Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Know What They Said? Well, Some of it Was True

Three Quick Springsteen Stories:

Jackie was from Revere and she had the thickest Boston accent I'd ever heard in my life. She was also a Springsteen fanatic (we listened to three sides of The River together in the fall of 1980) and a Roman Catholic with interesting religious views. She was (theoretically) opposed to pre-marital sex, but felt that things happen and as long as you confess, everything's cool.

The one exception she made was for Springsteen. If she ever had the chance, she told me, she'd do Bruce Springsteen. "And even the Pope would understand" she said. Best of all, she wouldn't have to confess because her love for Bruce was pure. In fact, she told me, Heaven is a place where a bunch of people hang out, partying, and listening to Bruce Springsteen.

Which sounds pretty good to me.


Because Bruce Springsteen tours with the E Street Band (a group with 17 guitarists), it's easy to forget that he's a pretty great guitar player.

When Warren Zevon was dying, he publicly announced that he wanted to record one last album. Springsteen flew to Los Angeles in the middle of a tour, walked into the recording studio, plugged in and played the guitar solo that appears in the song "Disorder in the House" in one take. It blazes. Afterwards, Zevon looked up and said "You really are him." (Link for Gmail subscribers.)


After Joe Strummer died, Bruce Springsteen (along with Steve Van Zandt, Dave Grohl, and Elvis Costello) sang a great version of "London Calling" on the 2003 Grammy Awards show.

This summer, Springsteen performed in London at Hyde Park and again sang "London Calling," his voice is hoarse, but he channels Joe Strummer (and plays a great guitar solo that makes you forget the other 16 guitarists onstage).


And remember, the crowd's not booing, they're yelling "Happy Birthday"!


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the title of this post be a Springsteen quote instead of a Clash quote? Like Is a Dream a Lie if it Don't Come True? Or Driving a stolen car through a pitch black night?

Alex said...

Maybe so. Or "Proved it All Night." Now I've got blogpost-title-regret syndrome...

Kinky Paprika said...

My favorite Springsteen guitar moment is the very beginning of "Kitty's Back" (off "The Wild, The Innocent...") which begins with this humid, trebly, biting guitar solo.
For some reason I've always found it evocative of city streets in the summer -- it makes me want to fan myself when I hear it.
Bruce, of course, was the only guitar player on that record, and he acquits himself just fine.