Sunday, 19 December 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 50

'And babe I tried to make the latest scene.  Hitting cool just like Jimmy Iovine'


So running a bit late this week but Bruce is my excuse - who else?

I could get the Carousel Webcast and watch it on Quicktime but I needed - yes needed - to have a DVD.  It may be old fashioned of me but just to have it floating around there in the ether doesn’t seem very safe or permanent.  I wanted to hold something physical and put it on the shelf with my other Bruce stuff.

Anyway I am semi - literate on the computer.  I can do things but often don’t know how I’ve done it or why it has worked. That’s OK when it does work but if anything goes wrong I don’t know why.  If I don’t know why it’s gone wrong I don’t know how to put it right.

I started trying to burn a DVD on Friday morning instead of writing this post and I was finally successful Saturday night - phew!

Watched the gig now both from the stream sat in front of my lap top at the kitchen table and on the TV snuggled up in a cuddly throw on the sofa - I know which I prefer on a cold December night.

I see David Lindley was guesting - playing the fiddle.  Mike and I saw this guy earlier in the year when he was touring with Jackson Browne.  David is a virtuoso musician but I’m not sure if virtuosity is my thing.  I’m a fan of the simple little pop song and, to paraphrase Little Steven, Bruce can write a stonking little pop song. The two up beat numbers in the set show this off to perfection together with the rapport Bruce has with the audience.  Didn’t you just love the chuckle when the audience fluffed the Jimmy Iovine line?  Who thinks ‘Aint Good Enough…‘ is going to be the new ‘Sunny Day’?

Don‘t get me wrong I love the story songs too. ‘Racing In The Street’ and ’The Promise’ show off Bruce’s ability to compose a song that can make you cry although, if I’m honest, I prefer the other version of ’Racing‘.  I don’t dislike this version - just like the other one better.  'Blue Christmas’ is fab.  Reminiscent of Seeger in the way the horns come in do you think?

Anyway I’ve made a copy of the DVD for my brother.  He’s yet to be convinced - maybe because he has never had the chance to see Bruce live.  Expecting a non-fan to sit through a full set is a bit much.  Three hours pass by in the blink of an eye when you are actually there but, even I struggle to sit through a full concert at home, when there are a dozen other things vying for my attention.

This half hour set represents typical Bruce - a couple of fun songs, two songs to tug at your heart and a great cover version.  Short enough for Ian to sit through.   I hope he will enjoy.

Have to apologise to sister-in-law Irene, though. She’s a big big big Elvis fan.  Don’t know what she will make of ‘Blue Christmas’ !!

So in some ways 2010 has been a quiet Bruce year … but for us we’ve made more new Bruce friends and loved keeping in touch with the tramps we met last year.  The Gaslight Anthem kept us on tour.

I started blogging and, with lots of encouragement from you all, managed to keep going for a year - don’t think I will be able to give it up now - it’s become part of my weekly routine.

As it’s Christmas next weekend I will take a break.  I might not have time to write and I’m sure you won’t have time to read.  The following week might be the time to wonder about 2011.

So have a very happy Christmas period and all the best for 2011.  Hope to see many of you then.

Finally a message from our man as, after all is said and done, he is the reason why we are here.

Friday, 10 December 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 49

'I tried to change, I got a job in sales.  I bought a shirt uptown in Bloomingdales'



So I am still listening to The Promise.

I copied the CDs from the box onto blanks so we didn’t have to keep taking the originals out.  These have been on in the kitchen pretty much on a loop for two weeks - even the cat looks a bit fed up when I switch on now! 

My resolve over the stand alone CDs crumbled when a friend of ours asked if we wanted to buy their spare copy.  Only £5.99 - a bargain. It’s a great little package on it’s own. This is now the kitchen copy complete with lyric booklet - ahhh bliss - and the other copy is in the car.  The Promise wherever we go.

I understand from Badlands that you can’t buy the box anywhere on the High Street in the UK.  They don’t anticipate more stocks until February.  Someone on GL said they thought it was a limited edition but I haven’t heard anything.  Mike’s boss’s partner (who you might remember is a manager at HMV) said they didn’t get any promotional material which is a shame as I was hoping for a poster.  Of course this time around Bruce did the promoting himself but I won’t mention The Promise Premier in London (sob!)

‘Aint Good Enough For You’ is the new single off the albums - if you still refer to them as singles these days. It’s straight onto Radio Two’s A play list which roughly translates to around three plays a day.  Good old BBC - they seem to really love Bruce.

The first independent radio station in the UK didn’t go on air until 1973.  Until then if you wanted to listen to the radio it had to be The BBC, unless you were prepared to go offshore to the likes of Radio Caroline or overseas to Radio Luxemburg.  I listened to Radio North Sea International. particularly Tony Allen but the reception after 7.00pm for any station was really bad.  I lived out in the wilds of rural Lincolnshire and I don’t think there was a radio mast nearby!

Anyway those of us who were around in the sixties were brought up on the easy listening of The Light Programme (later to become Radio 2) until The Beeb decided that us youngsters should have a station of our own.  Radio 1 was born and I vowed never again to listen to Radio 2.

But there comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to give in and admit that a lot of the new music just doesn’t do it for you any more.  As an experiment I am listening to Radio 1 now - Tinie Tempah/Kelly Rowland ‘Invincible’ has just been on - I know this only because my digital radio had this information scrolling across the display!  Now it’s Coldplay ‘Christmas Lights’ which Radio 2 is also playing lately.  Being a bit of a sucker for a Christmas song I like this.

At the moment as well as Bruce the A Play list consists of

Caro Emerald- Riviera Life
Cee-Lo Green- It’s OK
Ellie Goulding- Your Song
Katherine Jenkins- Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming
KT Tunstall- Fade Like A Shadow
Kylie- Better Than Today
Manic Street Preachers- Some Kind Of Nothingness
Michael Jackson- Hold My Hand (featuring Akon)
The Plain White T’s… Rhythm Of Love

Can’t say I recognise all of these but there seems to be quite a wide range of styles here.  It might not be cutting edge but middle aged music lovers still have a big influence on the pop charts in the UK.  We still buy music and, yes, we know how to download.

I talk about this because, recently, I have been surprised to find that Aled Jones - one of the Radio 2 DJs is a Bruce fan.  Aled first came to our attention when he was a choirboy and is probably best known for ‘Walking in the Air‘ although he wasn't the choirboy who sang the on the original soundtrack..

 

He now presents Songs of Praise - a Sunday night TV programme featuring hymns and Good Morning Sunday a faith based radio show.

He played a few tracks from The Seeger Sessions on his radio show but, of course, these songs had religious overtones so no surprise there.  I fell into the trap of thinking this chap sat at home listening to classical music, went to church on Sunday and frowned upon rock and roll but a few weeks ago he mentioned that he can‘t get enough of Bruce Springsteen.  I gave myself a talking to for pigeon holing him and needless to say I give him a lot more credibility now.

Not so sure about Richard Allinson’s allegiance though.  Whilst he has never said he doesn’t like Bruce he doesn’t rave about him either - unlike Chris Evans, Simon Mayo, Dermot O’Leary and to a lesser extent Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe

Richard played ‘Aint Good Enough…’ the other morning and made a remark (which I think he intended as a slur) about it sounding like Gary US Bonds ‘This Little Girl’ I am assuming he didn’t realise that this song was also written by our man.




This week saw Bruce play a gig in front of an invited audience at The Carousel in Asbury Park.

 
Oh! - where was this building then?  Having spent at least a couple of hours in AP we are, of course, experts on the place!  A bit of research reveals this bulidnig is attached to the Casino.  We scoured our photos and, yes, we have a picture depicting the top of the roof… and... yet another excuse to go again to get a photo of the full thing.

It's on the right!


Anyway there's going to be a webcast. of this show.  'Blue Christmas' was on the set list.  Possibly a Christmas present for us then?

Saturday, 4 December 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 48

'Now don't let our love slip into this darkness don't leave me to the brokenhearted'



So it’s been a slow week this week compared with the last two although we have had a ‘new’ release.

I am still playing The Promise to death both at home and on the trusty iPod. Still love it.  Can’t pick an absolute favourite but Mike’s top tune at the moment is ‘The Brokenhearted’

I popped in to HMV on Monday and had a look at the new box. They had two on display.

Product Details A sweet little thing - I picked it up, put it down, picked it up again and put it down again telling myself it was silly.  I didn’t need these albums again.  We already have BTR and Darkness twice…

So Tuesday and Wednesday went by but by Thursday I couldn‘t help myself.  Instead of walking past HMV I had to go and look to see if they were still there.  They were and … yes you guessed it - there is now only one!  We’ve taken off the cellophane, looked at the album sleeves and found a place for it on the shelf with the rest of our Bruce CDs.  There I expect it to stay as I doubt if we will ever play it.

Now I’m wondering if I should buy the two CD set of The Promise.  I thought it looked a different size to the one in the box.  I’m not sure where this compulsion has come from. We don’t have everything that has ever been issued.  I thought about the Japanese thingies but only for a moment so, as our library isn’t complete, there is no point starting now - there I’ve convinced myself - for the time being.

So apart from listening to The Promise, now December has arrived, Mike and I have started watching all the awful Christmas films on the TV.  You know the ones I mean.  At the start there is always a scrooge like bod, a lonely person or someone who has fallen on hard times.  By the end scrooge has turned into generosity personified, lonely person has found love and hard up person has found out that money isn’t everything.  It’s the spirit of Christmas that counts and … of course it’s snowing on Christmas Day! Although they are so naff I can’t help but be uplifted by the Christmas message.

Some films I love. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is a favourite.  The way George Bailey wants so desperately to escape from his home town, reminds me of many a Bruce song. I always blub at the end.  ‘White Christmas’ is a favourite too - guaranteed to make me cry and ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ always convinces me there is a Santa Claus.

Anyway I mention this so I can tell you we watched ‘Home Alone 2’ last night.  Mike likes the Home Alone films and to be fair they aren’t bad.  I find Macaulay Culkin difficult to warm to.  Anyway an excuse to include here a song from the soundtrack…



Following on from that I got the Christmas CDs out.  Much as I love ‘Santa Claus is coming to town‘ I think this must be my favourite Bruce Christmas song. 



I played my Holiday Show boot yesterday - really like it but today I’m back to The Promise - just can’t get enough of it at the moment.


And finally ... I got this email from Backstreets today - don't you just wish you lived near Asbury Park?



It's all cold down along the beach...

The wind's whippin' down the boardwalk...

And if you don't mind braving that kind of weather, we want to give you a chance to be there when Bruce Springsteen does a video shoot on the Jersey Shore next week!
Extra! Extra!

On Tuesday, December 7, Bruce will be convening the E Street Band on the Jersey Shore to play tracks from The Promise for a special future webcast. And unlike the Darkness '09 film, they don't want to play to nobody... so we've got the chance to send a small number of fans to be extras for the filming.

Bear in mind, this won't be a concert, exactly -- it's a shoot, with all the stops and starts that usually entails. And it's likely gonna be a cold, windy December afternoon, not in the cozy confines of previous Shore venues like the Paramount Theatre or Convention Hall. But it'll also be a unique opportunity to see Bruce and the Band in action and up close, working up performance debuts of songs from The Promise, and to be part of the small crowd in an intimate space when they capture it on film.

We'll be selecting a handful of fans by random drawing to be part of the audience, each able to bring one guest. To enter the drawing, all you need to do is send us an email (see details below). Please only enter IF:

· You're able to get yourself and your guest to the Jersey Shore on Tuesday, December 7, in the mid-afternoon.

· You're sure you can be there -- we want to get as many fans in as possible and may not be able to adjust for no-shows.

· You can make it on short notice -- all winners may not be notified until late Monday evening.

· You can stand the weather!

If that's you and you'd like to enter for a chance to be there, please send an email to thepromise@backstreets.com with the following information.

For the subject line, type the name of the musician (a longtime Jackson Browne associate) who played violin on The Promise's version of "Racing in the Street."

In the body of the email, include your name and address (as it appears on your picture ID), as well as your cell phone (or other contact number) and preferred email address, for any and all notifications about Tuesday.

Entries must be received by Sunday, December 5, at 2 p.m. ET to be eligible for the drawing. One entry per email address, please. Those selected to attend (plus one guest) will be contacted by email as soon as possible (but again, it could be up to Monday night) with full details. We'll post a notice on the News page to let you know when all notifications have gone out.

Good luck, we'll hope to see you there!


















Friday, 26 November 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 47

'And at night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet, it's a pretty good song maybe you know the rest'


Well this week was a Gaslight Anthem fest.

To fill lulls in between Bruce tours Mike and I tend to explore other Jersey Shore artists.  We embraced Joe Grushecky and Southside Johnny early on then later Jesse Malin. More of this in another week.

We also try out any bands who cite Bruce as an influence, anyone who Bruce might mention he listens to and we often check out artists who have done a decent cover of any of Bruce’s songs.  In this way we get to hear new music (well new to us) without straying too far from the Main Man.  Some stuff we like - some we don’t.

Anyway because of this we were well into The Gaslight Anthem before Bruce turned up on stage with them during Glastonbury and started a bit of a furore in Springsteen circles.

We went to Hyde Park - the draw of The Gaslight Anthem and Bruce on the same bill was too much to resist.  Our second sighting was in June this year - mentioned in a previous blog - but this week we have seen them twice.  We just had to go and support the lads in our home town of Leeds and after booking this we were persuaded to join our friends in Dublin last weekend.  To be fair we didn’t take much persuading.

As two people who always sit at Bruce concerts it’s ironic that for one reason or another we have ended up standing at all The Gaslight concerts except Dublin.  Hyde park was a festival anyway.  At Brixton we stood way at the back but in Leeds we were almost front and centre.  Definitely the oldest in that part of the venue we did our best to look as if moshing came naturally to us!

The sound was amazingly clear if a bit loud and the atmosphere was fabulous.  I really enjoyed it but not sure if I would want to be quite so near the mosh pit in the future.  Being drenched in beer isn’t really my thing.

Three days later at 9.00am we were sat in Starbucks on Dawson Street in Dublin.  It was an early start and the weather was a bit changeable.  I had printed off a list of 20 things to do in Dublin which turned out to be mainly places to eat.  Breakfast/brunch being a priority we picked a couple of these places and set off. Traditionally, whenever we do this sort of thing, it falls flat and today was no exception.  The first place looked like it would be opening that day but not any time soon.  The second place was boarded up!

Luckily on our way we had passed a likely looking cafe boasting the best breakfast in town so we headed there for a sit down, a full Irish and a pot of tea.
The afternoon was spent resting in the hotel - the last room at the end of a long corridor - also a tradition when we go away.  We needed to be ready for an evening meeting up with friends to watch the rugby, have a drink or two and something to eat.  A good night was had by all although Ireland lost the rugby. A couple of pints of Guinness were consumed followed later by a bit of the Irish stew and some Irish sausages.

Sunday we spent the day sightseeing and met up at The Thunder Road CafĂ© for a meal before the gig.  We met more new friends - Hi Lorcan and Adrienne, Eamon and Declan.  The place, the company and the food were fabulous - much talk of The Promise of course.

Then we headed off to The Olympia Theatre.




Mike and I were keen to see Chuck Ragan who supported The Gaslight Anthem in Leeds and was here again.  We were sitting in the balcony this time.  Another great gig but the sound wasn’t quite so good and I don’t believe how people can’t sit down for more than a couple of songs - up for a drink, up for the loo, up for another drink.  Oh and the bloke two rows in front of me kept leaning in to his mate to chat meaning that I had to dodge from side to side to see.  Worse I couldn’t get in a decent position to take any photos!!! and you had to be quick because there was a bit of a jobsworth about stopping us getting out the cameras.

After the gig


Saw the tour bus on the way back from the pub.  Well it was a coach with Rockstar something or other on the side - possibly one of these - parked outside the venue.  There were still people outside the stage door. Considered joining them but it was cold, wet, late and I am too old.  There is only one person I would hang around for….


So on our last day, Monday, tipped off by Ceinwen, we went to Tower Records and bought ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’

Tower Records
I had just never got around to ordering it and, as it is about Bruce’s Irish gigs, Dublin seemed the perfect place to make my purchase.  We don’t feature in the book ourselves but both Ceinwen and Sinead make contributions.  See more and buy the book here.

Many years after Slane Castle the combination of Bruce and Ireland worked it’s magic on the two of us. Until our Dublin trip for the Working On A Dream tour we had been two people travelling around together to see Bruce.  After Dublin we made new friends and became part of a much bigger Springsteen community which is growing by the day.

Don’t get me wrong we were happy being just the two of us but the friends we have made have encouraged us to do things we may not have done and see places we may not have seen without them.  They will be friends for life and we look forward to meeting them all again soon.

So thank you Ireland, thank you to our Bruce buddies and of course thank you Bruce.


A special thank you also goes out to our great friends back at home - Jacquie and Mike because without them we couldn’t go anywhere - they look after our Wellington when we go away.

Friday, 19 November 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 46

The way you sooth me when I'm in pain.  The way you make the blood rush in my veins'


So Plan B was put into operation because our Darkness box set didn’t arrive Saturday.

To say I was disappointed is understating the situation a tad.  I am, at heart, a planner and I’m not quick at adjusting when things don’t work out.  I was still fed up when we started watching the Take That documentary on Saturday night.  Now normally I would have quite enjoyed this.  I have nothing against the lads but a Take That documentary is still a very poor substitute for a Bruce Springsteen documentary.

By Monday I started to become quite irrational and began to think our box had got lost in the post.  What to do then?  I didn’t have a plan C!

You might be surprised to find that Mike and I do have a life which doesn’t involve Bruce.  We had things to do Monday but we couldn’t both be out of the house at the same time in case the package didn’t go through the letter box.  Mike went out first and did his stuff then I nipped to the shops.

We were both in when the letterbox rattled - no big thud meant no parcel - oh no!!  I’m beside myself practically shouting at Mike that I knew it was lost.  He is much calmer but looks disappointed.  Then I look through the window and the postman is hesitating - yes he’s stopped.  He’s turning round and in his hand is the best looking, most fabulous brown packet I have ever seen in my life.   I opened the door and snatched it out of his hands babbling incoherently.  He definitely thought I was mad - nuff said.



So we stuck to the original viewing plan and watched the documentary first.  Then we listened to the CDs. - well we put them on the stereo.  I’m not sure if I really listened but I’ve had them constantly on my iPod ever since and the more I hear them the more I love them.  I’m beginning to recognise the songs from the intros already - not sure if that’s a good sign.

Now I don’t have a musical ear so I can’t tell the new recording from the old and to be fair I don’t much care.  I either like something or not.

… So first impressions - there’s nothing I don’t like - nothing - and I can’t say that about any other Bruce album.

Love ‘Outside Looking In’ but then I’ve always been a Buddy Holly fan.  My brother played him a lot when I was a baby.  ’One Way Street’ is lovely - nice sax solo.  ‘The Brokenhearted’ and Candy’s Boy are fab.

I loved ‘Save My Love’ as soon as I heard it and ‘Spanish Eyes’ was already on my iPod from the boot.  Great version of ‘Fire’.  ’Talk To Me’ is already a Southside Johnny classic.  My favourite at this moment must be ’It’s a Shame’ I just love the intro - what does it remind me of? 



 Or is my favourite ’The Little Things My Baby Does’? 



We both know and love ‘The Promise’ from a cover version by Graziano Romani on an album we have - Light of Day - A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen. Great intro to ‘City of Night’ too - Taxi cab taxi cab…

And you all know how I feel about ‘The Way’.

Oh it’s just all so exciting and wouldn’t it make the basis of a great tour ? - I could sing along to all of these at the top of my voice.

So back to the rest of the box.  We watched the ’78 show from beginning to end in one sitting and Mike managed to stay awake.  He fell asleep during Hammersmith!  Actually he enjoyed it and he isn’t really a fan of early Bruce.  A bit controversial this but I don’t see that Bruce was so much better then than now.  He was into his forties by the time we first saw him so, that thrill of a live show, that recognition of what it was like to be there is only brought back to us in the later recordings like Live in NYC and Live in Barcelona.

Watching the early stuff is almost like watching someone else.  Don’t get me wrong It was amazing but the 2009 recording was our Bruce and I could relate to that better.  Here was the man that we go to see time and again.

For me the band sounded just as good now so despite all the discussions on Greasy Lake and BTX beforehand I don’t think the comparison was conclusive.

Well shorter post today as busy busy busy this weekend - non Bruce stuff - well Bruce related in a way I suppose. More of this next week.

Friday, 12 November 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 45 (or a week in the life of a Springsteen fan)

Seven nights to wait well I’ve got seven nights to wait


Sunday - it’s just a week away

The Promise is due to be released in the UK on Monday 15th November 2010.  I hope my copy will arrive on Saturday 13th



Monday - We need to plan our day

Oooh Morrisons have litre bottles of Bailys at under a tenner.  Sounds like a great excuse to have a bottle by the sofa on Saturday.

Now - what are we going to watch first and when do we start?  At the moment I’m thinking documentary first.  Then a toilet break and a snack.  Should we leave the 1978 show until it’s dark outside?  Watching in the dark might be more authentic.

So… lets do the outtakes CDs next.  Then perhaps a break to digest what we have seen and heard then settle down for the 1978 show at about 6.00pm.  Might then save the other DVD until Sumday and last the  remastered album.


Tuesday - there’s a grain of doubt

But… what if it doesn’t arrive on Saturday?  Better ask for Monday off work as I will need to be in to greet the postman. Remember to ask my manager tomorrow.

Started worrying what might go wrong but I think we have everything covered.  We have CD players in three rooms - unlikely they will all go on the blink.

A couple of weeks ago we bought a Blu Ray player in preparation.  Checked this the other night (borrowed Harry Potter from our friends) and it works.  Should it suddenly go wrong we still have the old DVD player and a TV/DVD combo in the bedroom.

We seemed to be more than fully equipped so barring electricity cuts everything should be OK.  Mind you if the weather doesn’t improve the electricity side of things might be a bit iffy.


Wednesday - we‘ve got it sorted out

OK contingency plan organised.  My manager has Okayed the day off next Monday.  Mike has booked the day off too. He thinks he’s on a promise - bless him - but he’s got hold of the wrong end of the stick!

The internet is awash with previews and excerpts.  I clicked on The Promise trailer with Thom Zimmy and Dave Marsh chatting but only watched about 30 seconds.

I‘ve got ‘Candy’s Room’ (the 2009 recording) coming at me from all directions - three or four posts on FB and several emails!  I gave in and had a quick peek but only watched a couple of bars… and I was annoyed with myself for not having the willpower to resist.


Thursday - get the housework done

Now what do I normally do at weekends?

1. Write my blog - well here it is.
2. Washing - OK can do this over the next couple of evenings instead
3. Ironing- ditto
4. Shopping - Friday night will be OK
5. General housework. What the heck I’ll leave it!


Friday - Saturday everyone have fun!

Well it’s 4.00pm and I’ve finally had an email from Badlands to say my order has been dispatched.  I’ve been on tenterhooks all day - getting more and more stressed as time went on - been looking forward to this weekend for sooooo long.

7.00pm now.  So been shopping.  Full fridge, beers and wine in, Pringles in and going to make Nigella’s sweet and salty crunch nut bars and get them in the fridge for tomorrow.

Door is locked, curtains are drawn and phone is off the hook.  Visitors are banned all weekend.

Planning for tomorrow but hey if it turns up Monday that’s OK- thank heavens for plan B.

So for all The Tramps out there, whether you have your box already or are waiting for it to come within the next few days enjoy watching and see you for a review next week.



Now where is that bottle of Baileys - I think I’ll start the party tonight!





















.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 44

'I'll take the fate the daylight brings'


As a young teenager my music taste was never what you would call cutting edge.  I didn’t follow any of the cool bands.  I loved David Cassidy and The Partridge Family and I have just spent a nostalgic half hour or so watching videos on YouTube.  Of course their claim to fame from our point of view is that Mike Appel co-wrote a couple of songs for them.  Here is one of them - not my favourite track but David still looks cute.   I just loved the hair.




Bruce has mentioned many times during the build up to The Promise how skinny they were back in the day.  David was skinny too as you can see.  I think it must have been fashionable for guys to look emaciated in those days. 

This Rolling Stone cover was very controversial at the time. David was supposed to be Keith Partridge - a wholesome 17 year old but he was 22 at the time and didn't like the image.  By the way he has been arrested for drink driving this week so... still in the news for the wrong reasons.

I had a bit of a thing for The Osmonds, especially Donny, for a while and later The Bay City Rollers.  If I was a teenager today I would definitely be glued to The X Factor and rooting for One Direction rather than Matt Cardle.

My only nod towards musical respectability was The Faces and Rod Stewart. Pre ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy’ Rod was loved by the music critics but after the release of this disco classic he was accused of selling out and has never really regained his good reputation.

I also tried David Bowie for a couple of albums and I bought ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ but, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t love either Bowie or Elton.

I loved Tamla and Soul and had a phase when I listened to a lot of Northern Soul much of which is early and obscure Motown.

As I mentioned way back in my first or second post my music taste changed when I met Mike.  He had no particular love of soul music his background was towards the rock genre.  Had we been around during the mid sixties he would have been a rocker and I would’ve been a mod.  Nowadays I aspire to being a rock chick - even at my age!

I popped into HMV the other day.  They don’t sell CDs any more.  Well I exaggerate - they do - but the proportion of the shop given over to music is slowly being squeezed out by DVDs.  The specialist sections, including country music, are now very limited which means I couldn’t find a copy of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s latest album.

‘Thunder Road’ was playing when I walked in so, although they didn’t have what I wanted, I hung around waiting for the track to finish - well I couldn’t walk out on Bruce could I?  ‘Badlands’ came next followed by ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ - they were obviously playing Greatest Hits.  I couldn’t hang around all day - It was my lunch hour - so I left during ‘Hungry Heart’.

I must say I was surprised to hear Bruce.  I might not be very popular for saying this but here in the UK I'm not sure that Bruce is considered cool.  I don’t think it’s because of his age.  A large part of HMV now sells clothes.  They have T shirts featuring among other aging (and indeed dead) rockers The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses, The Beatles, Johnny Cash and Elvis.   

No Bruce although I have checked on line and they do have one design.

Mike’s boss lives with someone who works for HMV.  At his last seminar the goody bag he was given included a 'Born in the USA'  T shirt.  I assume they didn’t think they could sell these any more.

Mike now has the T shirt - presumably his boss’s partner couldn’t bring himself to wear it!


Incidentally HMV is overflowing with checked shirts - they are cool at the moment - and our man has favoured these for many years.


I pass a shop on my way to the bus stop - On the Wall - which as the name suggests sells stuff you put on the wall.  A quick look in the window the other night revealed The Rolling Stones, Elvis, The Beatles, The Who, The Ramones but no Bruce.

I thought he might become cool during Glastonbury.  Even then there was no influx of T shirts or posters on the Leeds’ streets.  I’m not sure why - even Rolf Harris was cool for heavens sake when he appeared!  I think in the UK people see Bruce as an all American guy who only sings about the USA - a sort of musical Rambo.  They dislike him for it - but then rather oddly complained because he didn’t sing 'Born in the USA' at Glastonbury.

So 35 or so years on I still don't follow a cool band but I have wondered whether the tide is turning this last week.  The UK premier of The Promise saw Bruce on TV and in the press almost constantly over last weekend.  The celebrity fans came out in support as well as the public although compared to Rome I think our Red Carpet Event was rather low key.

Perhaps all this publicity will make Bruce cool again.  Now he just need to get out on the road to keep the momentum going.

In the mean time check out Neil McCormick's article about NME's cool list.   If you are wondering about Neil's credentials as a music critic, he had this to say about Bruce in another article :-

I’m not sure Bruce Springsteen would have the same effect if you couldn’t understand the lyrics or the musical context. Tune into him as the leader of an afrobeat band on some third world radio station, you’d put him down as a gruff shouter, always in tune but missing a lot of notes in the scale. If he even tried a falsetto, all you would get is silence. Yet when I watched him play last weekend, I was amongst tens of thousands of people held spellbound by his performance. He sings with an emotional truth that resonates through his very being, and is squeezed out in the potent, careful lyrics of his songs, so that his melancholic, introspective version of Racing In The Street reduced a massive Hyde Park crowd to a state of hushed awe. Rock has a very different tradition to soul music, where the expression of inner truth is more important than the purity of the notes, and Springsteen, for all his vocal limitations, is one of the greatest rock singers of all time.


He's not right about the falsetto though





Saturday, 30 October 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 43

‘You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart’



I have already published this week’s post and I toyed with the idea of waiting until next week to put this one out… but the moment will have passed by then so here it is.

Mike’s last job involved helping staff who had problems either with work itself or perhaps stuff going on in their private lives.  He has many counselling skills and has taken an interest in various types of therapy and self help.

Among his discoveries is Paul McGee who is The SUMO Guy. Basically when something bad happens we are allowed to have some hippo time.  Some time to wallow in self pity but then SHUT UP and MOVE ON.  The theory is (I think) that giving yourself permission to feel sorry for yourself lets you get it out of your system.  Then you just have to give yourself a slap and tell yourself to get on with life.

Anyway at the moment I am having some hippo time.  Bruce came to London and we didn’t go to see him - I’m sure he is gutted!

We don’t do The Pit and we have never been the sort of people who hang around stage doors.  Don’t get me wrong, if that’s your thing I don’t have a problem with it but, for me, it would feel like I am either interrupting his pre-concert preparation or bugging him when he is knackered.

I couldn’t do the loitering around his hotel thing either.  I was so down in the dumps yesterday that Mike suggested, only half jokingly, that we caught an early train to London and waited outside Claridge’s.  To me that verges on stalking although I don’t rule out resorting to this tactic one day!

The upshot of this is that I have never been nearer than a couple of hundred feet away.  He’s about the size of a gnat whenever we see him live.  The exception being the one time at Hyde Park when he disappeared from view for a few seconds then appeared again on a platform possibly only 30 feet away for about 20 seconds.

The thing about The Promise’s London Premiere was that is was legitimate, acceptable, we were expected to be there.    Bruce was making a public appearance.  The red carpet was out and he was there to meet the fans.  There wasn’t even a whiff of stalking. 
I could have bought tickets.  It’s only a few hours drive down the M1 and we didn’t go.

When the O2 tickets went on sale for the Magic tour we got two seats up in the Gods.  Jane, Mike’s cousin, then said she would like to come and, whilst I was trying to find a ticket for her, two came up in the lower tier right near the stage.  I hesitated because I was only looking for a single seat and that hesitation cost me the best seats I have ever been offered.  I haven’t forgiven myself for that and this is ten times worse.

In all the years I have been following Bruce it has brought me nothing but pleasure but today I wish I wasn’t a fan.  I wish I didn’t care because then I wouldn’t feel so bad.

A big black cloud is hanging over me at the moment and I can’t shake the feeling that I passed up my ONE chance to shake Bruce’s hand.

So for the rest of the day I will be a hippo… and then I’ll SHUT UP AND MOVE ON.






Friday, 29 October 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 42

'The way you sooth me when I'm in pain.  The way you make the blood rush in my veins'


So all the time I have been writing this blog I have assumed it would come to an end.  I expected this to be when I got up-to-date but of course it isn’t really the end.  My Bruce Journey continues every day as I browse Greasy Lake or a song comes on the radio: as I listen to my iPod or buy the latest music magazine.

Hopefully there will be more tickets to buy, more trips to organise, more concerts to review.  In the mean time I will try to find photos, snippets of news and for what it’s worth, regale you with my opinions.  No - my Bruce Journey is definitely not over yet!!

It’s here that I should thank all my friends and family for your encouragement.  If it hadn’t been for your enthusiasm, your kind comments and sometimes your reminders when I was late posting I wouldn’t have kept it up.  So thank you everyone.  I hope you will continue the journey with me.

As a prelude to this week I have quickly checked over my previous posts.  Reading your own writing is, I imagine, a little like watching yourself on TV.  Not a pleasant experience.  I could possibly have shortened some posts but then Mike will tell you I procrastinate.  I mentioned some things a couple of times but only repeated myself almost word for word once.

In the future I may cover old subjects and I hope you will forgive me if I repeat myself again.  It happens when you get to my age!

We are all looking forward to The Promise.  Well I am looking forward to it but if you follow Greasy Lake or BTX you would wonder about some others out there.  Considering everyone has been clamouring for this for years all the negativity seems a bit strange.  Over the last few weeks we’ve had: - are the songs really Darkness outtakes?  Has Bruce meddled with them too much?  Are the vocals recent?  Should they have used a different live show?  Why does it cost so much?  Bla bla bla bla bla.

In the last couple of days, though, especially since this month’s music mags have been on the shelves featuring glowing reviews, excitement might just be taking over from the criticism.

We bought our first Uncut Magazine in April 2003.  Well actually we bought two. Mike and I were standing in the queue at W H Smiths when I spotted a magazine with Bruce on the cover.

Looking more closely I saw there were two magazines featuring a different photo and different CDs. 


We bought both and although we haven’t continued to buy the magazine every month we always have a look to see what’s in it.  Rather sneakily they sometimes write Springsteen on the cover - strange how we can all spot the name even if we only get a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of our eye - but you would be hard pressed to find anything but a couple of paragraphs inside.  They know the name sells copy.

Anyway I bought this month‘s mag because Springsteen was written on the cover - still can’t resist!  To be fair I knew they would be doing a review of 'The Promise' and I wasn’t disappointed.  I love the piece they have written.  They’ve given a bit of background and covered in more detail the outtakes that haven’t appeared (officially) previously.

Coincidently I have heard some of the outtakes this week.  They seem to have popped up on my iPod more than usual.  I toyed with the idea of skipping them because I had said I wouldn’t listen before the official release date.  In the end I played them anyway.  After all, as I have an illegal CD in ‘The Definitive Darkness Outtakes’ I have listened to 'The Promise' (in some fashion) before the release date.

Actually I only have four of the tracks on my play list - presumably the four I liked the best.  I have to say, they seem to be in a similar vein as ‘Save My Love’.  They don’t remind me of the other tracks on Darkness itself.  Uncut seem to agree as they say that although the outtakes were recorded at the same time as Darkness they are the polar opposite’.  Presumably one of the reasons these tracks didn’t make the album at the time.

I bought Mojo today (it said Springsteen on the cover) to read their review and they say ‘Darkness an ascetic, dour, philosophical treatise (no I don’t know what that means either)…could have gone the other way.  Many of The Promise’s 21 tracks are R&B stompers and soul croons‘

And… for what it’s worth I don’t care if Bruce sang the vocal last year or thirty years ago.  I don’t mind where the live show was filmed and although it’s one of my favourite tracks I’m not bothered if ’The Way’ is featured or not.  I am just looking forward to a new Bruce release.
 A new release  folks - lighten up and just enjoy it for what it is.

In the mean time some lucky people will be in London tonight to see The Making of… documentary.  I didn't want to see the film in advance so I am cool about not being there.  Who am I trying to kid?  I am gutted just gutted.  For those of you who are going - enjoy!

 
PS - last information on Greasy Lake suggests The Way is included. 

Now ... will I ever get to hear this live?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 41

'Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk'


I think we had a Nils Lofgren cassette before Bruce had even crossed our radar - presumably The Best Of which was released 1981.  The only track I knew was 'Shine Silently' and I don’t remember playing the album much.

In 1965 my brother - Ian - was 18 years old and like many teenage lads of the time had taught himself to play guitar and joined a local band - The Ooglies later to become The Movement.  There were various members of this group but the star of the show was Neave Taylor.  Neave was a talented musician who could write songs but, as is often the case with artistic people, he could go off the rails a bit.

My parents had a shop at the time, taking up half of a big old building.  We lived in a flat above the shop and the band rehearsed in one of the store rooms on the ground floor among packing cases.  Blimey it was loud!  Occasionally they performed in the local village hall, a couple of doors away and I was allowed to go and watch.

I would only have been about eight and I thought Ian was famous.  Well, if I believe what he told me, the band were quite a hit around our home county of Lincolnshire and they did make a record - just one.

He still gets asked to play from time to time now and I am so impressed that he can get up on stage and play guitar.

My mum was inordinately proud.  She embarrassed Ian constantly by asking him to perform ‘Homeward Bound’ on his acoustic guitar for auntie, uncle or indeed anyone passing through who was prepared to listen.  She died 9 years ago now, but it always stops me short if the song comes on the radio and I can still hear her voice - 'play 'Homeward Bound' Ian'. 

When I was about 20 he tried to teach me, together with his wife-Irene, how to play.  We were rubbish - but I still have an acoustic guitar now and from time to time make an effort to learn.  I am just not committed enough - a project for when I retire perhaps?

I tell this story because Ian is the reason I love guitar players and probably the reason I knew of Nils Lofgren who is, without doubt, a great guitar player.

Our last foray to see Nils was some years ago.  Ian, Irene, Mike and I met up at the rather oddly named Scunthorpe Baths Hall. 

The old Scunthorpe Baths Hall
I assume the building had at some point been a swimming baths-perhaps it still was.  The gig was in a tiny room which couldn't have held more than a couple of hundred people.  We must have arrived early as we spent some time waiting outside in a rather bleak Scunthorpe street chatting to the girl at the front of the queue.

The new Scunthorpe Baths Hall
Monica was Scandinavian and told us she followed Nils around the world.  We all considered this to be a bit strange - I mean who would spend their spare time following a musician around the world watching gig after gig?!!. 

Monica became part of family folklore and we still wonder about her from time to time.

Can’t believe so many years have passed before we’ve got around to seeing Nils again but, last week the four of us (probably as much as fifteen years older) set off to Manchester to see him again.  The Lowry is a much bigger much plusher venue.  I really liked the whole area and wouldn't hesitate to go again.  Didn't recognise Monica.

I’m not going to review the gig and I couldn’t tell you the set list.  Parts of it I loved parts not so much.  He mentioned being busy the last couple of years with the other band and he played 'Because The Night' complete with twirls.

As I’m sure lots of you know Nils has a reputation for looking after his fans - he always takes time out to meet us.  We queued up to shake his hand afterwards.  I have always been a bit star struck and was shaking like a leaf.  Told him I was nervous.  He told me not to be.  What I would do if I ever met Bruce doesn’t bear thinking about.  It’s probably better all around if I never get near him!

You remember Neave Taylor?  Well he is currently off the rails and in hospital.  Ian called him up when he was nearing the front of the queue and Nils left a message on his answer service.  How great is that? Needless to say Ian rang Neave afterwards with a follow up message to assure him it was genuine - well would you believe it if one of your messages was Hi Nils Lofgren here at the Lowry…

Bruce rumours this week revolve around whether or not he might turn up for a showing of The Promise which is on Friday night in London.

He was out shopping last week in SoHo, New York though, not London.

Finally this week The Gaslight Anthem were on UK TV appearing on Later with Jools Holland.  To be honest I didn’t think they did themselves any favours.  I’m not sure why but it didn’t seem like a very assured performance at the time.  Watching it again on the web I think it’s OK.  Somehow, though, they looked kind of out or place in the very pristine studio environment.  Oh and Brian I don’t like the beard !!

 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Only 27 days to go !!!

I was thinking about Bruce today - nothing new there then - but more specifically about The Promise and the fact that there are now less than four weeks to go.  I am so excited.

As I have mentioned previously the fact that there is a whole show in the box from 1978 has brought out the I was there in the seventies and he’s never been as good since brigade.  Yes that old chestnut.

Now, I am giving these people the benefit of the doubt here, when I say that I don’t think they are deliberately trying to belittle us … but just because we have come late to the party doesn’t make our experience any less valid.  We are no less inspired or excited by seeing Bruce live than the fans who were there at the beginning.

In fact all things considered Mike and I are very lucky.  Going to a Springsteen gig is still fresh and exhilarating for us.  The old timers are forever destined to be disappointed.


Saturday, 16 October 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 40

'So lets blow out the candles on your cake and we'll raise a glass or two'



So Hywel must have thought we were OK people as about half way into our day in New Jersey he invited us to Wales in July 2010 to help celebrate Ceinwen’s birthday party.

Not so Sinead and Steve’s children.  When they heard that their mum and dad were sharing a cottage for the weekend with two (more or less) strangers they advised caution in case we were mass murderers.  Sinead and Steve are still alive and we are about to meet up again in November so any reservations were unfounded.

I had never been to Wales so we decided to make our trip into a long weekend.  We had booked a local guest house, so had Sinead and Steve but in the end the cottage was a far better idea and it meant we could put up another Springsteen fan in the third bedroom for a night.

The celebrations lasted all weekend.  We had dinner at a local restaurant Friday evening where we met two new Springsteen fans. The others already knew Joyce and Kevin but our paths had never crossed before.  Had a great evening and made more new friends thanks to Bruce.

 
On Saturday we popped to Llandeilo for a pub lunch.  What a pretty little town. 

We browsed around the shops to burn off a few calories.  So we didn’t feel so bad about the totally unnecessary but delicious ice cream we forced down on our way back to the car.

To Saturday night and the main event - a big party at Llandybie Rugby Club complete with a fabulous buffet (yes more food) and Mark Wright on stage for hours.  Most of us know Mark through the Badlands parties. He is a big Bruce fan and a great musician in his own right.  He’s also an Elvis impersonator!

Doesn’t do Bruce impersonations though.  He just does great versions of almost any track we care to throw at him.

 

We had a great time hamming it up on the dance floor - pumping our fists and singing along, probably, to the absolute bemusement of the non Bruce fans at the party.  We hadn’t made any signs so Mike improvised with a serviette and was rewarded with ‘All The Way Home‘. 
But ... the star of the show was our very own host Hywel Richards who duetted with Mark on 'Fire'  We suspected he would have a good singing voice because, after all he is, Welsh.   It's a big birthday of Mike's in a couple of years (not saying which one).  Thinking of booking Hywel to do a turn but failing that Mark Wright will do!

Made yet another Bruce friend that night - Hi John if you are reading this - who stayed in our cottage overnight.

Sunday we had a barbecue in the rain at Ceinwen and Hywell’s with the added bonus of entertainment from the children... and to top off an amazing weekend we spent the evening watching their Blu Ray of Bruce in Hyde Park.  Well Bruce had to join us at some point!  Ahhh happy days.

It was a fabulous weekend.  I haven't had so much fun in ages.  Looking forward to getting together again soon.

Bruce wasn’t idle during July.  He couldn't make it to Wales but he did put in an appearance at The Stone Pony to sing with Alessandro Escovedo.

I was never a big Rolling Stones fan in my youth.  I can’t pretend I wasn’t alive during their hey day in the sixties but I can admit to being very young.  A typical child and young teen I preferred something a bit lighter than The Stones: something to sing along to.  So given a choice between the two big bands of the sixties I would go for The Beatles.

As I have got older and my taste has become more eclectic I have come to appreciate them more.  We have the Forty Licks album and although I was familiar with most of the tracks there were a few I didn’t know. Beast of Burden was one of them.  I really like the song and this version is great but I do worry a bit about the way Alessandro looks at Bruce when he sings.  'All I want is for you to make love to me'




And to round off this week - launched in July 2010 what about a pair of these?



... the Nike SB Dunk High with a colorway taken off the classic American Rock album ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ by Bruce Springsteen, who is better known as ‘The Boss’ by the 40-somethings of our generation. The mix of denim, white, blue, and red takes after Springsteen’s all-American outfit consisting of a white t-shirt, jeans, and baseball cap, with the red-and-white striped ankle padding taking from the patriotic backdrop of the album artwork. Springsteen’s music takes after his experiences during life in his hometown Freehold Borough in New Jersey, . These are set to release on July 3rd on the eve of Independence Day…

The Brokenhearted

So The Brokenhearted is now available to listen to.

The peeps on GL are having their say - divided opinions as usual.

I am NOT going to listen. 

But you go ahead and let me know what you think.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Save My Love

Well I've downloaded 'Save My Love' to my iTunes library.

I wasn't going to do it - I don't really do the iTunes thing because I like to have something physical to handle.

Anyway Mike pointed out that I had all the singles from Working On A Dream and the Magic Tour Highlights.  We copied them on to a CD and printed off some artwork so I could file them in our CD rack - makes me feel better!

As it's an official release I don't mind too much that I have heard it in advance of the box set.  Bruce obviously wants us to have it now so that's OK.

The song has really grown on me but I have to agree with those who think it is a new track, or at the very least, it has been radically updated in the last year or so.

It's just nothing like anything else on Darkness.  That was angst ridden and moody.  This is a jolly little ditty.

But yeah - I like it

Saturday, 9 October 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 39

'Still we sing with our heros 33 rounds per minute.  We're never going home until the sun says we're finished.  I'll love you forever if I ever love at all.  With wild hearts, blue jeans and white t-shirts'


In the middle of writing this blog something happened that made me realise in all honesty, I am not a true, die hard Springsteen fan.  Or is it that I do have a life outside Bruce?

The Hyde Park DVD was announced and shock horror no ‘Rosalita’ on the track listings.  The Lakers and BTXers were aghast! Seething!  How could they NOT do a complete show and if they were going to miss something off how could it possibly be ‘Rosalita’?

I didn’t even notice - in fact - I couldn’t have told you whether or not Bruce sang Rosie at Hyde Park and I was there!! So… not a true fan?

Anyway it turned out there had been a mistake and ‘Rosalita’ had simply been missed off the press release.

This wasn’t the only controversy about the DVD. The consensus of opinion was that it was a poor performance and not typical of the tour.  Of course it was a festival gig and in that sense not typical.  I couldn’t tell you during a live gig, whether Bruce is good or not.  I am still so chuffed just to be there, he always seems amazing to me.  Please let me always have this feeling.

So on Saturday 19th June we sat in front of the TV.  We’d made enough time to watch it in one sitting - it‘s an effort to try and re-create the real thing.  I enjoyed it.  The performance seemed fine to me but we probably spent as much time trying to spot ourselves in the crowd as we did on the gig itself.  No sightings to report.

It’s at this point that I have to admit we don’t really do DVDs.  If I had an hour to spare I probably wouldn’t put on a music DVD - I’m more likely to play a CD.  So whilst we have all Bruce’s official DVDs - and a couple of boots - I don’t think we have watched them more than two or three times each.  The DVD just doesn’t go anywhere near re-creating the live thing.  I thought Hyde Park might feel different, because we had been there but can’t say it did - perhaps the Blu-ray might be better - more of that next week.

There were other important things on our minds.  The following Saturday we were off to see The Gaslight Anthem at Brixton Academy.

We had been in two minds when we booked this.  Were we too old to go to Brixton Academy or to be in a crowd watching a young band like The Gaslight Anthem?  We had doubts right up to the gig itself.  On the other hand it seemed like a good opportunity to see a band before they moved on to larger venues.  We missed out on seeing Bruce in the early days and don’t want to make that mistake twice.

Looking forward to meeting up with Ceinwen and Hywell again (Our New Jersey Bruce buddies) and Elaine (we had met her for the first time in New York City) together with Elaine’s husband Richard and Dyfed and Iestyn, Ceinwen and Hywell’s boys who were going to their first gig.

Had a great chat over a meal in Pizza Express.  Got to know each other a little better then made our way to Brixton on the tube.  Now I have to say Brixton isn’t necessarily a place to which I would choose to go but I had an open mind and perhaps it’s reputation was unfair.  As it turns out we didn’t see much of the area anyway - the Academy was only fives minutes from the tube station.

We had decided to give the support bands a miss (by all accounts their language wasn’t suitable for young ears) so by the time we arrived the venue was pretty full.  This is a place that has seen a lot of action - and it shows - in a good way.  Over the last few years, we have been to a few smaller gigs and I think these old, less than pristine, venues have much more atmosphere.

There was only standing room at the back when we got in but in any event, we never intended to get into the thick of it.  I really enjoyed the show but blimey if you think the sound at a Bruce gig is bad this was awful.  I surprised myself by recognising all but one song. I got my favourite - The Backseat and Mike got two that he really likes - Blue Jeans and White T shirts and Old White Lincoln




The audience was youthful but covered all ages and I would say had a male bias - very much like an early Bruce crowd I assume.  We definitely weren’t the only wrinklies there.  In any event I don’t think anyone much cares how old you are - everyone has a common factor in the music.

Spoke to a chap on the Underground on our way back to the hotel.  When he found out where we had been, the chat naturally turned to our Mr Springsteen - well of course it did!!

Another great night and cemented friendships thanks to Bruce.

Avoidance

So now for the next few weeks I have to operate a policy of avoidance.

I have just forked out over £80.00 for the box set and I am enjoying planning the few hours that we will spend handling, watching and reading the thing for the first time.  A good bottle of wine, a few nibbles, door locked, curtains drawn, lights out and phone off the hook . The first time being the whole point for me.

This means that I have to be vigilant and I need to have willpower.

I must not click on those enticing little posts tempting me to watch the documentary or hear one of the previously unreleased songs. 

Already tonight two FB friends have posted a link to a site showing the HBO programme. 

I must be strong I must be strong I must be strong

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Notebook

I must say I am quite looking forward to this.

I have just watched the Brian Williams Interview and Bruce talks about his notebooks with such affection.  He says he was in two minds about re-creating the Darkness notes because they include the thoughts he rejected.  I assume there must have been some editing involved.  I'm sure he doesn't want us to know everything!

Still should be quite interesting.

I have to say that visually I like the whole thing.

By the way, here in the UK, only 38 sleeps.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Way

Rumout has it on  Greasy Lake  and  BTX  that The Way has been included in the box set.  

Nuff said!!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Thrill Hill Vault

So from the Thrill Hill Vault, we have:-

1976-1978 From studio rehearsals to live performances, clips here include brand new cuts of the Phoenix footage, re-edited by Thom Zimny.

Save My Love (Holmdel, NJ 76)
Candy's Boy (Holmdel, NJ 76)
Something in the Night (Red Bank, NJ 76)
Don’t Look Back (NYC 78)
The Promise (NYC 78)
Candy's Room Demo (NYC 78)
Badlands (Phoenix 78)
The Promised Land (Phoenix 78)
Prove It All Night (Phoenix 78)
 Born To Run (Phoenix 78)
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (Phoenix 78)
 
Here I show my Springsteen ignorance which, combined with my iffy IT skills, means I don't have many DVD boots.
 
I gather that the Phoenix footage will be familiar to a lot of you out there.  Presumably there has been a boot floating around for some time and a flood of YouTube clips.  Not sure about the other venues though.
 
More excitement for me because it's all brand new.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The versions of Darkness

So as well as the outtakes and the concert and the documentary we have other exciting stuff. 

The remastered CD.  I wasn't sure whether I would be able to tell the difference - our stereo equipment isn't top of the range.   We do have a Bose, though, and as a bit of reserch I have just played 'Thunder Road' from the original and the 30th anniversary editions of Born to Run.  Yep the 30th anniversry one is... crisper ? clearer?  I'm not sure but different,certainly and better. Oh and by the way that is such a brilliant song!  I know this is stating the obvious but I never get over how amazing it is.

Then we have this live version filmed without an audience.  Well I don't know what to expect but there has been a little speculation which is quite interesting.  The freedom of not having to work around an audience may be the opportunity for something different.
One of the Lakers had some really interesting ideas - but maybe he had been thinking about it a little too much.  Here's the post :-

Lots of things to be excited about,but not much chat on the Asbury video. It would seem too long and drawn out to be simply film of the band on the stage, straight up. Yes, I know the press release preps us for a dark, solemn affair....but...


There was a reason it wasn't filmed live. Bruce is going after something different, something that can't be done well by filming a concert
I imagine a few possibilities here:


1. Like the video for 'Brilliant Disguise' it becomes REALLY close up and personal - almost like Springsteen making an acting audition tape. This kind of video isn't possible with an audience, unless the audience is shunned while Springsteen focuses on the camera.

 2. Like some of the video from the Seeger Sessions, it may be a way of showing how the band interacts when left to its own devices. I don't think it'll show dialog or warmups, but it may be staged like some of the songs recorded that day, in a very loose fashion, showing off the talents of the band.

3. It could be very artful, focused on the beauty of the music, like 'My City of Ruins' as seen on TV. Some effort put into the stage and lighting, very moody or even different stages for different songs.


4. It may be the basis of a more artful music video approach, pulling in other video, maybe from the "making of" movie, bootleg videos or even just artsy shots, kind of like the Born in the USA official video. The video moves back and forth between the Asbury stage and these other clips. If there's a plan to release a single video to promote the boxset, this may be the way the Asbury footage is used.

Hmmmmm - food for thought here.  I'm beginning to think this little film might be quite exciting or, as someone else said, it might be about as exciting as a sound check.