Sunday, 29 January 2012

Mr Springsteen I Presume

Would you like to meet Bruce?

Just a random photo- don't know the people
This thorny subject, in the form of one question or another, has been discussed regularly on Greasy Lake over the years.  Some know exactly what they would say if they met him, some doubt whether they would be in a fit state to say anything at all and some don't want to meet him because they believe he might not live up to their dreams.

Beau and Josh
I've been pondering the question this week after reading the story (which I mentioned last week) of Beau and Josh from California who met our man in Asbury Park the other week. 

Now - not wanting to meet Bruce isn't an option for me. Beau makes him sound so lovely that I can't imagine saying I don't want to meet him.

Another random pic from Google images
I'd like to shake his hand, doubt I would be brave enough to ask for a photo and I don't think I would say anything other than 'Hi. Great to meet you'. I could tell him that I've loved his music since BTR but it hardly makes me stand out from the crowd! I know many people would really like to tell Bruce how his music has been the soundtrack to their lives - you know - 'Your music has meant so much to me throughout my life' blah blah blah'  This always strikes me as being a bit over the top.

Anyway it's not likely to happen. I don't live in New Jersey or even the USA for that matter. I can hardly nip down to Asbury Park at the weekend to stroll up and down the boardwalk on the off chance, or take a trip to Rumson pretending to check out the real estate.

Our friend Elaine with Bruce
I'm not likely to bump into him shopping on Briggate in Leeds.  I don't expect he has set foot in Leeds since Roundhay Park in 1985.

He does come over to our little island from time to time when Jessica is jumping.  I rode myself many years ago as I mention in this post so I would enjoy a day out at The Horse of the Year Show.  It's not the place to meet Bruce though. Well I wouldn't approach him.  He is there being Mr Springsteen - a dad supporting his daughter - and I wouldn't want to intrude.  I couldn't guarentee that I wouldn't stand open mouthed and gawp though!

lucky Leah who actually wanted to meet Jessica
Leah  has me wondering whether I could hatch another plan. What about ' Hello Mr Springsteen.  I think your daughter is a very talented rider'  As well as meeting him, this has the added advantage of tapping into his parental pride, and thereby getting into his good books.  I'm not a good liar though so I think he would see straight through my subterfuge. 

I'm not sure I could bring myself to hang around outside a hotel.  Don't get me wrong I have no problem if it's your sort of thing but it seems a bit undignified to me. 

Staying in the same hotel is a possible solution, if you know where Bruce is staying, and the price is within your reach. I'd even stretch the budget to get a room.  My logic might be a bit woolly here but try to stay with me.  If you have paid for a room, the hotel is as much yours as it is Bruce's so it can't be helped if you bump into him.  An added bonus is you would be meeting him as an equal in a way - as a fellow resident. Sinead and Cein - I'm rooting for you.

Jeremy Zelkowitz and Bruce
I clutch at a very small chance of a meeting Bruce via an entirely different route - Eric Clapton.  Yeah I speak of the famous British Stratocaster player. My brother (Ian) was adopted and when our parents died he set out to find his birth family. He found two half brothers one of whom is Eric Clapton's production manager - Mick Double. He gets a mention here and here's a list of his credits.

Mick produced the Cream concert at The Royal Albert Hall in 2005. He invited my brother and sister in law to meet Eric at the gig. Their daughter and her husband who live in Vancouver were guests at Eric's concert last year and were intoduced to him.

Now whilst I am not suggesting that Bruce and Eric are bosom buddies they have played on the same stage together.

I'm wondering if I can persuade my brother, to persuade Mick, to persuade his producer, to persuade Eric's management team, to persuade Bruce's management team that Bruce and Eric could do some sort of show together ... AND give me and Mike a backstage pass.

Hmmmm - it's a bit of a long shot.

Perhaps I will just have to swallow my pride and stand outside that hotel after all.


Oh by the way Mike has just pointed out that I'm closer to Bruce than I thought -  Six degrees of separation? pah! I'm the sister - of someone who's met Eric Clapton - who's played on the same stage as Bruce Springsteen.

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Sunday, 22 January 2012

The New Single

The trouble with writing a weekly blog is you can't keep on top of the breaking news. This is particularly evident this week. With the single being released and the details of the new album available a few days ago I'm a bit late to the party.

Actually all the info was out there on Monday. reported that the new album was to be called 'Wrecking Ball' and would be introduced to us with a single - 'We Take Care Of Our Own'. 

They also said:-

Other songs to be featured in the new album are “Jack of all trades”, “Easy money”, “We are alive”, “You’ve got it”. There will also be a version of "Land of hope and dreams” (a song that appeared in live sets and was put in the live album "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live in New York City"): the song will be graced by a sax solo by the late Clarence Clemons..

Then from Point Blank there was a list of track titles and an alternative title for the album. 

1. Rocky Ground
2. Death to My Hometown
3. We Take Care of Our Own
4. Easy Money
5. Jack of All Trades
6. The Depression
7. You've Got It
8.We 're Alive
9. Shackled and Drawn
10. Wrecking Ball
11. Land of Hope and Dreams

A second source says there will be 12 songs on the disc and the title could be "Rocky Ground". So far none of this has been confirmed.

But by Wednesday the single was, indeed, confirmed.

And by Thursday we had the album details as well

There have been so many rumours about this release over, what seems like, months.  When something resembling the truth leaks we all take it with a pinch of salt.  As it turns out this latest gossip was, more or less, correct.

Speaking of being late to the party - as an early to bed early to rise person ( It doesn't seem to have made me healthy, wealthy or wise by the way) I didn't hear the single when it was first available.  Sitting on the bus at 6.50am on Wednesday morning it seemed, from a quick visit to Facebook, that the world and his wife were already several steps ahead of me.

I managed a couple of listens during my lunch break and liked it instantly, in the same way as I liked 'Radio Nowhere' straight away.  Hopefully this bodes well for the album as I'm a big fan of Magic.  Mind you I'm not keen on 'Wrecking Ball' - although Tom Cunningham (on Bruce Brunch) suggested the album track is a new version.  'Land of Hope and Dreams' is up there among my favourites, though, and 'American Land'?  Will it be a revamped version do you think?

Anyway by the time I got home Mike had downloaded 'We Take Care of Our Own', burnt it to a CD and was playing it on repeat whilst dancing around the kitchen.  We played it a lot and I mean A LOT that evening.  Reminded me of my teenage days when I would buy a '45' and play it over and over - driving my parents to distraction no doubt.  Repeat playings haven't dampened my enthusiasm - I really like it.

I've only a vague idea of what the song is about. I don't go in for the deeper meanings probably because I don't really understand them. I love 'Living in the Future'. I know it has some underlying meaning because people tell me so.  I've never got to grips with it and the song makes no sense to me but I still love it.

As you might expect , WTCOOO has already been dissected by those that like to analyse Bruce's words in minute detail. If you are interested I quite like this which isn't too 'deep'.  I might check out some other sites and cover this more next week.

Yet another rumour surfaced in the last couple of days - this time about USA tour dates.  NJ.Com reports several dates in New Jersey followed by a show at Madison Square Garden before our man hits Europe.

And finally here's a lovely story about two lucky people who met Bruce last week. How excited the writer is about meeting Bruce??  I'm green again!  

See you next time.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Deadly Sin

I don't consider myself to be an envious person.  Don't get me wrong I wish I could win the lottery but I'm not envious of those who do.  We throw our £££ in and have the same chance as the next man. We can do no more.  I have friends who have interesting well paid jobs and I sometimes wish I was the same but I decided long ago that I was no career girl so no point in being envious.  Envy is a pointless emotion. It just makes you miserable. Either do something about it or settle for the fact that nothing can be done and move on.


when it comes to Bruce I can't help myself.  There is absolutely no point in being envious of the people who were at 'Light of Day' (LOD) last night.  There is no point torturing myself looking at set lists and pictures and YouTube clips but I keep looking and yes yes yes I'm green with envy.  

Realistically, though, We are never going to go (unless we win the aforementioned lottery). I'm a big Southside Johnny fan and Mike would like to see Joe Grushecky. I could tell you that we would go just to see them or because it's such a good cause but I am rather ashamed to admit that if I was there and Bruce didn't turn up I would be gutted. It's OK if you live in New York or Philadelphia or New Jersey itself.  If you can get a ticket for The Paramount show on Saturday you don't have so far to travel but to 3500 miles is a long way to go to be disappointed.  So I've talked myself out of being envious.  There's no point.

Each week when I sign off I think that the following week I will be talking about a new album.  Nothing concrete yet but Bruce has been in Asbury Park shooting a video. Assuming things are going to follow the same pattern as previous years this will be related to a track released in advance of the album. Here's a quote from a Backstreets poster:-

Clad in a dark leather jacket, The Boss braved the chilly temps and gusty winds to film a video with his pal, singer-songwriter Willie Nile, who is believed to add guest vocals on the soon-to-be-released track. Bruce seemed anything but angry, however, even stopping to pose for pictures with fans who are in town for the week-long “Light of Day” charity concerts, according to observers.
“He filmed at Johnny Mac House of Spirits, the Irish Pub on Main Street, and then he went down Mattison Avenue and into the old Savoy Theater,” says a source. The theater, which was built in 1911 and once housed vaudeville performances, is undergoing a massive renovation.

Blogness says that "the band has reportedly been rehearsing the new material" also in Asbury Park.  This must be very clandestine as normally we would have heard from fans hanging around outside the rehearsal venue telling us about the snippets of songs they can hear.

So all in all things are moving on but we know nothing.  Are Bruce's people doing a better job of keeping things under wraps than usual or do we know nothing because there is nothing yet to know?

Back to LOD. I've reproduced the set list here even though it's old news now:-

1. Incident on 57th Street (solo acoustic)
Bruce left the stage, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers performed East Carson Street
Bruce returns
2. Darkness on the Edge of Town
3. Never be Enough Time (with Joe Grushecky)
4. Adam Raised a Cain
5. Save my Love
6. Talk to the King (with Joe Grushecky)
7. Atlantic City
8. Johnny 99
9. I’m not Sleeping
10. Because the Night
11. Waiting on a Sunny Day
12. Pumping Iron
13. Light of Day (with Max Weinberg on drums)
14. The Promised Land
15. Twist and Shout
16. Thunder Road (acoustic)

Here's a picture of the man on stage.  I like to get Mike's opinion of Bruce's latest fashion statement. He's not keen on the jacket.  Says he won't be getting one.  Well don't suppose he could afford one anyway.  looks very expensive to me.

He likes the shirt though:-

And finally because I can't let LOD go by without including a clip.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Born out of Hell

Jacquie and Mike our friends and neighbours are two of the Springsteen virgins we are taking with us to a gig this year.  In preparation Jacquie wanted to listen to Bruce's back catalogue and asked for BTR to start with. I thought this was a good idea. Greetings and WIESS are more of an acquired taste, I feel and, whilst Jacquie and Mike have a very eclectic taste in music the first two albums might be better left until later in their education.

When we went over this weekend for food,drink and chat Jacquie remarked that the album reminded her of Meatloaf/Jim Steinman. An astute observation as it turns out as this extract from the Wikipedia entry for Bat out of Hell shows:-

Bat Out of Hell is often compared to the music of Bruce Springsteen, particularly the Born to Run album. Steinman says that he finds that "puzzling, musically", although they share influences; "Springsteen was more an inspiration than an influence." A BBC article added, "that Max Weinberg and Roy Brittan from Springsteen's E Street Band played on the album only helped reinforce the comparison."

I have to say that I don't really hear it myself.  I'm a 'Bat Out Of Hell' fan but I think it lacks the really poetic lyrics of, say, Jungleland.

Incidentally in 'Rolling Stone's' 500 greatest albums BTR is number 18 and BOOH is number ... 343

Thought we might lend them BITUSA next.  The breakthrough album followed by the one with the widest appeal. When they have digested this we will start to fill in the blanks.

I had to go to hospital on Tuesday for an MRI scan - just a precautionary thing so I'm not worried about the outcome. I was a bit nervous about the procedure itself though. Lying completely still in a narrow tube for minutes on end isn't something I was looking forward to.

The machine makes a lot of noise so I was invited to take a CD along with me to play through some headphones.  No contest on the artist - it had to be Bruce - but I had no idea how long I would be in there.  I chose Greatest Hits in the end for it's length more than anything.  Mike was a little concerned as he has never seen me stay still whilst either BTR or Badlands is played.  There wasn't room to pump my fist though so the although the temptation was great it was impossible!

Mike looked more worried than me as I headed off to the MRI room.  I couldn't have him there with me but I had Bruce for company - the next best thing.  Anyway it wasn't anything like as bad as I thought it would be.

A sad day today as I finally cancelled my Dublin Hotel. We didn't get tickets for RDS and decided to give it up and save our money for (hopefully) an autumn tour in the States.  It occurred to me this week, though, that Bruce might be busy supporting Obama.  The 2012 Presidential election is on 6th November.

Finally this week a link to this music review.  I have already shared this with my Facebook friends and on Greasy Lake but it's so good I needed to include it in my blog.  Here's a little excerpt but I'd recommend you read the whole thing. I think the writer really captures the experience of a Bruce show.

...You don’t really get to understand Bruce’s universe until you go to one of his live shows. Until you sleep on the street with other unconditional fans to catch the first row. But it’s worth it. A Bruce performance is a unique experience, a musical communion, a rock and roll exorcism. A shared feeling of happiness fills the air...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

It's The Album First

Picture 'borrowed' from a FB friend

Well, for us here in the UK, 2012 is Olympic year. Well it's Olympic year for everyone but you know what I mean. I remember exactly where I was when Juan Antonio Samaranch announced that London had won the right to host The Games.  I was so excited.  Going to the Olympics has always been on my bucket list and I assumed I would be in the stadium watching some athletics-any athletics would do. I just wanted to say' I was there'.

Anyone living in the UK who tried for tickets knows what a disappointment it was.  To be fair my worry had been that no one would want tickets. So many nay sayers came out of the woodwork to say sport is a waste of time, not important and we shouldn't be spending all this money bla bla bla.  How embarrassing if we had half empty stadiums.  As it was, 1.8 million people applied for tickets and 250,000, including me, were unsuccessful. No Olympic tickets then. I was disappointed but not as much as I thought I would be.

Anyway 2012 is now a Springsteen tour year so the lack of Olympics tickets pales into insignificance.

Before that there's the album. Last year there was rumour upon rumour about a new album. The first inkling was way back in June when Ron Anielo listed himself as producer on 'the forthcoming album'. Then there was the bogus press release saying an album - 'Arcade at Night' - was going to be released in November. There were other vague musings - the album was going to be released before Christmas, in the early months of 2012 and now a more precise February 2012. This was all before we even knew there was anything in the pipeline at all!

Now we know there is most definitely an album coming out because Bruce has told us himself.  Mind you even he was a bit vague.

For most fans it seems the tour is far more exciting than a new album.  It's true that a Bruce concert is the most perfect two and a half hours I can imagine spending and there are many songs from the back catalogue that I would like to hear. I've said this before -I'm not one of those fans who believes Bruce hasn't done anything worth talking about since nineteen seventy something so I am looking forward to a new set of songs.

Whilst I can't say I'm a huge fan of Working on a Dream I love Magic so I think he still has good music in him.  Having said that recent history suggests he won't play a lot from the album live.  Was The Rising tour the last time he played a lot of new music?

So folks - we will hopefully get an official announcement about the album release date soon and perhaps a couple of taster tracks beforehand. This will at least fill a small gap before Seville in May.

Hope to see some of you in 2012.