Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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

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.

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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