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.


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.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Complete 1978 Show

So among the wealth of goodies in our box is a DVD featuring the complete show from The Summit in Houston filmed 8th December 1978.

As I had been following the discussions on Greasy Lake and BTX this didn't come as a surprise.  The Summit apparently had it's own in-house video system so it was an obvious choice.  There are clips around on You Tube and opinions are divided as to whether they are any good.  Some say the quality is awful others say it's better than they expected.  It's described as a 'Bootleg' in the official blurb and most of us have seen one or two of those in our time!

I have to chuckle at the perennial argument that rages when early Bruce performances are mentioned.  Us latecomers are going to see a proper E Street Band performance.  Honestly I wonder why some of the peeps who saw Bruce in the seventies bother to go now, if the band has gone down the pan that much!

Well - I am looking forward to seeing it.  I know I will love it now, but in 1978 when I was 20?  I don't think so...   I simply wasn't into that sort of music at the time. 

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Outtakes

Some years ago, after much pulling out of hair and gnashing of teeth, we got our heads around downloading music and copying it to disc. We found the MP3 index on  BTX  and were so pleased with our new found skill that we downloaded hours and hours of stuff. 

I have to admit, I haven't listened to much of it, but I have dipped in to The Definitive Darkness Outtakes Collection.  I particularly like 'The Way' so immediately you will see that - for me - there is something missing from the following:-

The Promise Disc 1

Racing in the Street ('78 rock version): Gotta Get That Feeling: Outside Looking In: Someday (We'll Be Together): One Way Street: Because the Night (original studio recording): Wrong Side of the Street: The Brokenhearted: Rendezvous (original studio recording): Candy's Boy:

The Promise Disc 2

Save My Love: Ain't Good Enough For You: Fire (original studio recording): Spanish Eyes: It's a Shame Come On (Let's Go Tonight): Talk to Me (given to Southside Johnny): The Little Things (My Baby Does): Breakaway: The Promise City of Night:
There are tracks here that aren't on my disc, so I have to assume that my Definitive (dictionary definition:- settle finally, most reliable, complete, authoritative) Collection isn't definitive at all.
I considered tracking down the songs I am not familiar with on You Tube - I'm sure they are all there - but on balance I have decided not to.  I'm now looking forward to listening to the two CDs knowing that there will be, at least a few tracks, that I haven't heard before.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Big Announcement

A couple of weeks or so after the initial announcement we find out that the documentary is going to be shown on TV in USA.  It strikes me that Bruce and Co must think this is a pretty good stand alone movie in itself (or is it just a great way to publicise the box set for which we were all waiting?). 

I thought about trying to find out whether there was any way we could get to see the film in the UK but on reflection I would rather wait for the whole set to come out.  I did watch the clip on  and listened to 'Save My Love' but only a couple of times.  I don't want to spoil the freshness of that first proper look/listen on our own TV and stereo.

We eventually got THE announcement on 26th August.  I was so excited - didn't know how I was going to wait for two and a half months.  

Friday, 1 October 2010

My Bruce Journey - Part 38

'Someday girl I don't know when we're gonna get to that place where we really want to go and we'll walk in the sun'

Well we are nearly up-to-date.  Quite a lot has happened in my Bruce world in 2010 despite the fact that he hasn’t been touring.

Bruce, for his part, has been reasonably busy too.  I’ve worked Google hard today and found a lot of interesting stuff.

He performed in the Help For Haiti benefit in January.  A nice version of  'We Shall Overcome' and more proof that our man is often on hand to help with these fund raising things.

Thanks to Tony we got a copy of Spectacle - Elvis Costello’s interview with Bruce which was on TV in the States 20 January and 27 January.  I really enjoyed this but, bless him, Bruce never gives a one word answer when a 101 will do!  If I was being uncharitable I would say he goes on a bit but - as I hang on his every word - I’m more inclined to say he likes to give complete and thoughtful answers.

In February Ray Davies announced that Bruce would be duetting with him on one of the tracks on his new album.  I heard the track for the first time, only this week, on Lynn Parson’s Radio 2 show.  Listen again about 6.25am on Wednesday if you are interested.  I've only heard it the once - Bruce seems to be straining a bit.  Is the key too high for him perhaps?

The report about the album was on The Guardian’s website.  The Guardian seem to really love Bruce and you can rely on them to report most things.  This week they featured an article by Safraz Manzoor (author of Greetings from Bury Park).  He wrote about meeting his wife and the problems caused by the fact she is non Muslim. Safraz Manzoor wedding  There is the usual smattering of Bruce references, as there are in almost everything he writes.  If you haven’t read his book I recommend it.

My Google search threw up this article written in March this year about the Upstage Club - another venue to add to the itinery on our next visit perhaps. Inside The Upstage

And this:- about Bruce’s house in Wellington - a bit stalker-ish maybe but Quite interesting. Bruce sells his house

Popping up in April is this cover version of 'Born to Run' by Amy MacDonald.

I’ve always know she is a bit of a fan and I really like this version.  I am not someone who hates cover versions.  For me nothing will beat Bruce’s original but I don’t have any strong objections to covers, especially when they are by artists who are Bruce fans themselves.

Mike and I went to Sheffield City Hall in June to see Jackson Browne and David Lindley.  We both Like Jackson but had never heard of David Lindley.  He is obviously a fantastic musician but perhaps too good for us to appreciate him. I just wanted to hear ‘Take it Easy’- it’s a girl my Lord in a flat-bed Ford’ - great lyrics.  Mike loves 'After the Deluge' which was a new one on me but a lovely song.  David did surprise us, though, when he introduced Brothers Under The Bridge and gave Bruce a mention.

The chap sat next to me had imbibed a little too much happy juice.  He was very chatty.  I found out he was a big fan and had travelled from Leicester.  Don’t know what time he arrived in Sheffield but he had obviously been in the pub since setting foot.  He whooped at inappropriate moments during the gig which was a bit embarrassing.  I wanted to say he’s not with me.

We had listened to a story in some detail about a particular album he really liked.  When, during the interval he came back with a new purchase, we had to point out he had bought the very album he had described instead of the new one!

He was lucky to find his way back to his seat after getting the album swapped.  Still, better a happy drunk than a violent one and he enjoyed himself.  I hope he found his way back to the coach.

Three weeks later we were off to London to see Gaslight Anthem but that story is for next week.

The Documentary

As my other blog has been deleted I am going over old ground a bit here but, for completeness, I need to start again at the beginning.

Since the 30th Anniversary edition of Born to Run was released, Springsteen fans around the globe have been speculating about the 30th Anniversary edition of Darkness on the Edge of Town.  Well 30 years since the original Darkness release came, and went, without the anniversary being marked in any way.

Speculation about whether or not it would ever happen was almost constant on the discussion forums and this all came to a climax on August 4th 2010 when Shore Fire Media and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced the showing of a documentary film - The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.  

No word on a remastered CD or other goodies at the time but the consensus was that this would be announced shortly.  

I don't know if I was really excited about the film.  I didn't know when I would see it so there was no point in getting worked up if ,here in the UK, we wouldn't see the film until next year.