This land was made for you and me #woodyguthrie

“You throw a rock in water, and you watch the ripples,” Nora Guthrie said. “I see these people singing these songs, and I’m not responsible for what happens. Each of them sees Woody through their own eyes; no one really knows who Woody was or is. I love it when I see people like Springsteen and Morello or John Fogerty together with those songs, because it all comes together in the big picture.” Nora Guthrie

We are late to celebrate Woody Guthrie’s birthday, born on July 14, 1912, but we’d like to think of him for a moment. We know that Bruce is a fan of the Dust Bowl-era folk troubadour in many ways. Guthrie’s signature song “This Land Is Your Land” was performed live by Bruce for all the Eighties, and Bruce himself said that he had been directly inspired to record The Ghost of Tom Joad by Guthrie’s work. Plus, he played two songs in the Guthrie-Leadbelly tribute album Folkways: A Vision Shared, “I Ain’t Got No Home” and “Vigilante Man” (if you don’t have please check it, is a very good one, featuring artists such as Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Little Richard, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson and Pete Seeger, among many others).

Bruce also paid homage to the torbadour on his keynote address at the SXSW music industry festival in Texas, where he first conceded that he had no interest in becoming a resurrection of Woody Guthrie, who never had a hit record or a platinum disc. “I liked the luxuries and comforts of being a star,” he laughed. But after reading Joe Klein’s “Woody Guthrie: A Life” in his early 30s, the Boss felt he’d obtained a strategy for shaping the form he loved — rock music — into something that could address grown-up problems.

“I’ve first fallen for the stories — and the hard stoicism — of country music. But even as I was attracted to the fatalism of country artists like Hank Williams and Jerry Lee Lewis, I found something toxic about those singers’ resignation to cruel fate. I wanted an answer to the implicit question posed in Williams’ “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It”: why, I wondered, were hard times permanent for working men and women?”

and in Guthrie’s work, he found a way forward: “fatalism tempered by a practical idealism,” and a conviction that “speaking truth to power wasn’t futile.”.

“There was always some spiritual center amid Woody’s songs. He always projected a sense of good times in the face of it all. He always got you thinking about the next guy, he took you out of yourself. I guess his idea was salvation isn’t individual. Maybe we don’t rise and fall on our own.

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen on Gay rights #MarriageEquality #Lovewins

“Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I’ve been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton,” Springsteen wrote. “I’ve long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, ‘The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is — a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law.’ I couldn’t agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.”
Bruce Springsteen, 2009

1-461

Maximum rock’n’roll

the boss2

I think I’ve seen this picture for the first time in the nineties, maybe around the time Access all areas from Lynn Goldsmith was published. It’s from Stefanko, and it’s one of those pictures, like the ones miss Goldsmith’s took, I look at it and I think this, THIS was what they were, this is the myth itself, Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band.

This is THE Band, seven men on a rock’n’roll mission, and no-one ever after that, that’s the reason why it took me so long to even accept Nils, go figure, for years and years he was the “new” guitarist, and don’t let me start with the last line up, choirs, bells, castanets, tambourines, piffaros and jake clemons. I respect the new years and the new artists on stage, even love them, I understand that changes were inevitables, but I learned to love them on other rock’n’roll standards, and if you grew up with a Cain raised from an Adam, and with the Clarence’ side onstage opposite to Stevie’ side, you can’t forget. Life is abut going forward, not back, and that’s it: but we don’t forget.

The picture that will always be Bruce and the E Street is this one, or one of those around the 1978 era, years in which they went out playing onstage so charged they felt they could kill the public to the sound of drums and guitars, and not just one night, every night, all night. That was when the legend took form, concerts played to conquer the world with guitar blows, with no party time, no politics, no girls onstage, no entertainment debate, no useless global discussion on the set list.

I had a friend once, he was 29 when he attended his first Bruce’s show, it was on the Reunion tour, I bought him the ticket to make him understand, and as it is said, he saw him onstage and he understood, and became a fan. Still, he did not grew up with Bruce, he never spent nights attached to his headphones with some bootleg on, alone in the dark listening to a rockn’n’roll singer because you needed that singer to explain something to you about your existence, to make a sense to all the pain, the rage, the boredom, the dispair in your life. You needed Bruce to help you make a little sense in that complete mess your life had suddenly become, and if you did not grow up year after year with this, if you never hanged on to Bruce and his music like it was your last chance of passion and happiness on Earth, than you cannot understand, I’m afraid. I tried to explain this picture to my friend, that thing Clarence said about going out onstage completely charged on rage and passion, ready to burst into flames at the first notes, and he asked me :”Why? why did they have to do that?”

Why?

Because that’s what the people wanted, not just the band onstage: maximum rock’n’roll power shooted directly into your veins, every night you wanted, all night long. That’s why this picture is Bruce and the E Street Band, and will always be, and no-one other, ever.