Just a few days ago I was listening to his version of Clampdown, and then in the same show Stayin’ alive.
As a musician what I found really and I mean REALLY awesome is his sense of respect for other people’s songs. When Bruce is making a cover he’s not simply copying and pasting the other artist’s version: he uses that tune carefully, smears on it some beeswax just to be sure he’s not hurting the original material. But at the same time he uses his wonderful sense of musical ear to listen, really listen to the song.
Take Stayin’ alive, for instance. He stripped all the exterior disco crap to arrive at the essence of a simple, beautiful strumming melody. Say, who else in the world could have been able to imagine the trumpet solo with an acoustic guitar leading into a progression that gloriously triumph in a full rock’n’roll band with horns, guitars, choir and drums for a song like Staying alive? come on. But he could. He took a song that most of us would have discarded with a snobbish attitude, and showed everybody that there was a song, a beautiful song, in there. He showed respect for another artist’s work, and then some. He showed us that even if you’re a veteran billionaire you can still experiment and have fun. And he showed us that you don’t have to judge. Never. Even in a silly matter as a disco hit of the seventies. You show respect, no matter what, you work on it, and maybe after that you can talk. But by then, you’ll probably have understood that there was work there, even in a silly song, and so you’ll shut up.