Sunday, 24 April 2011

Did We Miss It?

Two nearly moments on TV this week.

Firstly - American idol.  Now I know it's fashionable to knock this show but I have watched it on and off for a few years, and if I am absolutely honest, I prefer it to X Factor.  So Bruce was going to visit but would he actually appear on screen?  Well I didn't watch this week so I don't know but I assume the lack of any outrage from fans suggests he kept well away from any TV camera.

In the early years of American Idol rumour has it that Bruce wouldn't even give permission for a song of his to be performed.  Here's an old blog post from a fan talking about the first ever Springsteen cover done on the show.

Perhaps Bruce was at a loose end whilst he was in Los Angeles.  Although he seems to be happy just strolling along with Patti in these photos.

You know I love the way Patti just looks so ordinary when she's relaxing.

She certainly scrubs up well although MIke tells me he doesn't find her attractive.  He prefers Soozie.

The second nearly TV moment happened when we were channel hopping and chanced upon Elvis Costello's Spectacle on Sky Arts 1.  Bruce's episode is mentioned but I can't see when it's on.  Yeah yeah I know we have all seen it (in our case thanks to Tony P) but it's Bruce on the telly so you have to watch.

Just like yesterday when I strolled by the CDs whilst I was doing my weekly shop.  I spotted Songs For Japan and although I had no intention of buying it I just had to check out Bruce's name in the track listings.

We did manage to watch something on the box this week with a slight Springsteen connection thanks to a heads up from Ceinwen.  Cemetery Junction  is a film written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and based loosely on 'Born to Run'.  It's about escaping from your boring job, mundane existence, home town and doing something exciting with your life.   Funny and quite poignant I enjoyed it although we were interrupted very near the end by a phone call and ended up watching the last 15 minutes or so on the plus 1 channel an hour later.  It spoiled the flow rather.

As films with Bruce connections go this wasn't my favourite.  That would be The Wrestler and I liked Reign Over Me.

Before I finish I've just had a quick peak around my usual message boards and blogs to check for any breaking news but it's very quiet.  Perhaps everyone is on holiday.

So that's it for this week except to say that Joe D'urso is starting his UK tour on 18th May. The dates are here.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Sea

Well we have been away this weekend to visit my family on the Lincolnshire coast.  I've talked about my home town before - if I squint and suspend disbelief  I can pretend it's Asbury Park.  The weather was glorious and I love this photo I took through the open door of the beach hut

Irene, my sister -in -law, thinks we are the biggest Springsteen fans in the world but then we are the only Springsteen fans she knows.  She saves every article and snippet she finds and this week she handed over the Sunday Times Magazine from November last year.  We were in Dublin at The Gaslight Anthem gig the weekend this came out and missed it.  I was really disappointed at the time so getting hold of the article after all these months is great.

I haven't had chance to read it all but I notice Bruce says he's been for 'swim in the ocean'.  Now Sutton-on-Sea may look quite idyllic in the photo but I certainly won't be going for a swim in that ocean any time soon!!

Nick Rufford who interviewed Bruce and wrote the article says that he shouted out to Bruce after the Roundhay Park gig in 1985  'You didn't play 'No Surrender''.  A couple of weeks ago we were listening to a radio programme during which the DJ was asking people to text in to say what they would do if they had their time again or perhaps it was what you regretted not doing.  Either way Mike immediately said he would've gone to Roundhay Park.  We didn't live in Leeds at the time ourselves but all Mike's family were here so a bed for the night wouldn't have been a problem.

As I've touched on before it never even crossed our minds in those days to go to a live concert of any sort.    Anyway this struck a chord with me because he may not have played 'No Surrender' that day but I reckon he's played it at every gig we've been to since!!.  Well that's a bit of an exaggeration but we've heard it a lot and I'm happy to keep on hearing it.

From time to time on Greasy Lake someone poses a question along the lines of which song do you not want to hear live again (at least not for a long time)?  I expect 'No Surrender' would be some peep's choice but for me it has to be 'Because The Night' probably because it's so familiar to me from listening to the Patti Smith version in my youth.  This choice changes though.  If I had asked myself this during 2008 the answer would've been 'Mary's Place'.

As promised I've been working on my Bruce doll this week.  The dolls I've attempted so far have been copied, more or less exactly, from a book.  They were all female dolls and all had flat faces.

I've now progressed to sculptured faces - basically they have noses.  So again my first head was an exact copy.  For my second I tried to get more masculine features and the third is my first go at Bruce.  Those of you with a nervous disposition should look away now!

And finally for this week

Sunday, 10 April 2011

It's A Small (Bruce) World

Hi Guys.  Well it's been a slow news week and I'm wondering whether I will have to start diversifying a little and telling you more about my non Bruce world.  Yes there is one if I dig deep enough!

So I went to the hairdressers this week.  To cut a long story short I have been going to my previous hairdresser for years.  Her salon has closed and I was faced with finding someone new.  Hairdressing seems to be a young person's job - at least in a city like Leeds it is - and a trendy young person at that.  Finding a place where I didn't feel a hundred years old was key to me feeling comfortable.  After a couple of false starts I opted for a small independent place.

So she is wielding the scissors and making polite conversation and we get on to holidays - standard hairdresser conversation.  I say I am not going anywhere this year  but would like to go back to NYC sometime.  Told her we saw Bruce at MSG and she said ... 'I love Bruce Springsteen.  Saw him in Gothenburg!'  Of all the hair stylists in all the salons in all the world I choose her - spooky.  Ha! - it was a Bruce story after all.

Been thinking about starting on my Bruce doll this week.  I made Belinda a couple of months ago and I've just finished Cassandra.   Both girls have gone to good homes.


Thought I would do a bit of research into Bruce's face.  Of course I know what he looks like but as I'm not confident of getting a good likeness I thought I would lean towards a sort of caricature.

 This lead me to these pictures among many.  Hmmmm don't think I'll be copying any of these.  Need to practice a soul patch though!

But what really took my eye was this because he's a doll - someone has got there before me!


I think he's quite cute.  If you are interested here's the designer's blog featuring more dolls she has produced.  Mike has his head in his hands at this moment.  He knows full well that this is another handicraft I must have a go at.

I checked out The 100 Club today just to see what his number 1 song was.  I've mentioned this blog a couple of times before because the writer chose two Springsteen songs in his top 100.  Good choice for the top slot and great to see that he is now a proud dad.

My trawl through the blogs also turned up a cover of 'I'm On Fire'  here.  and Bruce's appearance at The Wonder Bar last week gets a mention in OK magazine - maybe not the UK version though.  Might have a quick flick through in WH Smiths tomorrow just in case!

Bruce is putting in another one of his guest appearances. This time on a track on the New Stewart Franke CD.  No I'd never heard of him.  In case you are as clueless as me here he is

Finally for this week a special mention for my hubby Mike.  It's our wedding anniversary tomorrow so this is for him

Sunday, 3 April 2011

New Time but same Old Stuff

For the benefit of my regular readers - thank you one and all- I will start this blog 
with a short

My routine has changed in the last few weeks and this has had an unexpected knock on effect on my blog.  This means that my Weekly blog is going to become my Sunday Evening blog.

Hopefully my musings will round off your weekend nicely and set you up for the week ahead.

So as promised during the week I listened to the Born to Run outtakes.  Arcade Fire was put on the back burner.  Well it goes without saying that Bruce must take precedence.

We downloaded this collection of songs a long time ago and I realise now why I haven't checked this out more thoroughly before.  At the time I wouldn't have been interested in alternative versions.  I was only just getting to know some of the officially released stuff.

I assume the whole thing suffers a little from not being finished - the two versions of 'Backstreets' sound really tinny.  I haven't got a very musical ear but there are definitely strings in version 1 which seems to lick along at an unnaturally speedy pace.  I prefer version 2.  This is more similar to the official version musically but has different lyrics.

Born To Run has strings too and weirdly backing singers pop up from time to time - very unerving and a bit Partridge Family - ish.  Could this be Mike Appel's influence? Anyway yuck!

There are three versions of Thunder Road and I must admit I really like this one.

Takes a bit of getting used to after hearing the familiar track so many times but if you have never heard it before give it a chance.  You will be singing along to the new tune in no time.

The two songs that are new to me are 'Walking In The Street' and 'Lonely Night In The Park' which (as I mentioned last week) was the track that prompted me to dig out the CD again - both great songs.  I'd never heard of 'The Heist' before either but this turns out to be 'Meeting Across The River' by another name.  It's not one of my favourite tracks but this version has more trumpet on it and it's OK.

Anyway on to other things.

Our man has been fairly busy this week here he is visiting The Upstage Club
I must say I'm not sure about the outfit here - perhaps it's because I'm not used to seeing him in beige. Showed it to Mike who has always kind of liked Bruce's fashion sense.  He won't be going out to buy anything similar any time soon.

Bruce also popped in to Little Steven's Underground Garage to chat about this and that.  The interview will be aired in three parts this weekend and 8th and 15th April.  Don't know if we can hear this in the UK.

And in a spare moment he has found time to put pen to paper.  As I write this I wonder if he actually sent a letter or just emailed.  A letter might be worth a few $$$ on Ebay!

A good few years ago now Mike did a stint as a city councillor.  He had to hold regular surgeries where the same complainers turned up time after time.  These folk often wrote to the local paper and I couldn't help but think about this when Bruce wrote his letter to the local rag.  Not that Bruce is complaining about his dustbins not being emptied

And finally he also turned up at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park last night

Interesting to compare this to another You Tube clip on the same page from way way back

My sign off for this week is another blog.  Wouldn't mind swapping locations with this woman, and if I knew how, I would put the clip of Bruce on my own blog.  A project for some other time maybe.

Even if you don't want to read the blog just click on the link - it will make you smile and you all know how I feel about smiles.

See you next Sunday.  Have a good week.