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‘Street Hassle’: When Lou Reed met Bruce Springsteen
04:53 pm


Lou Reed
Bruce Springsteen

For his 1978 Street Hassle album, Lou Reed became the first major artist to produce an album using the “Binaural” sound recording system, a two-channel 3-D stereo technology that utilized microphones embedded into a wig dummy’s ears. The placement of the mics roughly approximates the position and distance between the average person’s ears.

Binaural albums can be played on standard record players, but need to be heard over headphones and not speakers as the effect (like you are “live” in the room with the musicians) is less impressive (not heard at all) when played on speakers. A typical effect achieved by a binaural recording might be the sound of a box of matches being shaken, first in one ear, then the other. With headphones the effect can be quite startling—you’ll hear the shaking matches as they travel around your head, it’s pretty vivid—but it needn’t be that gimmicky.

Probably the best song to really hear what they were going for is Street Hassle‘s epic 11-minute-long title suite, a shocking three-part monolog/tone poem during which a woman hires a hustler, a drug dealer gives a guy some particularly blunt advice about what to do with his dead “old lady” and then the final part, which has an uncredited Bruce Springsteen (who, sadly for Reed, was in a legal dispute at the time and needed to remain at least somewhat incognito) doing a very effective low-key mumbled rap that more than hints at whose voice you are listening to, despite the lack of acknowledgement in the liner notes:

Well hey, man, that’s just a lie
It’s a lie she tells her friends
‘Cause the real song, the real song
Where she won’t even admit to herself
The beatin’ in her heart
It’s a song lots of people know
It’s a painful song
A little sad truth
But life’s full of sad songs
A penny for a wish
But wishin’ won’t make you a soldier
With a pretty kiss for a pretty face
Can’t have its way
Y’know tramps like us, we were born to pay

On Reed’s live Animal Serenade album, he tells the audience: “I wanted to write a song that had a great monolog set to rock. Something that could have been written by William Burroughs, Hubert Selby, John Rechy, Tennessee Williams, Nelson Algren, maybe a little Raymond Chandler. You mix it all up and you have Street Hassle.”

Reed knew Steven Van Zandt and heard that Springsteen was recording at the Record Planet. Springsteen read the part twice and both he and Reed were pleased with the result. Reed later explained how the collaboration came to be:

“Bruce Springsteen was mixing in the studio below us and I thought, ‘How fortuitous’, People expect me to badmouth him because he’s from New Jersey but I think he’s really fabulous. He did the part so well that I had to bury him in the mix. I knew Bruce would take that recitation seriously because he really is of the street, you know.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
When Frankie Goes to Hollywood covered Bruce Springsteen
11:59 am


Bruce Springsteen
Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Bruce Springsteen was 24 when he wrote “Born to Run,” a bombastic, ambitious and successful endeavor to craft the rock-song equivalent of the Great American Novel. It’s all at once a love letter to a girl and a paean to the automobile as a symbol of untrammeled liberation, and it packs a rock opera’s worth of narrative and tension-and-release into four and a half delirious minutes. The indelible saxophone solo that bisects the tune alone is encoded into rock ’n’ roll’s DNA. I’m not particularly even a fan of it, but credit where it’s due: “Born to Run” could well be THE quintessential pop song of the American mythos.

So what did it mean when a British band with openly gay members who celebrated debauchery covered it at the height of the Reagan era?

Frankie Goes to Hollywood were a massive, massive, out-of-left-field success in early ‘80s England. Their first three singles all reached #1, an accomplishment not even the Beatles matched (Gerry and the Pacemakers were the sole precedent for that feat). Their debut album was a 2XLP called Welcome to the Pleasuredome, an ambitious, charming, and often glorious album that cemented their status in the UK, where it went to #1 on the basis of over a million pre-release advance orders. But in the US, though the singles “Relax” and “Two Tribes” did very, very well, Frankie read as an overhyped fluke. Reagan-era America wasn’t going to go all in for a band whose video was banned for a simulated gay orgy, and the revelation that, due to the fussiness of producer Trevor Horn, much of the album had been recorded not by the actual band, but by members of Art of Noise and Ian Dury’s Blockheads acting as studio musicians, harmed their credibility (a silly matter—if only rockist “purists” had any idea how many of their favorite albums were recorded in part by guns-for-hire studio musicians…). Their Saturday Night Live appearance was supposed to blow them up in the States, but their choice to perform the anti-war anthem “Two Tribes” and Springsteen’s “Born to Run” came off to the normals less as audacity than as sacrilege.
Frankie Says ‘More after the jump…’

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Call for Papers: BOSS, the Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies
12:20 pm


Bruce Springsteen

A friend of mine put this under my nose.

BOSS: Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies, First Issue

full name / name of organization:
BOSS: Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies
contact email:
BOSS: The Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies is a new open-access academic journal that publishes peer-reviewed essays pertaining to Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen’s immense body of work and remarkable musical career has inspired a recent outpouring of scholarly analysis. BOSS will create a scholarly space for Springsteen Studies in the contemporary academy. We seek to publish articles that examine the political, economic, and socio-cultural factors that have influenced Springsteen’s music and shaped its reception. The editors of BOSS welcome broad interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches to Springsteen’s songwriting, performance, and fan community, as well as studies that conform to specific disciplinary perspectives.

Please submit articles between 15 and 25 pages that conform to The Chicago Manual of Style to

by January 1st, 2014. Authors will be notified of acceptance by March and the first issue of BOSS will be published in June, 2014, which marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Born in the U.S.A.

Contact: Please address all inquiries to Jonathan D. Cohen (Managing Editor) at

Scholars: The obvious place to start is the Bruce Springsteen archive at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey:


Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Bruce Springsteen not too cool for school
Bruce Springsteen in a video he’d probably prefer you didn’t see
Bruce Springsteen’s keynote address at SXSW

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Andy Kershaw: The Rolling Stones Guide to Painting & Decorating

Andy Kershaw is a writer, a multi-award-winning broadcaster (he once shared an office with John Peel for 12 years, and has won more Sony Radio Awards than any other broadcaster, and was one of the presenters on Live Aid). He is also a foreign correspondent, who eye-witnessed and reported on the Rwandan genocide. His fearlessness as a reporter saw him banned from Malawi under the dictatorship of Dr Hastings Banda.

But that’s only part of this Lancastrian’s incredible story.

Kershaw has worked for Bruce Springsteen; was Billy Bragg’s driver, roadie and tour manager; went on a blind date with a then unknown Courtney Love (to see Motorhead); was propositioned by both Little Richard and Frankie Howerd; spent a week riding out with Sonny Barger and the Oakland Hell’s Angels; went with Red Adair and Boots Hansen to the burning oil well-heads in Kuwait in 1991; and was immortalised by Nick Hornby in High Fidelity, which was later filmed with John Cusack.

This has made Andy Kershaw a bit of a legendary figure—a kind of distant British relative to Hunter S Thompson. This and much more can be found in Kershaw’s excellent autobiography No Off Switch, which I can thoroughly recommend.

But let’s go back to 1982, when Kershaw was working for The Rolling Stones, as Andy explains by way of introduction to this extract from No Off Switch:

I had been, for the past two years, the Entertainments Secretary of Leeds University, booking all the bands and organising and running the concerts, at the largest college venue in the UK. Although non sabbatical and unpaid, I devoted all my time and energies to the job. We enjoyed a reputation - among bands, booking agents and management companies - as a highly professional operation with a long and rich history of running prestigious gigs. I had built up a good working relationship with the major UK concert promoters and, with my Leeds University stage crew, I was often hired by those companies to work on big concerts elsewhere. In the spring of 1982, I took a call in the Ents Office in the Students’ Union, from Andrew Zweck, right-hand man to Harvey Goldsmith, the UK’s biggest concert promoter at the time. “Andy,” said Andrew. “Would you like to work for the Rolling Stones this summer? And could you bring Leeds Uni’s stage crew with you?” Al, referred to in this extract, is Al Thompson, my friend and right-hand man in running the Leeds University concerts. Now read on…

The Rolling Stones Guide to Painting & Decorating

Already the size of an aircraft carrier, the stage was only partially built when we arrived.

Members of Stage Crew, like the remnants of a rebel patrol, were threading their way down through the trees, into the natural bowl of Roundhay Park, and gathering behind the vast scaffolding framework.

A couple of dozen articulated lorries, and a similar number of empty flat-beds were parked up in neat lines. More were rumbling into the park.

We squinted up at the riggers, chatting and clanking, swinging and building, climbing higher on their Meccano as they worked.

“Fuck,” said Al. And we all concurred with his expert analysis.

It was an impressive erection, even for Mick Jagger. And, at that time, the biggest stage that had ever been built, anywhere in the world.

Roundhay, in Leeds, in front of 120,000 fans, was to be the final date on the Rolling Stones European Tour, 1982, which broke records, set standards and established precedents on a scale never seen before. The logistics alone were mind-boggling.

If the scale of the infrastructure being unloaded before our eyes in Roundhay was extraordinary, there had to be - for the Stones to play a handful of consecutive dates in new locations - three of these set-ups on the road, and leap-frogging each other, at the same time: one under construction, a second ready for the gig; and a third being dismantled following the previous performance. We were just a fraction of the total operation.

To meet the backstage requirements at Roundhay, I was to be in charge of those logistics and grandly titled, for the next three weeks, Backstage Labour Co-ordinator.

It was reassuring to find a couple of familiar and friendly faces in the Portakabin offices which had been plonked down overlooking the grassy slope of what would become the backstage area. Andrew Zweck from Goldsmith’s office, and Harvey’s earthly representative during the build-up at Leeds, is a bluff, blond Australian with a reputation for getting things done. Uncommonly, for the music business, Andrew is good-humoured and devoid of self-importance. Similarly, Paul Crockford – Andrew’s assistant for the Roundhay gig.

Dear old Crockers was about the only bloke in the music industry that I actually considered to be a pal. Just a few years old than me, and a former Ents Sec at Southampton, he was now working in a freelance capacity for Harvey Goldsmith’s concert promotion company.

A tour of the Rolling Stones magnitude had required the UK’s biggest promoter to be co-opted as the British servant of the the overall mastermind of the enterprise, the legendary hippy impresario and pioneer, Bill Graham. In fact, this Rolling Stones adventure – taking in Europe and the States over two years - was the first time one promoter had staged a whole tour, globally. Graham’s experiment with the Stones, in 1981-2, would become the model for the industry in years to come. For the moment, however, in this previously uncharted territory, Graham and Goldsmith were making it up as they went along.

Crockers - even when he was ripping me off, selling me bands for the University - is always huge fun. Like Andrew Zweck, he doesn’t know how to be pompous. And like me, Crockers is amused most by the ridiculous and the absurd. This was to be a quality we would find indispensable over the following couple of weeks.

“That’s your desk,” said Andrew, pointing to a freshly-acquired bargain, in simulated teak finish, from some second-hand office supplies outlet. My position was in the middle of our HQ, handily by the door, and with a window overlooking the side of the stage and the slope leading down to where the dressing rooms and band’s hospitality area hadn’t yet been built. I could keep an eye on everything.

Crockers dumped in front me a telephone, a heavy new ledger and a cash box containing five hundred pounds before briefly outlining the mysteries of double-entry book keeping.

It started to rain.

A stocky, bearded little bloke soon popped up at the door.

“Hey, you,” he said. “Who’s the guy around here in charge of all the purchases.” The accent was American.

“Me,” I said. “Mine name’s Andy. Who are you?”

“Magruder,” he snapped, as though he was a brand. And one that I should recognise.

“What’s your job here?” I asked.

“Site Co-ordinator, Rolling Stones.” It crossed my mind it was unlikely he’d have been there for The Tremeloes. “Get me fifty pairs of Hunter’s boots and fifty waterproof capes,” he snapped.

And he was gone.

More from The Rolling Stones Guide to Painting & Decorating, after the jump…
With kind thanks to Andy Kershaw

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Joe Strummer’s thoughts on Bruce Springsteen
01:54 pm


The Clash
Joe Strummer
Bruce Springsteen

Here’s a little slice of rock history I did not know about: Joe Strummer’s letter of recommendation for Bruce Springsteen. Strummer faxed this letter to documentary producer Mark Hagen in 1994 when asked about his opinion of Springsteen for British TV film Bruce Springsteen: A Secret History.


Dear Mark - here’s my contribution


(Signed, ‘Joe Strummer’)

Via Letters of Note

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bruce Springsteen: Old time religion and the roots of rock ‘n’ roll
06:06 pm

Pop Culture

Bruce Springsteen
James Brwon

Bruce Springsteen is one of the few American rockers keeping alive the theatrical traditions of James Brown, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Screaming Jay Hawkins. Nothing I’m saying here is particularly new, I was just compelled to say it after watching the video below, which reminded me of Springsteen’s value to rock music and our culture and why he’s perhaps the last of the old skool rockers we’ll ever see.

In the video, Springsteen brings back memories of James Brown’s appearance on The T.A.M.I. Show when he performed a scorching and history-making version of “Please, Please, Please” - the one in which he dramatically falls to the stage, is covered with a cape by members of The Famous Flames and is escorted offstage, only to defiantly rush back to the mic to resume the song. This is repeated several times before he finishes the tune in a heap of sweat-soaked sharkskin while an audience of screaming teenyboppers goes apeshit. Yes, it’s shtick, but it’s shtick of a very sublime sort. It’s the ritual that brings the spirit to the church of rock ‘n’ roll.

During his show in Sunderland , England last month, Springsteen pulls off his own James Brown moment (at twice the age that Brown was in 1964). The new “hardest working man in show business” brings some of the same wild energy that caused the little girls at the T.A.M.I. Show to wet their pants when a Black man from South Carolina fell to his knees and screamed “pleeeeeese…”

It was good for our mothers.
It was good for our mothers.
It was good for our mothers.
And it’s good enough for me.

The scenario:

Springsteen is down for the count. Little Steven attempts to revive him in a baptismal of healing water while the congregation, clapping and chanting at a fever pitch, breathe new life into The Boss (the preacher man). Raised from the dead, Springsteen, like Lazarus, struggles to his feet and tries to get a handle on the situation. He implores the crowd to give him some more energy and they ramp it up, singing the chorus of “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.” As the fans reach a collective epiphany, Springsteen bolts toward a piano and jumps up on it. Renewed and sustained by the incantations of the audience he leaps back onto the stage floor, grabs the mic and arches backwards until his entire body is only inches above the ground, held aloft only by the very tips of his boots. Moments later he’s slapping flesh with the roaring congregation as he and the flock navigate the farther reaches of rock ‘n’ bliss. Young, old, the infirm and the lost, have found a glimmer of hope and beauty in a world where madness rules and cities melt like pillars of salt in the winds of Gommorah.

It will take us all to heaven.
It will take us all to heaven.
It will take us all to heaven.
And it’s good enough for me.”

Springsteen’s unabashed love of rock ‘n’ roll makes him not only a protean performer, able to create convincingly in multiple genres, but also a fan of epic proportions. In concert, he mashes up the history of rock ‘n’ roll, not only musically, but in moves and attitude that pay tribute to both the ritualistic and carnivalesque aspects of a music that is well over a half century old. He’s tapping into a tradition where performers, from Cab Calloway to Wayne Cochran and Iggy Pop, put their bodies into the beat and become moving hieroglyphs signifying something so deep that we ultimately have no name for it. We can only act it out, like Jesus walking on water or James Brown walking on air. And while Bruce, The Boss, is the center of the spotlight, there is something self-deprecating about the man. As serious as his lyrics and concerns can be, there is a rock ‘n’ roll clown in Springsteen that is willing to be a fool for his art, a jokester and an anarchist. The Boss has come to play. And we, the audience, come not just for the show, we come for the catharsis. That is the power and glory of rock ‘n’ roll.

Makes me love everybody.
Makes me love everybody.
Makes me love everybody.
And it’s good enough for me.”

Springsteen may not have James Brown’s moves (the only person who did is dead), but he’s got the spirit down right. It may be old time religion, but it’s sure as shit good enough for the millions of people that pack The E Street Band’s travelling tent show night after night in what seems with every passing year more like a spiritual mission than a rock ‘n’ roll tour. Of course, with Springsteen there’s little difference.

James Brown on the T.A.M.I. Show after the jump and Springsteen at the Isle Of Wight 2012…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Bruce Springsteen disses Chris Christie: ‘Not even a ‘F*ck you’!
01:51 pm


Bruce Springsteen
Chris Christie

As a one-time resident of the Garden State (Tara and I lived in NJ for two and a half years, admittedly somewhat of a counter-intuitive living experiment for us), I am always happy to see pugnacious dickhead governor Chris Christie put in his place, but especially when the human embodiment of New Jersey itself, Bruce Springsteen is the one doing the dissin’!!!

Christie is a known Springsteen FREAK and has attended well over 100 concerts by the Boss over the years. In fact, Christie has been seen dancing his ass off and vigorously playing air drums at Bruce concerts like he’s in religious ecstasy (with all the iPhones about, no one’s gotten any footage of this???).

But the Boss no like the lardass NJ governor and goes out of his way to let Christie know this, as reported in The Atlantic:

Despite heroic efforts by Christie, Springsteen, who is still a New Jersey resident, will not talk to him. They’ve met twice — once on an airplane in 1999, and then at the 2010 ceremony inducting Danny DeVito into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, where they exchanged only formal pleasantries. (Christie does say that Springsteen was very kind to his children.) At concerts, even concerts in club-size venues — the Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, most recently — Springsteen won’t acknowledge the governor. When Christie leaves a Springsteen concert in a large arena, his state troopers move him to his motorcade through loading docks. He walks within feet of the stage, and of the dressing rooms. He’s never been invited to say hello. On occasion, he’ll make a public plea to Springsteen, as he did earlier this spring, when Christie asked him to play at a new casino in Atlantic City. “He says he’s for the revitalization of the Jersey Shore, so this seems obvious,” Christie told me. I asked him if he’s received a response to his request. “No, we got nothing back from them,” he said unhappily, “not even a ‘Fuck you.’”

Hahahahaha hahahahahaha hahahahahah ha! Best thing I’ve read all morning!

Below, Christie makes a plea to the Boss to play in Atlantic City on Labor Day weekend.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bruce Springsteen singing ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’

Robert Gordon, Tommy Dean, Bruce Springsteen and Dee Dee Ramone
I love this story from Backstreets magazine:

Among his many accomplishments, Joey Ramone also played a small but significant role in Bruce Springsteen’s musical career, as Bruce himself related in his liner notes for 1995’s Greatest Hits: “I met The Ramones in Asbury Park and Joey asked me to write a song for ‘em. I went home that night and wrote this. I played it for Jon Landau and, earning his money, he advised me to keep it.” The song in question? “Hungry Heart,” which in 1980 became the first Top Ten hit both written and recorded by Springsteen.

Joey Ramone’s own hilarious recollection of asking Bruce for a song, filmed during a 1995 radio interview, appears as part of a bonus video segment on the DVD of End of the Century: The Story of The Ramones, the great no-holds-barred documentary on the triumphs and tragedies of the band’s career. In grand punk tradition, Ramone humorously berated “that Landau guy” and remarked that Springsteen “owes us.” When the interviewer suggested that perhaps Bruce could sit in with the band sometime, Joey replied that The Ramones didn’t want to be onstage with “some Jersey boy screwin’ up our song” if he couldn’t keep up with their ultra-fast playing. Ramone did, however, conclude the interview on a slightly more serious note by expressing “admiration” for Springsteen.

Here’s Springsteen covering The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.” Boston, April 22 2009. Not bad, but Springsteen ain’t no Johnny Ramone.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Bruce Springsteen on a beer run in Philly
05:06 am

Current Events
Pop Culture

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band hit Philadelphia two nights ago and during a performance of “Raise Your Hand” The Boss jumped into the audience and had a tall cold one with his fans.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’d swallow a frosty beverage handed to me by a total stranger. And then again, now that I think about it, there was a time in my life that I drank, licked, sucked and snorted just about everything shoved in front of my face. Yeah, rock and roll makes you immortal…or makes you think you’re immortal…same thing.

But back to the video. This Springsteen clip is Rick Santorum’s worst nightmare. The devil’s music on his front porch and a crowd of 20,000 rock fiends drinking Rolling Rock and chanting “Bahhhhhhhhs! “Bahhhhhhhhs! “Bahhhhhhhhs!

Springsteen is pushing hard on this tour to subvert the messages of the right wing and derail the Republican death train. The Jersey boy has picked up Woody Guthrie’s guitar, the one that says “this machine kills fascists,” and is running with it. And no matter what cynical bastards say about Springsteen being a member of the 1%, his new record and tour is called “Wrecking Ball” for good reason - words won’t do it alone, we need to take action…but first we need to come together and create a sense of community. And historically speaking there’s been no better galvanizing artistic force for the good of humankind than rock and roll and no bigger trigger to change society and consciousness than a big fat beat you can dance to.

Look at the faces in this video. These folks vote. And trust me, they ain’t voting for the forces of darkness. You can’t love life and be an advocate for death. The “Wrecking Ball Tour” is the spiritual counterpoint to the shit coming off Santorum and Romney. I would venture to say that Springsteen could wipe their asses on the electoral floor if he ran against them for President. But the Boss ain’t ready to be THE Boss yet. He’s too busy making people feel good. But he’d make a great Vice President. Obama/Boss-mania in 2012. Being Vice President would still give Springsteen plenty of time to tour. It can be done. I’ve heard rumors that Biden was night-owling in a Gary Puckett & The Union Gap tribute band for the past three years.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Bruce Springsteen’s keynote address at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen and Eric Burdon performing “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” in Austin. 3/15.

Bruce Springsteen’s keynote address at SXSW 2012.

Springsteen spoke passionately about the music that had had a profound impact on his own writing. The Boss rhapsodized about Elvis, James Brown, the Animals, and the Beatles, and the anecdotes he told about his encounters with each were revealing, mesmerizing, and sometimes hilarious. But it was the story of his awakening to Woody Guthrie’s work that tells the most about how Springsteen’s writing has changed over the last twenty years, and where he’s likely to going next.

Whether you’re a fan or not, this speech by Springsteen is full of heart and truth. And having just come home from his phenomenal performance at SXSW, I am fully prepared to take on all comers. This cat still rocks and rocks hard!

When Springsteen introduced special guest Eric Burdon at the show he did so by commenting on The Animals hit We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, “That’s every song I’ve ever written. I’m not kidding, that’s all of ‘em.” Burdon proceeded to prove him right. A lovely rock and roll moment.

Fan shot video:

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Vintage Bruce Springsteen performance, Max’s Kansas City, 1972

Early B&W video footage of Bruce Springsteen performing “Growin’ Up” at Max’s Kansas City on August 10, 1972.

David Bowie happened to be there that night and this is what he had to say about the then unknown Boss’s performance:

“So this guy is sitting up there with an acoustic guitar doing a complete Dylan thing. My friend and I were about to leave when he started introducing a band who were joining him on stage.”

“The moment they kicked in he was another performer. All the Dylanesque stuff dropped off him and he rocked. I became a major fan that night and picked up Asbury Park immediately.”

In 1973 Bowie recorded “Growin’ Up” as part of the Pin Ups sessions. The song didn’t make the cut, but it would see Bowie record the very first Bruce Springsteen cover. Two years later, during the Young Americans sessions, Bowie laid down a soul version of Springsteen’s “It’s Hard to be a Saint In The City” with the Boss in attendance for the mixdown at Philadelphia recording studio, Sigma Sound.

Below, another song recorded at Max’s that same night (actually the set’s opening number), “Henry Boy.”

Via Max’s Kansas City

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bruce Springsteen live at The Apollo last night
04:06 am

Pop Culture

Bruce Springsteen
The Apollo

Springsteen at The Apollo on March 9 with Ben Stiller, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the mosh pit.

Is The Boss singing “Waiting On A Sunny Day” with any hint of irony in front of his well-heeled audience? The sun shines for all or none at all.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Bruce Springsteen in a video he’d probably prefer you didn’t see

“Danskins In The Dark.”
Raw footage of Bruce Springsteen lip-syncing and hip swinging to “Dancing In The Dark” for a video that, until now, never saw the light of day. Jeff Stein had been hired to shoot the video, but when Bruce saw the rushes he wasn’t happy. Brian De Palma replaced Stein and shot a radically different version of the video: live footage of Springsteen performing the tune with an appearance by Courtney Cox.

In the Stein footage, Springsteen seems to be taking a cue from George Chakiris in West Side Story or John Travolta in the Sylvester Stallone directed sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive, which was released a few months before this video was shot.

Springsteen’s mid-80s flirtation with synthy new wave music was a real blow to the guy’s street cred and may be a glitch he’d just as soon forget.

This could have made for a nice exercise video: “Sweating In The Dark: New Jersey Aerobics with the E Street Muscle.”

The version that made it to the airwaves:

Update: Special bonus video after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The only known video of Bruce Springsteen performing the never released ‘Wings For Wheels’
04:27 am


Bruce Springsteen
Wings For Wheels

This video footage is from a 1975 Bruce Springsteen concert at Widener College in Chester, Pennsylvania. Bruce is performing “Wings For Wheels” which was an earlier version of what was to become “Thunder Road.” It’s the only known filmed document of Springsteen performing the song.

In my opinion, this is sweeter and less bombastic, with a bit of the Spanish Harlem flavor of “Rosalita”, than what the tune eventually evolved into. Not to say that “Thunder Road” isn’t a classic.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Born to run… at the mouth: Glenn Beck calls The Boss un-American.
07:32 pm


Glenn Beck
Bruce Springsteen

There are American icons and then there are American icons. And Bruce Springsteen is surely one of them. The kind you don’t mess with if you know what’s good for you. He’s the Boss and… you’re not, OK? Get it? Got it? Good.

Apparently Glenn Beck never got that memo because on his radio show Thursday, the Joseph McCarthy-loving, blubbering Fox News personality decided to read the lyrics to “Born in the U.S.A.” in a monotone voice similar to how William Shatner infamously declaimed Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” This is a tune Ronald Reagan tried to commandeer for his 1984 reelection campaign, a move rebuffed by Springsteen, the son of a union member.

According to Beck, the song is un-American.

“Born down in a dead man’s town,” read Beck to the listeners of his March 11 radio program. “The first kick I took was when I hit the ground. You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much. ‘Til you spend half your life just covering up.”

Here’s what Beck had to say about the famous song afterward:

That’s what it’s all about.That’s what America’s all about, according to Springsteen…. It’s time for us to wake, wake up, out of our, um, dream state. Wake up out of the propaganda. The, you know, this is the thing that, people who come from the Soviet-bloc or Cuba, they’re all saying, “How do you guys not hear this? How do you not see this?” Well, that’s ‘cause we don’t ever expect it.

The Boss… un-American? Bruce Springsteen? Is that what Beck is trying to say? Now I could offer some snarky commentary—that’s my job, I’m a blogger after all—but it’s totally pointless when discussing Beck, someone I could call “nuts” and the copy desk at the Los Angeles Times will probably let it sail right past because it’s not like it’s an opinion!

And that’s not all. In January, Beck “analyzed” the Utopian lyrics of the Beatles’ “Revolution” and concluded that the song illustrated Liberal plans to slowly bring Marxism to America.

Glenn, wouldn’t that have been, uh, Lennonism? And I hate to remind you that Charles Manson saw hidden messages in Beatle songs too.

Cross posting this from Brand X

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment