Cape Town Night Two – 28 January 2014

Met Pete Seeger 1Last night I felt like an experienced fan. Gone were the anxiousness, the jitters and the fear of the unknown of Sunday night. In was the heady feeling of something great drawing near. I knew the venue, how the process of entering is handled (although they made some changes), where I like to stand, what to expect of the audience.

Of course I knew what to expect of Bruce. Has he ever had a bad show Continue reading

Fighting depression: The value of lasting relationships

FriendshipTo me this picture symbolizes the lasting friendship among these eight people. There must have been occasions when things did not go that well. There must be some personalities that do not gel that well with certain others. But over the years they managed to not only keep in touch, but to maintain that special something which make them so special as the ESB.

I am sure the band members had lots of negative feelings when Bruce basically sacked them to work on his marriage with Patti and building a family. I have only read of Clarence who said something in the press about it and even then it was without malice. Recently I have read about Bruce saying he was just no good to them at that stage. I am sure as time went by they realized that and respected him for his decision.

The way they all came back when the time was right never seizes to amaze me. Surely the time apart gave each one the opportunity to build his own life, find other ways of earning money and expressing himself, to work on their own families. The wonderful thing among wonderful things is that all of them survived in the big world outside the ESB, all of them were there when it was the right time for the reunion.

Healthy relations are crucial to human beings. We need to work on that and not take it for granted. Without people to really connect to, we are more susceptible to all kinds of dangers, among which is certainly depression.

We need to work on surrounding us with people who add value to our lives and try to avoid the negative ones who only take value away. Of course it is not always possible, but at least we can try.

I always like the image of Bruce personally calling each band member when he had to tell them he wants to go forward on his own. It must have been very difficult for him, but he did not send Jon in to do it of let them read about it in the press.

Communication is vital to healthy relationships, we all know that. Unfortunately most of us also knows how difficult real communication is.

Let’s keep the band’s example in mind and work hard to follow their example of investing in the important relationships in our lives.

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

Countdown Kid # 96: Livin’ in the future

The E Street Band reunited for The Rising in 2002, but I would argue that the classic E Street Band sound didn’t return until 5 years later with this track off Magic. The groove is lifted straight from “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” with Clarence’s burly sax still blowing Bruce down the street just as it did 30 years earlier. 

The lyrics are a study in denial. Even with all of the walls of his life crumbling down upon him, the narrator tricks himself into believing everything is fine in the chorus with his own little imaginary time machine: “We’re livin’ in the future and none of this has happened yet.”

Even the band is in on the ruse, negating the dire lyrics with a good-time assault that even features some happy-go-lucky “sha-na-nas” at the end. Only Danny Federici’s organ solo lets some anguish Continue reading

Countdown Kid # 97: Mary Lou

After three years of rather intense study I am now at the point where it is still a surprise to discover new songs that I do not know yet. Still loving the long road of discovery!

This is what Countdown Kids says about Mary Lou:

Bruce never found a home for this song, though the fact that some lyrics show up in different incarnations elsewhere leads me to believe he gave it a good try. Eventually released on Tracks, “Mary Lou” might have been a tough fit for any album because of its very specific subject matter: A girl who’s mesmerized by movie stars and transfers that fascination to her real life by dating guys who are only out for good times that last about as long as your Continue reading

Manchester (continued)

About ten days have passed and I seem to have lost the essence of the show experience. I find it difficult to remember detail about any of the songs. As dearly as I would have loved to catch time in my hands and hold it, to hang on to the essence of the experience, I could not do it. It is over. It is gone. I will have to find a way to deal with the sense of loss that threatens to overwhelm me at the moment.

But I can see myself very clearly on both nights. In Sunderland in the pit, absolutely overwhelmed by the mass of people pressed around me (have read that somebody said he has Continue reading

Seeing the Boss

Unfortunately I cannot post while I am still travelling.

Will be back home next week.

I have so much to say!

What I can say in the minute I have now, is that Bruce has delivered.

As he always seems to do.

Also that I was in the pit and I coped very well.

Also that he is very beautiful up close.

I saw a gentle spirit and a big heart.

And it made me very happy.

PS. Photo proudly taken by myself (Sunderland).

Looking back 1: 18 May 2011 – A lifelong campaign to see the Boss live

In my country the idea of huge live music shows in stadiums is only just settling in with recent visits by the likes of U2, Neil Diamond and Roxette. For a middle-aged (hate that word!) woman it is fairly weird to have a desire to attend something like that, unless it is somebody like Neil, who was on his height of popularity when you were young. I am also aware of the fact that Bruce will most likely never come to SA. I am still amazed Continue reading

Why I admire Bruce Springsteen (12) – A man who can deal with loss

Since Bruce and his work became part of my life towards the end of 2009, he has lost quite a few important persons in his life.

Through death, I mean.

Could be he has lost some to life also. As we all sometimes do.

None of these  losses has stopped him in his tracks.

I am sure there were private moments of despair. And maybe Continue reading

Wrecking ball lyrics: We are alive

At the first listen We are alive seemed to be a rather weird song. Quite gross, to be honest. (If you don’t agree, just read the last verse.) Beautiful lines about tragedy and death set to a jolly little tune which makes you want to dance. Although Bruce  is a genius at setting heartbreaking lyrics to catchy tunes and driving rhythms, this song seems to go too far in that Continue reading

Busy Boss!

The two most important (in my opinion) articles about Bruce today:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopmusic/9087360/Bruce-Springsteen-I-enjoy-artists-who-take-on-the-world.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/cdreviews/9087107/Bruce-Springsteens-new-album-Wrecking-Ball-track-by-track-review.html

Going on without someone you love

As the news of Bruce’s new arrangements to replace Clarence became known, it was interesting how many fans commented on just how many musicians it takes to fill the void the Big Man has left. (My personal favourite is the comment about the horny E Street Band. 🙂 Seems like it might fit in well with the love-making, booby shaking, Viagra taking, etc. E Street Band.)
But of course Clarence cannot be replaced. (Personally I am glad that Bruce brought in a group of musicians, because I feel it would have been a terrible strain on a single person to have to appear in front of all those thousands of people who will all be thinking of Clarence.) Nobody can be replaced, even if he/she was the humblest of persons known only in a small circle. The utter Continue reading

Still remembering the Big Man

On the day that Clarence would have been 70, I was saying good-bye to the wonderful country of Norway and my son who have lived there for the past three years. I had no-one to share my feelings about Clarence with, as the brothers spent the day watching films on the computer, due to bad weather. I think my memories of Clarence missing this great birthday and myself saying a difficult good-bye will forever be entwined. While I am so very happy with my first two Springsteen shows waiting up in June, I also feel an impending sense of Continue reading

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Feel the fear …

I read somewhere that Max once said “Bruce makes you do things you never thought you could do.” Well, for me this certainly is true.
Firstly, I have never before admired any entertainer (and no, I don’t think this word even begins to describe what Bruce does) so much and made such a study of his work.  I have never Continue reading

The Mighty Max speaks out

Here are two quotes from a lovely conversation with Max Weinberg (the link is at the end of this post:
“When I auditioned for Bruce it was one of the most miraculous moments in my life. I’ve read where people with the Chicago Bulls or the New York Yankees would say how playing with Michael Jordan or Derek Jeter would raise your game, and Bruce is like that. He makes you do things you never thought Continue reading

Bad news!

But how do we know what to believe??? Nowadays just about anybody can post anything on the internet … Will we know when it’s the real thing?
Anyway, Blogness on the edge of town reports that the rumour about a new Springsteen album called Arcade at night was started as a prank.
http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/springsteen/2011/10/02/springsteen-arcade-at-night-album-revealed-as-prank/#axzz1ZczCrMF0
Personally I thought it was too early for Bruce to have a new song about Clarence written and recorded, although the title was just perfect – Larger than life. Certainly this guy knows his Springsteen. And apparently his prank has turned on him. Hope it teaches Continue reading

A difficult birthday

As Bruce’s birthday is drawing near and the ever-present rumours about a tour and/or an album keep coming in, I seem to be the only one seriously worrying over the man.
Fact is, he is in mourning. Clarence was nearer than a brother to him. He lost somebody (and quite unexpectedly) who has been part of his life for nearly forty years. As has been written a thousand times or more, Clarece was his perfect foil on stage, just Continue reading

Hawk Radio – Tribute to Clarence

Yes, I know I am far behind, but I still want to share this with anybody who might have missed it. In the Blogness post about the new Bruce show coming op on radio, was this link to a wonderful programme the day right after Clarence’s passing.
http://www.mediafire.com/?17m8s2da0o9c4vg
Thus I have also discovered the Bruce Brunch – which for me falls right in my Sunday afternoon nap … Will have to see if I (and my family!) can handle this in addition Continue reading

Sparks fly on E Street!

If you have not seen it yet, make sure to have a look at this site.
http://sparksflyonestreet.wordpress.com/ is a wonderful project by what must be a real Bruce disciple, telling Bruce’s story through the eyes of a fictional character. I especially like the detail references which are given. A great read for every fan!

The first three chapters e.g. covered the famous entrance of the Big Man and also Bruce’s first audition Continue reading

Love across the boundaries

One of the things I found interesting in the numerous posts about Clarence and Bruce that I have read since the Big Man’s death, is the racial aspect of their relationship and how unique it was to have an integrated band in those early days. Being quite ignorant about most matters American, I have simply not realized that race was still such an issue at that time. When Little Steven mentioned some dates of certain Acts during his tribute to Clarence on the Underground Garage (if you have not listened to that, make sure you do) I was astonished by how recent it was then (early 70’s).
Of course that made me think about my own troubled Continue reading

Inspired by Springsteen. Again.

I have just received my free copies of my second romance novel inspired by Bruce. The title can roughly be translated as His most beautiful words. This time there is no reference to any of his songs. Where I needed lyrics, I used some written in Afrikaans by my son. A few aspects of Bruce’s life, personality and music have been built into the character of the romantic hero. The exceptional lyrics, the stardom and reaction against it, the quest for renewal, the passion, the energy, the work ethic. Really a romantic hero to die for. Set against a South African background, of course, with Clarence becoming Sonny Boy Pieterse from the townships and the E Street Continue reading