Sunday, 29 May 2011

How's That?

Well at this time eight years ago Mike and I were sat at the very back of Old Trafford Cricket ground watching Bruce.  It was only our fourth concert and he played Loose Ends. I talk about it in an earlier post  Can't find any good YouTube clips of the concert itself so here's this instead.

May seems to be a good month for Bruce gigs in the UK and Europe so here's hoping for May 2012.

Not much to report this week.  My earlier search turned up this question.  I am the lone Springsteen supporter here under my other name of Alison!  If you have a Yahoo account get logged in and post your answer.

I understand from a tweet yesterday that Bruce was at The Wonder Bar on Friday night and went for a walk alone on the boardwalk.  It's amazing what I find out when I'm just pottering about the net.

Came across this the other week.  Now you might regard these sorts of discussions as tittle tattle but I'm quite interested to find out what help Bruce might have had in the plastic surgery department.  I don't mind whether he has had work done or not.  If I had his money I would certainly be thinking about it.  I'm not sure whether I would be brave enough to go under the surgeon's knife though.  I read an article the other week which described how a hair transplant is done.  It sounds horrific.  If you are interested there's a description here

I don't have a lot of time today so I will end with this.  Those of you who visit Greasy Lake regularly will have already seen it.

Springsteen fan plays the Boss's hits too loudly

A HARLOW man's taste for American rocker Bruce Springsteen has cost him more than 
£1,000 after Council officers were called by neighbours disturbed by the Boss's hits being 
played at excessive volume.

Alan Howorth, aged 62, had already been served with an abatement notice for music noise 
last December at his home in Guilfords. However, just a month later, environmental health officers returned after further complaints from people living nearby.

Harlow Magistrates' court was told that officers heard Springsteen hits including Dancing in 
the Dark and Born in the USA being played at ear-splitting volume.

Mr Howorth was found guilty in his absence of breaching an abatement notice and fined £500 
with £588.42 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

Cllr Tony Hall, chairman of Harlow Council's Environment Policy Working Group, said:
"Fans are used to Bruce Springsteen's energetic and loud performances, but they prefer to see that spectacle in a stadium rather than a housing estate.

"Mr Howorth ignored earlier polite requests to turn the volume down, so I fear was born to 
run into trouble when he kept it up."

  • The case was heard on May 3

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Be Happy

So I am on the bus Monday morning and Thunder Road comes on the trusty iPod.  Now I love Thunder Road.  Is it the only Bruce song that everyone agrees on?  I mean some fans aren't keen on Born To Run or Badlands or Rosalita or... I could go on and on - but is there any one who doesn't like Thunder Road?

Anyway despite my love for the song it did make me realise that I had heard it a lot lately and actually I haven't listened to anything but Bruce on my iPod for weeks - maybe even months.  I gave myself a sharp talking to - this just won't do.  I know nobody can match up to our man but I must widen my horizons.

I resolved to upload some other music this weekend and not allow myself to listen to Bruce for at least a week.  Don't know if I can do it though.  Just after my decision was made Livin' In The Future came on - I hadn't heard this for a while and it's one of my favourites. Then When You Need Me - so long since I'd heard this that I had almost forgotten about it.  I really like this track although I know it might be a bit too much like a love song for some people's taste.  For me it is romantic but not lovey dovey - typically Bruce.  There's a favourite line of mine in this song - 'And when those mean days come along we'll stand together and we'll take 'em on'.  I'd like to think that's me and Mike - do I hear you go ahhhhhh?  So I'm thinking now that this stuff is too good to give up for even a day let alone a week but I will give it a go.

I do like lots of other music.  I was reminded of this when three songs which I would probably put in my top 100 came on the radio one after the other last week :-

1. Free Electric Band by Albert Hammond just because I love the idea of giving up a comfortable life to go and play in a band. Mike and I often wish we were a bit more adventurous - like the couple in Lonestar's What About Now (dare I admit I quite liked Lonestar?) - or of course Born To Run

2. Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy by The Tams.  Well the title speaks for itself here except at my age I can only aspire to being young at heart, as do The Tams themselves judging by this!

3. The Wonder Of You just because it's a beautiful song.

My brother - who is 64 this year - rang Monday night to say he had seen Lady Gaga on the Beeb doing The Radio 1Big Weekend gig and he thought she was great. He has always been a music buff and has influenced my music choices throughout my life. Being a musician himself he appreciates the technical ability of the performer.  So if he likes Gaga she must be good.  Whatever you think of her, and of course now we know she loves Bruce I have to give her some respect, she's a star without a doubt.  She fascinates me although I'm not entirely sure about her music.

Now Gaga might be influenced by Bruce but it seems his influence elsewhere has declined somewhat. Lady Gaga is apparently now the world's most powerful celebrity whilst Bruce - well see for yourself.  Get yourself out on tour man!

The Springsteen bust I mentioned the other week is causing a stir in New Jersey.  I've found a couple of articles about it this week and there is some heated debate about the merits of the sculpture and whether or not you are being disloyal if you don't like it.

If you are interested there's an article here and here.

This picture gives you an idea of the likeness.

If you are not into sculpture maybe you will be inspired to write a poem about Bruce which you can submit to this website.  Actually I think it's a scam but I'm not sure what the scammers are getting out of it.  I see on another forum that many people have been told they are runners up but I can't find anyone who has won any money.

And last of all this week the Express has a nice little article about Bruce the family man.  It's always good to see something in the UK press.  Shows we still think about him this side of the pond.

Whilst you are reading that I'm off to find something new to put on the iPod.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Giddy Up

Well a bit of excitement this week.   Our man was just down the road watching Jessica at The Royal Windsor Horse Show.  Although I don't like to champion The Daily Mail they probably had the best pictures and article here.  At least they focused on Jessica and after all it was her gig.

Had I known dad was going to be there I might well have taken a trip.  I could legitimately claim an interest so it wouldn't really feel like stalking.  You see when I was a kid I went through the pony stage.

Below is my fat little pony - Sherry and here I am all dressed up and ready to go

And this is one of me on another pony showing off my good seat - it's an equestrian term!

These were taken more years ago than I care to admit and when I grew out of Sherry we couldn't afford to buy a horse.  After a while I lost interest.

Anyway in case you need to up date your diary:-

The Royal International Horse Show is on at Hickstead between 26 and 31 July
The Horse Of The Year Show is on at The NEC in Birmingham between 4 and 9 October.

I can't remember how these things work so no idea whether Jessica would qualify to jump at either show.

I was on the bus this week when Born To Run took a turn on my iPod... followed by Badlands.  I have an irresistible urge to punch the air at the appropriate moments when these songs come on.

If I'm in the car I do it - whilst singing at the top of my voice.  A couple of years ago when I was off work convalescing I tried to do 10,000 steps a day and during these walks I would throw my arms up.  I had to do arm exercises anyway so it was as good reason as any...

...but on the bus - well - didn't want to startle the other passengers so early in the morning.

So I bought 'Live At The Main Point' this week.  I know, I know, I could have downloaded it for free or somebody would no doubt have sent me a copy but in the end after reading Uncut Magazine's review I had to buy it.

Regular readers will know I don't subscribe to the adage that Bruce was better in the seventies.  Different yes, but not necessarily better.  To be honest some of the stuff from the early days does nothing for me. I think you had to be there.

For those of you who don't know we first saw Bruce in 1993.  He was with the 'other' band but we didn't know, or care, we loved it.  That being our first time was special for us just as 1975 was special for the people who saw him then.

Anyway despite my reservations about the early days I absolutely love this version of Incident.

We were lucky enough to hear this live at the Wembley gig  in 2002 which I talk about here.  Don't know if we have heard it since because my old laptop gave up the ghost and our Bruce spreadsheet went with it.

We had listed all the shows we had been to and the set list for each show.  Need to do it again but as it's such an enjoyable thing to do we won't mind.  It's a good excuse to get all the boots out a have a listen to each show as we go along.  Quicker to get the set list off Greasy Lake of course but not so much fun.

Finally just had to let you know that my Bruce doll went down really well at work and I'm excited to say I've got my first order - it's Claudio Sanchez

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Hello Dolly

It's been a bit of a Brucey week for me this week considering the man himself seems to have gone to ground.  Lets hope he is working on a new album and sorting out the itinerary for a new tour.

On Monday we nipped to our local retail park and whilst we were there I thought I might as well visit HMV. A chap was hovering around the Springsteen DVDs but I knew just what I wanted so pushed in front of him, picked up The Promise and headed off back to the car. Knew I wouldn't have time to watch it.  In fact I forgot all about it for a couple of days. Trouble was I also forgot we now have a Blu Ray player and I had bought the bog standard DVD.

So Wednesday evening after work I'm at HMV in town doing the swap.
 'Is this the one that was on the telly' asks the chap serving me
'Yep it was in the box set too'
'Can't get that any more wanted to buy it at the time but couldn't afford it.  Awesome documentary'.
Assistant next to him buts in 'Is that the box set that cost about £90? I've never known anything so expensive sell so fast'

Me - well I'm feeling quite smug and proud of our man at this moment. Lets face it most people think Bruce is a has been. In our circle of friends we have a large proportion of Springsteen fans but in the wider world we are part of an increasingly small minority. I know there are new fans all the time and I don't have the stats, but I suspect the fan base decreases year on year. So I'm chuffed to know that Bruce can still draw the attention of young HMV staff.
Cupcake salt and pepper set

Went into Urban Outfitters after this to buy these. Saw them in a magazine and knew they were just the thing for our kitchen. Whilst I was there I saw album frames. I bought BITUSA for a couple of quid from Ebay a few years ago. It isn't my favourite album but it was the first Springsteen album we bought although we had the cassette. I talk about this in my earlier post.

I actually bought the album to frame and put on the kitchen wall - this is also just the thing for our kitchen. If you want to know more about our kitchen the Ideal Home Magazine article is here. Anyway it's in the frame but not yet on the wall.

Wednesday night in the absence of anything else we had The Sopranos on the TV in the background. This sort of passed us by when it was on originally but I started to buy the box sets.  I was hoping for another West Wing but it didn't grab me in the same way.  Now we know the characters, though, it's easy enough to watch the odd episode.  Of course the Bruce connection makes it watchable.  Well we haven't watched it for weeks but the very episode we happen upon there's a bit of Bruce dialogue.  Copied from Entertainment Weekly:-

Early on in the episode, the script calls for Tony to make a Boss wisecrack. A Fed whose unit has been taping Tony's associates tells him, ''There's something we want you to hear.'' Tony shoots back: ''The Springsteen box set? I already got it.'' But that's just nervous bravado — by this time, he's been shaken by the ultimate betrayal: He's pretty sure that his mother (Nancy Marchand), and his uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) have ordered his death. Why? Because the anxiety-attacked Tony's been seeing a therapist (Lorraine Bracco's Dr. Melfi), and they're afraid he's blabbed too much family business to an outsider.

They play State Trooper over the end credits too. Might mean nothing to some folk but it's the sort of coincidence I like.

As far Soprano quotes go though this has to be the best:-

Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: Where the fuck have you been? You're late! 
Christopher: Sorry, the highway was jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive. 

Another chance happening yesterday - getting back to the car and turning the radio on in the middle of  Danny and the Champions' version of Tougher Than The Rest. It's the first time I have heard it but can't find it anywhere on You Tube to share it with you.  Think it's only available on vinyl on the Record Store Day EP and I don't have a record player any more.  Anyway if you want to listen Dermot O'Leary played it yesterday on his Radio 2 show.

This weekend I've spent most of my time trying to finish the Bruce doll.  It's taken me longer than I thought. I was having to make it up as I went along so there were a few false starts. I really enjoyed making it though. I see rag dolls sell for anything from £16.00 to £69.00 on some online shopping sites. Can't see me ever making enough to earn my fortune though.

Anyway here he is - not quite finished.  He needs a guitar strap and some boots.

Not the best likeness. I hope my next one (if I make one) will be better.  I think it's one up from this though!  Scary!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Stand Up!

Well guys and gals The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge of Town documentary is out on Blu Ray and DVD tomorrow.  Yes that's the one we already have but of course it comes with the Carousel gig and a Q and A session as a bonus.  I suppose I'll just have to buy it although initially I said I wouldn't.

I don't think there is a lot happening this week but I could be wrong as I don't seem to have had my finger on the pulse the last few days.  I didn't even notice that Roy Orbison and friends was on BBC 4 Friday night.  Now I've seen this time and time again but I love it and no doubt I would have watched it once more.

A couple of my Bruce buddies have been watching the Hyde Park DVD over the last couple of weeks.  I think I've mentioned before that we rarely dig out our DVDs.  I'm more of a listener than a watcher when it comes to music.  Mind you we had a family get together today and we thought Hyde Park would be a good thing to have on the TV as a bit of background interest.  It didn't stay on long though.  As soon as Mark (my step-son) arrived he changed to the footie.  Well it was worth a try.

I popped The Promise disc 2 on this morning whilst I was preparing for our visitors. A bit of Bruce always helps me along when I have a lot to do.  I still love it.  Its A Shame is probably up there in my favourites list.  Changed to The Dropkick Murphys when nephew Chris arrived.  He has some of their early albums and was interested in hearing the latest.  Didn't really get to listen though as food and drink were higher priority.

Gave the DAB radio to the younger Nieces so they could choose what to listen to. They along with most of our other relatives are not Springsteen fans. I think they chose one of the rock stations and I had to chuckle to myself when Streets of Philadelphia came on.

So they've all gone home now and our struggle to convert them goes on.

I like the cartoons that are floating about now we are sure where president Obahma was born! Well he did say he wanted to be Bruce.

I was thinking about the inauguration parade on Friday when I was pondering why the Royal Wedding crowds brought a lump to my throat.  Many folks have said it makes them proud to be British but I got all emotional when Barrack and Michelle walked down Pennsylvania Avenue - made me wish I was American.

Talking about the wedding there was an elderly couple along the route on Friday who were interviewed by the BBC.  They were true Royalists and were disgusted that those around them didn't stand during the National Anthem.  They reminded me so much of myself  - I feel just the same ...  about Badlands.