I was 7. I had saved up my allowance of 25 cents a week for weeks. I went to the mall with my mother. We went to Waxie Maxie’s. It was a few weeks after Born in the U.S.A. had come out which makes that summer of 1984. I was ready, with my changed in quarters for dollars. I handed the man my 4 dollars and slid the long plastic box that enclosed the cassette over the counter. In that order. The rest is history and thus the birth of my record collection.
There was something brutally honest about Bruce and his E Street Band. They spoke for something and that something was real. There was no pretense. No BS. It was straight up rock, for everyone. I guess for a 7 year old who grew up in the ‘burbs, somehow it spoke to me. Now in retrospect, I see The Boss as more of an updated Bob Dylan with the flavor of Van Morrison. A man speaking the good word to the people.
- Growin’ Up (Greetings from Asbury Park) – The live version from Live/1975-1985 is breathtaking. Bruce is quite the story teller.
- Rosalita (The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle)
- Thunder Road (Born To Run) – Clearance Clemons steals the night away at the end.
- Badlands (Darkness on the Edge of Town) – Little Steven gives chills on his backup harmonies.
- Hungry Heart (The River) – A favorite of John Lennon’s and for obvious reasons. The xylophone is excellent and simply does it for me.
- Johnny 99 (Nebraska) – Definitely my favorite Bruce record. It’s stripped of everything. Just a guy, a guitar and a 4 track. Music at it’s purest. I always recommend this record to people who think the Boss only wrote Born in the USA and can’t get past that.
- I’m On Fire (Born In The USA) – I sometimes think this song was better suited for Tori Amos. But it’s a song that sticks out on his rather pop sounding record.
- Brilliant Disguise (Tunnel of Love)
- Mansion on the Hill (Nebraska)
- 10th Avenue Freeze Out (Born To Run) – Again, this live version is a force to be reckoned with but the studio version is no exception. It’s amazing how long these guys play for. They give the Dead a run for their money and without supplemental requirements.
Some housekeeping: I recently upgraded to the latest version of K2. It’s looking nice. Asides are still a little muffed, but then again this theme is still Beta. I also upgraded my Gallery software to v2. It’s killer.
Has anyone checked out google.com today? It’s stuff like this (this Mr. Braille recognition, the first landing on the moon, etc…) that really gives me hope that they are a decent company. Or at least are trying. But then reality sits in and I realize they are still on their way to turning in to the Microsoft monster. It’s a shame. Is it that hard to stick to one thing and do it well?
In other news, I am presently going through my Bruce Springsteen phase. It’s a little early this year, but who can really tell when it’s supposed to happen. I am really getting in to The River and Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ this time around. There’s something about Growin’ Up that is just great and honest and real. The live version is great, too. It spoke to me when I was younger. Now I just really like it as sincere music. Bruce is a hard working man. I still need to see one of his shows. 4 hour shows would blow my mind. …not to mention my knees. 4 hours and he’s not a jamband. Go figure! Oh yeah and did it ever bother anyone else on the earlier records with Max Weinberg playing quarter notes on the hi-hats? Ugh!!! He’s a great drummer, but that really got annoying after a while. 1/8th notes won’t kill ya, Max! And we can’t forget how awesome Little Steven and Clarence Clemons are. Enough said.
We busted out of class had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school
Tonight I hear the neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you’re tired and you just want to close your eyes and follow your dreams down
We made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter’s night with a vow to defend
No retreat no surrender
Now young faces grow sad and old and hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
I’m ready to grow young again
And hear your sister’s voice calling us home across the open yards
Well maybe we could cut someplace of our own
With these drums and these guitars
Blood brothers in the stormy night with a vow to defend
No retreat no surrender
Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There’s a war outside still raging
you say it ain’t ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath peaceful skies in my lover’s bed
with a wide open country in my eyes
and these romantic dreams in my head
By Bruce Springsteen