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

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.

Just let him play, he knows what he’s doing

I actually find annoying this absurd anxiety about what he’ll play on the next tour, or – when he’s touring- the next date. That’s a habit I see around a lot speaking with other fans and it doesn’t make sense. If you say so, it’s not true that other phrase we hear a lot, he can sing to me even the telephone directory but as long as he sings I’m happy!
There was this concert last summer and I was there like praying because I wanted Darkness full album, but Bruce announced Born in the USA instead and for a moment I was there like OH MY GOD… But then I said to myself that’s Bruce, that’s the man who changed my life, who the hell cares what he plays, he’s here!
Let him play whatever he wants, we have to enjoy these moments with him and the E Street as long as we have them. Instead sometimes the show ends, you go on line the next day all happy and warm inside with the aftershow glow, and there’s always these bunch of sad morons complaining for what he played, or did not play. Come on. Seriously, you do have a problem, just admit it.
I’m young, five years back I did not even dare to hope I would have seen him, after Clarence’s passing away. But here I am, I have seen him, and the Band a few times. It’s a dream come true.
One of the dearest memory I have is when he took the harmonica and started The River… I know he wasn’t playing it for me but in a way he was, and anyway that was not important, I was there with my eyes fixed on him and I kept telling myself Thank you Bruce and it was like all the stadium did not even exist, and that’s one memory I’ll always take with me, it’s one of those gifts he makes you that give you strenght to go on everyday, and that’s one thing only Bruce can do, for me, and I’m just grateful.

Live and let live


So, what does your partner think of your passion for Bruce?

Him: Well, I asked her. Listen dear, I have to write some answers on a Bruce quest…

Her: OOOOH Holy Moly, not again! I know you!

Him: No, really, it’s like an interview, but they wanna know the “partner” point of view in all this…

Her: Oh yeah? Ok. You can write this: my opinion on other people’s life and passions it’s: Live and let live!

Him: So, really, she doesn’t care. She knows, though, that if Someone from New Jersey calls, I have to go. Besides, I really prefer to travel light, for the show, if you know what I mean.

She really likes Point Blank. The original in The River’s version, not the live one. She doesn’t like the live because he doesn’t sing, but mostly speaks.

And in any case, I’ll drive all night just to buy her a new pair of shoes. I just love her.


Guilty, your Honor


Without Bruce Springsteen’s music my life would be easier. Yes. I’m serious. And it’s not a “better – worse” question.
Before bumpin’ into the crowd’s roar at “Born in the USA”, followed a few minutes later by a “father vs. son” speech introducing “The River”, music for me was just, you know, entertainment. Fun. Dance floors and easy-listening.

After those few minutes, I realized that some kind of music can change lives: it will become a lifetime companion, it will never betray you, if you let her into your heart. Your life will change, and in better.
Ok, and that’s the positive part. Problems start to arise when you start thinking “Wow, if music make people feel better that way, and I wanna try to make people feel better, well, I can try playin’ music!”. That’s when things get complicated.

Because you have to deal with doors slammed in your face, relationship failures, nights spent awake driving in the cold, broken backs carryin’ guitars, amps, drums, just some examples.
But hey, there’s a few rewards, if you’re lucky enough. It’s your dreams, and life at large, and your audience’s dreams, and life at large, that melt together when you’re on stage.
And you, and them, you all feel better. And believe me, if doesn’t matter if there’s only one guy or millions in the audience. (ok, I have to admit I’ve got a better experience in the one-guy-option…).
And if you’re luckier, this happens also when you jump off the stage.
So, for all this and all what I’m dealing with since 1994, there’s only one man you’ll find guilty.
Bruce Springsteen.
I hope now you’ll understand what I mean when I say “easier life” a few lines ago, and maybe you’ll also find an answer to the “better – worse” question.
I got a pretty good idea about it.