Letters

Letters 08-25-14

Save America

I read your paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay silent...

Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full

In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...

Uncomfortable Questions

defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow. Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide. American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro Palestine or Hamas...

The Evolution of Man Revisited

As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Happy Birthday, Bruce
. . . .

Happy Birthday, Bruce

Ross Boissoneau - December 15th, 2005
So there we were in Mike Weiler’s early morning government class, learning about the checks and balances in our three-tiered government system and other sundry topics. One day a week we discussed current events, using Time magazine for the topics.
This day, after looking at whatever issues were most directly connected with government, Mr. Weiler closed by saying, “Have any of you heard of this guy on the cover?” Bill Barry and I rather tentatively raised our hands, sure that somewhere or another we’d heard of this Bruce Springsteen guy.
Now, 30 years later, Springsteen and the album that catapulted him to fame, “Born To Run,” are both certifiable icons. In celebration Columbia has released a remastered version of the disc, along with two companion DVDs. One is a live concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London from 1975, the other is “Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born To Run,” which also includes footage from a 1973 concert.
Anyone who listened to rock music in the ‘70s and ‘80s heard “Born To Run,” “Thunder Road,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” and “Jungleland.” The new version has a pristine sound that still delivers a wallop few albums have ever matched.
Of particular interest are “She’s the One” and the nearly forgotten “Meeting Across the River,” featuring a plaintive Randy Brecker trumpet obligato. If you haven’t listened to the recording in a while, it’s a refreshing blast of pure rock spirit, delivered with gusto and finesse. Plus Bruce sings his heart out.

NO HOLDS BARRED
Springsteen became the definitive “live” performer, his concerts legendary for his storytelling and the band’s no-holds-barred approach. That’s why the concert pieces included in this are so interesting. The London show took on a legendary status over the years, one view being that it was great, another that it was awful.
The first is correct. Bruce opens the show with Roy Bittan on piano for a stripped-down “Thunder Road.” The full band joins him for “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” Miami Steve Van Zandt resplendent in an orange suit, while sax man Clarence Clemons, clad in a white suit and fedora, received a hero’s welcome. The band is tight, rocking and supporting Bruce at every turn.
“Wings For Wheels” completes the package. It includes concert footage from 1973, with Clemons, Van Zandt, Danny Federici on keyboards, bassist Garry Tallent and drummer Vinnie Lopez. It’s raw, inelegant and curious, finding Springsteen at the piano singing as if he had marbles in his mouth.
It’s the documentary section of “Wings” that puts the album into a historical and personal context. “Everybody’s trying to get out,” Bruce says in the disc of the song stories that filled “Born To Run.” Yet Bruce was also trying to get in, into the epic quality of the songs he was doing.

ON THE LINE
Pressure was being exerted from all angles, from the label, from the media hype (“the next Dylan”). “If this record didn’t make it, it was obvious it was going to be the end of the recording career,” said Van Zandt. “He felt everything was on the line at that moment,” said pianist Roy Bittan.
Yet Springsteen says most of the pressure came from within. “The pressure was always kind of from myself. You know, you wanted to play great, you wanted to write something that was explosive,” he said.
Ultimately, of course, Bruce and the band produced one of the greatest rock records of all time. The follow-up, “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” was probably just as good, maybe even better, but it was “Born To Run” that saved a career and launched it at the same time. “We wanted it to be something that people would never forget,” said Springsteen’s manager, Jon Landau.
That they did. All hail the Boss.

 
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