Bruce on Bruce

Springsteen on SpringsteenI am reading this book of interviews slowly, savouring every moment. Through his own words, Bruce comes forward as the human being we know him to be. Just a kid from an insignificant town doing what he does best. And trying to be useful while enjoying himself.

Just a few random picks to wet your appetite:

From the early years:

… overlooked aspect of Bruce’s many talents is his ability to express his hopes, dreams and dedication so eloquently in interviews and speeches.

… he is often as articulate and provocative in interviews and speeches as he is emotive onstage and in records.

“I don’t just grind (interviews) out … I think the main thing is the quality.”

Springsteen has little small talk.

… signs of having had some considerable thought expended on them.

… he was running on fumes and Continue reading

Quick review: Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin

BruceSo much has been written about this book, and by more knowledgeable fans and musical fundi’s than myself, that I am not going to try and construct a detailed review here. I will leave you with just a few thoughts:

  • The book is an easy and pleasurable read. Not overly flowery, but written in beautiful English.
  • But, with due respect to the author, the most beautiful English is that spoken by The Boss himself. The direct quotations are mostly little gems that show us why Bruce Springsteen’s work still has so much impact – the man has a wonderful way to say even the most basic things.
  • Lots and lots of research was done and carefully used, an immense task.
  • Some of the detail of the processes in the various studios became a bit tedious to me, but for fans who are technically minded it may be very interesting.
  • I was a bit surprised to find so much input from the ever quiet Garry Tallent. And quite a lot of it came over as a bit negative. We are so used to him, always there, always in his place, that it comes as a surprise that he may not always have been too happy in that spot.
  • On the other hand, the total absence of Continue reading

Once again: Thank you, Bruce!

AgteroorThis article sums up beautifully the gift from Springsteen to all depression fighters – the gift of not hiding it any more:

Bruce Springsteen’s decision to take antidepressants was coloured by the fact that his father didn’t or wouldn’t. But it took a lot of psychotherapy for him to reach that point.

That is the stark admission we get from Bruce, the recent biography by Peter Ames Carlin. While the book wasn’t authorised per se, Springsteen gave Carlin countless interview hours, facilitated meetings with family and friends, and opened up his personal scrapbook to the author.

The fact that Springsteen has spoken openly about his chronic depression and other issues, and his use of medication to deal with those problems, has been welcomed by some in the fields of medicine and psychology as a breakthrough, given his popularity as a performer. It’s been quite a Continue reading

A special gift!

BruceNo, I am not talking about the book as such, although it is one of the best presents I have ever given myself.

But even better are the few paragraphs on pages 454 and 455, where Bruce speaks about his struggle with dark moods and depression. By speaking about it, he acknowledges the ongoing battle of so many depression fighters. So many of us are still ashamed of it and find it very hard to admit that we struggle. But here is this brilliant, rich and famous man – and he admits to being in therapy for many years, to being on antidepressants, to being unable to stay completely out of the claws of depression. Then surely the rest of us can do it, too?

“You go through periods of being good, then something Continue reading

Brucified!

Bruce met boekmerkThis is my first read of a Springsteen biography.

Overall experience with books about him has not been too good.

With the exception of the Big Man’s book. Which in fact did not say that much about Bruce.

Thus Bruce is a real experience to me. I have not finished it yet, is reading and digesting in small parts.

I feel the author has really tried to portray the man in all his greatness and humanity. I do not find attempts at sensation. Or maybe it is because there is so little stuff for sensation is his life.

Full report later – enough to say that I think this book is an absolute must for every Springsteen fan.

PS. No, it is not a peace of jewellery, but only part Continue reading

Book: Darkness on the edge

The second book about Springsteen that I read on Kindle, is Darkness on the edge: Tales inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen, edited (2008) by Harrison Howe.

The idea to have short stories written on the base of Springsteen songs is of course brilliant. And very logical, seeing that most of his songs are just perfect little short stories with (often) a great beat. And those who do not tell a story, usually paint such a clear picture that Continue reading

Books: Beyond the palace

One of the joys brought by my brand new Kindle (appropriately named Bobby Jean!) is the easier and cheaper access to books about Bruce. Previously I had to order all books from overseas and of course the shipping adds a lot to the cost. But now they are at my fingertips … and the joy of those free samples!
One of the first e-books I bought was Beyond the palace by Sarah Elizabeth Goodman. I found it a very interesting concept to construct a story around a Springsteen tour. It also made me feel less weird to realize once again that out there there are thousands of people for whom Bruce and his music are such a large part of their lives. And I must add that it Continue reading