Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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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