A searing rock’n’roll masterpiece

darkness

Before, there was the rock’n’roll dream, the youth, the grand opera romance of Born to run. And then, on June 2, 1978, there was Darkness on the edge of town. And that was it.

Darkness is where the characters of the first albums ended up, where everybody’s life sooner or later ends up: to the hard truth that life will never be easy, and you’ll not find a way out escaping in a car in the night, or with a romantic dream with your girlfriend. You’ll be scared, you’ll be angry, you’ll probably be alone for most part of it, and you’ll have a hard time tryin’ to figure out what is the meaning of all this. If there’s a meaning, even, and if there isn’t, how can I stand it?

In this album you’ll find the stories of the defeated, the men and women stripped bare of all their possessions and affections: loved ones, homes, works, hopes. But, in most songs, they not have lost their willingness to fight back. And in some lines that stay with every Bruce’s fan for all of his/her life, you learn that no matter how hard or bad things get, you can fight back because you still have your soul, a determination not to go down with a fight, because you want to be happy, it’s your right.

When I have reached low points in my own life, Darkness on the edge of town is an album that I still listen to because it offers more answers and hope than any form of therapy would. It gives me inspiration, a sense of great determination, it makes me company on my road through life.

And, last but not least, they are beautiful songs.

Lorenza

 

Growing up is never straight forward, but sometimes you meet Bruce’s music to follow through.

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I’ll often take my nephew out for lunch, on the way to and from the soccer practise.

So, what do you chat about with a soccer player? Music! Yesterday he explained to me that he listens to his parents’ music in the car, then he go upstairs in his room and google it to understand the words and have a reference. Then he listed his favourites: Light of day, Badlands, 41 shots, Rosalita. I was stunned!

So we started to listen to my ipod, and he goes on, Pink Cadillac, Seaside Bar Song, and I’m laughing because he favors the rhythm over the ballads, of course. But then Heart of stone begins, and he said That’s heart of stone, it’s a sad song. It’s a slow one, but it’s very very nice.

Then he asks me But was the Fever written for that “Losito” girl? because in the song he says that he’s got the fever for this girl, he means he’s in love right? How many girlfriends he had before his wife Patti and Julianne? Oh my, what am I to do, do I have to  lend him the “Bruce” biography?

He’s sure growing up fast, and in a good way. I’ve never thought he’ll be listening to “our” music, we surely never forced it on him, but I’m happy that he’s growin up with Bruce, like we did. It’s a good companion to have on the road.

 

 

 

Bruce Springsteen is America

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In 2012 I attended Bruce’s show at Citizen Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia. I barely listened to the new albums, because some bands are just meant to be experienced live.

From the moment Bruce and his crew pulled up in their vans in the baseball stadium and he speaked his first words, “My people!” I was in awe.

The baseball stadium was full, but it felt like we were in his backyard. Bruce has the ability to make a large crowd feel like close friends. And we all were. In the many concerts I’ve been to, the thing I hate most is the crowds. The people sucking face in front of you, the stupid girls jumping up in the air, the guys who growl unwittingly into the air after too many beers. Usually, a concert is the kind of thing that makes me go into survival mode. But the Bruce Springsteen crowd was full of nice people in all shapes, ages and sizes who just wanted to admire and have fun. He showed us not only a good time, but that he could outlast us all.

The Boss is at retirement age, but he’s built. And stylish. And maybe even better looking than he was in previous decades. He and the band played the first few songs with the stadium lights at full blast, and then the stadium darkened for some of his newer work. While he had a lot of fun singing his old songs—hits like “Hungry Heart” and “Badlands”—it was the newer songs that seemed to pull at him emotionally and represent where he is right now. Then there was his little speech on ghosts, the ones he sees everywhere that remind him of who he was, where he was, what’s missing and what still remains.

Bruce Springsteen is poet and preacher, performer and brooder, colonel and lover. He leads that band through the trenches of an almost four-hour concert and doesn’t seem to need to come up for air. He doesn’t even seem to need a bathroom break.

I was tired from standing for two hours, but I don’t think Bruce Springsteen ever wants to stop playing music.

I’m getting all sentimental and idealistic and romantic. I’m thinking things like, Bruce Sprinsteen is America. Bruce Springsteen is my childhood, he’s where I come from, he’s my people.

His voice—filled with equal measure of strength and ache—brings me right back to sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car when I was seven and they sang along to the story about Crazy Janey and her birthday song.

That’s the thing about music. It cuts right to your soul so that when you hear the familiar strings, you’re weightless and timeless, the very person you were when you first heard it. And the artist who brings that to you is a magic-maker.

Not only does Bruce Springsteen seem to represent the very definition of the American man, but he’s a magician whose art is on the cusp of hubris, managing to step back just in time before going over the edge. “Are you hot? Are you having fun? Are you tired? Are you feeling a little uncomfortable? Well, that’s rock-n-roll, baby!”