Some really good news!

Dreams still come true, even today in this hard land of hope and dreams. Let me tell you about my wonderful surpise.

Yesterday morning at 3:00am South African time, I tuned in as usual to Julian Garcia’s Groove it all night on Home Grown Radio NJ (available on internet). During the show Julian was kind enough to mention that I listen to his programme from SA and that I am a great Bruce fan, with no hope at all of ever seeing a live show. He also mentioned that he felt bad for not replying on my enquiry about daylight saving in time to make sure that I caught the previous show. Which of course, I really appreciated and had totally forgiven him for, since it was really my own responsibility Continue reading

A new solo album? Really??

I have the feeling we (Note: I include myself!) are taking things for facts which are just a little speculation from Stevie. Or is that maybe the way they operate? Bruce saying: “Ah, Stevie, seeing you are going to do this interview, won’t you whip things a little up for the album I am busy with?” And Stevie woud say: “Yeah, sure, Boss!” And there the rumour is started …

“You know Bruce,” says Van Zandt, “he’s always got an album in his pocket, he’s always writing something. I don’t know this for a fact, but I expect him to possibly put something out that’s more of a solo nature, before we get back together. Only because he’s just so prolific, still, after all these years.” He added, “He’s still just a terrific Continue reading

About men, but not only for men

Here is an excerpt from a well-written post at http://roadtohomeplate.com/2011/03/23/music-for-the-road-bruce-springsteen/
It gives a wonderfull view of the men about whom Bruce writes. (And no, I don’t fully understand why I, as a woman, can relate to the music so easily. Maybe the three men in my life have something to do with it.)

… They’re the guys that work with their hands, that break their backs for the families they’ll be growing soon enough. Yes, they’re men.
I’ve always affiliated these men with the music of Bruce Springsteen. That’s not to say they’re the men who Continue reading

Saying good-bye with Live in NYC

On the day after my sister’s death the notification landed in my post-box – my Live in NYC DVD had arrived. I stopped everything I had been doing and rushed to the post-office. When I got home I closed all the windows, put the volume on high and got on my exercise bicycle. An hour later I was ready to face the day.
Yes, I know Bruce Springsteen is only human. He does not really Continue reading

Why I admire Bruce Springsteen (8): Hard work, dedication and a sense of joy

This paragraph from a post about Celine Dion’s dedication to her work speaks for itself:
My friend and mentor Rob Gilbert tells a great story about Bruce Springsteen. Someone once asked “the Boss” how he managed to achieve such high wattage each time he took the stage. Bruce answered that he performed each show as if it was his first and he also tried to remember that it was just music, so he could lighten up and have fun.
Read the full post at http://karinwritesdangerously.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/new-day/

Best live act!

Here is an excerpt from a well-written reaction on Bruce and the Band being rated as the best live act in rock and roll:
(For the full post, check the blogroll.)

… nobody comes close to holding an audience in complete rapture for 3 hours night after night after night like Bruce and the band. Each show I’ve seen has been a roller coaster ride of emotions featuring flat out Continue reading

Better days are getting better and better

I have just had a letter from my publisher about the manuscript for my third romantic novel. A rapturous letter. And she is not a lady who hands out praise easily. A compliment from her is really a compliment. And this letter is one huge compliment.
After reading the letter, I talk to my son on Skype. He is my biggest critic, but also one of my most loyal supporters. This is a big day for me. The third manuscript being accepted means that I am not to be a one day wonder.
And of course I think about that young man in the late 70’s, coping with Continue reading

The Bruce of the Eighties

Hilarious excerpt from a wonderful post at this link: http://jameskillough.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/i-monster/
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face.
— Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark

The caption for this photo on the site I poached it from said, “Springsteen made it acceptable for men to Continue reading

Thank you, Julian

Early this morning (South African time) I had the pleasure of listening to Julian Garcia mentioning this blog on his programme Groove it al night on Home Grown Radio New Jersey, where he plays two hours of Springsteen every second week. It just made me even more aware of the tremendous power music (and particularly Bruce’s music) has in bringing people together across all kinds of barriers.

Diary of a depression fighter … Why?

The idea for this has been haunting me for some time now. (If you are not yet aware of the link between my personal fight against depression and my love for Bruce’s music, do read about my  own journey at https://marilebetterdays.wordpress.com/these-are-better-days/ and https://marilebetterdays.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/out-of-the-badlands-into-the-promised-land/).  I have started a diary about depression on my personal blog.  (in Afrikaans, my home language) after having some success with my diary of a romance writer. My first post has created so much reaction that I decided to Continue reading

Two hours of nothing but love

Much as I had looked forward to Julian Garicia’s programme of love songs for Valentine’s Day, I came out a little disappointed. Although it was certainly still worth getting up at 4 a.m. it did not live up to my expectations. (Which just shows how easily high expectations can lead to disappointment!) Also, really listening carefully to Jersey Girl for the first time, made it worth it. Actually quite a few of my own special favourites were there, as beautiful as ever. I will only mention three of them here.
Two hearts: A song I have only recently discovered on Live in NYC. I just ove the interaction with Stevie.
… Alone buddy there ain’t no peace of mind
That’s why I’ll keep searching till I find my special one …

Tougher than the rest: Wonderful to see him Continue reading

Best rock song of all time?

Here is the view of a fellow blogger:
And the number one classic rock song of all time is …
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen – Bruce scored big with the title track to his third album, released in 1975. This song is almost beyond words, as Bruce is such a master lyricist that he sums them all up for us. Nothing we can say or think is original, because Bruce already sang it. This song is perfect – partly because Bruce and the band spent six months working on this song to make it so – in every way: its lyrics, which speak of escaping a town that rips the Continue reading

Where it all started for me …

On an ordinary winter’s day in 2009 my life started to change. A small shift of destiny took place.
No, nothing spectacular like a man with a diamond or a huge writing contract or instant beauty or eternal slimness (is there such a word?). Just a beautiful, unassuming little song on local radio. It caught my attention, I did not catch the title, nor the name of the artist. And promptly forgot about it.
A day or two later I heard it again. This time I made sure to catch the title and the artist’s name. Tomorrow never knows by Bruce Springsteen. And the rest, as they say, is history. Nothing has been the same again for me since then.
Surely it is a strange choice. But I did not choose it. The song chose me. Yes, I agree it is not one of his great, epic songs. Nor his greatest love song. It is just … well, beautiful. Wistful, pure, simple. Beautiful.
I don’t know what really caught me about the song. Maybe the title – even my computer changed it to Tomorrow never comes.
Where the cold wind blows
Tomorrow never knows
Where your sweet smile goes
Tomorrow never knows
Maybe just the feeling of not knowing what tomorrow will bring, but trying to make the most of the moment, trying to catch the essence of the now. Maybe the knowledge that the sweetness of a smile can Continue reading

A love song for Valentine’s day

Contrary to what you would expect from a person who makes a living writing romantic fiction, I don’t like the idea of Valentine’s day very much. Well, nothing wrong with the idea, but come on, whose smiles are even bigger than those of the girls being treated by their loved ones? The business people, of course.  Still, nothing wrong with that. What I have against Valentine’s Day is the expectations which are raised for ordinary people. The same Continue reading

The wrestler

As with Philadelphia, it was Bruce Springsteen’s music that brought me to a movie that I missed at its time. As with with Philadelphia, The wrestler (Working on a dream album) turned into an unforgettable movie experience for me. And – I must add – I have no interest at all in wrestling, in fact, I hate every form of violence (Which poses a problem concerning rugby, the king of sport in my country!)
It was definetely Mickey Rourke who did it for me. His portrayal of the aging sportsman with all the burned bridges behind him, just touched me from the first scene to the last, heartbreaking moment. The loneliness, the financial problems, the brotherhood of the ring, the humiliation, Continue reading

Best Bruce moment of the decade

Yes, yes, I know the time for looking back to the old year and making New Year resolutions is long gone – and the New Year not new at all anymore …
I entered the world of Springsteen just a few months after the 2009 Super Bowl. It is just one of the many real American things I have learned about recently. And I must admit I still don’t know in which city the event takes place … 🙂
But the concept of a big sports event with a big show in half-time is very interesting to me. And makes perfect sense, come to think of it. And must present a huge challenge to the musicians of choice.
At the time I got the impression that there were mixed feelings about Bruce’s stint at that stage. After Julian (on HGRNJ) chose this event as the biggest Bruce moment of the decade, I took the time to find and watch the complete show on YouTube. My overall impression was one of too much energy in too little space. (Of course the small image that I had to be content with didn’t do any justice to the show.) From Clarence’s book one can form an idea about what a huge amount of work went into those twelve minutes (or is it twelve and a half?). Also of course of the Big Man’s loyalty that got him out of rehab and onto that stage, but that’s another story. I was wondering if people (and Bruce himself) saw the crotch slide that went haywire as a big misshap, or was it just one of the things that sometimes happen? Or maybe even something Continue reading

Two hours of Bruce on an empty stomach

It is 03:55 on a hot and sticky summer night in SA, a world away from New Jersey where Julian Garcia has driven himself to work through everything wet and cold nature has to offer. I drag myself out of bed to switch on the computer. I am tired, did not get to bed early at all. On the bedside table my book and pencil are waiting, because experience has taught me if I dosed off somewhere during Groove it all night on Homegrown Radio NJ, I do not remember anything that was played before the snooze. But this morning I briefly consider Continue reading

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