Lost in translations

Grinderman vs Wallace, Berna, 2009


According to my date of birth, I technically should be in the Born in the USA generation. But in 1984 I was already hooked, thanks to older friends who passed me some bootlegs, and to fifteen minutes of a TV show called Mr. Fantasy broadcasting his wild performance in No nukes. Remember Quarter to three? Unbelievable.

I was hooked allright, although there were no videos, no live shows in this area of the world (not yet), there wasn’t even a proper understanding of his words. There was this book of Bruce’s lyrics translations, an authorized one I mean, you bought it in actual bookstores, with incredibly ridiculous errors. For example, in Thunder road when he says “roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair” that crazy translator wrote “defenestrate yourself and let the wind blow back your hair…” I mean… WTF?

Not to mention the infamous version of Jackson cage’s words: Into a house where the blinds are closed, that became Into a house where blind people is segregated! ah!

For years later on I wondered… WOW. This is a really obscure text, powerful images and meaning… why are the blind people kept recluse? what’s the deep significance? Why? And, do I have to defenestrate myself on this conundrum?


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