Sometimes in the blessed name of Elvis, you just let it blast!

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I think we all agree on the low musical judgement, regarding the 92/93 world tour with the band of misfits en route. But I have to say that I was 16 at the time, it was my first show ever, and I have fond memories of the concert per se.
I remember me and my friend arriving at the big queue, two mommy’s sweethearts in jeans and bandana on the wrists meandering at the half of the queue, a guy from the security telling us to go back at the end of the line and one girl in queue saying Well if it’s just the two of them… Imagine something like this happening to one of us today? bahahah.
And so we entered, and waited, and waited.
I barely knew he had a new Band, that was not THE Band. But I onestly thought I would never see the E Street on stage, and that was the first time in my life I was going to see Bruce, and I was beyond excited. I remember the crowd in the parterre waiting for the show began to sing the Glory Days chorus, I’ve never heard that on the next tours.
I liked the opening with Better Days, to me it was one of the best opening ever (not beating Tenth Avenue, ok). Bruce soo young, smiling, lively, bouncing all over the stage. We think now he has energy on stage, and he does, but those days… well, younger crowd, younger band, and younger Bruce. With a black shirt with paramecium, long hair, and big big smiles, just happy to be onstage again.
And me, well, I was already on nirvana, I was so happy!
Born in the USA, that was the second song I was waiting for (ok, again, I was sixteen!), but when it happened I thought it strange, the drums not quite beating the right “beat”, Roy overflowing at the synth, it was too weak, too…blah.
I really liked Local Hero and Darkness, not so much If I should fall behind, I thought it lame, at the time. Nothing compared to the ’99 version, anyway.
57th Channels was good, with that intro “No justice No peace”, but besides that I thought it was a song with a meaning, with the video on Rodney King riots in LA, and all those channels and nothing worth watching, and our inability to be satisfied no matter what abundance we have. And how about if we shut it down and talk to each other, what a concept! I thought it had a strong message, but after that tour it simply vanished… he only got it back a little in Livin’ in a future, I think. And anyway that line: sometimes in the blessed name of Elvis, you just let it blast! is a really good one.
I really don’t remember a single moment of The river, my first The river, I want to kill myself right now.
Living proof was a really powerful one, I think because Bruce really felt for it.
My hometown was great, and Badlands was a blast: the crowd was goin’ crazy, beer flying everywhere, fists rising at the sky, jumping and shouting. A great one, with any band.
Leap of faith, that’s another of which I don’t have any recollection at all: and it’s one of those few songs for I’ll offer a relative to the altar of the Gods of Rock just to have a chance to hear it live, now.
Man’s job. Ok, that was my favourite of the two albums: at that time I was dating a girl older than me, and I listened to that song thinking it was about the work a real man has to do to be with an older woman. I know I was just deluding myself, but you read in a song what you want to read in it, sometimes.
Roll of the dice, too long, really, did not care for it.
Lucky town, a nice one, I really like this one. I think it’s a great rock song, very underrated in Bruce’s career.
Gloria’s eyes. Cover me, Brilliant Disguise, Real man, I don’t have any memories, complete fog.
Tougher than the rest, Patti on stage with a miniskirt, ended the song with a kiss.
Thunder road, I don’t remember it, not a second. How patetic is this?
Light of day, WOW, just WOWZA. That was the first time I hear of this song, but such energy, Bruce unleashed on stage…Great rock’n’roll moment.
Human touch, I honestly have to say that is not such a bad song as many fans think, in my opinion. Maybe it’s also because it’s the title track of one of the weakest albums of his career, but the song alone is good, for me.
Then Glory Days, Working on the highway -choosing a girl to dance onstage with him- and Bobby Jean (not a bad triptych, considering, ehn?): a lot of singing, and sweating, and rock’n’roll in full blast.
Hungry heart. I know there had been timid signs from Bruce’s side to try and sing it in a soul version, but as far as I can remember we anticipated the chorus, and it ended with him givin’up the choisters and he sang the old version. It’s funny because I think in general he does onstage what he actually wants… but in that tour, with Hungry Heart, it was like the crowd said: Ok new band, 4 years without a show, no Clarence, and you want to change H.H. too? No way! You sing it how WE want it!!! bahahah.
My beautiful reward, that was strange, ending a show with a slow piece, but it was actually beautiful. And anyways he didn’t end it: he remained onstage to annouce Born to run, and the crowd went crazy: people crying, shouting, girls tossed in the air, hats flying, my backpack opened while I was jumping spilling everywhere the contents, and I did not stop to collect any of them, someone even estinguished his cigarette on my pack! (at those medieval times you could smoke in a sports arena!). I am fully aware of the fact that really, today, that Born to run version would be easily classified as ugly, to be kind. But we were completely happy at that time, I went home on a perfect cloud of happiness and joy.
And so, what can I say… I know, that was not a great band, nor a great tour, in the history of Bruce’s tour. But I have really great great concert memories, and, well, let’s say that sometimes I wish it was ’92 all over again.
 it

Bobby Jean

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When I was young I had this cassette, my first downright musicassette, not just Bruce’s. First song was Johnny ByeBye, then Bobby Jean; it was an old tape, and you know how it was (if you were there when you paid for great music), you loved your tapes, and if they broke you tried to wind in the tape, to adjust it. And generally you succeeded, even if sometimes the tape got a little ruined in some places. And mine was like this, there was a little lameness in Bobby Jean, precisely when Bruce was talking of the rain and the fear, their was this delicate shrivel up of the words and the music, just for a second. But for me, it was like when you’re a baby and you’ve got your old teddy bear, all ruined and the threadbear fur and even without a paw, you LOVE it. So that was my song, my Bobby Jean, a little wrinkled, but mine, through the years and all the listening.

At that time, for me Bobby Jean was a love song, still is, actually. I did not have the texts, so I had figured in my mind all this movie of a love story with a beautiful girl. I did not understand all the words but I had this feeling that it was a story of two people who would never really leave each other. And I was not so mistaken, considering.

Yes, it’s a song for Stevie who was quitting the E Street Band.

But when you listen to it, alone in your car, with someone special, with a friend, with your love, in the dark of your bedroom or in front of a stage, it’s always the same and different song. If you’re in love, if you’ve been dumped, if a love has just ended or if a new one is just growing, with a brother or with a stranger you have just met under that stage, with someone who has been there for you your entire life: Bobby Jean has always something to tell you.

It speaks to you of a kind of love that never dies.

 

 

We’ve all had some of those Springsteen moments

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Music has always been important for me. Not a day has passed in my life without some music in it. Sometimes it helped me to escape from reality or relaxing on a bad day, sometimes it just kept me good company. But it was a passion I did not share: it was mine and nobody else’s.  Then Bruce’s music entered my life, and it changed that role: his lyrics about looking out and loving beyond ourselves, about brotherhood and love that can exist among good friends, his belief in gaining strenght from relationships… All these messages became real when I started meeting persons who shared the same passion during Springsteen’s concerts or tribute bands events and I quickly established relationships with them. Some of them have become real good friends and, in spite of distances, we try to stay in contact as soon as we can; they have really become an important part of my everyday life. That’s what Bruce’s music has meant to me, and I’ll be forever grateful.

In this picture I’m with two of my dearest bloodsisters sharing one of our “Springsteen” moments (I’m the one with the curly hair).

Joy to the world

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I found Bruce music quite late in my life. In 1997 my cousin and I went to the States, for our first “on the road” trip. She was in charge of the soundtrack, she put in the luggage some tapes, and one of them was Born in the USA. I knew the name of course, but I had never really LISTENED to him, before. Long story short, that tape was the one we played the most during our travel, at the end it was completely ruined. We spent hours driving on the roads of America singing No surrender and Darlington County at the loudest possible volume, shouting all the Sha la la in the chorus, raising our hands and waving them out of the windows, clapping the tempo on the dashboard, laughing and smiling. I remember that the people in the cars driving alongside looked at us quite puzzled, possibly thinking we were drunk or stoned. But we smiled at them and waved our hands in greeting, and they passed by laughing and waving back: it’s nice to think we infected everyone around us with our joy! We were just so young and happy, so fully alive, so incredibly overflowing with joy in a country we loved and dreamt of for many many years. And Bruce music was there with us, to show us that we were Born in the USA. Of course I know that’s not what the song is about at all; but in that moment we were there, alive in America, and all the meaning of life was in those songs and in that music.
I’m not quite sure I’ve ever had a similar powerful feeling of happiness in being alive, after that.