Out of the badlands into the promised land

Until recently I have concentrated on the positive side of one of the songs of Bruce Springsteen I love best, namely The Promised Land.
If I could take one moment into my hands

Mister I ain’t a boy, no I’m a man
And I believe in a promised land
And then one day I just saw the explanation of years of my own struggle in the rest of the song. I spent years of unhappiness in the wrong career, feeling exactly as Bruce describes here:
I’ve done my best to live the right way

I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this whole town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start
And all the time I kept Continue reading

Why I admire Bruce Springsteen (7): The power of friendship

The amazing long-term relationship of Bruce Springsteen with the members of the E-Street Band is one of the things I really admire. I have not read anything nasty, degrading or plain negative that one of them has said about Bruce or any of the other E-streeters. On the wonderful recreation of Darkness on the edge of town in the old theatre it struck me again: The solid wall of support they form behind him, with Clarence and Stevie like two pillars of strength by his sides. And that makes me think of his moving eulogy for Danny Federici: every night at 8p.m. we walk out on stage together and that, my friends, is a place where miracles occur … old and new miracles. And those you are Continue reading

The blogroll is rolling!

During the past eighteen months or so I have read a great number of really informing articles about Bruce on the internet. With my limited (but courageously growing!) computer skills all I could do was bookmark them in order to be able to revisit. Those were of course in the bad old days before the blogging bug hit me with nearly the same impact as the Bruce bug!
I am now steadily working to sort through those websites and blogs and ad them to my blogroll. Sorry to say it myself, but I think I am building a very nice library of knowledge about him here. Even if nobody else reads it, it will serve as a great passtime when I am one day sitting in the old age home and not being able to do much anymore! (While, I am sure, Bruce will be singing to the folks in his old age home!)
So, if you have a moment to enrich yourself with info about Bruce Springsteen, his wonderful lyrics, his vibrant music, his four decades of dedication to rock music or anything in between – get the blogroll rolling!

Why I admire Bruce Springsteen (6): A song for every emotion

In a previous post I wondered if Bruce has an idea how much his work means emotionally to so many people. Yes, I know there have been numerous programs and books about it, but still, does he understand? CAN he understand, not being a fan, but being the man himself? His work just resonates with so many emotions.
It ranges from the youthful playfullness of Out in the Street, through the anguish of the Darkness album, the beautiful love songs on the new The Promise, the hope and determination to make a better life in Badlands and The promised land, the celebration of Continue reading

Live in New York City: Youngstown

Here in north east Ohio
Back in eighteen-o-three
James and Danny Heaton
Found the ore that was linin’ yellow creek
They built a blast furnace
Here along the shore
And they made the cannon balls
That helped the union win the war

If you did not know it is a Springsteen song, it just as well could have been the beginning of a short story or an historical novel. But in his hands it becomes a seering lamentation about the greed of men and Continue reading

Why I admire Bruce Springsteen (5): A man who can multi-task!

Watching Bruce and The Band onstage (on DVD – never had the opportunity to see him live) I realized that I am watching something very rare – a man who can do quite a few things at one time! In my world, that is a scarce and wonderful gem to find. 🙂
He keeps the band together, he works the crowd and the Continue reading

HGRNJ – Top 10 for the last decade

Just in case somebody has not seen it yet – here is Julian’s top 10 Springsteen songs for the last decade:

10. Devils and dust
9. You’re missing
8. My city of ruins
7. Outlaw Pete – a surprise to me
6. Working on a dream
5. American land
4. Girls in their summer clothes
3. Long walk home – my personal number 1
2. Lonesome day – a huge surprise to me
1. The rising

Live in New York City!

In an attempt to save a potentially very blue Monday, I grabbed my Live in NY City CD, which I have not really studied before. Yes, the blues are gone … but an itching yearning has replaced it – to see the DVD. Or – of course – to could have been there. I have never in my life heard such a party! It is just crystal clear that they are having the time of their life.

Only now have I read the jacket text, and found the clip from the NY Times, which tells me that this concert happend a year Continue reading

Bruce on writing for Darkness

Towards the end of his essay on writing for Darkness Bruce wrote these words: “To make “Racing” and those other big titles personal, I had to infuse the music with my own hopes and fears. If you don’t do that, you characters ring hollow, and you’re left with rhetoric, words without meaning.
Most of my writing is emotionally autobiographical. You’ve got to pull op the things that mean something to you in order for them to mean anything to your audience. That’s how they know you’re not kidding.”

As a writer this makes perfect sense to me. If you writing does not really come from inside yourself, it can easily be Continue reading

HGRNJ – Best of Bruce for the last decade – last ten

Here are Julian Garcia and his panel’s choices for the number 11-20 best Bruce songs for the last ten years. NB. In no specific order.
1.   Mary’s place – The Rising
2.   I’ll work for your love – Magic
3.   Radio Nowhere – Magic
4.   The Promise – The Promise
5.   Waitin’ on a sunny day – The Rising
6.   Kingdom of days – Working on a dream
7.   The wrestler – WOAD
8.   My lucky day – WOAD
9.   Pay me my money down – Seeger Sessions
10.  Save my love – The Promise

Philadelphia: The movie

I have just watched this movie for the first time. Yes, I know, I know … But surely it is a case of better late than never.
Of course I was interested in the film because of the theme song  Streets of Philadelphia by Springsteen. But compelling as it was, it is not the only thing I will remember from the film. I got so much more. The performances by both Tom Hanks and Denzil Washington were some of the best acting I have ever seen.
It is not an easy movie to watch. But it is a movie you must see – in my opinion definetely worthy of the many prizes it won. And of course Streets capture the spirit of the movie perfectly.
Here is Bruce at the Oscar ceremony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeIOtaydCyo&feature=related
Read the lyrics here: http://www.brucespringsteen.net/songs/StreetsOfPhiladelphia.html
I was bruised and battered and I couldn’t tell what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
Saw my reflection in a window
I didn’t know my own face …
The night has fallen, I’m lyin’ awake
I can feel myself fading away …
When you  have finished crying, read more about the film at
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107818/ 🙂

Why I admire Bruce Springsteen (4) – A well-rounded person

During the last year Springteen’s influence seeped into nearly all aspects of my life. And all of it is positive. I read and listen to his lyrics for inspiration for my own writing, his music fills the times when I am alone/bored/down with power and energy, my daily walk has become better with his music in my ears, I have even started working out on some Springsteen DVD’s.
Does that sound crazy? Obsessive? My family seems to think so, but I honestly don’t agree. I think it is just because there are so many facets to his work that his influence stretches so wide into people’s lives. (If you start reading on the internet, it quickly becomes clear that there are many, many people all over the world who experience this influence on their lives.) He is not a shallow character – like many so-called celebrities – who can do only one thing really well and that is it.  He seems to be a rounded personality who really tries to live his whole life in balance and integrity.
Yes, surely he must have a little weak point somewhere – but who cares? 🙂