allows you the indulgence to remove yourself from the rest of your life. And as time passed, I realized that I was using my job well in many ways, but there was a fashion in which I was also abusing it. And – this began in my early thirties – I really knew that something was wrong.
That was about ten years ago?
Yeah, it started after I got back from the River tour. I’d had more success than I’d ever thought I’d have. We’d played around the world. And I thought, like, “Wow, this is it” And I decided, “Okay, I want to have a house.” And I started to look for a house.
I looked for two years. Couldn’t find one. I’ve probably been in every house in the state of New Jersey – twice. Never bought a house. Figured I just couldn’t find one I liked. And then I realized that it ain’t that I can’t find one, I couldn’t buy one. I can find one, but I can’t buy one. Damn! Why is that?
And I started to pursue why that was. Why did I only feel good on the road? Why were all my characters in my songs in cars? I mean, when I was in my early twenties, I was always sort of like “Hey, what I can put in this suitcase, that guitar case, that bus – that’s all I need, now and forever.~ And I really believed it. And really lived it. Lived it for a long time.
In a ‘Rolling Stone’ cover story from 1978, Dave Marsh wrote that you were so devoted to music that it was impossible to imagine YOU being married or having kids or a house….
A lot of people have said the same thing. But then something started ticking. It didn’t feel right. It was depressing. k was like “This is a joke. I’ve come a long way, and there’s some dark joke here at the end”
I didn’t want to be one of those guys who can write music and tell stories and have an effect on people’s lives, and maybe on society in some fashion, but not be able to get into his own self. But that was pretty much my story.
I tend to be an isolationist by nature. And it’s not about money or where you live or how you live. It’s about psychology. My dad was certainly the same way. You don’t need a ton of dough and walls around your house to be isolated I know plenty of people who are isolated with a sixpack of beer and a television set But that was a big part of my nature.
Then music came along, to combat that part of myself. It was a way that I could talk to people. It provided me with a means of communication, a means of placing myself in a social context which I had a tendency not to want to do.
And music did those things, but in an abstract fashion, ultimately. It did them for the guy with the guitar, but the guy without the guitar was pretty much the same as he had been.
Now I see that two of the best days of my life were the day I picked up the guitar and the day that I learned how to put it down. Somebody said, “Man, how did you play for so long?” I said: “That’s the easy part. It’s stopping that’s hard.”
When did you learn to put the guitar down?
Pretty recently. I had locked into what was pretty much a hectic obsession, which gave me enormous focus and energy and fire to burn, because it was coming out of pure fear and self-loathing and self-hatred. I’d get onstage and it was hard for me to stop. That’s why my shows were so long They weren’t long because I had an idea or a plan that they should be that long. I couldn’t stop until I felt burnt, period. Thoroughly burnt.
It’s funny, because the results of the show or the music might have been positive for other people, but there was an element of it that was abusive for me. Basically, it was my drug And so I started to follow the thread of weaning myself.
For a long time, I had been able to ignore it. When you’re nineteen and you’re in a truck and you’re crossing the country back and forth, and then you’re twenty-five and you’re on tour with the band – that just fit my personality completely. That’s why I was able to be good at it, but then I reached an age where I began to miss my real life – or to even know that there was another life to be lived I mean, it was almost a surprise. First you think you are living it. You got a variety of different girlfriends, and then, “Gee, sorry, gotta go now.” It was like the Groucho Marx routine – it’s funny, ’cause it runs in my family a little bit, and we get into this: “Hello, I came to say I’d like to stay, but I really must be going.” And that was me.
What was it that woke you up to the fact that you were missing something
or had a problem?
Unhappiness. And other things, like my relationships. They always ended poorly; I didn’t really know how to have a relationship with a woman. Also, I wondered how can I have this much money and not spend it? Up until the Eighties, I really didn’t have any money. When we started the River tour, I had about twenty grand, I think. So, really, around 1983 was the first time I had some money in the bank. But I couldn’t spend it, I couldn’t have any fun. So a lot of things started to not feel logical I realized there was some aberrational behavior going on here. And I didn’t feel that good. Once out of the touring context and out of the context of my work, I felt lost.
Did you ever go to a therapist or seek help like that?
Oh, yeah. I mean, I got really down Really bad off for a while. And what happened was, all my rock ~ roll answers had fizzled out. I realized that my central idea which at a young age, was attacking music with a really religious type of intensity – was okay to a point. But there was a point where it turns in on itself. And you start to go down that dark path, and there is a distortion of even the best of things. And I reached a point where I felt my life was distorted. I love my music, and I wanted to just take it for what it was. I didn’t want to try to distort it into being my entire life. Because that’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s not your entire life. It never can be.
And I realized my real life is waiting to be lived. All the love and the hope and the sorrow and sadness – that’s all over there, waiting to be lived. And I could ignore it and push it aside or I could say yes to it. But to say yes to part of it is to say yes to all of it. That’s why people say no to all of it. Whether it’s drugs or whatever. That’s why people say no: I’ll skip the happiness as long as I don’t have to feel the pain
So I decided to work on it. I worked hard on it. And basically, you have to start to open up to who you are. I certainly wasn’t the person I thought I was. This was around the time of Born in the U.S.A. And I bought this big house in New Jersey, which was really quite a thing for me to do. k was a place I used to run by all the time. It was a big house, and I said, “Hey, this is a rich man’s house.” And I think the toughest thing was that it was in a town where I’d been spit on when I was a kid.
This was in Rumson?
Yeah. When I was sixteen or seventeen my band, from Freehold, was booked in a beach club. And we engendered some real hostile reaction. I guess we looked kind of – we had on phony snakeskin vests and had long hair. There’s a picture of me in the Castiles, that’s what it was. And I can remember being onstage, with guys literally spitting on it. This was before it was fashionable, when it kind of meant what it really meant.
So it was a funny decision, but I bought this house, and at first I really began to
enjoy it, but then along came the Born in the U.S.A. tour, and I was off down the road again. I had a good time, and I began to try to figure out things I was trying to find out how to make some of these connections, but once again it was sort of abstract, like how to integrate the band into some idea of community in the places we passed through.
It was during this time that you met Julianne?
Yeah, we met about halfway through that tour. And we got married. And it was tough. I didn’t really know how to be a husband. She was a terrific person, but I just didn’t know how to do it.
Was the marriage part of your whole effort to make connections, to deal with that part of your life?
Yeah, yeah. I really needed something, and I was giving it a shot. Anybody who’s been through a divorce can tell you what that’s about. It’s difficult, hard and painful for everybody involved. But I sort of went on.
Then Pam and I got together, on the Tunnel of Love tour, and I began to find my way around again. But after we came off the road in 1988, I had a bad year right away. I got home, and I wasn’t very helpful to anyone.
You were still living in Rumson?
Yeah, and then we lived in New York for a while. That wasn’t for me, on account of growing up in a small town and being used to having cars and all that stuff.
I’d made a lot of plans, but when we got home, I just kind of spun off for a while. I just got lost. That lasted for about a year.
What kinds of things did you do?
The best way I can say it is that I wasn’t doing what I said I was going to do. Somewhere between realization and actualization, I slipped in between the cracks. I was in a lot of fear. And I was just holding out. I made life generally unpleasant. And so at some point Patti and I just said, “Hell, let’s go out to L.A.”
I’ve always felt a little lighter out here. I’ve had a house in the Hollywood Hills since the early Eighties, and I’d come out here three, four months out of the year. I always remember feeling just a little lighter, like I was carrying less. So Patti and I came out here, and things started to get better. And then the baby came along, and that was fantastic. That was just the greatest thing.
Had you wanted to have a baby in the past?
I know there were a lot of things in the paper about Juli and me and that the issue of having a baby was what caused us to break up. Well, that just wasn’t true. That’s a lie.
But was it something you wanted to do – have a family – or was it something you were afraid of?
Well, yeah (pause), I was afraid. But I was afraid of this whole thing. That’s what this was about I had made my music everything. I was real good at music and real bad at everything else.
Was Patti the person who really helped you get through all of this?
Yeah. She had a very sure eye for all of my bullshit She recognized it She was able to call me on it I had become a master manipulator. You know, “Oh, I’m going out of the house for a little while, and I’m going down…” I always had a way of moving off, moving away, moving back and creating distance. I avoided closeness, and I wouldn’t lay my cards on the table. I had many ways of doing that particular dance, and I thought they were pretty sophisticated. But maybe they weren’t. I was just doing what came naturally. And then when I hit the stage, it was just the opposite. I would throw myself forward, but it was okay because it was brief. Hey, that’s why they call them one-night stands. It’s like you’re there, then bang! You’re gone. I went out in ’85 and talked a lot about community, but I wasn’t a part of any community.
So when I got back to New York after the Amnesty tour in ’88, I was kind of wandering and lost, and it was Patti’s patience and her understanding that got me through. She’s a real friend, and we have a real great friendship. And finally I said I’ve got to start dealing with this, I’ve got to take some baby steps.
What were some of those baby steps?
The best thing I did was I got into therapy. That was really valuable. I crashed into myself and saw a lot of myself as I really was. And I questioned all my motivations. Why am I writing what I’m writing? Why am I saying what I’m saying? Do I mean it? Am I bullshitting? Am I just trying to be the most popular guy in town? Do I need to be liked that much? I questioned everything I’d ever done, and it was good. You should do that. And then you realize there is no single motivation to anything. You’re doing it for all of those reasons.
So I went through a real intense period of self-examination. I knew that I had to sit in my room for eight hours a day with a guitar to learn how to play it, and now I had to put in that kind of time just to find my place again.
Were you writing any songs during this period?
At first, I had nothing to say. Throughout ’88 and ’89, every time I sat down to write, I was just sort of rehashing. I didn’t have a new song to sing. I just ended up rehashing Tunnel of Love, except not as good. And ¢ was all just down and nihilistic. It’s funny, because I think people probably associate my music with a lot of positives. But it’s like I really drift into that other thing – I think there’s been a lot of desperate fun in my songs.
Then I remembered that Roy [Bittan} had some tracks that he’d play to me on occasion. So I called him and said, “Come on over, maybe I’ll try to write to some of your tracks.” So he had the music to “Roll of the Dice,” and I came up with the idea for that, and I went home and wrote the song. It was really about what I was trying to do: I was trying to get up the nerve to take a chance.
And then Roy and I started working together pretty steadily. I had a little studio in my garage, and I came up with “Real World.” What I started to do were little writing exercises. I tried to write something that was soul oriented. Or I’d play around with existing pop structures. And that’s kind of how I did the Human Touch record. A lot of it is generic, in a certain sense.
We worked for about a year, and at the end I tried to put it together. Some albums come out full-blown: Tunnel of Love, Nebraska, Lucky Town – they just came out all at once. Human Touch was definitely something that I struggled to put together. It was like a job. I’d work at it every day. But at the end, I felt like it was good, but it was about me trying to get to a place. It sort of chronicled the post- Tunnel of Love period. So when we finished it, I just sat on it for a couple of months.
Then I wrote the song “Living Proof,” and when I wrote that, I said: “Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to say. That’s how I feel.” And that was a big moment, because I landed hard in the present, and that was where I wanted to be. I’d spent a lot of my life writing about my past, real and imagined, in some fashion. But with Lucky Town, I felt like that’s where I am. This is who I am. This is what I have to say. These are the stories I have to tell. This is what’s important in my life right now. And I wrote and recorded that whole record in three weeks in my house.

Continua la prossima settimana, vi raccomando l’ iscrizione alla ricezione dei post per email/feed.


Gran bella versione di Atlantic City questa suonata da Springsteen esattamente 20 anni fa.

Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they’re gettin’ ready for a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there’s trouble busin’ in from outta state and the D.A. can’t get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and the gamblin’ commission’s hangin’ on by the skin of its teeth

Well now everything dies baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus


Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold but with you forever I’ll stay
We’re goin’ out where the sand’s turnin’ to gold so put on your stockin’s baby ’cause the night’s getting cold
And everything dies baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Now I been lookin’ for a job but it’s hard to find
Down here it’s just winners and losers and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I’m tired of comin’ out on the losin’ end
So honey last night I met this guy and I’m gonna do a little favor for him
Well I guess everything dies baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your hair up nice and set up pretty
and meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City


Nel senso che finalmente mi è arrivato il cofanetto (il vinile arriverà domani), qui trovate il commento di Larry.

A voi è arrivato?  Qualcuno lo ha già ricevuto? Che ne pensate?

Secondo me, maglietta a parte, è stupendo!  Molto meglio di Born to run che già era un prodotto notevole.

Commentate !


Seconda parte dell’ articolo tratto da Musician del febbraio 1981.

Vi è piaciuto?


“There’s a beauty in work and I love it, all different kinds of work. That’s what I consider it. This is my job, and that’s my work. And I work my ass off, you know.”

MUSICIAN: The way the stage show is organized is that the first half is about work and struggling; the second half is about joy, release, transcending a lot of those things in the first half. Is that conscious?
SPRINGSTEEN: I knew that I wanted a certain feeling for the first set. That’s sorta the way it stacks up.
MUSICIAN: What you rarely get a sense of around rock bands is work, especially rock
and roll as a job of work. Yet around this band, you can’t miss it.
SPRINGSTEEN: That’s at the heart of the whole thing. There’s a beauty in work and I love it, all different kinds of work. That’s what I consider it. This is my job, and that’s my work. And I work my ass off, you know.
MUSICIAN: In Los Angeles one night, when you introduced “Factory,” you made a distinction between two different kinds of work. Do you remember what it was?
SPRINGSTEEN: There’s people that get a chance to do the kind of work that changes the world, and make things really different. And then there’s the kind that just keeps the world from falling apart. And that was the kind that my dad always did. Cause we were always together as a family, and we grew up in a…good situation, where we had what we needed. And there was a lot of sacrifice on his part and my mother’s part for that to happen…
MUSICIAN: The River has a lot of those sorts of workers— the people in “Jackson Cage,” the guy in “The River” itself. SPRINGSTEEN: I never knew anybody who was unhappy with their job and was happy with their life. It’s your sense of purpose. Now, some people can find it elsewhere. Some people can work a job and find it some place else.
MUSICIAN: Like the character in “Racing in the Street”?
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah. But I don’t know if that’s lasting. But people do, they find ways.
MUSICIAN: Or else… ?
SPRINGSTEEN: (Long pause) Or else they join the Ku Klux Klan or something. That’s where it can take you, you know. It can take you a lot of strange places.
MUSICIAN: Introducing “Factory” on a different night, you spoke about your father having been real angry, and then, after awhile, not being angry anymore. “He was just silent.” Are you still angry?
SPRINGSTEEN: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if I know myself that well. I think I know myself a lot but I’m not sure. (Laughs) It’s impossible not to be [angry] when you see the state of things and look around. You have to be, somewhat.
MUSICIAN: Tonight, you were saying on stage that you found the election terrifying. That seems to go hand in hand with playing the M.U.S.E. benefits, and striking back at ticket scalpers in L.A. You wouldn’t have done those things two years ago, I don’t think. Are you finding social outlets for that anger now?
SPRINGSTEEN: That’s true. It’s just a whole values thing. Take the ticket thing. It’s a hustle. And a hustle has become . . . respected. In a lot of quarters—on a street level, dope pushers—it’s a respectable thing, to hustle somebody. I mean, how many times in the Watergate thing did people say about Nixon, “Well, he just wasn’t smart enough to get away with it.” Like his only mistake was that he didn’t get away with it. And there’s a certain point where people have become cynical, where the hustle, that’s the American way. I think it’s just turned upside down in a real bad way. I think it should
lose its respect.

MUSICIAN: Do you feel that way about nuclear energy?
SPRINGSTEEN: It’s just the whole thing, it’s the whole thing. It’s terrible, it’s horrible. Somewhere along the way, the idea, which I think was initially to get some fair transaction between people, went out the window. And what came in was, the most you can get. (Laughs) The most you can get and the least you
“To be a good live performer, you have to be instinctive. It’s like, to walk in the jungle, or to do anything where there’s a certain tightrope wire aspect, you need to be instinctive.”
can give. That’s why cars are the way they are today. It’s just an erosion of all the things that were true and right about the original idea.
MUSICIAN: But that isn’t something that was on your mind much until the Darkness album?
SPRINGSTEEN: Up to then, I didn’t think about too many things. In Greetings from Asbury Park, I did. And then I went off a-little bit, and sort of roundabout came back to it.
I guess it just started after Born to Run somehow. I had all that time off, and I spent a lotta time home. We were off for three years, and home for a long time. It came out of a local kind of thing —what my old friends were doing, what my relatives were doing. How things were affecting them, and what their lives were like. And what my life was like.
MUSICIAN: Did you have a sense that no one else was telling that story?
SPRINGSTEEN: I didn’t see it too much, except in the English stuff. Things were being addressed that way in that stuff.
MUSICIAN: You mean, for instance, the Clash?
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, all that kinda stuff. I liked it, I always liked that stuff. But there wasn’t too much stuff in America happening. It just seemed to me that’s the story. But there was a crucial level of things missing, and it is today still. Maybe it’s just me getting older and seeing things more as they are.
MUSICIAN: On Darkness, the character’s response is to isolate himself from any community, and try to beat the system on his own. The various characters on The River are much more living in the mainstream of society.
SPRINGSTEEN: That guy at the end of Darkness has reached a point where you just have to strip yourself of everything, to get yourself. together. For a minute, sometimes, you just have to get rid of everything, just to get yourself together inside, be able to push everything away. And I think that’s what happened at the end of the record.
And then there was the thing where the guy comes back.
MUSICIAN: And The River is what he sees?
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, these are his feelings. it’s pretty much there, and in the shows, it’s there now, too, I guess. I hate to get too literal about it, because I can never explain it as well as when I wrote about it. I hate to limit it. I look back at Darkness or the other records, and there were other things going on that I never knew were going on.
MUSICIAN: Do you like Born to Run and Darkness better now?
SPRINGSTEEN: Not particularly. On Darkness, I like the ideas, I’m not crazy about the performances. We play all those songs ten times better live. But I like the idea. Born to Run, I like the performances and the sound. Sometimes, it sounds funny
MUSICIAN: Young and innocent?
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, yeah. Same thing with The Wild and the Innocent. I have a hard time listening to any of those records. Certain things on each record I can listen to: “Racing in the Street,” “Backstreets,” “Prove It All Night,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” But not a lot, because either the performance doesn’t sound right to me, or the ideas sound like a long time ago.
MUSICIAN: Do you remember when you threw the birthday cake into the crowd, at the second M.U.S.E. concert?
SPRINGSTEEN: (Laughs) Oh yeah. That was a wild night.
MUSICIAN: You’d just turned 30 that night, and didn’t seem to be overjoyed by it. But a couple weeks ago in Cleveland, I was kidding Danny about turning 30, and said, “Oh yeah, we’re 30 now, can’t do what we used to do.” You said, real quick, “That’s not true.” What happened in that year? Was that significant, turning 30?
SPRINGSTEEN: I don’t remember. It just made me wanna do more things. I think, as a matter of fact, when we were in the studio, that was the thing that was big. I didn’t feel we were going too slow for what we were doing. But I felt that I wanted to be quicker just to have more time. I wanted to be touring, for one thing. I wanted to be touring right now.
MUSICIAN: But by the time you finish this tour, you’ll be crowding 32. Then, if you’re right and it’s just gonna take a year or so to make a record, you’ll be 33 or 34 by the time you get out again. Can you still have the stamina to do the kind of show you feel the need to do?
SPRINGSTEEN: Who knows? I’m sure it’ll be a different type of show. It’s impossible to tell and a waste of time guessin’.
When I was in the studio and wanted to play, it wasn’t the way I felt in a physical kind of way, it was what I felt mentally. I was excited about the record and I wanted to play those songs live. I wanted to get out there and travel around the world with people who were my friends. And see every place and play just as hard as we could play,
every place in the world. Just get into things, see things, see what happens.
MUSICIAN: Like in “Badlands”?
SPRINGSTEEN: That’s it. That’s the idea. I want to see what happens, what’s next. All I knew when I was in the studio, sometimes, was that I felt great that day. And I was wishing I was somewhere strange, playing. I guess that’s the thing I love doing the most. And it’s the thing that makes me feel most alert and alive.
MUSICIAN: You look awful before a show, and then those hours up there, which exhaust everyone else, refresh you.
SPRINGSTEEN: I always look terrible before the show. That’s when I feel worst. And after the show it’s like a million bucks. Simple as that. You feel a little tired but you never feel better. Nothing makes me ~, feel as good as those hours between when
you walk offstage, until I go to bed. That’s the hours that I live for. As feelings go, that’s ten on a scale of ten. I just feel like talking to people, going out back and meeting those kids, doing any damn thing. Most times I just come back and eat and lay down and feel good. Most people, I don’t think, get to feel that good, doing whatever they do.
MUSICIAN: You can’t get that in the studio?
SPRINGSTEEN: Sometimes, but it’s different. You get wired for two or three days or a week or so and then sometimes, you feel real low. I never feel as low, playing, as I do in the studio. You know, I just knew that’s what I wanted to do—go all over and play. See people and go all over the world. I want to see what all those people are like. I want to meet people from all different countries and stuff.
MUSICIAN: You’ve always liked to have a certain mobility, a certain freedom of movement. Can you still walk down the street?
SPRINGSTEEN: Oh sure, sure. It depends where you go. Usually…you can do anything you want to do. The idea that you can’t walk down the street is in people’s minds. You can walk down any street, any time. What you gonna be afraid of, someone coming up to you? In general, it’s not that different than it ever was, except you meet people you ordinarily might not meet—you meet some strangers and you talk to ’em for a little while.
The other night I went out, I went driving, we were in Denver. Got a car and went out, drove all around. Went to the movies by myself, walked in, got my popcorn. This guy comes up to me, real nice guy. He says, “Listen, you want to sit with me and my sister?” I said, “All right.” So we watch the movie (laughs). It was great, too, because it was that Woody Allen movie [Stardust Memories], the guy’s slammin’ to his fans. And I’m sittin’ there and this poor kid says, “Jesus, I don’t know what to say to ya. Is this the way it is? Is that how you feel?” I said, “No, I don’t feel like that so much.” And he had the amazing courage to come up to me at the end of the movie, and ask if I’d go home and meet his mother and father. I said, “What time is it?” It was 11 o’clock, so I said, “Well OK.”
So I go home with him; he lives out in some suburb. So we get over to the house and here’s his mother and father, laying out on the couch, watching TV and reading the paper. He brings me in and he says, “Hey I got Bruce Springsteen here.” And they don’t believe him. So he pulls me over, and he says, “This is Bruce Springsteen.” “Aw, g’wan,” they say. So he runs in his room and brings out an album and he holds it up to my face. And his mother says (breathlessly) “Ohhh yeah!” She starts yelling “Yeah,” she starts screaming.
And for two hours I was in this kid’s house, talking with these people, they were really nice, they cooked me up all this food, watermelon, and the guy gave me a ride home a few hours later.
I felt so good that night. Because here are these strange people I didn’t know, they take you in their house, treat you fantastic and this kid was real nice, they were real nice. That is something that can happen to me that can’t happen to most people. And when it does happen, it’s fantastic. You get somebody’s whole life in three hours. You get their parents, you get their sister, you get their family life, in three hours. And I went back to that hotel and felt really good because I thought, “Wow (almost whispering), what a thing to be able to do. What an experience to be able to have, to be able to step into some stranger’s life.”
And that’s what I thought about in the studio. I thought about going out and meeting people I don’t know. Going to France and Germany and Japan, and meeting Japanese people and French people and German people. Meeting them and seeing what they think, and being able to go over there with some
“But what a moment, what a mythic moment, what a mystery! Those rockabilly records are shrouded with mystery. Like these wild men came out from somewhere, and man, they were so alive. The joy and the abandon!”
thing. To go over there with a pocketful of ideas or to go over there with just something, to be able to take something over. And boom! To do it.
But you can’t do one without the other. I couldn’t do it if I hadn’t spent time in the studio, knowing what I saw and what I felt right now.
MUSICIAN: Because then you wouldn’t have that pocketful of ideas?
SPRINGSTEEN: Then, if you don’t have that, stay home or something. If you have some ideas to exchange, that’s what it’s about. That’s at the heart of it. I just wouldn’t go out and tour unless I had that. There wouldn’t be a reason.
The reason is you have some idea you wanna say. You have an idea about things, an opinion, a feeling about the way things are or the way things could be. You wanna go out and tell people about it. You wanna tell people, well, if everybody did this or if people thought this, maybe it would be better.
When we play the long show, that’s because it gives the whole picture.,And if you aren’t given the who picture, you’re not gonna get the whole picture. We play the first part…that first part is about those things that you said it was about. That’s the foundation, without that the rest couldn’t happen. Wouldn’t be no second half without the first half; couldn’t be all them other things, without those things. Without that foundation of the hard things,and the struggling things, the work things. That’s the heart, that’s what it comes down to.
And then on top of that, there’s the living, the things that surround that. That’s why the show’s so long. “You wanna leave out ‘Stolen Car’? No, that’s a little part of the puzzle.
“You wanna leave this out?” No that’s a little part of the puzzle. And at the end, if you want, you can look back and see… just a point of view really. You see somebody’s idea, the way somebody sees things. And you know somebody.
People go to that show, they know me. They know a lotta me, as much as I know that part of myself. That’s why, when I meet ’em on the street, they know you already. And you know them, too. Because of their response.
MUSICIAN: Even these days, it’s still not very far from the dressing room to the stage for you, is it?
SPRINGSTEEN: I don’t know if it is. I don’t know if it should be. I don’t know for sure how different
the thing is or how it’s perceived. Except a lot of the music is real idealistic, and I guess like anybody else, you don’t live up to it all the time. You just don’t. That’s the challenge.
You got to walk it like you talk it. That’s the idea. That’s the line. I guess that’s pretty much what it’s about.
The E Street Band Equipment Bruce Springsteen
Guitars: 1954 Esquire, modified with extra Telecaster pick-up (the guitar); 1956 Telecaster (spare); 1954 Telecaster (spare); Ovation six-string acoustic; two Rickenbacker 1 2-string electric; 1958 Gibson J-200 Acoustic guitar (this is the same guitar as Elvis’s original, and was a gift from crew members Mike Batlan, Marc Brickman and Bob Chirmside). Amps: Four pre-CBS Fender Bassman amps, ca. 1958- 1962; two Peavey Vintage amps (imitation Bassmans)—one of each is used onstage under the drum riser. Also: a prime time digital delay and harmonizer and an MXR distortion box. The Fender Esquire is modified with a battery operated impedence
transformer for long cable lengths. Information supplied by Mike Batlan, who also notes that there is an asterisk in front of the Esquire’s serial number, indicating that is was a factory reject, probably originally sold as a reject.
Miaml Steve Van Zandt MUSICIAN. What equipment do you use on stage? VAN ZANDT: I don’t know, you’ve gotta ask Dougie (Sutphin, E Street roadie). MUSICIAN: When was the last time you did know? VAN ZANDT: In ’65, I bought a Telecaster, and that’s the last thing I remember. MUSICIAN: But lately, you’ve begun to use those Ovation 12 strings on stage…
VAN ZANDT. I went to [actor] Sal Viscuso’s house here in L.A., and he had homemade pasta, homemade bracciola, he had provolone and mozarrella flown in from New York. And the strangest thing happened: I went home and dreamed I was Leadbelly with an Italian accent.
MUSICIAN. So not paying attention to the technical details doesn’t have much effect on your sound?
VAN ZANDT. No. I’ll tell you, I’ve got a secret technique. I play everything at 10. That’s the great equalizer. You’d be surprised how similar everything sounds when you do that.
MUSICIAN eventually did track down Doug Sutphin, doing laps at Malibu Grand Prix. At a pit stop, Sutphin informed us that Van Zandt has two Stratocasters, a ’57 and a ’67, a Gibson Firebird (a spare which he almost never plays onstage, and two hollow- body 12 string Ovation guitars, with pickups. One of the Ovations and one of the Strats is capo’d. Van Zandt has a Mesa Boogie amp with Electro-Voice speakers, two Roland Jazz Choirs (120) amps, and a 100-watt Hi Watt brain and cabinet, plus an MXR distortion unit. And yes, he does play it all at 10.
Clarence Clemons
The Big Man plays Selver Mark Vl tenors (a whole bunch of ’em) and altos, Yamaha baris and sopranos, with La-Voz reeds and Berg Larson mouthpieces. He uses a variety of Latin percussion (claves, tambourines, cowbell, etc.) and maracas by the Argentinian Hernandez company. His horns are miked with a device invented by Clemons and Bruce Jackson.
Roy Bittan
Bittan, who’s almost as well known for his session playing (with Meat Loaf, Dire Straits and others) as for his work with the E Street crew, uses a Yamaha C-7 grand piano as his basic instrument. He also plays a Yamaha CS80 synthesizer on a couple of numbers. The piano is fitted with a modified Helpinstill pickup. “The most important
thing,” the Professor says, “is ten fingers an~ fast hands.”
Danny Federici
Danny Federici is surrounded by banks of equipment onstage, which is unfortunate, since it tends to obscure some of the fanciest footwork in human history. While dancing, Federici plays a Hammond B-3 organ (with a spare backstage—one of them was cut down by John Stilwell), two Farfisa combo compacts, and an Acetone (Top 5 model), used exclusively for “Wreck on the Highway.” The sound is channelled through two customized Leslies, with 12 2″ speakers, Gauss HF 4000 horn drivers and IF 15″ speakers, and speed relays for both. Federici’s amp rack, designed by Sound Specialties of Philadelphia, holds a Marantz 510 MR (600 watts) for the low end, a Phase Linear 400 for the horns, a Urei 521 cross-over system, a Bi-Amp Model 270graphic equalizer, and a Roland RU100 reverb unit.
Danny also plays a keyboard operated glockenspiel, which is, he thinks, one of only two or three in the world. (When the E Streeters toured England and Scandinavia in ’75, they managed to find one to complement his pair.~ That runs through a standard Leslie 122 mounted in an Anvil case with an acoustic chamber and permanent mikes for off-stage miking.
Federici’s organ modifications (B3 cutdown, speed switches and relays) were done by John Stilwell, of Ithaca, N.Y., and Springsteen sound man Bruce Jackson.
Max Weinberg
The Mighty Max, as he’s introduced nightly, brought to his drum list as highly developed a sense of detail a-, he brings to his playing. He uses a 24″ x 14″ Ludwig 6- ply bass, with an Emperor head and 14 coats of white varnish; it’s stuffed with two old down pillows and miked with a Beyer 88.
Weinberg’s toms are also Ludwigs; he uses both a 10″ x 14″ and a 16″ x 16″. The rack tom has Countryman contact mikes taped to the inside shell and a Sennheiser 421 mike for the top head. The floor tom is miked with just the 421. The toms are slightly muffled with Green Bay paper towels—Weinberg insists on that brand.
His stage snare is a 61/2″ x 14″ Pearl Snare, with a Diplomat snare head, and a Durotone batter head, mike~ inside with a Countryman, outside with a Shure SM81 and another Sennheiser 421. (For recording, he prefers a black 5’/2″ X 14″ snare.)
Weinberg plays with Pro Mack 5B sticks (no varnish), uses a Cameo Chain pedal (squared off), a Pearl Hi Hat Stand and Pearl hardware. A custom welded roll bar holds his three Zildjian cymbals (18″ crash, 21″ ride and 20″ medium thin crash), mikes (AKG451 EB CK-1 Cart. and 3 Countrymen) and snare—this eliminates mike and cymbal stands.
“I’ve got four drums, ” says Weinberg. “Anything more is redundant. Besides, I tend to trip over things.”
Garry Tallent
“I use a Music Man bass, with four strings (two of which I seldom use)—they’re D’Addario halfrounds. The only modification is a can of black lacquer. I’ve got a Countryman direct box, which is what everybody hears. Plus my own special Funky setup, which I’ve thought about long and hard for two years. It includes a solid state amplifier, Acoustic 320, with an equalizer that I never use, and four Music Man bass cabinets with 15″ Lansings, which I never hear. The rest is up to God and Bruce Jackson.”


Non è decisamente il mio Springsteen preferito quello del tour di Born in the USA ma questo bootleg merita.

La scaletta:

Disc One:
01. Born In The U.S.A.
02. Badlands
03. Darlington County
04. Johnny 99
05. Seeds
06. Darkness On The Edge Of Town
07. Intro / “Betraying Yourself & Your Neighbours” *
08. Highway Patrolman – first try –
09. Highway Patrolman
10. Intro / “Hanging Loose Tonight”
11. Used Cars
12. Trapped
13. Working On The Highway
14. Intro / “The Mystery Of Love”
15. I’m Goin’ Down
16. Glory Days
17. The Promised Land

Disc Two:
01. Intro / “Longest Walk In The World” *
02. My Hometown **
03. Thunder Road
04. Cover Me
05. Dancing In The Dark
06. Hungry Heart
07. Cadillac Ranch
08. Downbound Train
09. I’m On Fire
10. Growin’ Up
11. Bobby Jean

Disc Three:
01. Intro / “You Ain’t Nothing But Alone”
02. Can’t Help Falling In Love
03. Born To Run
04. Ramrod
05. Twist & Shout (w/ Do You Love Me)
06. Stand On It
07. Travellin’ Band

Bonus tracks dal concerto Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA, May 2, 1988

08. Roulette
09. Intro / “Take Your Past & Put It Away”
10. Spare Parts
11. War
12. Tougher Than The Rest
13. One Step Up
14. Walk Like A Man


Articolo ovviamente su Bruce Springsteen tratto dal numero di Musician del febbraio 1981 che spero sia gradito.

Commentate!  Commentate!

Lo ho diviso in due parti causa lunghezza.

Buona lettura

Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen returns from his two year marathon in the studio and introduces some new characters and insights along with some older influences, roaring to life the cylinders of his instinctive sense of emotional event. Dave Marsh examines the view from inside then of the last Roadside Romantic. by Dave Marsh
A year ago, taking a respite from recording to play two nights of the MUSE anti- nuclear benefit concerts, Bruce Springsteen pared his normal three hour show down to a more everyday 90 minutes. The result was pandemonium just this side of Beatlemania. Following the biggest stars in American soft rock to the Madison Square Garden stage, Springsteen and the E Street Band upstaged everyone, including the issue itself. The air in the hall that night was one of fanaticism and conversion, as though Springsteen were a rock and roll evangelist and the Garden his tabernacle.
It’s easy to imagine that Springsteen was just a pro rising to an occasion which included a camera crew and a recording truck, not to mention a backstage full of peers. What’s harder to explain, unless you’ve seen him onstage before a crowd that might not include so much as a weekly newspaper reviewer, is that the MUSE shows were just a fragment of what he usually does. “After those shows went over so great, I just figured that that’s what we’d do on this tour,” remembers E Street guitarist Steve Van Zandt, “Just 90 minutes, a couple of ballads, and make the people as crazy as you can, like the old days. We can do that. But not Bruce. What we ended up doing was just adding that 90 minutes to the show we always do.”
By late October, when the E Streeters hit LA for four shows at the 15,000 seat Sports Arena, they were playing four and one half hour shows, five nights a week. Going on at 8:30, they’d break at 10, and return a half hour later and play until 12:45- or 1:00 or 1:15. And they weren”t playing the ebb-and-flow show offered by most bands who play so long. We’re talking about four hours of ensemble rock and roll here, in which even the ballads are attacked more strenuously than most modal jams. Yet Jon Landau, his manager, said one night, “I think Bruce might actually play longer, except that the band just gets worn out.” True enough, drummer Max Weinberg often spends intermission taping bleeding fingers, and the others are spared such medicaments only because their instruments are less physically demanding.
Generally, Springsteen did 32 or 33 songs, including 17 or 18 from The River, a half dozen from Darkness on the Edge of Town, five from Born to Run, the perennial set closer “Rosalita” from The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, plus “Fire” and “Because the Night” from his seemingly bottomless supply of unrecorded hits.

And, of course, the Mitch Ryder medley which was the highlight of the No Nukes LP.
But the show has that shape only on nights when Springsteen hasn’t declared a special occasion, which is a rare night in itself. On Halloween, the second night in L.A., he cooked up a version of “Haunted House,” the old Jumpin’ Gene Simmons hit, at soundcheck, and opened the set with it—after appearing from a coffin, and being chased around the stage by ghoul-robed roadies during the guitar break.
On Saturday, Bruce added an acoustic guitar and accordion version of “The Price You Pay,” and debuted “Fade Away,” the one song from The River he’d avoided. On Monday night, with Bob Dylan in the house for a second night (he’d come with Jim Keltner on Thursday, and been impressed), Springsteen put “The Price You Pay” back in and dedicated it to his “inspiration.” Plus a lengthy version of “Growing Up,” from his first album. On both nights, he ended the encores with Jackson Browne, dueting on “Sweet Little Sixteen.” On neither night did the inclusion of the additional songs mean the removal of any of the others.
“Yeah, but you really missed it in St. Paul,” said Van Zandt. “He turned around and called ‘Midnight Hour,’ and we all just about fainted. Funky (bassist Garry Tallent) didn’t even believe we were doing it until about the second chorus.” The band had not rehearsed the song, and it’s unlikely that the E Street Band’s present lineup had ever played it before in its five years together. But even the musicians thought that it sounded great.
The expansiveness and elasticity of Springsteen’s show is a conundrum, because arena rock is in all other hands the surest route to formula. One of the most miserable summers of my existence was spent watching 15 Rolling Stones shows in 1975. By the fifth, I was fighting to stay awake; by the tenth I’d stopped fighting, a circumstance I ascribed to the band’s . senility until it occurred to me that no one was meant to look at more than one or maybe two of their damn fiestas.
That’s rock and roll for tourists. Springsteen plays for the natives. Although he would probably put it more idealistically, he’s really just never lost the consciousness of a bar band musician, who knows that a good part of the house may be seeing all three sets. And like a bar band veteran, he refuses to resort to gimmicks. Mark Brickman’s lighting is the best in rock, but it’s based on relatively simple theatrical gels and an authoritative sense of timing with follow spots; any funk band in the Midwest might have a more elaborate concept, but nobody with lasers achieves such an effective result. (Brickman has a computer along on this tour, but only, he told me, because “if you can figure out a way to program Bruce’s show, you can figure a way to make it work for anything.” Most nights, Brickman and soundman Bruce Jackson might as well throw their set lists away.)
But what reveals Springsteen bar band roots more than anything is his sense of intimacy with the crowd. One night during this tour, someone told me, he actually announced from the stage, “If the guy I met at the airport yesterday is here, please come to the stage at the break. I’ve got something for you,” which is about as close to sock hop mentality as you could ask. At his show in Phoenix, during “Rosalita,” Bruce made one of his patented leaps to the speakers at the side of the stage. But this time
he missed.
The crowd just kept on cheering, but back at the soundboard where Jackson and I were sitting, the tension was thick. Bruce might do anything, but this was weird; the band was holding the chord, and the chords of “Rosalita” are not meant to be held for five seconds, much less fifteen.
It’s a good long drop from the speakers, two feet high, to the floor, a good eight or nine feet away. All there was between Bruce and the hard concrete floor was the band’s monitor mixing board, but as he tumbled down, roadie Bob Werner reached out and broke the fall. (He sprained his wrist in the process.)
Neither the band nor the crowd could see any of this. The next thing any of us knew, the guitar appeared, tossed atop the speakers. Then a pair of hands and at last, Springsteen’s head, with his silly-faced-little-boy grin. He shook his head, pulled himself the rest of the way up, and strapped on his guitar, went back into action as if nothing had occurred.
This moment is presumably on film—there was a crew shooting a commercial that night—though from what angle I cannot say. But what that incident proclaims, more than anything, even Bruce’s sense of spontaneity, is his sense of event. The cardinal rule of his shows is that something always happens. It’s not only, as he says in the interview below, that he’s prepared for whatever happens. Somehow, he always makes sure that something does occur. I’ve seen at least 100 shows in the past six or seven years. The worst of them was fascinating, but maybe the most awesome have been the times when, after four or five nights of hell raising action, he manages to make it different again. This guy does not know the meaning of anticlimax.
“The moment you begin to depend on audience reaction, you’re doing the wrong thing. You can’t allow yourself,
no matter what, to depend on them.”
But there’s the bright side. There are darker ones. In Los Angeles, where ticket scalping is legal, front row seats for this extravaganza were going for $180, $200, $250. And fans wrote Bruce to complain, not just that tickets were being scalped, but that the best ones were. It’s an old story, and most bands would let it slide, but Bruce took a stand. Each night in L.A., he gave the crowd the name of a state legislator, and a radio station, who’d agreed to campaign to change the scalping law in California. This might qualify as a gesture—although the night after Landau got a pre-show phone call from a “ticket agent” suggesting that Bruce “do what he does, and I’ll do what I do, so why don’t he just lay off,” he made the announcement three times—but he’s also hired investigators to get to the bottom of the mess, with intentions of turning the information over to the proper authorities, if any hard evidence can be turned up.
And this reflects the spirit in which Springsteen played M.U.S.E. Although he was one
of only two musicians at the benefit who did not make a political statement in the concert program (the other was Tom Petty), Springsteen upstaged the issue only accidentally. He felt that particular problem to his marrow; “Roulette,” the song he wrote right after Three Mile Island, is the scariest piece of music he’s ever done, for my money more frightening that even the last lines of “Stolen Car,” and unmistakably based on the event. (Not to mention Del Shannon’s paranoiac “Stranger in Town.”) There is more to come.
The River itself feels like a farewell to innocence. As Springsteen notes in the interview below, the innocent characters on this album are anachronisms. Their time is-gone. That guy Iying by the side of the road in “Wreck on the Highway” is not only the guy in “Cadillac Ranch” and “Ramrod,” he is also Spanish Johnny, the original man-child hero of The Wild, the Innocent and The E Street Shuffle.
The River is, I think, Bruce Springsteen’s best album for this very reason. It sums up seven years of work, and it does not shy away from the errors of his career thus far, nor does it disown them. He remains a romantic and a bit of a juvenile, after all this, for who but a romantic juvenile could conceive of a purposeless car thief as a genuine figure of tragedy? But he is also capable now of tying together his hopes and fears— the most joyous of songs are awash with brutal undercurrents.
The River wasn’t the record anyone would have predicted Bruce Springsteen would make. Epics aren’t anticipated (although they might be the subject of certain fervent hopes.) But if The River was unpredictable, the album that will follow it is almost unimaginable. And not only because the society that shaped Springsteen’s most beloved characters and the musical tradition he cherishes is now crumbling.
Among other things, The River is a Number One record. “Hungry Heart” looks likely to be his first Top Ten single. Things change when that happens, and we have not yet seen the rock and roller who is strong enough to withstand those changes. It would be naive to expect Bruce Springsteen to be any different.
Yet Bruce Springsteen’s career is all about naive faith. Who else could have survived The New Dylan, The Future of Rock and Roll, The Hype, The Boss? And emerged not only successful, but respected. It’s easy to play cynical rock journalist and suppose the worst—no one else has exactly cruised through success—but the fact is, Bruce Springsteen is the only human I have ever met who cannot sell out. He doesn’t have a price, because the things he wants are quite literally beyond price. You don’t have to believe me. Just wait and see. As Miami Steve says, “For the first time, I can really imagine rock and roll at 40.”
The interview below took place at the Fiesta Motel in Tempe, Arizona on Nov. 6th, from about 3:30 AM until dawn.
(The time frame is typical.) Bruce had just completed a show at Arizona State University, and in a strange way, what I’ll remember about that night isn’t talking with him or even the fall off the speakers but the lines he sang just after the fall, that climactic verse of “Rosalita:”
Tell your daddy this is his last chance If he wants his daughter to have some fun Because my brand new record, Rosie
Just came in at Number one
He won’t forget, either.
MUSICIAN: Here you are, The River is a Number One album, the single is a hit, you’re playing great shows in the biggest halls, and selling them out. In a sense, a lot of goals you must have had are now achieved. What goals are left?
SPRINGSTEEN: Doing it is the goal. It’s not to play some big place, or for a record to be Number One. Doing it is the end— not the means. That’s the point. So the point is: What’s next? Some more of this.
But bigness—that is no end. That as an end, is meaningless, essentially. It’s good, ’cause you can reach a lotta people, and that’s the idea. The idea was just to go out and to reach people. And after tonight, you go out and you reach more people, and then the night after that, you do that again.
MUSICIAN: One of the things that The River and also the show, its length and certain of the things you say between songs, are about is seeing more possibilities, more opportunities for things to do.
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah. There’s an immense amount, and I’m just starting to get some idea about what I want to do. Because we’ve been in a situation, always, until recently, there’s been a lot of instability in everybody’s life. The band’s and mine. It dates back to the very beginning, from the bars on up to even after we were successful. Then there was the lawsuit.
And then there’s the way we work, which is: We’re slow. And in the studio, I’m slow. I take a long time. That means you spend a lotta money in the studio. Not only do you spend a lotta money, you don’t make any money, because you’re out of the stream of things. It’s like you can never get ahead, because as soon as you get ahead, you stop for two years and you go back to where you were.
MUSICIAN: Is that slowness as frustrating for you as it i;, for everybody else?
SPRINGSTEEN: I’m lucky, because I’m in there, I’m seeing it every step of the way. I would assume that if you didn’t know what was going on, and you cared about it, it would be frustrating. With me, it was not frustrating.
You know, we started to work [on the album] and I had a certain idea at the beginning. And at the end, that was the idea that came out on the record. It took a very long time, all the coloring and stuff, there was a lot of decisions and songs to be written. Right up until the very last two weeks, when I rewrote the last two verses to “Point Blank.” “Drive All Night” was done just the week before that. Those songs
didn’t exist, in the form that they’re on the record, until the last few weeks we were in the studio. So there’s stuff happening all the time. But we get into that little bit of a cycle, which hopefully we’ll be able to break—maybe, I don’t know.
MUSICIAN: In a lot of ways, The River feels like the end of a
“All the characters, they’re part of the past, they’re part of the future and they’re part of the present. And I guess in “Ramrod” there was a certain frightening aspect to seeing one that wasn’t part of the future. “
cycle. Certain ideas that began with the second and third albums have matured, and a lot of the contrasts and contradictions have been — not resolved — but they’ve been heightened .
SPRINGSTEEN: On this album, I just said, “I don’t understand all these things. I don’t see where all these things fit. I don’t see how all these things can work together.” It was because I was always focusing in on some small thing; when I stepped back, they made a sense of their own. It was just a situation of living with all those contradictions. And that’s what happens. There’s never any resolution. You have moments of clarity, things become clear to you that you didn’t understand before. But there’s never any making ends meet or finding any time of longstanding peace of mind about something.
MUSICIAN: That’s sort of like “Wreck on the Highway,” where, for the first time in your songs, you’ve got the nightmare and the dream in a package.
SPRINGSTEEN: That was a funny song. I wrote that song real fast, in one night. We came in and played a few takes of it and that’s pretty much what’s on the album, I think. That’s an automatic song, a song that you don’t really think about, or work on. You just look back and it sorta surprises you.
MUSICIAN: On this record, it also feels like you’re relying a lot more on your instincts, the sort of things that happen on stage.
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, that’s what happens the most to make the record different. A lot of it is real instinctive. “Hungry Heart” I wrote in a half hour, or ten minutes, real fast. All the rockers—”Crush On You,” “You Can Look,” “Ramrod”— were all written very quickly, from what I can remember. “Wreck on the Highway” was; “Stolen Car” was. Most of the songs were, sit down and write ’em. There weren’t any songs where I worked—”Point Blank” I did, but actually those last two verses I wrote pretty quickly. “The River” took awhile. I had the verses, I never had any chorus, and I didn’t have no title for a long time.
MUSICIAN: But you always had the basic arrangement?
SPRINGSTEEN: No, on that song, I had these verses, and I was fooling around with the music. What gave me the idea for the title was a Hank Williams song, I think it’s “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It,” where he goes down to the river to jump in and kill
himself, and he can’t because it dried up. So I was just sitting there one night, thinking, and I just thought about this song, “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It,” and that’s where I got the chorus. [Actually, he’s referring to “Long Gone, Lonesome Blues”—D M.]
I love that old country music. All during the last tour that’s what I listened to a whole lot—I listened to Hank Williams. I went back and dug up all his first sessions, the gospel kind of stuff that he did. That and the first real Johnny Cash record with “Give My Love to Rose,” “I Walk the Line,” “Hey Porter,” “Six Foot High and Risin’,” “I Don’t Like It But I Guess Things Happen That Way.” That and the rockabilly.
There was a certain something in all that stuff that just seemed to fit in with things that I was thinking about, or worrying about. Especially the Hank Williams stuff. He always has all that conflict, he always has that real religious side, and the honky tonkin’, all that side. There’s a great song, “Settin’ the Woods on Fire.” That thing is outrageous. That’s “Ramrod,” that had some of that in it. And “Cadillac Ranch.”
MUSICIAN: Earlier, you said that “Ramrod” was one of the saddest things you’d written. Why?
SPRINGSTEEN: (Laughs) Well, it’s so anachronistic, you know. The character—it’s impossible, what he wants to do. One of the ideas of it, when I wrote it, it was sort of like a partner to “Cadillac Ranch” and a few things, it’s got that old big engine sound. That song is a goddam gas guzzler (laughing) And that was the sound I wanted, that big, rumbling, big engine lo sound. And this guy, he’s there, but he’s really not there no |~ more. He’s the guy in “Wreck on the Highway”—either guy, |~, actually. But he’s also the guy, in the end, who says, “I’ll give YOU the word, now, sugar, we’ll go ramroddin’ forevermore.” I don’t know, that’s a real sad line to me, sometimes.
MUSICIAN: If you believe it, you mean.
“I go back, back further all the time. Back into Hank Williams, back into Jimmy Rodgers. Because the human thing in those records is just so beautiful and awesome. “
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, but it’s a funny kinda thing. I love it when we play that song on stage. It’s just a happy song, a celebration of all that stuff that’s gonna be gone—is gone already, almost.
I threw that song ten million times off the record. Ten million times. I threw it off Darkness and I threw it off this one, too. Because I thought it was wrong.
MUSICIAN: You mentioned something similar about “Out in the Street,” that it was too much of a fantasy to possibly believe it.
SPRINGSTEEN: I was just wary of it at that time, I guess for some of the same reasons. It always seemed anachronistic, and at the time, I was demanding of all the songs that
they be able to translate. All the characters, they’re part of the past, they’re part of the future and they’re part of the present. And I guess there was a certain frightening aspect to seeing one that wasn’t part of the future. He was part of the past.
To me, that was the conflict of that particular song. I loved it, we used to play it all the time. And there was that confusion too. Well, if I love playing the damn thing so much, why the hell don’t I want to put it on the record?
I guess I always made sure that the characters always had that foot planted up ahead somewhere. Not just the one back there. That’s what makes ’em viable, or real, today. But I also knew a lotta people who were exactly like this. So I said, well, that’s OK. There was just a point where I said, that’s OK, to a lot of things where I previously would not have said so.
I gained a certain freedom, in making the two record set, because I could let all those people out, that usually I’d put away. Most of the time, they’d end up being my favorite songs, and probably some of my best songs, you know.
MUSICIAN: You mean the kind of songs that would show up on stage, but not on record? [“Fire,” Because the Night,” “Sherry Darling”]
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah. I’m the kind of person, I think a lot about everything. Nothin’ I can do about it. It’s like, I’m a thinkin’ fool. That’s a big part of me. Now, the other part is, I can get onstage and cut that off and be super instinctive. To be a good live performer, you have to be instinctive. It’s like, to walk in the jungle, or to do anything where there’s a certain tightrope wire aspect you need to be instinctive. And you have to be comfortable at it also.
Like tonight, I was falling on my head. I wasn’t worryin’ about it. I just went, it just happened. (Laughs) You just think, what happens next? When I was gonna jump on that speaker, I couldn’t worry about whether I was gonna make it or not. You can’t. You just gotta do it. And if you do, you do, and if you don’t, you don’t, and then something else happens. That’s the point of the live performance.
Now, when I get into the studio, both things operate. When we perform on this record, I feel that we have that thing going that we’ve got live. To me, we’re not rockin’ that stuff better live than a lot of it is on the record. I can still listen to it. Usually, two weeks after we’re out on the record, I cannot listen to my record any more. ‘Cause as soon as I hear some crappy tape off the board, it sounds ten times better than what we spent all that time doing in the studio. This is the very first album that I’ve been able to go back and put on to play, and it sounds good to me.
But in the studio, I’m conceptual. I have a self-consciousness. And there’s a point where I often would try to stop that. “No, that’s bad. Look at all these great records, and I betcha they didn’t think about it like this, or think about it this long.” You realize that it doesn’t matter. That’s unimportant, it’s ridiculous. I got into a situation where I just said, “Hey, this is what I do, and these are my assets and these are my burdens.” I got comfortable with myself being that kind of person.
MUSICIAN: But only after going to extremes. Darkness is the least spontaneous of
your records.
SPRINGSTEEN: That’s right. And it’s funny because Darkness on the Edge of Town, that cut is live in the studio. “Streets of Fire” is live in the studio, essentially. “Factory” is live. It’s not a question of how you actually do it. The idea is to sound spontaneous, not be spontaneous.
So at this point, I just got settled into accepting certain things that I’ve always been uncomfortable with. I stopped setting limits and definitions—which I always threw out anyway, but which I’d always feel guilty about. Spending a long time in the studio, I stopped feeling bad about that. I said, that’s me, that’s what I do. I work slow, and I work slow for a reason To get the results that I want.
When you try to define what makes a good rock and roll record, or what is rock and roll, everyone has their own personal definition. But when you put limits on it, you’re just throwing stuff away.
MUSICIAN: Isn’t one of your definitions that it’s limitless?
SPRINGSTEEN: I think it is. That’s my definition, I guess. Hey, you can go out in the street and do the twist and that’s rock and roll. It’s the moment, it’s all things. (Laughs) It’s funny, to me it just is.
You know, my music utilizes things from the past, because that’s what the past is for. It’s to learn from. It’s not to limit you, you shouldn’t be limited by it, which I guess was one of my fears on “Ramrod.” I don’t want to make a record like they made in the ’50s or the ’60s or the ’70s. I want to make a record like today, that’s right now.
To do that, I go back, back further all the time. Back into Hank Williams, back into Jimmy Rodgers. Because the human thing in those records, that should be at least the heart of it. The human thing that’s in those records is just beautiful and awesome. I put on that Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers stuff and Wow! What inspiration! It’s got that beauty and the purity. The same thing with a lot of the great Fifties records, and the early rockabilly. I went back and dug up all the early rockabilly stuff because . . . what mysterious people they were.
There’s this song, “Jungle Rock” by Hank Mizell. Where is Hank Mizell? What happened to him? What a mysterious person, what a ghost. And you put that thing on and you can see him. You can see him standing in some little studio, way back when, and just singing that song. No reason. (Laughs) Nothing gonna come out of it. Didn’t sell. That wasn’t no Number One record, and he wasn’t playin’ no big arena after it, either.
But what a moment, what a mythic moment, what a mystery. Those records are filled with mystery; they’re shrouded with mystery. Like these wild men came out from somewhere, and man, they were so alive. The joy and the abandon. Inspirational, inspirational records, those records.
MUSICIAN: You mentioned earlier that when you went into the arenas that you were worried about losing certain things.
SPRINGSTEEN: I was afraid maybe it would screw up the range of artistic expression that the band had. Because of the lack of silence. A couple things happened. Number one, it’s a rock and roll show. People are gonna scream their heads off whenever they feel like it. That’s fine—happens in theatres, happens in clubs. (Laughs) Doesn’t matter where the hell it is, happens every place, and that’s part of it, you know.
On this tour, it’s been really amazing, because we’ve been doing all those real quiet songs. And we’ve been able to do ’em. And then we’ve been able to rock real hard and get that thing happening from the audience. I think part of the difference is that the demands that are made on the audience now are much heavier, much heavier on the audience that sees us now than on the last tour.
But the moment you begin to depend on audience reaction, you’re doing the wrong thing. You’re doin’ it wrong, it’s a mistake, it’s not right. You can’t allow yourself, no matter what, to depend on them. I put that mike out to the crowd, you have a certain faith that somebody’s gonna yell somethin’ back. Some nights it’s louder than other nights and some nights they do, and on some songs they don’t. But that’s the idea. I think when you begin to expect a reaction, it’s a mistake. You gotta have your thing completely together—boom! right there with you. That’s what makes nights special and what makes nights different from other nights.
MUSICIAN: On the other hand, the only way to do a really perfect show is to involve that audience. Maybe an audience only gets lazy if the performer doesn’t somehow keep it on its toes.
SPRINGSTEEN: I’m out there for a good time and to be inspired at night, and to play with my band and to rock those songs as hard as we can rock ’em. I think that you can have some of the best nights under the very roughest conditions. A lotta times, at Max’s or some of the clubs down in Jersey, they’d be sittin’ on their hands or nobody wants to dance, and the adversity is a positive motivation.
The only concern is that what’s being done is being done the way it should be done. The rest you don’t have control over. But I think that our audience is the best audience in the world. The amount of freedom that I get from the crowd is really a lot.

-continua –


Bootleg DVD di Springsteen a dir poco imperdibile.

Informazioni prese da Jungleland:

Title: Flood Aid 2004
Discs: 2
Format: NTSC
Generation: Masters
Video: multi-cam
Audio: dubbed
Menu: authored
Chapters: songs
Video Rating: 9/10
Audio Rating: 8/10
Production Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 9/10

Description: After Hurricane Ivan had swept through Western Pennsylvania in September 2004, local rocker Joe Grushecky decided to stage a benefit show for the victims of the devastation. “Flood Aid 2004” took place 3 months later in the opulent surroundings of Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. There were a total of eight acts on the bill, headlined by Bruce and Grushecky with his House Rockers.

Bruce’s first performance of the night came during the set of fellow Jersey musicians Exit 105. He reprised his cover of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” from the VFC tour. No Neil Young this time, but it was still a terrific performance. Bruce strolled onto the stage later in the evening to perform a 3 song solo set consisting of “If I Should Fall Behind”, “Land of Hope and Dreams” (in the same acoustic arrangement as its debut at the Clearwater Festival in 2001) and “For You” (dedicated to “all the old fans”). Bruce then welcomed Grushecky and his band on stage to join him for a set that drew on both their back catalogues, together with two songs that they had penned together. Highlights from a Bruce perspective were the Chuck Berry-esque “From Small Things”, a rockabilly “Johnny 99” and a stripped down “Factory”. The only nod to the Yuletide season came at the end of the show when all the evening’s performers took the stage for “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”.

A unique night like this one deserved a special treatment on DVD and ScrewDevil comes through with a magnificent presentation. This remarkable camcorder footage from “NYC Shows” is shot from head-on in front of the stage. The image is crystal clear, very steady and offers some great close-ups. A second camera source crops up towards the end of the solo set with a slightly softer focus and some minor noise, but when it reappears later it is as sharp as the primary source. The colours are rich, natural and well-balanced. Although both cameras are at a virtually identical angle, they compliment each other well by allowing switches between tight-in and wide angle views. The shots are unobstructed throughout and it is mind-boggling to imagine how this was achieved in such a small venue without being challenged.

The audio is dubbed from an excellent audience recording that benefits from the great acoustics of the theatre setting. The sound is full and clear, although the lead vocals appear slightly back in the mix at times. Audio/video synchronisation is spot on.

The high production values we have come to expect from ScrewDevils are present and correct, even though this title was in circulation only a couple of weeks after the show. There is a nice into-sequence with a photomontage showing the flooding, together which text describing the background to the benefit. Menu deigns are simple, but effective and give access to the Exit 105 spot as a Bonus on Disc 2.

“Flood Aid 2004” raised the bar on what could be achieved with a fan-made DVD. The image clarity and camera-work are as close to pro-shot quality as you could hope to get from camcorders. This one needs to be included in any “best Bruce DVD ever” discussion.

1. If I Should Fall Behind (solo acoustic)
2. Land of Hope and Dreams (solo acoustic)
3. For You (solo acoustic)
4. Talking to the King
5. From Small Things
6. Homestead
7. Code of Silence
8. Johnny 99
9. Never Be Enough Time
10. Atlantic City
11. True Companion
12. Factory

1. Everything’s Going to Work Out Right
2. Murder Incorporated
3. This Hard Land
4. Pumping Iron
5. Lucky Town
6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
7. All Along The Watchtower (w/ Exit 105)