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

Cape Town Day One – 26 January 2014

Belville-VelodromeNabyWhen I was privileged to see Bruce Springsteen in the UK (Sunderland and Manchester) in 2012, I never thought for one moment that he would ever come to South Africa. Well, for that matter, when I became a fan in late 2009 I never thought I would see him live.

Bruce his proved me wrong again and again. He taught me to dream and to work for my dreams. This enhanced my writing career, but most of all my personal life. So I, not an adventurous traveler, in 2012 managed to find a dear friend to guide me through the terrors of the level of public transport we only dream about here. Aged only a few years younger than Bruce, I made it to the pit in Sunderland – and survived to tell 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.

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

Countdown Kid # 98: Two Hearts

I absolutely love this song. This is what Countdown Kid has to say about it:

It rips by at such a hyperspeed pace, goosed by Max Weinberg’s rapid beat and the fast-fingered keyboard work of Roy Bittan and Danny Federici, that it’s easy to miss the depth of this peppy number off The River. Springsteen was taking a page from the Lennon/McCartney playbook by couching some of his deeply personal lyrics in a high-tempo number. In fact, if this song has a drawback, it’s that it takes that strategy too far to the extreme. If your ears pop, you could miss the message.

The second verse ranks with any of Springsteen’s all-time best, as he was beginning at that time to explore what it meant to be a man and what was really important in life. He sings: “Once I spent my time 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

A fine example!

Here is theSpringsteen  applicable part of a fine discussion of the work of three icons in the music world: Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and (of course!) Bruce Springsteen. It makes some interesing and very valid points about what makes Bruce so special. And why he is such an inspiration for so many people, musicians, fans or anybody trying to do anything creative.

“And then by far the weirdest release of the three: Springsteen’s post-recession bitchslap Wrecking Ball.  I’ve been mildly obsessed with The Boss for years, and spent most of Continue reading

Wrecking ball lyrics – Land of hope and dreams

I have always loved this song since I got to know it on DVD. Only recently have I heard that it specifically references to people coming by train from Central America to the USA to find a better life. Of course I can really relate to that, as South Africa is the host to thousands and thousands of Zimbabwians and also many from the DRC, who hope to find a better life here. Unfortunately most of them are too poor to come by train. They often have to walk, and often through national park areas where lions are one of the many dangers. And tragically few really find a better life here, because my beloved country is too busy struggling with her own overwhelming problems (especially poverty, unemployment, the 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

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

Please, please, please … Let it be true this time!

Screaming through the Springsteen community is the following short note from the official Springsteen website: (It was gone and has just come back on again – maybe due to overload??)

http://brucespringsteen.net/news/index.html

Please, please … If it’s true, I might be able to make it to a show … or even a few … Am feeling a bit silly, because long term fans who have seen scores of shows might not understand my feeling of jittery 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

I believe in the hope … :)

I’ve never been one for spreading rumours and getting people’s hopes risen unnecessarily about anything before. But that was before I became a Springsteen fan. Now I find myself eagerly looking for hints about Bruce’s future plans, just like thousands of fans are apparently doing the world over. The fans are really getting desperate, that is quite clear. I can among other things see that by the 283 hits my blog post about the newest rumour has had in less than 12 hours. So, just to make it clear: I got it from the group The promised land from facebook and unfortunately I have no idea if it is true.  But it still brought Continue reading

Arcade at night?

Found this with pure luck on a facebook group:
Bruce Springsteen’s new album ‘Arcade At Night’ has been set for November 8 release on Columbia Records. ‘Arcade At Night’ was recorded with current and former members of the E Street Band including Steven Van Zandt, David Sancious and …Roy Bittan. ‘Arcade At Night’ features twelve new Springsteen compositions …plus one bonus track written in memory of Saxophonist, Clarence Clemons, who was lost from complications of a stroke in June 2010. It is the first collaboration between Springsteen and Ron Aniello, who produced and mixed the album.
Arcade At Night’ is Bruce Springsteen’s twenty-fifth Continue reading

Waiting … waiting …

Not for a sunny day (we have more than enough of them here in Africa!), but for a tour annoucement. This is while I have serious doubts about the wisdom to embark on a typical tour at this stage. Or ever again. But Bruce is the Boss – and I hope he overrules me completely and is busy organizing a European/UK/Scandinavian tour for next summer.  This will give me at the ripe old age of 55 the opportunity to attend my first show. If the family plans work out … Best of all, I have discovered a SA fan who will be an excellent companion – no need to drag one of my non-fan family members with me!
I am a caring person who worries about Bruce hurting himself or somebody’s health giving in and of course about their Continue reading

Happy birthday, dearest Boss!

Dear Mr Springsteen

I hope that this birthday will be a special one, and not merely a sad one.
I hope you are surrounded by your loved ones and that there will be love and laughter around you.
I hope you will continue to experience good health in the coming year.
I hope you are making progress in dealing with the loss of Clarence and not trying to ignore the grief.
I hope you will soon find the energy and inspiration to write about what Clarence was to you.
I wish you inspiration and strength for the decisions you will have to make about the future.
I hope that you will never stop 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