Celebrate the 2015 Holiday Season with Bruce Springsteen

The Perfect Gift for the Springsteen Fan on Your List.

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On Bruce Springsteen And Disappointing Fathers

On Bruce Springsteen And Disappointing Fathers
by Sady Doyle

October 30, 2015

There was a moment at my father’s house that I always waited for. It was a matter of calibration; of counting the number of beers. Too few and he was sarcastic, angry, on edge; he shouted or mocked, it was better to keep your distance. Too many and he went quiet, locked away in his own impenetrable sadness. I wanted the hour in the middle. The moment he picked out which record he would play.

“Now, your old dad,” he started – he always started just like this – “you might think he don’t know too much. But you’re lucky, because your Dad’s cool. And you’re gonna be cool, too. Your old Dad, he knows his rock and roll. Now, this record here…”

If you want an introduction to Darkness on the Edge of Town, start here. My father, in the golden hour when his light comes through, choosing from Neil, Bruce, Dylan, Lou – usually Bruce, always Bruce; after enough beers, he’ll tell me that my first word was “Bruce” – one of his records. Getting ready to teach you his rock and roll.

I abandoned my father when I was sixteen. I call it what it is, abandonment, because I believe that when you’ve done something cruel, you ought to name it. I didn’t do it out of rage – though there was that: at his racism, at his sexism, at his drinking, which I knew I would watch him die from if I didn’t walk away first, at his own dangerous and sudden rages – or even a desire to hurt him. It was just a piece of my heart going dead, a total lack of feeling. I stopped speaking to him, stopped visiting him, and stopped taking his calls. The calls came for ten years. And then they stopped, too.

But we never really lose people. They come back, most often through the things they’ve loved, giving us pieces of what they kept in their heads, their private myths. It was ten years later, when the calls stopped, that I started listening to Darkness on the Edge of Town.

There are lots of well-known facts, about Darkness. It was where Bruce declared himself as an artist; he tormented his crew, spending several weeks of ten-hour days trying to make the drums have a sound that he could hear only “in his head,” insanely yelling “STICK” whenever he could hear one hit the kit. He wrote over seventy songs, and recorded over fifty of them, for a ten-song, forty-three minute album. He wanted a “tone poem,” a specific, “relentless” mood; he cut against his pop impulses, listening to punk and country to get the colors just right.

And all the colors are black. Darkness on the Edge of Town is the most successful example I can name, outside of Blue Velvet, of the Midwestern Gothic. It has a perfect sense of place, though most of its places are imaginary: I can’t find a “Waynesboro County” for Bruce to drive across the line of in “The Promised Land,” though there are Waynesboros in Mississippi, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Similarly, when he’s driving “that dusty road from Monroe to Angeline,” he could be starting from any number of Monroes, but there’s no Angeline to get to. Still, Darkness names its territory in the opening lines: “Lights out tonight. Trouble in the heartland.” It’s always “tonight,” in these songs. And it’s always “the heartland,” a vast, empty Midwestern landscape – in most of the songs, the characters are driving, on roads where you can drive “till dawn without another human being in sight” – that mirrors the bleak, dark, violently troubled hearts of the small-time, small-town criminals and losers it portrays.

Bruce would come back here, for Nebraska, where his characters were openly murderous, and again for his later work, all hopped up on Steinbeck and ready to Uplift the Working Man. But Darkness has neither the self-conscious artiness of Nebraska nor the socially conscious cheese of late Springsteen. The alienation here is more Freud than Marx: “Don’t look at my face! DON’T LOOK AT MY FACE,” Bruce howls, on “Streets of Fire,” so incapable of solidarity that even eye contact feels intrusive. He introduces a factory only to tell us about a gruesome accident on the floor. This is why the record works, where his later attempts don’t; he doesn’t condescend to his characters. Poverty is just another way to establish the sense they all have of being trapped and desperate; the Working Man is just as depressed as anyone else.

The men of Darkness are invariably Byronic, outcasts, on fire with emotion intense enough to illuminate the landscape like lightning. They’ve always done something horrible, are chased through song after song by unnameable regrets; they have “sins” to wash off their hands, they need something “forgotten or forgiven,” but whatever it was, they can’t say it aloud. “Everybody’s got a secret, son,” one tells us, “something they just can’t face.” They can only keep driving, in the hope of leaving it behind.

The first draft of the funereal “Racing in the Streets” had “no girl in it,” Bruce says. But there aren’t really any girls on Darkness, outside of the eyeball-melting femme fatal in “Candy’s Room.” There are only references to women. And these women are mostly lingering disappointments or aching losses, out on the periphery. Or, worse, they’re the silent, attentive, infantile “babies” and “little darlings” Bruce is always lecturing, as on “Badlands.” You better get it straight, darling: “Poor man wanna be rich! Rich man wanna be king!” And woman, no matter what her income, wanna sit there and listen to her boyfriend explain class struggle, apparently.

But all this man-to-man struggle has a point. No matter what the men on Darkness are, they are never fathers. “Daddy” shows up twice. Once on “Factory,” where he’s a slightly pathetic servant to “mansions of pain.” And again, on the album’s centerpiece.

Bruce Springsteen, I discovered after ten years of estrangement from my father, had written the world’s best song about being estranged from your father. “Adam Raised a Cain” is one long, Plath-worthy scream: hatred, contempt, pain, hatred, shot through with a love that is almost romantic. We were prisoners of love, a love in chains. He was standing in the door, I was standing in the rain, with the same hot blood burning in our veins. How is that not a scene from The Notebook? But these men can only ever hurt each other: Daddy worked his whole life for nothing but the pain. Now he walks these empty rooms looking for something to blame. And his son reflects the blame back onto him, intensified and sharper.

Cain isn’t a girl, but the listener can be. It was here, on this song, that I stopped listening to Bruce as if he were my father’s voice, and started hearing my own.

When your heart goes dead, it’s always for a reason; something hurts too much to feel. It happens a lot to addicts. No-one can watch that story play out to the end.

Which Bruce knew. It’s the truth he named his album after. It closes, Darkness, on the title track. A man alone, underneath the bridge, on the hill, “‘cause I can’t stop,” he says. And for the privilege of not stopping, he’ll pay any price: “I lost my money, and I lost my wife. Them things don’t seem to matter much to me now.” But the girl he’s lost is still out there, somewhere. She could even come to find him. “If she wants to see me,” Bruce yells, and I cry, every time, “you can tell her that I’m easily found.” He even gives the location. “Tell her: There’s a darkness on the edge of town.” But that’s the thing. She already knows. She’s always known. It’s why she’s not there.

Sady Doyle is a writer for Rookie. She’s contributed to The Awl, The Atlantic, and Slate, amongst others, and started the blog Tiger Beatdown. She lives in New York.

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland
Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 40 copies left, now is the time to order this collectible book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
world. The perfect gift for the Springsteen fan in your life.
Save Now- Order Your Copy Here: The Light in Darkness

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“For You” Book Raffle Benefitting the Montreal General Hospital

In support of the Montreal General Hospital’s Fall 2015 fundraising campaign, Lawrence Kirsch, publisher of “For You, Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans” and “The Light in Darkness,” is holding a raffle with a chance to win a brand new copy of “For You,” which has been sold out since December 2008.


The generosity of donors, volunteers and auxiliaries has made the MUHC what it is today…these precious funds are used for the benefit of current and future patients at the MGH. This time I am donating funds in loving memory of my mother, Mrs. Aileen Kirsch, to benefit the Neurology Department.

To help raise funds, I am raffling a brand new signed copy (by the publisher) of For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans.

If you missed your chance to purchase a copy of this limited-edition book, or even if you just want a second copy to keep as a collector’s item, now is your opportunity. First edition copies of “For You” often sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay, when you can find a copy.

Each $10 ticket you purchase gives you one chance to win and a $15 ticket gives you three chances to win the book. The contest is open to everyone and tickets can be bought from September 24 – October 9, 2015. You can enter to win here: theLightinDarkness.com and Foryoubruce.com, where the winner will be announced October 12, 2015.


Participants can enter the contest as many times as they wish and all proceeds go to the Montreal General Hospital. The book, autographed by the publisher, will be shipped to the winner free of charge anywhere in the world, so everyone is encouraged to enter.

You can help the fund raising efforts for the 2015 campaign by participating in the raffle for a copy of For You. All monies collected will be donated to the Montreal General Hospital.

The Montreal General Hospital, founded in 1821, enjoys a distinguished world reputation, as well as an impressive history of community service. The Montreal General Hospital, a pioneer hospital in North America, introduced teaching at the bedside and founded the first medical school in Canada — the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.

The hospital has remained allied as a teaching hospital for the century and a half of the Faculty’s existence. The Montreal General Hospital is dedicated to patient care through diagnosis, treatment, research and teaching.

“Through the years, I’ve read almost every book written about Springsteen. Some are great and many are not. Over time, I’ve even become cynical when I hear about new books. In the last few years, there have been a plethora of coffee table book releases in the Springsteen world. Each one in itself is a gorgeous work of art that will glisten on your polished coffee table. However, chances are you are still missing the ultimate Bruce Springsteen keepsake: For You. When I heard about this book a year ago, I dismissed it thinking I didn’t really need yet another glorified coffee table book. I was wrong, dead wrong. For You takes the reader on a magical, mystical and poignant journey through forty years of Bruce Springsteen’s life. It’s a time machine to the past where tickets were once $7, the E Street Band was a boy’s only club, Steve Van Zandt looked like a member of Jimmy Buffet’s band and most of the members of the E Street Band could have begun their own television show – ‘Stashin.’ I wasn’t impressed with the book, I was bowled over.

Anthony Kuzminski

“In reading For You, at first it’s hard to believe that one performer could possibly have touched this many people this deeply – lifted them from depression, kept them from suicide, helped them through divorce or the death of a parent, or worse, a child. But story after story reveals just how much Springsteen’s music and his almost superhuman presence on the concert stage have penetrated people’s lives and, in as much as it is possible for music to do so, made them whole.

In fact, there’s a running theme of these reminiscences, one that is sure to warm any Bruce fan’s heart: that you are not crazy. Not crazy for seeing dozens or even hundreds of concerts; not crazy for feeling that Springsteen’s songs and lyrics have actually helped carry you through some of life’s toughest moments; not crazy to think that this man whom you’ve never met has and continues to fill some kind of void in your life.”

Peter Chianca
Excerpt from Blogness on the Edge of Town

Please help share the news of the For You book raffle on Facebook and Twitter.

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For You Book A supporto della campagna di fundraising per l’autunno 2015 del Montreal General Hospital, Lawrence Kirsch, editore di “For You, Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans” e “The Light in Darkness,” promuove una lotteria di beneficenza con la possibilità di vincere una copia di “For You”, titolo ormai andato esaurito già da dicembre 2008. Ora, per la prima volta, hai la possibilità di vincere una copia nuova di questo libro da collezione estremamente raro.


È la generosità dei donatori, dei volontari e degli ausiliari che ha reso il McGill University Health Centre ciò che è oggi… questi preziosi fondi sono utilizzati a beneficio degli attuali e futuri pazienti del Montreal General Hospital. Questa volta intendo donare fondi alla memoria di mia madre, Mrs. Aileen Kirsch, in favore del Dipartimento di Neurologia.

Per aiutare a raccogliere fondi metto in palio una copia nuova e autografata (dall’editore) di For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans.


Se hai perso l’occasione di comprare una copia di questo libro a tiratura limitata, oppure se ne vuoi una seconda copia da conservare come pezzo da collezione, questo è il momento. Le copie della prima edizione di “For You” costano spesso centinaia di dollari su eBay, sempre che se ne riesca a trovare una.

Ogni biglietto da $10 offre una possibilità di vincere e un biglietto da $15 offre tre possibilità di vincere una copia. La gara è aperta a tutti e i biglietti sono acquistabili a partire dal 24 settembre al 9 ottobre 2015. Partecipa qui: theLightinDarkness.com e Foryoubruce.com, dove i vincitori saranno annunciati il 12 ottobre 2015.


Si può partecipare alla gara un numero illimitato di volte e tutti i ricavi andranno al Montreal General Hospital. Il libro, autografato dall’editore, sarà inviato al vincitore gratuitamente in tutto il mondo, perciò tutti sono invitati a partecipare.

Puoi aiutare gli sforzi per la campagna di raccolta fondi del 2015 partecipando alla lotteria con in palio una copia di For You. Tutto il denaro raccolto sarà donato al Montreal General Hospital.


Il Montreal General Hospital, fondato nel 1821, ha un’autorevole reputazione a livello mondiale ed una straordinaria storia per i suoi servizi alla comunità. Ospedale pioniere in Nordamerica, ha introdotto l’insegnamento in presenza del paziente e fondato la prima scuola di medicina in Canada — la Facoltà di Medicina alla McGill University.

Per tutto il secolo e mezzo di vita della Facoltà, la ha affiancata come ospedale di insegnamento. Il Montreal General Hospital è dedito alla cura dei pazienti attraverso diagnosi, cura, ricerca e insegnamento.


“Nel corso degli anni ho letto quasi tutti i libri scritti su Springsteen. Alcuni sono eccellenti e molti no. Col passare del tempo sono perfino diventato cinico quando sento parlare di nuovi libri. Negli ultimi anni c’è stata una pletora di pubblicazioni illustrate da collezione nel mondo springsteeniano. Ciascuno, di per sé, è una meravigliosa opera d’arte da far brillare sul tavolino del soggiorno. Eppure, è probabile che vi stiate perdendo il non plus ultra su Bruce Springsteen: For You. Quando sentii parlare di questo libro un anno fa, lo archiviai pensando che non avevo veramente bisogno di un altro incensato volume da collezione. Mi sbagliavo, mi sbagliavo di brutto. For You porta il lettore in un viaggio magico, mistico e intenso attraverso quarant’anni della vita di Bruce Springsteen. È una macchina del tempo verso il passato quando i biglietti costavano 7$, la E Street Band era un club di soli maschi e Steve Van Zandt pareva uscito dalla band di Jimmy Buffett […]. Non sono rimasto impressionato da quel libro, sono rimasto sopraffatto.

Anthony Kuzminski

“Leggendo For You, all’inizio è difficile credere che un artista abbia toccato così profondamente così tante persone – sollevate dalla depressione, trattenute dal suicidio, aiutate attraverso un divorzio o la morte di un genitore o, peggio, di un figlio. Ma storia dopo storia rivela quanto la musica di Springsteen e la sua presenza quasi sovrumana sul palco abbiano penetrato la vita delle persone e, per quanto sia possibile alla musica fare ciò, le abbiano completate.

“In effetti c’è un tema ricorrente in queste reminiscenze, uno che sicuramente scalderà il cuore ad ogni fan di Bruce: che non sei pazzo. Non sei pazzo se hai visto decine o persino centinaia di concerti; non sei pazzo se senti che le canzoni e i testi di Springsteen ti hanno veramente aiutato ad attraversare alcuni dei momenti più duri della vita; non sei pazzo se pensi che quest’uomo, che non hai mai incontrato, ha riempito e continua a riempire una specie di vuoto nella tua vita.”

Peter Chianca
Excerpt from Blogness on the Edge of Town


“Un libro spettacolare intitolato For You è uno dei migliori libri su Bruce Springsteen che siano mai stati pubblicati.”

Stan Goldstein NJ.Com


Per favore, aiutaci a condividere la notizia della lotteria per For You su Facebook e Twitter.



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Translated by Marta Giani – martagiani.mg@gmail.com


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“The Promise”: la construcción del mito de Bruce Springsteen

“The Promise”: la construcción del mito de Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen publica el próximo martes “The Promise: The Darkness
on the Edge of Town Story”, un ambicioso proyecto de reedición de su
cuarto álbum que descubre las claves de la obra de uno de los mitos del

La remasterización de “Darkness on the Edge of Town”, publicado
originalmente en 1978, aparece ahora en una edición especial que
contiene un doble CD con 21 temas inéditos y dos DVD con varias
actuaciones de la época y otra grabada el pasado año en la que
Springsteen y la E Street Band interpretaron el álbum íntegro.

Esta monumental edición incluye además “The Promise: The Making of
Darkness of The Edge of Town”, el documental que muestra el proceso
creativo del disco -presentado por Springsteen hace unas semanas en el
Festival de Cine de Roma- y que funciona como hilo narrativo de todo el

Bruce Springsteen había saltado a la fama en 1975 con “Born to Run”, pero
su prometedora carrera sufrió un imprevisto parón cuando quiso liberarse
del férreo control al que le sometía el contrato que le ligaba a su
representante, Mike Appel.

El litigio con Appel le impedía regresar al estudio de grabación y aprovechar
el éxito de “Born to Run”. Springsteen y su banda tuvieron que sobrevivir en
los escenarios, mientras corrían el riesgo de engrosar la lista de “artistas
de un solo éxito”.

Cuando por fin pudieron volver al estudio, en 1977, Springsteen tenía el
control artístico de su carrera y las ideas muy claras sobre lo que quería
hacer con ella: el nuevo álbum seguiría el camino opuesto al del celebrado
“Born to Run”. El Boss explica ahora que no quería ser millonario ni famoso.
Quería ser “grande”.

La inspiración urbana de las canciones y los arreglos elaborados del
anterior disco tenían que dejar paso a los grandes espacios abiertos y un
sonido austero.

Inspirado por las películas norteamericanas de serie B, la temática “adulta”
de las canciones del country -que había descubierto poco antes- y los
personajes de las pequeñas ciudades en las que creció, Springsteen tenía
en su cabeza una idea precisa de cómo debía sonar “Darkness on the
Edge of Town”.

Pero le costó meses y meses plasmarla en el estudio, donde puso a
prueba la paciencia de sus músicos y técnicos de sonido con una
determinación obsesiva.

La mente del Boss era un hervidero. De su cuaderno azul de anillas salían
ideas de canciones, letras que reescribía una y otra vez. Un proceso que se
puede seguir en el facsímil de aquel cuaderno que acompaña este

Springsteen y su banda llegaron a grabar esos largos meses de sesiones
hasta setenta temas. Sólo diez se incluyeron en el álbum.

Parte de las canciones restantes fueron utilizadas en “The River”, el doble
álbum editado en 1980; otras terminaron en “Tracks”, la caja con material
inédito publicada en 1998; ahora ven la luz 21 más.

Entre estas hay algunas que integraron el repertorio de algunas giras,
como “Fire”, y “Because the Night”, que Patti Smith convirtió en su “único”
éxito después de acabar de escribir la letra -según cuenta ella misma en el

En los 21 cortes de “The Promise” hay éxitos potenciales por los que
algunas bandas matarían, pero que ciertamente no encajaban en el espíritu
descarnado de “Darkness”, como “The Little Things (My Baby Does) y “Ain’t
Good Enough For You”; otras, como la que da título al proyecto, merecen un
hueco entre lo más destacado de la obra de Springsteen.

El paso del punk por aquellos años se dejó sentir en la crudeza del sonido
de “Darkness”, que explota con rabia para gritar las historias de los que se
quedaron en la cuneta del sueño americano, entre los que Springsteen
incluye a su propio padre.

Esa mirada solidaria y el compromiso con sus raíces de la clase
trabajadora marcaran para siempre la obra de Springsteen, que convirtió
los temas de este álbum en cantos a la resistencia frente a la

Han pasado 32 años y el Boss -61 años- y su banda mantienen en sus
conciertos la capacidad de transmitir a cada uno de sus espectadores la
esperanza de sobreponerse a la adversidad.

El año pasado regresaron a su casa, Nueva Jersey, para volver a tocar las
diez canciones de “Darkness”. Se les ve llenos de arrugas, pero sus
miradas están cargadas del orgullo de quienes han demostrado que el
camino más rápido no siempre es el correcto.

Gil Barrera

Libro Bruce Springsteen
Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland
Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 50 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

Link to this post | Leave a comment

Zero Things You Didn’t Know About Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town sounds different from much of his other, more upbeat material. But in many ways it’s also very similar to the rest of his catalog. Here are 10 things you already know about the acclaimed 1978 classic.

1. ‘Darkness’ marked the end of a legal battle between Springsteen and former manager Mike Appel
Springsteen’s legal battles with Mike Appel over ownership and control of his music kept Bruce out of the recording studio for almost a full calendar year. But in that time, he toured extensively with the E Street Band and continued to build his reputation as a live performer. But the case had to affect the music and lyrical content of Darkness on the Edge of Town, which was a much more somber affair than what fans were used to at the time.

2. The band recorded some of the album as live takes
Steven Van Zandt said in a Rolling Stone interview that the band recorded some of Darkness in live takes of the full band playing together. Songwriting had gotten much easier for Bruce and the band after playing together for several years, which allowed for more organic and spontaneous songwriting and recording.

3. It has the same album structure as “Born to Run”
Despite having an overall darker tone than Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town continued the same structure used on the former: two side openers about overcoming adversity (“Badlands” and “The Promised Land”), paired with two side closers (“Racing in the Street” and the title track) overcome with despair.

4. The highest-charting single was “Prove it All Night” at #33
Bruce didn’t have the chart gold that was “Born to Run” with this album, but “Prove It All Night” cracked the Top 40 upon release and remains a staple on classic rock radio to this day.

5. The album stayed on the charts for nearly two years, despite no hit singles
Darkness on the Edge of Town is arguably Springsteen’s least commercial-sounding album, with its dark themes and nuanced musicianship and production. But despite the lack of any hit singles, the album stayed on the Billboard Albums chart for 97 weeks, and songs like “Badlands” and the title track remain fan favorites.

6. The album cover was shot at the photographer’s home in New Jersey
After doing photography for Patti Smith and notable early punk rockers, photographer Frank Stefanko was given the task of shooting the album cover and inner photos for Darkness. The two met through Patti as a mutual connection. Bruce drove down to Stefanko’s house in Haddonfield, New Jersey with just a change of clothes and shot both inside the house and on surrounding streets. The cover for Darkness was shot in Stefanko’s bedroom, while a photo from the same shoot was later used for The River.

7. Bruce wrote 70+ songs for the album
According to Jimmy Iovine, Springsteen wrote at least 70 songs to be chosen for final inclusion on Darkness, and over 50 of them were at least partially recorded but not completed. Bruce ultimately wanted to retain the themes present in the album’s main tracks and avoid “singles” that may not have fit the narrative. But some of those songs eventually saw the light of day…

8. Unreleased tracks like “Because the Night” were re-purposed or given to other artists
Springsteen’s compilation The Promise contains 21 unreleased tracks that were recorded mostly from 1976-1978, many of which from the Darkness sessions. Most notable is “Because the Night”, which Bruce gave to Patti Smith and became one of the latter’s signature songs.

9. Many recordings were finished and/or released on subsequent albums/box sets such as The Promise
Springsteen compilations like Tracks and The Promise contain many unreleased recordings from the Darkness sessions. But several tracks ended up on 1980’s The River, including side one openers “The Ties That Bind” and “Sherry Darling”, side one closer “Independence Day”, and side three opener “Point Blank”.

10. At least 16 songs remain unreleased
Despite the dozens of recordings that eventually saw release on the River or subsequent compilation albums, there are at least 16 known recordings that are circulating as bootlegs but have never been given an official release. These songs include “Preacher’s Daughter”, “Down By the River”, “Castaway”, “Cheap Thrills”, and “Blue Moon”.

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland
Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 70 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

Link to this post | Leave a comment

Un libro su Bruce Springsteen

Un libro su Bruce Springsteen, “The Light in Darkness” presenta il punto di vista dei fan del Boss su “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

“Con Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen e la E Street Band presero una posizione precisa proprio quando tutto era in discussione,” scrive Vike Savoth nella prefazione di “The Light in Darkness”.
“Erano pronti a pagare il prezzo di un violento ingresso nell’oblio del rock and roll prendendo le distanze dal sound e dal look che aveva dato loro popolarità e fortuna”.

Con oltre 200 fotografie e 100 racconti originali raccontati dai leggendari fan di Springsteen “The Light in The Darkness” è il punto di vista dei seguaci del Boss sul suo quarto album.

Spesso trascurato rispetto agli altri classici di Springsteen “Darkness on the Edge of Town” contiene un sound più crudo ed arrabbiato rispetto alle opere precedenti.
Uscito al termine di un’aspra battaglia legale durata tre anni con il primo manager di Springsteen molti fans e la critica hanno fatto fatica ad apprezzarne le sonorità.

“Ho dovuto ascoltare quell’album intensamente, più e più volte per scoprire dove l’avrei incontrato, o in realtà dove lui stava incontrando me” scrive Suzanne Scala.
“questo era quando ascoltare un album significava sdraiarsi sul pavimento, testa tra le casse, far cadere la testina sul disco ancora e ancora per ascoltare e riascoltare quella canzone”

Nonostante tutto non ci volle molto tempo perché l’album prendesse il suo posto nel cuore dei fans più accaniti.
Molti di essi ancora oggi lo definiscono come il loro album preferito e continuano a trovare rifugio all’interno dei suoi testi ermetici.

“La canzone Darkness on the Edge of Town mi parla direttamente“, dice l’editore del libro, Lawrence Kirsch.
“Si, l’umore è più scuro che nei precedenti album, ma non senza speranza. Darkness on the Edge of Town è puro ed energico Rock and Roll ed è uno dei più bei lavori che Springsteen abbia mai concepito”.

Nonostante i toni più scuri del disco il tour che ne seguì fu uno dei più energici della carriera di Springsteen.
Con più di 200 foto “The Light in The Darkness” mostra Bruce ai suoi apici mentre corre sul palco, salta dal pianoforte e guada le folle dei fans. Con il tour del 1978 Springsteen iniziò la tradizione dei suoi concerti epici da più di tre ore.
All’epoca fu una novità così rivoluzionaria che molti, pensando che lo show fosse terminato, lasciavano il concerto durante l’intervallo.

Nonostante il Boss abbia appena compiuto 60 ancora oggi mantiene la tradizione di allora con concerti epici che non trovano uguali in qualsiasi altro artista.

“Lui era come un fulmine attraverso le tenebre, e la band era il tuono” scrive Ron Wells. “Non ho mai visto nessun altro musicista così pieno di energia e gioia. Era in missione.
Non era solo un concerto per lui; era libertà e gioia fatta persona.

Narrando alcuni dei suoi show più famosi, come l’Agora di Cleveland, il Roxy di L.A. ed il Winterland Ballroom di San Francisco, “The Light in Darkness”
riporta sotto i riflettori alcuni concerti epici suonati in piccoli club.

“Il libro regalerà ai lettori almeno una piccola prospettiva di quello che abbiamo vissuto nel ‘78” dice Kirsch.
“La connessione ed il legame creato tra il musicista e la sua audience durante questo tour ha definito il nuovo punto di riferimento per tutti gli album ed i tour che sarebbero seguiti”.

A distanza di 35 anni l’eccitazione e la passione che questo album ed il tour riuscirono ad accendere nel cuore dei fans non sono diminuite.
“The Light in The Darkness” riporta in vita l’incredibile legame che i seguaci del Boss hanno con questo periodo della sua carriera rendendolo un’opera che i fans non potranno perdere.

Libro Bruce Springsteen.Vi ricordo che The Light In The Darkness ha le spese di spedizione scontate!

Il Libro: Limited Collector’s Edition
208 pagine, Grande formato 9.25” x 12”, completamente a colori, stampato su carta EuroArt Silk, contiene più di 200 fotografie riprodotte direttamente dai negativi e dalle diapositive originali.
Il libro può essere acquistato esclusivamente a questo indirizzo: The Light

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Bruce Springsteen ou l’art de se mettre en scène

Bruce Springsteen ou l’art de se mettre en scène

Laurent Rigoulet

A l’occasion de la ressortie des premiers albums de Bruce Springsteen, la saga de ses pochettes, où, avec des faux airs de Pacino, il se mettait en scène comme les personnages de ses chansons.

Rééditions et redécouvertes, collectionneurs et collectors, labels et magasins sont au menu de 180 gr, une nouvelle chronique hebdomadaire consacrée au disque vinyle, que vous pourrez retrouver chaque vendredi.

Pour ceux qui souhaitent dilapider leurs économies à l’occasion du Disquaire Day ou lancer d’absurdes paris sur la cote future des rééditions vinyle, le coffret massif (et lourd) réunissant les sept premiers albums de Bruce Springsteen est une bonne affaire. Pour les fans aussi, qui réclament, depuis des lustres, une édition dignement remastérisée. Mission accomplie par Bob Ludwig, grand manitou de la console, qui a commencé à travailler avec Springsteen à l’époque où celui-ci s’était mis en tête d’enregistrer Nebraska sur un magnéto cassette. Couvert de lauriers pour son travail de toilettage numérique pour les Stones, Sly Stone ou Dire Straits, Ludwig a plein d’histoires à raconter sur les nouvelles technologies 24 bit qui permettent d’obtenir un son étonnamment proche de celui de l’enregistrement originel, mais il est aussi capable de trancher la question avec une bonne vieille citation de Duke Ellington : « Si ça sonne bien et qu’on le sent bien, c’est que c’est bon. »

Remastérisés pour la première fois, les disques trouvent un nouvel éclat – notamment The River, qui, d’après Ludwig, en avait besoin – mais ce sont les pochettes qui donnent envie de s’étendre un peu sur ce travail d’édition « maniaquement » supervisé par le Boss. Notamment celle de Darkness on the edge of town, qui, en 1978, rend Springsteen aussi cool que le jeune Pacino planant alors à des hauteurs impensables dans nos rêves américains. En cuir noir et tee-shirt blanc, sur fond de bicoque ouvrière au papier peint défraîchi, la nouvelle star du New Jersey pose avec un naturel bluffant en James Dean rital, sombre et sexy, un peu comme le jeune Richard Gere qui fait alors monter la température dans Les Chaînes de sang, de Robert Mulligan (en 1978, Gere joue Stony De Coco après avoir interprété, un an plus tôt, Tony Lo Porto dans A la recherche de Mr Goodbar). Du Darkness gravé avec les caractères d’une vieille underwood à la gueule de doux marlou, tout renvoie au cinéma américain, qui, en ces années-là, met tout le monde d’accord.

« Le dépouillement et la modestie de ses photos, leur sincérité et leur âpreté correspondaient très exactement à la musique que je voulais faire», Bruce Springsteen

Ça n’a rien d’un hasard. Springsteen est obnubilé par la pochette de son nouveau disque, qui doit donner le ton et marquer le départ d’une nouvelle carrière. Il sort d’une longue période de hiatus. Dans la foulée du triomphe de Born to run, Time et Newsweek ont fait de lui la grande attraction américaine et il veut déjà briser l’élan, casser le moule : nouvelle gueule, nouveau genre, antistar à tout prix, un personnage sans hauteur comme les types de ses nouvelles chansons (« A la fin de la journée, les sirènes de l’usine hurlent / les hommes franchissent les grilles avec la mort au fond des yeux / et tu ferais bien de croire, mec / que ce soir il va y avoir de la casse »).

La pochette se pense comme un film. Springsteen est prêt à s’y consacrer corps et bien pendant plusieurs jours. Et c’est Patti Smith qui le met sur la piste du metteur en scène idéal. Pas une star, loin de là. Un type du New Jersey, comme eux, qui travaille dans la distribution de viande et fait de la photo en amateur. Camarade de lycée de Patti Smith, Frank Stefanko est surpris de recevoir un coup de fil de Springsteen et propose de faire illico le voyage pour New York, où le chanteur vit à l’hôtel. Rien ne se passe comme il pourrait l’imaginer. C’est Springsteen qui débarque chez lui, avec sa vieille Corvette, dans la petite ville de Haddonfield. En guise de garde-robe, le rocker a apporté un sac de papier dans lequel il a fourré une chemise de flanelle blanche, une salopette et un tee-shirt. Le courant est vite établi. Les deux hommes viennent d’un même milieu italo-américain et ont quelques bonnes histoires à raconter sur Brando, Sinatra ou Presley. Ils font des essais pendant quatre jours dans la maison du photographe (c’est sa chambre qui finira sur la pochette) et dans les rues alentour. « On travaillait jour et nuit, racontait Stefanko, qui a publié un livre de ses photos. Il était totalement investi dans l’aspect visuel de son œuvre. Je le dirigeais un peu et il me donnait beaucoup. »

«On voulait que ça ressemble à de vieux clichés Kodacolor, à de simples photos de famille», Frank Stefanko.

La mise en scène est peu débattue. Les deux hommes sont d’instinct sur la même longueur d’ondes, même si le photographe n’a pas encore entendu les chansons de l’album. « On essayait de recréer l’ambiance de l’Amérique qui trime, de ces types qui attendent leur salut. La scène aurait pu sortir des années 40 ou 50 autant que des années 70. On voulait que ça ressemble à de vieux clichés Kodacolor, à de simples photos de famille. On a beaucoup travaillé en noir et blanc, mais cette image en couleur qui semble avoir été trouvée au fond d’un tiroir s’est imposée pour l’album. » Les premiers essais seront les bons, captant l’intensité de la rencontre. « Les photos étaient crues et naturelles, se souvient Springsteen dans sa préface au livre de Stefanko. Frank arrivait à vous débarrasser de tous les résidus de célébrité et à vous mettre à nu. Il s’imposait des règles très précises, mais, à l’intérieur de ces limites, il créait un univers très proche de celui des personnages de mes chansons. Le dépouillement et la modestie de ses photos, leur sincérité et leur âpreté correspondaient très exactement à la musique que je voulais faire. Il a mis le doigt sur les questions qui me déchiraient après Born to run. Qui suis-je et où vais-je maintenant ? Il m’a montré le visage de ceux sur qui j’écrivais. Et la part de moi-même qui vivait encore en eux. »

Darkness on the Edge of Town est le disque d’une nouvelle naissance et un chef-d’œuvre à part dans la discographie de Springsteen. Un galeriste qui a exposé les photos de Stefanko dit qu’on voit poindre, sur la pochette, dans le calme de la pose et du regard, « l’attente de choses extraordinaires ». Bruce Springsteen y croyait tellement qu’il a utilisé des photos prises le même jour pour son album suivant, The River.

Bonjour amis et fins connaisseurs de notre ami “The Boss”
Après le succès phénoménal du livre “For You”, Lawrence Kirsch sort un 2ème opus, The Light in Darkness.
Je suis sûr qu’il sera à la hauteur du premier – pour ma part, je l’ai déjà commandé. Si vous n’avez pu vous procurer l’édition Collector “For You Bruce” et que vous aimeriez en acheter un (ou plusieurs),
faites-le-moi savoir.
A bientôt pour de nouvelles aventures au pays de la Springsteenmania.

Après le superbe For You ce livre qui représente encore une fois une masse de travail hallucinante ne peut que figurer en bonne place dans la bibliothèque de tous vrais fans de Bruce.
Une maquette superbe, plus de 200 photos (pour la plupart inédites) et de nombreux témoignages de fans sur leurs réactions à cette période étrange durant laquelle pendant 3 ans
(et après le succès phénoménal de l’album “Born To Run”) Bruce restera muet.
Un éclairage aussi sur les premiers shows de 3 heures (et plus) que Bruce réalisera pour la dernière fois dans des salles à taille humaine alors qu’à l’horizon se profile déjà “Born In The USA”
et sa future tournée 84/85 des stades.The Light in Darkness un livre à acheter les yeux fermés avant de les ouvrir en grand !

Livre Bruce Springsteen

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1978 Springsteen Darkness Tour Concert Memories In Cleveland

Springsteen_Cleveland 2

By the time the New Year’s Eve concert rolled around, I had become a full-fledged Springsteen fanatic. Somehow, we scored quality tickets, stage left, lower level. The excitement was palpable. Because the Agora concert had been broadcast on the radio (and recorded on Maxell UDXL-IIs by the likes of us), the set list was fairly well known. However, Bruce threw in more than the usual number of surprises for us on New Year’s Eve.

Springsteen_Cleveland 3The unreleased “Rendezvous” (a song I may have heard on an old bootleg) and “Pretty Flamingo” come to mind. There was also a newer song I’d only read about previously called “The Ties That Bind”, and a memorable, heavy rendition of “The Fever”. I recall being swept into the poignant “Independence Day” and the dramatic “Point Blank”, which were both as-yet-unreleased gems.

Springsteen_Cleveland 1

Of course the infamous firecracker incident was a surprising downer, but, although quite angry about it, Bruce moved on from it quickly and assuredly, proceeding to rock us to our core with not only the usual Springsteen rockers, but also classics such as “Rave On” and “Good Rockin’ Tonight”. By the time we were treated to both “Detroit Medley” AND “Quarter to Three”, it was a promising New Year.

All photos: ©L.Wolfson


Lee Wolfson
Cleveland, Ohio
March 2015

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland
Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 40 copies left, now is the time to order this collectible book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
world. The perfect gift for the Springsteen fan in your life.
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness
* The Light in Darkness is not available in stores

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Bruce Springsteen – Rockin Houston on the Darkness Tour


Springsteen played Houston twice on the Darkness tour: the first show was July 15, 1978, in the Sam Houston Coliseum, and the second show was December 8, 1978, at The Summit. The first show was less than one week before the Rolling Stones were to play the Coliseum on their Some Girls tour so it was one heck of a week for Houston concert fans.

It took some time to get used to his cleaned up image since it had been three years since Springsteen last played Houston next door at the Music Hall. There was some concern that as he changed his look maybe he had also changed his style of performance. But when he came onstage with the words “Gimme some lights. Houston long time, no see”, all doubt was gone. The show rocked — it was a classic multi hour show.

When he returned to Houston less than 6 months later playing to a much large crowd at the Summit, it felt as if the world was getting in on the secret. As a side note, a large billboard was erected over one of Houston’s freeways. Allegedly, Bruce and a few others scaled it in the middle of the night and added their own art work.

Bruce Kessler


Bruce Springsteen 1978 - SAM HOUSTON COLISEUM, HOUSTON, TX


Bruce Springsteen ticket 1978 - SAM HOUSTON COLISEUM, HOUSTON, TX

July 15, 1978- SAM HOUSTON COLISEUM, HOUSpringsteen_Houston_HSTON, TX
Set list

  2. NIGHT
  5. FOR YOU
  13. FIRE
  17. GROWIN’ UP



December 8, 1978 – THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX
December 8, 1978 – THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX

December 8, 1978 – THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX

December 8, 1978 – THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX
Set list

  1. Springsteen_Houston_OBADLANDS
  15. FIRE
  19. MONA
  22. I GET MAD



Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 75 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
world until  April 10, 2015!
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

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Bruce Springsteen’s Houston Tour History Through the Years

By Craig Hlavaty

Special to the Chronicle

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Tuesday for the first time in the venue’s nearly 25 years of hosting concerts. Springsteen’s traveling show has always been a staple of the concert calendar at places like the Summit (and then the Compaq Center) and the Toyota Center. Expect the man and his band to turn in a nearly four-hour set, judging from recent set lists.

This will also be Springsteen’s first Houston visit since 2009′s Toyota Center date touring behind that year’s Working On A Dream. He only got as close as Austin for SXSW during the promo push for 2012′s Wrecking Ball. His newest release, High Hopes, is a grab bag of covers, re-imagined live nuggets, and songs that didn’t make it onto the last few full-length offerings. It’s not an album of misfit toys, that much is for sure.

It’s hard to believe that The Boss has been bringing his brand of wrought-iron Jersey rock to Houston for 40 years — before was even The Boss, maybe just the Assistant Manager — beginning with a four-day invasion of the Liberty Hall in March 1974. He was playing two sets a night three of those nights to accommodate the crowds, something you don’t see much of anymore on a rock tour, much less in Houston.

A Houston Chronicle review of one of the Liberty Hall shows described it as “a celebration of life so intense and vivid that only the most hardened cynic could avoid becoming involved,” which means the reviewer probably met a girl at the show. The only complaint from writer John W. Wilson seemed to be that Springsteen’s voice got lost in the musical soup of the show. There is a great, full-band bootleg floating around on YouTube of that March 9 appearance on KLOL hours before they hit the stage that night. Can you imagine getting all of those people into that tiny studio off Lovett in Montrose?

Not much time passed between the era when Springsteen and band were playing mid-size venues like Liberty Hall and the Houston Music Hall and when they became arena-sized scalper fodder, capable of selling thousands of seats within hours or days. Blockbuster albums like Born to Run and Born in The U.S.A. will have that effect on a career. Springsteen played the Summit for the first time on Dec. 8, 1978,(Darkness Tour) and again routinely every album cycle or so for a two-night stand until April 1988. He wouldn’t come to Houston again until a solo acoustic show at Jones Hall on Jan. 23, 1996 on the Ghost of Tom Joad tour. Once Bruce and the E Streeters were reunited in 1999, they returned to Houston and the Compaq Center in 2000 and 2002, the last time they would play the arena before it was turned into Lakewood Church.

In anticipation of Springsteen returning to Houston after a five-year absence, I dived into our photo archive(see Darkness photos) for some shots of him in his live element here in Houston. Also, with a little help from online a Bruce database, the aptly-named BruceBase, I was able to fill in some of the blanks on those shows you may have forgotten that you were even at.

Judging by the photos, the man has made a deal with the man upstairs to age in reverse. There are few differences between the man at 64 and at 36, give or take a few wrinkles in the face. He probably knows a few more songs now, too.

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 80 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
world until April 10, 2015!
Save Now- Click Here: The Light in Darkness

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Darkness on the Edge of Uptown

Darkness on the Edge of Uptown
Chicago, September 6, 1978

Uptown Marquee

The Uptown Theater was a lavish theater built by the Balaban and Katz theater chain in the 1920s.  It had a palatial look and, along with several other theaters in the Chicago area including the Granada a few miles north and the Chicago Theater downtown, were the premier places to see movies in the early part of the 20th-century.  However, due to the usual litany of urban decay in the 1970s, crime, poverty and suburban flight, the Uptown Theater and its surrounding namesake neighborhood, Uptown, were quite rundown by the 1970s.  Starting in the mid-70s, Jam productions from Chicago starting booking concerts in the venue.  They booked many concerts there, including the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley and, of course, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

The first time Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band played the Uptown Theater was on September 6, 1978.  As my friend and I waited in line for the doors to open in the late summer heat wave, we struck up a conversation with an older man in front of us, wearing a suit that he had probably bought in the 50s or 60s.  After a few minutes of speaking with him, we figured out that he did not realize that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were the feature attraction and instead, was waiting in line to see a movie.  I’m not sure what he did after we told him the news but I kind of felt sorry for him.

I had seen two prior Darkness shows on this tour and it was clear by the second song that this one had a little different feel to it, a bit edgier.  I don’t know if the tough neighborhood had any influence on the way Springsteen presented the show but by the second song, “Streets of Fire,” things took on a decidedly poignant tone in the mean streets of Uptown.  When Bruce jumped into the audience during the next song, “Spirit In The Night,” it seemed as if he had a little rougher time than he did the other times I’d seen him and, whether it was part of the act or not, he seemed a little mad when he got back on the stage.  He brushed off the collar of his sport coat and gave a look to those in front, like “don’t do that again.”

UptownI’m not one to write down set lists from shows and with all the years gone by I do not have a recollection of all the songs played. As I mentioned above, “Streets of Fire” was a highlight and I also vaguely remember the cover of “Heartbreak Hotel.”

For me, the ultimate highlight of the show was “Jungleland.”  With its lyrics on urban gang wars, the rough Uptown neighborhood was a perfect setting for it. The line “and the poets down here don’t write nothin’” (by this time, he was leaving the remaining two words of the recorded version, “at all” off the performances) is what I remember most about this performance. The heat and humidity of the hot summer night filled the theater as Bruce shouted out those lines.  The song and performance reflected perfectly the rundown neighborhood, where this rundown theater stood.

Though some of the specifics escape me, the overall memory of that hot, September evening many years ago is clear.  I am glad that Bruce chose to play the smaller venue rather than one of the city’s arenas.

The Uptown Theater has been shuttered since 1981.  There is talk of reopening it but like the relentless efforts to revitalize its namesake neighborhood, it can’t quite overcome its storied, yet troubled past.

Uptown Chicago

09.06.78 Chicago, IL., intro to ‘Racing in the Street’
“This is for all the Chicago carboys…and anybody who ever wanted to go racing in the street…(music starts)…back home in Asbury, they got these two streets, Kingsley Avenue and Ocean Avenue, they form this big oval, and on Friday and Saturday nights they got…what everybody does is go out and drive around in circles (chuckles)…and somehow it´s fun (chuckles)….and I haven´t done that in a while, I got home for two days, got about ten circles, yeah, like, used to do when I was 18 or 19, now I´m 28, I got a big bus, drive around in big circles (chuckles) ….”

September 6, 1978 Set List (Provided by http://brucebase.wikispaces.com)

Robert M. Condren January 22, 2015
Park Ridge, IL
United States

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 70 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
world until September, 2015!
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

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Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen Book

Looking forward to getting the book, it sounds like it was really a labour of love. I found it on Google, I was doing some searches on the Winterland shows & it popped up.

My brother & I saw Springsteen twice on the Darkness tour, at Berkeley Community Theater & Dec. 16th at Winterland.
Those two shows were the apex, and also the end, of the wonderful run I had seeing live music in the bay area as a teenager in the 70s.
I was 19 in ’78, and the realities of life after high school were putting me though a great deal of discomfort. Darkness was the right album for me at the right time.
The music was never quite as good after that, and the good times never as carefree.

I only saw Springsteen live one more time, at the Oakland Area on the River tour. In spite of excellent seats, seeing him in an arena was just not the same,
& I decided to stick with the memories of the 70s shows, which also include The Paramount in Oakland in ’76. I listen to Bruce infrequently now,
and he has made a lot of records that I have never heard. That being said, I cherish the white hot memory of those shows, and having been a Springsteen fan in the pre-superstar days,
when it was like belonging to some fantastic secret society that had discovered the source of rock & roll in it’s purest, best form.

Bruce Mushrush
Martinez, California

Limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 90 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering Free Shipping anywhere in the
world until February 5, 2015!
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

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Glory Day: On Aug. 9, 1978, there was no stopping the Boss and his band at the Cleveland Agora

Original Agora Ticket Stub: Reproduced from limited edition Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness

John Soeder, The Plain Dealer 

 The Plain Dealer on Nov. 12, 1999

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform Sunday and Monday at Gund Arena, they’ll be hard-pressed to top their legendary show of Aug. 9, 1978, at the Cleveland Agora. The 1,200 fans who packed the landmark venue in its old location on E. 24th St. were treated to a 22-song marathon of old favorites and then-new tunes from the “Darkness on the Edge of Town” album.

Broadcast live on WMMS FM/100.7 to mark the radio station’s 10th anniversary, the free show was simulcast in seven Midwest markets, reaching an estimated 3 million listeners. The widely bootlegged concert captures the Boss and his crackerjack band at the height of their powers, making a rare club appearance in the midst of their first major arena tour.

What follows is a blow-by-blow account of that unforgettable night by a few fortunate eyewitnesses who were there – as well as one serious Springsteen devotee who wishes he had been.

Kid Leo, WMMS disc jockey: Obviously, ‘MMS was going to be the sponsor because we broke Springsteen. Cleveland gave him a foothold in middle America. It was the first city that embraced him outside the Tri-state area.

John Gorman, WMMS program director: That was the summer Dennis Kucinich had the vote recall. The mayor and city council were snarling at each other like dogs. Cleveland was sliding into default. The Springsteen concert was such an amazing high at the time, considering everything else was going south – and fast. As crazy as it sounds, rock ‘n’ roll was one of the few salvations in this city.

Hank LoConti Sr., Agora owner: ‘MMS gave away the tickets. People actually slept on the sidewalk the night before because it was a general-admission show. They wanted to be right up front. These four guys brought a lamp, sleeping bags, everything. I ran an extension cord out to them so they could hook up their lamp.

Chuck Crow, Agora bartender (and now Plain Dealer photographer): People were waiting to get in when I showed up for work. Someone offered me $100 for a ticket.

Jim Kluter, one of the hardcore fans known as the Cleveland Boys: Bruce used to give us 20, 30 tickets. To make a long story short, we went to Asbury Park in 1976. We caught wind that he was playing a benefit softball game. One thing led to another and Bruce asked us to play. He invited us back the following weekend. We stayed at his house. To us, he was just a regular guy hanging out with regular guys.

John Gorman: It was very important to us that everything ran smoothly. We didn’t want a situation where a left channel cut out or a cue was missed. That would have made us look bush-league. Leo and I were very nervous.

Kid Leo: Nervous? Oh, no. This was a celebration. I remember taking a tray of my mom’s lasagna to Bruce and the band before the show. Bruce goes, “What are you, nuts? I can’t eat this. You see what I do. Do you think I could do that weighed down with lasagna?” While Bruce objected, the band cleared out the whole tray. There was none left.

Kid Leo got the crowd’s attention with the following introduction: “Ladies and gentlemen, the main event. Round for round, pound for pound, there ain’t no finer band around – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band!” They came out swinging with a cover of “Summertime Blues” that went directly into a knockout rendition of “Badlands.”

John Gorman: The segue from “Summertime Blues” to “Badlands” was like launching a rocket. It was powerful. Each song just kept building and building and building.

Chuck Crow: It was the best version of “Badlands” I ever heard. I recall Bruce singing and a sea of hands clapping in front of him. I sat on the bar right next to the stage. We didn’t serve during the show. I think they didn’t want all that noise in the background because of the radio broadcast.

Sam Kopper, radio broadcast producer: Jimmy Iovine handled the music mix. He was Springsteen’s producer. That was the first time I saw Springsteen live. I was blown away. I had seen James Brown and he surely deserved his moniker as “the hardest working man in show business.” But when I saw Springsteen, I realized the mantle had been passed.

The performance continued at a breakneck pace with “Spirit in the Night,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “Factory,” “The Promised Land,” “Prove It All Night” and “Racing in the Street.” Two of Springsteen’s most popular songs, “Thunder Road” and “Jungleland” (complete with a cameo by the Cleveland Boys), closed the first half of the concert.

Hank LoConti Sr.: Bruce put on a fantastic show. It’s the best I’ve ever seen him. The first time he played the Agora in ’74, he maybe drew 500, 600. Four years later, he packed the place.

Kid Leo: It was electric. The crowd, the band, the walls – the whole setting was electric.

John Gorman: The crowd knew it was witnessing history. It would have to be one of the best crowds Springsteen has ever played to. You could feel the emotions going back and forth. The audience and the band were both having fun. The vibes were going both ways. There was a connection.

Jim Kluter: We ended up sitting in the second row. There was an iron I-beam above the stage. During the show, Bruce swung across it from one end to the other. He dropped right in front of me and Joe and stuck the microphone in our faces in the middle of “Jungleland.” We sang the line: “Explode into rock ‘n’ roll bands.”

Joe Juhasz, member of the Cleveland Boys: We were way off-key. I’m sure it wasn’t planned. If it wasn’t us, it would’ve been someone else. Everyone was singing along. It was so loud between the crowd and the band.

After an intermission, the instrumental “Paradise by the ‘C’ kicked off the second half of the show – “Round Two,” as Springsteen put it. “Fire,” “Sherry Darling” and a medley of “Not Fade Away,” “Gloria” and “She’s the One” followed.

John Gorman: The band just clicked. They were talking to each other onstage. It was raw emotion. Every single band member was right on. Everybody was reading everybody else’s mind.

Joe Juhasz: They always give 100 percent. That night, they gave more. The songs were tighter and the solos were excellent. Max Weinberg was just crazy on the drums. Clarence Clemons was right on, too.

Mary Polcyn, future wife of Cleveland Boy Joe Juhasz and fan in her own right: Clarence pulled me onstage to dance. I didn’t feel too good. We had a party at our bungalow in Parma the day before and the band came. That’s why Bruce said, “Cleveland Boys, a little party noise” at the beginning of “Sherry Darling.”

John Gorman: One thing went wrong. Clarence had a portable Nakamichi stereo. Somebody stole it from his hotel room. He was (angry). But it never showed in his performance. Springsteen even made a joke about it during “Growin’ Up.”A 13-minute version of “Growin’ Up” found Springsteen in classic storytelling mode for a rock ‘n’ roll parable that came to be known as “Teenage Werewolf.” He related how, en route to meet his maker, he ran into Kid Leo: “I go, ‘Kid, what are you doing?’ He says, ‘Praying for more watts. I gotta blast this baby all the way to New Jersey!’

John Gorman: I never saw Leo cry. But that’s probably the closest he ever came. I was standing with him when Springsteen said that. Leo was in shock.

Charles Cross, founding editor of Backstreets fanzine: Springsteen’s raps combined poetry and pop culture in this unique way. That’s one of the problems with the current tour. Bruce isn’t telling enough stories. The few stories he does tell are the same every night. Back in ’78, he was making this stuff up on the spot.”Backstreets” (dedicated to the Cleveland Boys) and a giddy version of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” brought the second set to an over-the-top climax. A nearly hoarse Springsteen and the indefatigable E Street ensemble returned to the stage for encores of “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” “Born to Run,” “Because the Night” and “Raise Your Hand.” “I’d like to thank Cleveland for supporting us,” Springsteen told the audience. “When we first came here, we got some respect.” At 12:15 a.m., more than four hours after it began, the marathon performance ended with a surprise cover of “Twist and Shout.”

Kid Leo: After “Raise Your Hand,” Sam Kopper wanted to sign off. I said, “I’m telling you. Listen to that crowd. He’s gonna come back.” Sam said, “No, he ain’t. If you’re not gonna sign off, I’m gonna sign off.” So I read the credits. As soon as we were off the air, Bruce came back out and did “Twist and Shout.” It didn’t make the broadcast. But there are copies of it out there because the tape kept running.

Joe Juhasz: I saw Clarence backstage after the show. He was soaked with sweat. I remember looking at Jimmy. We just shook our heads. We were exhausted just from watching them.

Hank LoConti Sr.: They knew they put on a good show. Bruce was very satisfied.

John Gorman: One of the greatest compliments I ever got was from Bob Seger a few years later. He said, “Man, I heard the concert you guys put on with Springsteen. That was the greatest rock ‘n’ roll show I ever heard.” If it were put out today as a live album, I think it would outsell the live collection that Springsteen put out in ’86.

Kid Leo: That concert is probably one of the biggest-selling bootlegs, both on vinyl and now on CD, in the large catalog of Springsteen bootlegs. People who don’t know me from Cleveland recognize my name because they have the bootleg. Everything just clicked that night. It was a special point in Bruce’s career. He was coming off “Born to Run,” which had made him an American icon. It was like, can he follow it up? And he did.

Charles Cross: I wasn’t there. But through the magic of bootlegging, I feel like I was. In the annals of Springsteen shows, it was one of the most dynamic he ever did. He was just on fire that year. When we talk about the best shows that Bruce and the band are doing today, which are quite good, they still don’t come close to the ferocity of ’78. People think Bruce was always as big as he is now. He wasn’t. He was a minor act on Columbia Records who was in danger of being dropped. The success he had came from his live shows. And that Cleveland show was one of the best.

Limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 90 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering Free Shipping anywhere in the
world until February 5, 2015!
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

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Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: The Agora, Cleveland 1978

Cleveland 8/9/78 comes out of the vault and into your computer
After kicking off in the not-so-recent-past with the 2012 Apollo show, one month later the archival side of Springsteen’s live downloads series jumps right into the sweet spot of the vault with its second release: The Agora, Cleveland, Ohio, August 9, 1978.

One of five radio broadcasts on the Darkness tour, the Agora, as it has come to be known, is a performance held in extraordinarily high esteem by fans who have relived it for decades through the magic of bootlegging on titles like Summertime Bruce, Agora Night and Just in Time for Summer.

But none of those titles had the benefit of being sourced from seven 15-IPS (inches per second), half-track, mixdown reel to reels, newly transferred using the same Plangent process used for the recently released Album Collection box set. The new release promises unprecedented quality from an old familiar friend.

Brad Serling, founder and CEO of Nugs.net, which handles the live series, tells Backstreets, “It’s so exciting to be a part of this — I feel like we’re unearthing a piece of rock ‘n’ roll history, to do this and not put out just another copy of something that people have had on bootleg for years.”

The show itself was a special stop on the Darkness tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of WMMS, home to one of Springsteen’s biggest and most influential radio supporters, Kid Leo. As Brucebase notes, Kid Leo memorably introduced the band to the stage to kick off the broadcast that also reached listeners via FM stations in other Midwest cities: “Good evening and welcome to the WMMS 10th anniversary concert. I’m Kid Leo, and I have the duty and the pleasure of welcoming, ladies and gentlemen, the main event. Round for round, pound for pound, there ain’t no finer band around: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band!”

The set is a stone-cold Darkness tour classic, kicking off appropriately with a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” and moving through what might best be described as a core setlist for this portion of the tour (including the soon-to-be-dropped “Paradise By The C” to start the second set), augmented by the then-unreleased “Sherry Darling” (another nod to summer) and the set-closing “Twist and Shout.”

As for the tapes themselves, it took a bit of digging to find the best source. “Initially, what Toby found in the Thrill Hill archives was not a great-sounding transfer of the reels that they’d had,” Serling explains. “So they asked Sirius, and Sirius pulled out their copy — which apparently sounded better than what Toby had from the initial transfer. That’s what was originally slated for release, and even sent off to Gateway to be mastered. Meanwhile, Toby still wanted to find the original reels and see if he could make a better transfer. I happened to call him while he was working on this — I voiced concern about putting out a bootleg that people had already heard if it wasn’t the best existing sound. He said, ‘Well, it does sound better than the last transfer, but I think we can do better.’

“Serendipitously, Toby found a box of seven reels that been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” continues Serling, “and that was it. The reels — the pre-FM, stereo mix of this show — had gone missing, and it turns out they were in this box that was on loan to the Rock Hall. And Toby had managed to find it just in time.”

Sent over to Plangent for a fresh transfer, the Agora audio was pitch-corrected and adjusted for wow-and-flutter as it was extracted from the master reels, “brought back to as sonically perfect as the tapes could be,” Serling says. “It sounded way better than Toby’s original transfer, and better than the Sirius bootleg. So we managed to push it through.”

The provenance of the reels is still not entirely clear to Scott or to Serling. They are unlikely to be the “Hank LoConti tapes,” named for the Agora’s founder who died earlier this year; a few years back, Cleveland press reported he had hoped to take the 24-track recording he made of the show and get permission to release it to benefit the Western Reserve Historical Society. “What we do know,” Serling says, “is that there is no other stereo mix of this tape in the Thrill Hill archives.”

We would suspect these seven tapes are the mixed-down and mastered reels from which copies of the show were made by Columbia to service other select radio stations when demand for live Springsteen was raging in the late ’78 and early ’79. Some have speculated the Agora was considered for a possible 1979 official live album, and though there isn’t enough evidence to conclusively state that, Serling does note, “That’s what’s interesting — that could be what this stereo mix is! The boxes say ‘Springsteen Live,’ as if it were a live album. The sleuth work involved here has been really exciting, trying to look under every rock and see what’s there. And this is the best possible version of the show we could have in our hands right now.”

In addition to CD and standard digital files, the Agora will also be available in the highest-existing High Definition: “We’re really psyched to come out of the gate with our first deep archive release and put it out at 24-bit/192KHz,” says Sterling.

The same Plain-Dealer story about LoConti’s tapes offers some heady endorsements of the show: “Former WMMS programmer John Gorman recalls in his book The Buzzard that Bob Seger told him he recorded it off the radio in Detroit, calling it ‘the greatest rock ‘n’ roll show I ever heard,’ and drummer Max Weinberg called it the best show the E Street Band ever did.”

Thanks to Backstreets.com for this incredible news for Springsteen fans.
- December 23, 2014 – Erik Flannigan and Christopher Phillips reporting

Limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 90 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering Free Shipping anywhere in the
world until February 5, 2015!
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

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Roulette – Dutch Bruce Springsteen Magazine

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen Gift book, The Light in Darkness, less than 90 copies left.
Focusing on Springsteen’s 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour with
amazing photos and stories.
Free Shipping until the end of 2014!
CLICK HERE TO SAVE NOW- The Light in Darkness
*The Light in Darkness book is not sold in stores

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Flash of Light: Springsteen Comes Out of the Darkness

The Light in Darkness – collected photographs and essays

It was the year the Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever album was number one for twenty-four weeks and the year a killer snowstorm hit the eastern seaboard putting us out of work and school for about a week. The year that saw us watching the beautiful Barbara Bach let down her hair for Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me and had us listening to disco and driving at night to the Eagle’s Hotel California and falling in love to Fleetwood Mac and Wings. It was the year the Sex Pistols went dark and and told us to never mind the bollocks for the last time at Winterland in San Francisco, where Bruce would give one of the most memorable concerts of his career in that December.

1978 has been exposed and laid bare for Springsteen fans. Lawrence Kirsch has collected a healthy volume of blog entries, magazine and newspaper articles, and reminiscences of Bruce Springsteen’s 1978 tour and bound them with the best tour photographs in his book The Light in Darkness. These are not concert reviews or album reviews as much as they are personal stories about the person who has written each piece. Anecdotes and reminiscences about songs of youth and joy and love and sex and hardship and identity. The songs on Darkness reach us because they seem to not only understand but to embrace the working-class struggle, family relationships, and hard-won romance. They are small town stories– not quite urban and not quite not; that are visually engaging and nerve-touching; whole lyric narratives that tell us what it is to be down and out but to want to live anyway.

Springsteen is a sort of high priest of Passaic who tells us it’s okay to not understand what it’s all about but to keep on trying anyway and to refuse all bullshit. That “it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive” and to want control and want it now. After what he had just been through with former manager Appel, it isn’t surprising to hear Bruce sing with such guttural, throaty vehemence. He is glad to be back. He is glad he’s alive and he shows it. The photos reveal a buff Springsteen with his mop of chocolate waves, buff in his sleeveless t-shirts and motorcycle boots all hipness and attitude like Marlon Brando in The Wild One.

One contributor tells us, “Music had become my savior that summer…” It was the summer her mother died from a second failed kidney transplant and the summer she went to a concert despite everything. “There are other things I remember about that night, an evening when music – particularly Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – saved my life and made me realize that I could go on…” As Springsteen tells us on “Badlands”, “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.” And that is the point. Whatever happened to him during his enforced hiatus when he was falling out with Mike Appel. Appel was Bruce Springsteen’s first manager and producer, and is probably most remembered for his part in a contract dispute that kept Springsteen from recording for quite a while after Born to Run in 1975.

Eager and loyal fans of the early Springsteen had nothing to listen to. It was, as one fan writes, a “primitive media era”. There was no Internet, there was no news, no new Springsteen recordings. “Waiting during that time was an eternity…

But when Bruce did come back, he gave the performance of his lifetime. The ’78 Tour (some have called it “The Lawsuit Tour”) is compared to Dylan’s live ’66 performance at the Royal Albert Hall. One writer says that it was this tour, the ’78 tour, that gave “the feeling that someone out there has understood and shares my pain (and that) has kept me going many times…”

Springsteen, like Dylan, is one of few artists who inspire a real closeness between performer and fan – an intimacy that is inherent in the work, the music, and how it is performed with such gut wrenching sincerity that a large number of fans don’t simply relate – they take it personally. It is this very fact – the blurred boundary – that makes the artist so successful and that gives the music such staying power. Philippe Rezzonico says, “You cannot escape what was written for you, for your kind, for what you value in life…”

This is performance-based writing and photography and so highly personal and it is this that gives the work its strength: it is everything that you too have felt at a Springsteen concert – that palpable connection that you did not expect but is there nonetheless. Here we see Springsteen falling backwards into the crowd, venturing out into the crowd with his long-lead microphone halfway up the aisle and welcoming girls onto stage to dance. This is how Springsteen shares the show. Kirsch has collected the best images from this tour: a rose-colored light soaked Springsteen jumping with his guitar held at sharp angle, falling back at the feet of Clarence Clemons and wailing out a tune. He is sweat drenched and loving it. This book, for all intents and purposes, is the best souvenir booklet of the tour. It is a program adapted after the fact by the fans and for the fans. And that’s what it’s all about and should be about. Springsteen was the shaman – the one we chose and who traveled down the witness tree during those three-hour concerts – expressing what we feel and how we feel it with such abandon, our own personal soundtrack Springsteen.

Sadi Ranson
Providence, Rhode Island
November 2014

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, including a full 16 pages dedicated to the 1978 Cleveland
Agora concert, this book is a must have.
With less than 35 copies left, now is the time to order this collectible book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the
world. The perfect gift for the Springsteen fan in your life.
Save Now- Order Your Copy Here: The Light in Darkness

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Bruce Springsteen Limited Edition Book, The Light in Darkness.

Limited edition Bruce Springsteen book.

Bruce Springsteen Limited Edition Book, The Light in Darkness

IF you have ever considered buying this book, Now is the time.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce’s iconic 4th album
and 1978 tour. Jam packed with over 100 fan stories and 200 original classic
photos from the 1978 tour, this book is a must have.
With less than 100 copies left, now is the time to order this collectable book.
And to sweeten the offer, we are now offering Free Shipping anywhere in the
world, Friday is the Last Day for this fantastic offer!
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

The Light in Darkness presenta il punto di vista dei fan del Boss su… “Darkness on the Edge of Town” Con Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen e la E Street Band presero una posizione precisa proprio quando tutto era in discussione,” scrive Vike Savoth nella prefazione di “The Light in Darkness”. “Erano pronti a pagare il prezzo di un violento ingresso nell’oblio del rock and roll prendendo le distanze dal sound e dal look che aveva dato loro popolarità e fortuna”. Con oltre 200 fotografie e 100 racconti originali raccontati dai leggendari fan di Springsteen “The Light in The Darkness” è il punto di vista dei seguaci del Boss sul suo quarto album. Vi ricordo che The Light In The Darkness ha le spese di spedizione scontate!The Light in Darkness

Libro de Bruce Springsteen: The Light in Darkness
Edición Limitada para fans del Boss.
Pídelo ahora: envío gratuito durante un semana
The Light in Darkness

… alls ihr nicht bei Greasy Lake oder so unterwegs seid und das hier schon gelesen habt: Lawrence Kirsch bietet sein Buch zum Darkness-Album und der 78er-Tour, “The Light in Darkness”, im Oktober portofrei an – auch für Europa! Es gibt noch knapp 100 Restexemplare, wenn die weg sind, sind sie weg. Das Buch hat über 200 Seiten und Fotos, alle Details findet ihr unter The Light in Darkness

Edition limitée du livre sur Springsteen : The Light in Darkness Economisez maintenant : Port Gratuit durant un seul semaine !
Seulement 100 copies restantes. Cliquez ici pour commander: The Light in Darkness

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Bruce Springsteen-Darkness on the Edge of Town- Rock & Folk

10 octobre -1978 Rock & Folk par Philippe Garnier

Il est arrivé sur la scène du Forum sans tambour ni trompette, avec un sourire conquérant de jeune loup. Avec son costard de Thrift Store, sa chemise de flanelle à carreaux noirs et blancs et ses Frye boots, sa Fender toute égratignée qu’il porte le plus souvent dans son dos comme un ouvrier porterait sa musette ou sa gamelle, Springsteen avait l’air impossiblement beau et impossiblement jeune (sans sa stupide barbe).

Il nous a abordés comme si c’était à un coin de rue qu’on se rencontrait : “Vous m’avez vu dans le journal ?” il crie comme ça, tout content. Le L.A. Times lui avait consacré toute sa Calendar Section du dimanche, et le Grand Pontife Hilburn en avait tartiné trois pages bien pédantes sur Bruce. Oui, on avait lu. On savait tout sur lui ; on savait que le “boss is back”, comme le clament les T. shirts publicitaires. On savait tout sauf qu’il allait nous tuer comme ça ce soir. Badlands et Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, il va faire ça avec un aplomb absolument sans appel ; on en a les jambes molles tant ce foutu E Street Band joue bien, pompe ce Rock’n'roll dans l’énorme salle comme un gros cœur en surmultipliée. Clarence Clemons est resplendissant dans son costard vermillon ; je vous chie pas : un trois pièces VERMILLON, cinq mètres carrés de tissu pour draper sa grandeur plus que nature. Bruce et lui offrent deux pôles kinétiques tout le long du concert, bien exploités par l’éclairage et le jeu de scène, contraste que dix bouquins sur les rapports du musicien blanc vis-à-vis du noir, du big Spade, ne pourraient même pas approcher. Tennessee Williams, Mezzrow, rien de tout ça n’éclaire autant que de voir ces deux zèbres sur scène. Quand ils restent sur scène ; parce que souvent ils sont dans le public à batifoler, à se rouler dans la foule, à se laisser porter par la mer des paumes qui veulent les toucher (enfin non, personne cherche à porter Clarence Clemons…) Jamais je n’ai vu un type se nourrir autant du public et de ses réactions. Jamais je n’ai vu un type donner et RECEVOIR autant de ses fans. On a l’impression qu’il vient nous trouver pour une recharge. Et lui-même comme dynamo se pose un peu là. Le simple fait qu’il tienne le coup à ce degré d’intensité et à ce rythme-là relève déjà du miracle ; ce type est un putain d’athlète du rock’n'roll. Jamais présence aussi PHYSIQUE n’avait rempli l’espace du Forum de cette façon ; tous les gros veinards qui ont pu voir le concert du Roxy qu’il donna deux jours après peuvent frimer et se rengorger autant qu’ils veulent (il est jaloux !!!) et prétendre que c’était encore plus fabuleux, je maintiens que faire ce qu’il fait au FORUM est plus incroyable et plus exceptionnel ; c’était comme s’il était là dans le living-room ; le degré d’intimité était incroyable ; tous ses apartés portaient. Et les histoires qu’il raconte tiennent plus d’un acteur que d’un simple amuseur. Il est là devant vous, quatre-vingts kilos de chair et d’os et trois tonnes de sincérité, et je défie QUICONQUE de mettre ça en doute ou de rigoler (même le gros malin mal éclairé que j’étais il y a seulement un mois). Quand il fait Greetings From Asbury Park, il annonce : “C’est quelque chose que j’aime bien entendre sur l’album de Greg Kihn.” “I came for you / I came for you…” qu’il chante, et on n’en doute pas une seule minute.
Springsteen chante cent fois mieux que sur ses disques ; plus de borborygmes constipés et incompréhensibles ; PLUS BESOIN DES PAROLES. Et quand il joue de la guitare, alors là c’est l’extase ; comme son solo lame de rasoir au milieu de “Promised Land”.
Aux deux extrémités de la scène, il y a les deux ingrédients magiques du rock and roll de Springsteen, l’orgue et le piano. L’organiste est une espèce de phoque hirsute qui ressemble au fantôme de Brooker (je cherche Ducray sous le piano, il n’y est pas, tant pis), les deux bonshommes et leurs acolytes font tous les bons bruits au bon moment, tout ce qu’on veut entendre, anticipant nos moindres désirs. C’est fou, et c’est assez effrayant quand on y réfléchit. Mais on n’y réfléchit pas, pensez bien. Le voilà qui présente une autre chanson, qu’il parle de sa petite sœur et de Buddy Holly ; sa petite sœur a déjà ramassé trois contredanses pour excès de vitesse, et elle conduit depuis deux mois seulement ! Et c’est évidemment “Racing In The Streets”. Et je regarde autour de moi, et je vois tous ces mecs de L.A., tous ces “hot-rod angels” et ces “shut down strangers” (beaucoup de chicanos dans le tas, d’ailleurs), et je me dis que s’il y a un coin où ils savent ce que peut faire “69 Chevy with a 396, Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor”, c’est bien à L.A.(moi je n’en ai pas la moindre idée, sauf que je suppose que ça arrache un bout d’asphalte, mais j’aime bien la façon dont ça sonne…). Et le Forum c’est rien, attendez San Diego ! Là-bas, ils en connaissent un rayon, question bagnoles…
Clarence Clemons est à genoux dans les premiers rangs en plein milieu de “Thunder Road”, et il souffle un solo qui vient de si loin et qui en même temps est si physique, la tripe, vraiment, que ça en devient inquiétant ; on pense brièvement à Dylan et son ringard de saxo de balloche, mais on referme vite la parenthèse parce que Clarence se lève à présent, cent trente kilos de musique humaine, et Bruce vient buter dans la montagne et fait sonner ses cordes de Telecaster tellement fort qu’il en pètera trois avant la fin du concert.

“VOUS ÊTES PRETS POUR LE DEUXIEME ROUND ?” hurle Springsteen après s’être arrêté seulement quinze minutes à l’entracte. Et comment qu’on est prêt. Mais quand même pas pour ce qui va suivre. La place et les forces manquent pour décrire le délire qui vous prend alors que l’autre flippé vous allonge “Adam Raised A Cain”, “The Night Brigade”, “Streets Of Fire” et tout ça. Un des plus grands moments, c’est quand il fait “Fire”, qui est je crois une des vingt chansons enregistrées pour “Darkness” et qui verra peut-être le jour plus tard (“Y’aura sans doute un pirate sous peu”, plaisantera t-il avec nous à San Diego). “Fire” est une chanson quasi rockabilly ; Springsteen prend des poses archétypales ; de loin c’est Cochran, ses jambes en X et ses allures de désossé ; des fois il rappelle l’intensité possédée d’un Kevin Coyne. “She’s The One” est l’occasion pour lui et le groupe de se lancer dans une pyrotechnie effarante ; ça commence sur un jungle-beat genre “Mona”, un Bo Diddley beat estampillé, martelé jusqu’aux deuxièmes phalanges. A San Diego, Bruce se laissera aller et divaguera dans un “Not Fade Away” absolument magique. (Après le concert, aux journalistes : “C’est la première fois qu’on fait “Not Fade Away”, mais, bon, je suis allé voir The Buddy Holly Story trois fois de suite. Et puis Gary Bussey est dans la salle.” Bussey était dans notre bus aussi, de retour d’une tournée avec Willy Nelson. Il a joué avec Bruce dans sa chambre d’hôtel et dans un club de la côte, et c’est le grand amour entre ce fils de l’Oklahoma et le Grand Rital. Sur scène, Springsteen raconte comment le film l’a aidé à percevoir Holly : “Je m’étais jamais imaginé Buddy Holly en train de bouger ; pour moi, il était toujours comme ça, à partir de la taille.” Et il prend une pose figée.
Il fait trois ou quatre rappels, selon les soirs. Au Forum, il chante une chanson tout seul au piano (“The Promise”?) puis “Born To Run”, un triomphe. Quand il revient encore, il fait ce qui ironiquement est son plus grand hit à ce jour, “Because The Night”, et ensuite il se lance dans ce qui est peut-être le meilleur moment de la soirée (sauf que ça veut dire que c’est – quand même – la fin), une version carrément ébouriffée de “Quarter To Three”, le vieux hit de Gary U.S. Bonds. Il nous fait chanter a capella comme si on était à un coin de rue, il nous fait twister, la bière monte et descend des pieds à la tête, on est sur les fauteuils à danser, à tomber les uns sur les autres, et à la fin Springsteen hurle : “I’m just a prisonner of rock’n'roll !” Ce qui dans la bouche de n’importe qui d’autre sonnerait un peu cul, mais lui il peut assumer, il l’a prouvé, toute la nuit. Il termine sur une civière, ranimé par Clarence. Jive, jive, tout ça, mais on adore tous ça, il y a longtemps qu’on ne compte plus les coups. K.O. technique.

A San Diego la salle est deux fois plus petite, mais l’impression est la même ; le son est bien moins bon, la foule est cinglée, les mômes se lancent à l’assaut de la scène, mais en rigolant, pas méchamment. Et Bruce veille au grain ; à un moment il plonge dans la foule pour séparer un videur et un excité ; il fait passer l’excité dans les coulisses pour lui éviter des ennuis ; tout ça très cool, sans démagogie, sans pour cela se mettre les videurs à dos. Mais quand il prend son bain de foule au cours de “All Night”, un des videurs comprend plus et court après en lui gueulant : “Eh, vous, revenez sur la scène !!!” Springsteen raconte ça après tout à fait ravi. Tout comme après le premier pétard il dit tranquillement : “Eh, c’est MA soirée, je veux que personne soit blessé. Pas de pétards.” Il dit ça posément, mais personne ne bronche, et les excités de la poudre à canon rentrent leur arsenal. Springsteen : “Moi je joue tous les soirs ; des fois je suis fatigué, des fois ça tourne mal ; mais ça devrait jamais. Le type qui achète un billet, c’est SA soirée ; le billet est cher, c’est beaucoup d’argent. Alors je veux faire en sorte que le type ait un endroit où s’asseoir, qu’il ne se fasse pas taper sur la gueule et qu’il ne se fasse pas défigurer par un pétard.” L’entrevue avec l’homme se passe – de façon assez appropriée – dans un vestiaire, sous une lumière de commissariat de police. Bruce s’amène dans un autre costard étriqué avec les biceps qui bougent en dessous. Maintenant je comprends pourquoi les filles le trouvent sexy. Il a vraiment tout, Al Pacino, De Niro, Brando… James Dean. Tous des gens qu’il admire, d’ailleurs. “Comme tout le monde” ajoute-t-il. Il s’amène avec  l’Est d’Eden de Steinbeck sous le bras. On lui demande s’il a un peu adapté son show à la foule de ce soir.

“On a jamais joué San Diego. Mais on y retournera ! Les gens étaient, uh, DINGUES ! Dans ces cas-là je fais un peu gaffe à ce que je fais ou à ce que je dis, pour rien provoquer d’incontrôlable. Je veux pas que quelqu’un se fasse mal à un de mes concerts. Mais, wow, d’habitude les gens essaient de grimper sur scène et je leur dis : “Bravo, t’as gagné, maintenant pose-toi là et écoute”. Et c’est généralement ce qu’ils font ! Mais en Californie, ce coup-là… L’autre soir, ces trois TRES JEUNES filles se précipitent sur moi pour m’embrasser… et… je… moi je trouve ça sympa… Mais là j’ai cette fille qui a à peine quinze ans sur moi et j’ai sa langue dans la bouche et elle la fourre aussi loin qu’elle pourra jamais aller… hum… J’étais un peu… ESTOMAQUE.”

Holly, c’est une influence importante ?

“J’étais trop jeune pour connaître la première vague, tout ce rockabilly qui est ce que j’écoute maintenant le plus. Moi, c’était plutôt les Stones, Tamla, Stax, Dylan… C’est après que j’ai remonté le courant. Mais je me souviens de la fois où j’ai vu Elvis sur l’Ed Sullivan Show ; ma mère regardait la télé dans la cuisine, et j’ai vu ça. Ça m’a donné envie de PORTER une guitare. Pas encore d’en jouer, mais d’en avoir une.”

Vous faites deux-trois accords à la Duane Eddy aussi dans le show…

“Ouais, Duane Eddy et Dick Dale… Mais sur la côte Est on trouve pas facilement les disques… surtout des compilations de disques instrumentaux, surf et tout ça… Le truc de Duane Eddy, c’est la musique du film “Because They’re Young”. Et Dion aussi. Dion était super. Steve (Miami Steve Van Zandt, le guitariste) a travaillé avec son groupe. Dion était toujours bon. Il avait un sax magnifique. Il avait tout.”

Contrairement à ce que nous laissaient entendre les avertissement des gens du service de publicité, il parle volontiers de son procès avec Mike Appel. Il prend un air songeur, comme quand on ouvre une vieille blessure devenue presque chère.

“Mike et moi on était très proche l’un de l’autre, très amis. On faisait des rêves ensemble ; moi j’allais être Elvis, et lui le Colonel. Seulement voilà, il était pas le colonel et moi j’étais pas Elvis. Ça a commencé à craquer quand j’ai voulu avoir un peu de contrôle sur ma vie ; mais je vais pas vous dire que c’était pas aussi à propos d’argent.” (sourire de loup).

S’il a effectivement enregistré près de trente nouvelles chansons, pourquoi ne pas avoir sorti un double-album ? Et un en public ?

“J’ai pensé que les chansons de Darkness suffisaient. Elles ont plus d’impact que noyées au milieu d’un double-album. Quant au disque live, il y en aura sans doute un, un jour. En attendant, ça fait le bonheur des bootleggers. Non, ça ne me gène pas du tout ; je ne crois pas que les gens qui sortent les pirates se fassent beaucoup d’argent. Ce sont surtout des fans un peu trop zélés ; il y en a qui m’écrivent pour m’expliquer : “Eh, Bruce, on pouvait pas faire autrement…” (rires)

Edition limitée du livre sur Springsteen : “The Light in Darkness” Economisez maintenant : Port Gratuit durant un seul mois !
Seulement 100 copies restantes. Cliquez ici pour commander: The Light in Darkness

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Libro Bruce Springsteen è su Darkness on the Edge of Town

‘Comprai un’audiocassetta di Darkness il giorno stesso che uscì e con il mio amico Mark Hoffman, quella notte, andammo in giro ad ascoltarla nel suo pickup.

Mark aveva un vecchio Chevy Monte Carlo che usava per gareggiare sui rettilinei e qualche volta andavo con lui a guardare.

Quando Racing in The Street ebbe inizio, semplicemente accostammo a lato della strada e rimanemmo seduti lì, ad ascoltare, in un silenzio stupito.

Avevo diciotto anni e prima di allora non avevo mai avuto un’esperienza musicale come quella, ed ora, più di trent’anni dopo, è ancora vivissimo il ricordo di me seduto nell’oscurità ad ascoltare, meravigliato.’

E’ un brano tratto dal libro ‘The Light in Darkness’ di Lawrence Kirsch, di cui avevo brevemente parlato sul forum un paio di settimane fa e che mi arrivato la scorsa settimana. La traduzione è rozza ed approssimativa ma spero di aver reso il racconto molto vivido e cinematografico di un fan (Jim Freeman) che insieme a molti altri scritti è a corredo dell’articolo sugli shows di fine settembre 1978 al Fox Theater di Atlanta.

E’ un brano che mi ha colpito come un treno (quello dei ricordi) visto che in quel periodo avevo anche io diciotto anni e a fine estate comprai il disco e la reazione fu molto simile, tra meraviglia e stupore per quanta oscurità trasudava da quel vinile e quant’erano profondi i tratteggi dei personaggi, e per quanto immaginario suscitavano i testi e le canzoni , urlate una di seguito all’altra cariche di tensione fino al punto di esplodere con violenza. Non mi spiegavo perché, nella terra promessa dell’American Dream, ci potesse essere spazio per un disco con così tanto astio, tensione, disperazione, tanto che per un periodo lo misi da parte, perso nel Wall of Sound di Born to Run. Ma era il ’78 e la percezione del sogno americano in Italia era ancora immaginifica e meravigliosa (eravamo anche un poco ingenui) e Darkness mi riportò con i piedi ben piantati per terra e di questo non posso che essergliene grato.

Il libro (formato A4+, 200+ pagine, carta patinata e ottima qualità fotografica e tipografica) è su Darkness ed il tour del 1978, con una ventina di capitoli ognuno dedicato a show particolarmente seminali (Passaic, Roxy, Agora, Philadelphia, Winterland etc) ma anche ad altri meno famosi. Non ci sono scalette e statistiche (una volta tanto) ma ci sono emozioni a fiumi nei racconti dei fans e nelle centinaia di foto molte delle quali inedite e provenienti dagli archivi privati dei fans stessi.

Ho un paio di scaffali della mia libreria dedicati ai libri su Springsteen, accumulati nel corso degli anni. Ce ne sono di biografici, molti sono solo fotografici, altri sono zeppi di statistiche e set list, ma pochi sono immaginifici ed evocativi di memorie e buone vibrazioni come questo.

Se avete voglia saperne di più, trovate tutti i dettagli qui:

The Light in Darkness

Costa 40$ (poco più di 30€) e fino a fine ottobre la spedizione è gratuita anche overseas per cui è sicuramente un affarone.

E’, come già detto nel precedente post, non ho alcuna relazione con l’autore, sono solo un cliente molto molto soddisfatto.

Pino Damonte
Arenzano, Italy
ottobre, 2014

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Rare Bruce Springsteen 1978 Tour Jacket

Dick Wingate, product manager at Columbia Records from 1976 to 1978 who was instrumental in launching Springsteen’s album, Darkness on The Edge of Town,catches some shuteye. Somewhere on the road during the 1978 Darkness tour.
Photo taken by Andrea Klein, who was the art director for the Darkness album cover.
The tour jackets were made for band, crew and management.

ps … this very limited tour jacket was eventually stolen out of Dick’s apartment front hall closet.
so who ever took it, please return the jacket, no questions asked.

Somewhere on the road during the 1978 Springsteen Darkness Tour.

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness, less than 100 copies left.
Focusing on Springsteen’s Darkness on The Edge of Town 1978 album and tour with amazing photos and stories.
Free Shipping: October 2014 – Last Week for Free Shipping!
CLICK HERE TO SAVE NOW- The Light in Darkness
*The Light in Darkness book is not sold in stores

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The tale of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘lost album’ The Promise

A look back in fear and anger
The tale of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘lost album’ The Promise is full of heartache and legal drama. There is lovely pop here, but it’s not the pop of its time
Harry Browne:The Sunday Times

“Remember,” says Bruce Springsteen to a bandmate, “there’s always room to throw out.” The black-and-white footage shows an astonishingly beautiful young Springsteen in the studio. He is slowly driving his fellow musicians crazy with his capacity to write new songs, record them and then toss them away. The album to be born in June 1978 is Darkness on the Edge of Town, and its gestation appears to be a process of elimination as much as of creation.

Even when it comes to the songs he plans to keep, Springsteen — whose three previous albums had swelled with lyrical and musical excess — is intent on stripping them down. “Roy, you playin’ any fills?” he asks his piano player Roy Bittan. “If so, they’re out.” The tone is mock-Bossy, with a hint of mincing, but he’s clearly serious.

These moments appear in Thom Zimny’s recent documentary, The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, which — along with other home-movie clips and live footage — fills no fewer than three DVDs in an extraordinary (and pricy) new box set with an annoyingly similar name.

For many fans, this set evokes a lyric from Darkness: “. . . if dreams came true, oh, wouldn’t that be nice”. The album holds a special place in our hearts; without the hype of Born to Run, the mega-popularity of Born in the USA or the scattergun eclecticism of The River, Darkness is the pure stuff, unadulterated Springsteen at his creative peak. In my own New Jersey adolescence, it was the first record, by anyone, that I fully inhabited, and I’ve heard of a fair few Irish adolescences in which it played a similar role.

As Springsteen describes it in the recent interview that anchors Zimny’s film, Darkness was a “tone poem” of “power, directness and austerity”. The documentary relates Springsteen’s obsessive pursuit of a relentless drum sound. “Stick!” he would scream, annoyed at hearing the drumstick rather than the primal crack-boom of Max Weinberg’s drums. Many songs on the album are so austere that the “melody” consists of little more than whatever note Garry Tallent’s bass intones whenever the bass drum sounds.

With all that stripping clean and throwing away, what was left out? And why was Springsteen only just getting into the studio nearly two years after being the magazine-cover face of record-industry hype with the release of Born to Run in 1975? The answers to these questions go to the heart, not only of this autumn’s “new” release, but also of the special place Springsteen holds in the history of the business — as opposed to the art — of rock’n’roll.

For most of the gap between Born to Run and Darkness, Springsteen was hamstrung by a lawsuit with his former manager that kept him out of the studio. Although it was settled quicker than, say, Muhammad Ali’s ban from boxing eight years earlier, it has taken on some of the same weight for fans. We revel in his defiance of “the Man” — but we still wonder what might have been, if he hadn’t been kept out of the ring in his late-twenties prime.

The Promise, tantalisingly, purports to give an answer, in the form of a double CD of 21 songs — Springsteen’s “lost album”, the one he says “could have/should have been released” in those gap years. (Just to cement the confusion, this album is also called The Promise, with a different ­mouthful of a ­subtitle.)

Springsteen is hardly the only big old star to root through the archives or rejects for Christmas stocking-fillers. Yet he and his PR machine are uniquely playing “back to the future”, magically trying to recreate the “missing” Springsteen album. The vaults were full of unfinished works, so on this album about half the songs are substantially revised, with vocals, instruments and even lyrics that weren’t there at the time. In the liner notes, he writes absurdly: “I did what I would’ve done to them at the time and no more.” Not even “what I think I would’ve done”. No, the 61-year-old Bruce knows the 27-year-old Bruce so well he can reproduce exactly what his younger self “would’ve done”.

Tampering aside, the claim that is this is the “lost album” is demolished when we recall a handful of the best outtakes from this period appeared in 1998 on the four-CD album Tracks and are not repeated here.

Nonetheless, the two discs of The Promise comprise a good old/new Springsteen album. From the opening piano and ­harmonica of Racing in the Street (78) — like the version on Darkness itself but in a less monotonic voice and fatalistic key — to the moving lament of the title track, it often seems a more deliberate successor, or response, to Born to Run than ­Darkness itself does.

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness, less than 100 copies left.
Focusing on Springsteen’s Darkness on The Edge of Town 1978 album and tour with amazing photos and stories.
Free Shipping July–August 2014
CLICK HERE TO SAVE NOW- The Light in Darkness
*The Light in Darkness book is not sold in stores

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CD-Kritik zu Bruce Springsteen: Darkness On The Edge Of Town, The Promise

CD-Kritik zu Bruce Springsteen: Darkness On The Edge Of Town, The Promise
Buch-Kritik: The Light in Darkness legendären 1978er-Konzerttournee

von Gérard Otremba

Die musikalischen Schatzausgrabungen verdienter Rock’n’Roll-Gößen gehen weiter. Eine wunderbare CD-Box offeriert nun Sony/Columbia mit „The Promise“ von Bruce Springsteen. War schon „Tracks“ von 1998 eine wahre Fundgrube an bis dato unveröffentlichtem Studiomaterial der Jahre 1972-1995, konzentriert sich „The Promise“ auf die Zeit um das 1978 erschienene Album „Darkness On The Of Town“. Zwischen „Born To Run“ und eben „Darkness“ konnte Springsteen wegen eines Rechtsstreits mit Manager Allen Klein keine Songs veröffentlichen, trotzdem, oder gerade deswegen, eine der schöpferischsten Phasen in Springsteens Karriere.
„The Promise“ mit vielen unveröffentlichten Springsteen-Perlen

Das Nachfolgealbum des Meisterwerks „Born To Run“ und leider immer zu Unrecht im Schatten desselbigen stehende „Darkness On The Edge Of Town“ erhält nun die verdiente Aufmerksamkeit. In der Remastered-Fassung erstrahlen die vielen heißgeliebten Klassiker von „Badlands“ und „Something In The Night“ über „Racing In The Street“ und „Promised Land“ bis hin zu „Prove It All Night“ und „Darkness On The Edge Of Town“ in neuem Licht. Wesentlich wichtiger für die Springsteen-Kenner allerdings sind natürlich die beiden „The Promise“-CDs, voller in diesen Versionen noch nicht veröffentlichter Springsteen-Perlen. In der Alternativversion von „Racing In The Street“ sorgt die E-Street-Band um Gitarrist Stevie Van Zandt für einen opulenten und hymnischen Sound, verglichen mit der bekannten CD-Fassung fast schon bombastisch anmutend. „Gotta Get That Feeling“ ist ein wunderbarer E-Street-Shuffle mit satten Bläsern, überschwenglich wie das auf „The River“ erschienene „The Ties That Bind“.
„Because The Night“ und „Candys Boy“

„Outside Looking In“ ist bester Sixties-Rock’n’Roll, vorangetrieben von Garry Tallent am Bass und Max Weinberg an den Drums und vom Saxophonspiel Clarence Clemons’ verfeinert. „Someday (We’ll Be Together)“ gerät mit pathetischen Chören unterlegt eine Spur zu kitschig, vielleicht Springsteens endgültiger Christmas-Song. „Wrong Side Of The Street“ entpuppt sich als eine gut geölte, aus dem Ärmel geschüttelte, Midtemponummer, „Rendezvous“ ist bereits durch die „Tracks“-Box bekannt und „Candys Boy“ entzückt durch das Orgelspiel von Danny Federici. Jeder, der ein Springsteen-Konzert besucht hat und dann noch das Glück hatte, „Because The Night“ live erleben zu dürfen, weiß, welche Kraft und Dynamik dieser Song entwickelt. Hier als Studioalternative zu Patti Smith-Version. Herauszuheben sind auf der ersten Promise-CD definitiv „One Way Street“ und „The Brokenhearted“. Zwei balladeske Stücke, in denen Roy Bittan am Piano den Ton angibt und Bruce den edlen Romantiker, den keiner im Rock’n’Roll-Geschäft so prägnant verkörpert wie Springsteen. Grandiose Songs, endlich dann auch ganz regulär auf CD veröffentlicht.
Bruce Springsteen als Romantiker

Den Romantiker gibt Springsteen gerne auch auf der zweiten Promise-CD, die mit „Save My Love“ beginnt, einer viel zu kurzen Kleinod-Hymne. All die für „Darkness“ nicht gewollten Liebeslieder finden sich nun vereint auf „The Promise“. Diese zwei CDs stellen die perfekte Verbindung von „Born To Run“ zu dem Doppelalbum „The River“ dar. Es gibt wesentlich mehr „Thunder Road“ und „Independence Day“ zu hören, als etwa „Badlands“. Einen mit Handclapping und ausgelassenen Chören ausgestatteten witzigen Bar-Schunkler wie „Ain’t Good Enough For You“ gibt es auf der Darkness“-Platte einfach nicht. „Fire“ ist ähnlich wie „Because The Night“ auf dem Live-Album „1975-1985“ verewigt, während „It’s A Shame“ leichte Jazz-Anleihen erfährt und sich zeitlich eher an Springsteen-Stücke der frühen 70er Jahre orientiert. „Come On (Let’s Go Tonight)“ ist nichts anderes als „Factory“ revisited und mit knapp über zwei Minuten viel zu kurz geraten. „Talk To Me“ überzeugt durch fanfarenartige Bläsersätze, einem discoartigen Beat und ausgelassener Tanzstimmung. Ganz ähnlich verhält es sich bei „The Little Things (My Baby Does)“. Noch etwas hymnischer gestaltet und trotz des sich nach Stadionrock sehnenden Sounds vermittelt Springsteen wieder einmal diese zutiefst empfundene Romantik, wie sie nur der „Boss“ so einzigartig komponieren kann. Zwei glorreiche Balladen mit „Spanish Eye“ (sehnsuchtsvoll) und „Breakaway“ (dramatisch) runden die zweite Promise-CD ab, die mir „City Of Night“ in einer kleinen Nachtmusik ausklingt. Veredelt wird diese Box selbstredend mit dem Titelsong „The Promise“. Es ist die Quintessenz seines damaligen Schaffens, ganz viel „Thunder Road“, jede Menge „Racing In The Street“ und eine Prise „Darkness On The Edge Of Town“. Ein überragendes Stück Musikgeschichte, man ist zu Dank verpflichtet.
Springsteen-Konzerte live auf DVD

Die drei DVDs halten ebenfalls einige Glanzstücke bereit. Neben dem „Making Of Darkness“ das gesamte Album live 2009 im Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park nur für die Kameras aufgenommen, nun mit Charlie Giordano an der Orgel, der den unlängst verstorbenen Danny Federici ersetzt. Dazu lustige Aufnahmen aus den Hinterzimmern im Jahre 1976 und Live-Mitschnitte aus Phoenix von 1978. Es war damals für die jungen Damen im Publikum noch sehr einfach, kurz auf die Bühne zu klettern und Bruce zu umarmen. Auf der dritten DVD dann noch ein knapp dreistündiges Konzert aus Houston, ebenfalls von 1978. Mit „Independance day“, „The Ties That Bind“ und Point Black“ gibt es drei Stücke zu hören, die erst zwei Jahre später auf „The River“ zu Plattenehren kommen. Unbedingt sehenswert. Alles in allem eine prächtige Springsteen-Box. 100 Prozent Bruce, 100 Prozent Rock’n’Roll. Wann folgen die nächsten Ausgrabungen?

falls es einige hier immer noch nicht haben: Lawrence Kirsch bietet sein Buch zum Darkness-Album und der 78er-Tour, “The Light in Darkness”, im juli wieder portofrei an! Es gibt mittlerweile nur noch weniger als 100 Restexemplare, wenn die weg sind, sind sie weg. Das Buch hat über 200 Seiten und Fotos, alle Details findet ihr unter The Light in Darkness. Das Angebot gilt vom Juli-August.2014. Großartige Fotos, wie ihr auf seiner Seite sehen könnt, und “Augenzeugenberichte” von damals.

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Bruce Springsteen Doc to Feature Fans who Rushed the Stage During 1978 Darkness Tour Rosalita Performance

Michele Sensing and Dawn Hobel were among a group of women who crashed the stage during Bruce’s performance of Rosalita in Phoenix on July 8, 1978. Their memories of the moment will be included in an upcoming film about fans who have appeared onstage with the Boss to dance and sing.

More than 17 months have gone by since I first posted a trailer of my documentary “I Could Use Just A Little Help” on YouTube. Since then, the clip has been viewed nearly 10,000 times. That’s a very modest number in today’s world of viral videos. But I’m excited to know that my work has been seen by that many people, in so many different places around the world.

But since the day I posted the preview, so much has changed about the film, mostly the fact that I have added to it a segment that I believe will put it over the top and make it a documentary that all Bruce Springsteen fans, young and old, will enjoy even more than they already would have. It will serve as the sturdy foundation of a project that I believe could have stood on its own even without it.

Before I get into details, I’d like to share two important moments that I think back on regularly:

The first one happened one Saturday afternoon as I was sitting on my couch at my home in Morris County, N.J. The Yankee game was on television and I was flipping through my iPhone, Googling phrases like “Rosalita stage crashers” and “girls who jumped on stage with Bruce in Phoenix.” I spent a good hour doing this, digging through random articles that could have offered some kind of hint about who these people were and where they might be. I eventually realized I would have had more luck waiting inside Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, standing next to the limos drivers and holding a small sign that said, “ROSIE GIRLS.”The next moment came as I sat in a movie theater watching “Springsteen and I,” the Bruce doc that came out last summer and included a few interesting segments similar to the entire premise of my film – fans getting onstage with Bruce to dance and sing with him. When I saw Philly Elvis on the big screen and then realized that producers of that film had managed to “get” the guy who played guitar with Bruce in the middle of a street in Europe back in the 80s, I said to myself, “You’ve got to find those girls.”

With the help of a Bruce fan in Arizona who was originally from New Jersey (of course), and a blog posted on the website of the Phoenix New Times, I was able to track down two women who were part of one of the most historic stage crashing moments in rock & roll history.

Click on image to enlarge.

On July 8, 1978, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played a show at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Early in the performance of Rosalita, women started rushing Bruce on stage. Just as Bruce sang the line, “I ain’t here on business, I’m only here for fun…” one of the girls circled around him and nuzzled up to the left side of his face before a roadie chased her away, Bruce and Clarence Clemons following the two into the darkness at front of the stage.

After Bruce returned to the mic, a blonde wearing white pants and yellow shirt popped up and gave him a kiss on the cheek before sneaking away. Two other girls jumped up there in the first half of the song, one simply screaming into Bruce’s mic when he clearly had shifted to the side to share it with her – like he usually does after saying, ‘C’mon, Steve!’ – the other just reaching out and touching him. That girl had come out of the same darkness that the first girl disappeared into.

Later, a group of women attacked Bruce just after he and other band members hollered the ‘Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” part of the song into their mics. Bruce fell to the stage and at least one of the female fans stuck her tongue in his mouth. Whether another did too is up for debate.

This entire scene was beautifully written about by Dave Marsh in Rolling Stone just a few weeks after that show. One of the women I was able to track down was the one who “reached out and touched” Bruce, and she brought along an original copy of the magazine when we met for an interview in the parking lot of the Coliseum last November. She was 16 at the time of that historic show, so the awkward silence in her car as she searches for her glasses so she can read from the article actually tells part of the story. It’s been a long time – 36 years this summer.

She underlined part of that story and wrote the word “me” in the margin.The other woman I met at the Coliseum that day didn’t bring any mementos with her, and her memory was a bit rusty (as you’ll see in the clip).
But she did bring her grandson along with her and his brief interview with me helps make the segment fun and hammers home this point, which some of us relatively young Bruce fans tend to forget: The man has been doing this for a long time! And the only thing that makes watching your grandmother grope a young man even remotely bearable is when that young man is the biggest rock star in the world (and your grandmother was not your grandmother yet).

Click to enlarge.

I also met separately in NYC with Dick Wingate, who was Bruce’s product manager at the time, responsible for coming up with a marketing plan for the Darkness on the Edge of Town album. Wingate gives some historical perspective to the segment, and it was a thrill for me to interview someone who was so much on the “inside” at that time. Wingate remembered those stage crashers well and since the live performance videos they were shooting at the time were part of the marketing plan he conceived, girls rushing on stage to kiss Bruce during one of his best-known songs made Wingate feel as if they’d “struck oil.”

He also puts to bed the notion that these girls were somehow ‘planted’ or that the moment was a setup. It wasn’t. One of the woman I spoke to was at the show with a couple of friends and some family members, including her aunt and uncle (seen in the segment), who had given her tickets for her 16th birthday just 10 days earlier. She broke away from the group and then followed the other women on stage, figuring, “what the heck?” when she saw the others run up there, one by one.

No one was arrested. The roadies were “kind and gentle” according to one of the women. Bruce clearly loved every second of it, rubbing his hands together and screaming “alriiiiight!” after getting a kiss from one of his female admirers. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be in the same position as Bruce that night. What male fan hasn’t?!

I also wonder if Bruce remembers those girls rushing up on stage to kiss him, to throw him to the ground or just to reach out and touch him. He’s seen millions of faces staring back at him over the years, but how many have actually done what these girls did?

Dave Marsh and Dick Wingate on the set of the Phoenix video shoot, July 1978

Shortly after jumping into this project with the simple objective of doing something really cool, I started to look at it like this was my chance to help the people who have been on stage with Bruce – whether invited or not – tell their stories. And my chance to give back to Bruce by introducing him to some of the people he’s shared such wonderful moments with over the course of his career.

The other people I talk to in this film lived through their own unique situations, from the Filipino woman now living in Brooklyn who was a college student when she went to a show in Ottawa in 1981 and ended up dancing the tango to Sherry Darling, to the teenage girl who was pulled up to dance with Bruce twice in three years, to the 20-something girl who was sure she was about to pulled up for a Courteney Cox moment only to be ignored by Bruce before eventually receiving the surprise of her life.  There are 7, 8 and 9 year old kids who sang into the same sweaty microphone as one of rock’s greatest legends, and a middle-aged woman who obsessed over Bruce in the early- to mid-80s only to dance cheek-to-cheek with him during the opening night of the Tunnel of Love Express Tour as her future husband watched from the front row.

Each of these segments has something different to offer. And, oh yeah, I tie all of them together by using the experiences of these other lucky fans as a way to prepare myself for my own attempt to get on stage with Bruce.

I’m editing footage as you read this, and the plan is to show this film to a very small group of fans sometime in August. Then I would like to have a larger screening sometime in October/November. From there, who knows?

I’ve got high hopes but at some point, because of the performance footage included in the film, as well as some of Bruce’s music, it’s likely going to have to get approved by the man himself.

I’m hoping he respects what I’ve done, tracking down a few of the people he’s shared some of his greatest moments with, including a couple of fans who hadn’t been heard from since that very historic night 36 years ago.

Seven minutes into that song on that night, Bruce sang the line, “Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.”

Well, for two fans we now know are named Michele and Dawn, someday has arrived.

Julian Garcia

Julian Garcia is a journalist and filmmaker who lives in Montville, New Jersey, USA.

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WATCH: Bruce Springsteen plays Passaic in ’78 in newly released videos

By Bobby Olivier/The Star-Ledger

For Music Vault, today was throwback Tuesday.

The online video service, which houses thousands of decades-old concert snippets, has remastered and released more than 13,000 clips to YouTube, giving fans access to long-lost live shows from legendary rock and soul artists like Bob Dylan, James Brown, The Who and much more.

Two dozen of those newly released black-and-white videos show Bruce Springsteen rocking the defunct Capitol Theatre in downtown Passaic as part of 1978′s Darkness Tour.

The Boss and his E Street Band played the old vaudeville house Sept. 19-21, and nearly all of the Sept. 20 show — 20 of the 22 songs Bruce played that night — is now available both on YouTube, and in a nicely ordered list on Music Vault’s website.

A few clips are also available from the Sept. 19 show, which was famously broadcast live on tri-state radio stations, and has subsequently been bootlegged as Bruce’s “Pièce de résistance” ever since.

Among fans, the fall show supporting the year’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” album is regarded as one of the prolific singer’s finest nights.

Springsteen also played Capitol Theatre on New Year’s Eve 1977, in a show headlined by Jersey guy Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Videos from that night are available, too.

Content Editor Bill Antonucci told Rolling Stone that Music Vault plans to expand on its YouTube library over time.

SEPT. 20, 1978 SETLIST

Videos for all but two of these songs are available for viewing here.

Good Rocking Tonight

Spirit in the Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Independence Day
The Promised Land
Prove It All Night
It’s My Life
(The Animals cover)
Thunder Road
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Candy’s Room
Because the Night
Point Blank
Kitty’s Back
Incident on 57th Street
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Detroit Medley
Twist and Shout

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Was Saturday Night July 15, 1978 the Night That Changed My Life?

Bruce Springsteen- July 15, 1978

Was Saturday night July 15, 1978 the night that changed my life? No, but it is one of the two nights that I remember from that summer. The other night was Tuesday July 18, only 72 hours later, but the realization I came to between those two dates was immeasurable.

By July of 1978 I had been to many rock concerts presented by, what had been portrayed by the mass media of the day as, the best rock bands. Everyone from The Allman Brothers to ZZ Top including

The Big Man and The Boss

The Who and the self proclaimed World’s Greatest Rock N Roll band, The Rolling Stones. I had seen all these future Rock N Roll Hall of Fame members plus many other bands too numerous to mention here so I thought I knew a good rock concert from a bad one. Then there were the 72 hours between Saturday night July 15, 1978 and Tuesday night July 18, 1978. These 72 hours at the same time proved my thinking to be both, wrong, right and set a new paradigm, that is a new standard, for my understanding of a good rock concert.

What happened on that July night that changed the paradigm and set the new standard? A rock concert in the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, Texas by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Yes, that is correct the paradigm changed about the time The E Street Band broke into their 19th song of the evening, Rosalita. I remember telling my girlfriend, “Screw the others! The torch has been passed . . . this is the best concert I’ve ever seen!” But somehow at the time I knew that without seeing all of those others I would not have been able realize how good this one was!

Let me now explain how Tuesday night July 18, 1978, fits in as the other end of the paradigm shift. My understanding of what a good rock concert up to that point was predicated on the performances of the before mentioned bands especially The World’s supposed Greatest Rock N Roll band The Rolling Stones. During the Springsteen concert I had a ticket stub at home from the Stones July 6, 1975 performance in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas and a ticket for their upcoming concert in the same Sam Houston Coliseum scheduled to start in 72 hours on Tuesday July the 18th. I knew that the Stones, World’s Greatest Rock N Roll band or not, would not match the concert I was witnessing and I remember also telling my girlfriend after the show, “If I had that Stones ticket with me I’d probably sell it right now, or maybe even give it away.” Well I did not have it with me and I did attend the Stones concert on the 18th but even in the middle of You Can’t Always Get What You Want I was thinking, “This is great but the E Street vibe is still in this building.”

Seventy-two hours, not that long a time really: It was long enough for me to realize that before I had been wrong about what makes a good rock concert and it was long enough to test and to prove that my new paradigm was indeed correct.

The E Street Band had played for about an hour and a half and had just finished Jungleland when Bruce and the band assembled on stage and started bowing. I remember thinking, “Here it is, another hour and a half long concert, but it sure was a good hour and a half.” That is when Bruce stepped to the microphone and announced that they were going to take a 15 minute break and then come back to play another set. Well, I had seen that before by one of the Hall of Fame bands mentioned earlier and when they returned to the stage, one by one, they were mostly too stoned to play. So I did not have high hopes for the second set. Let’s just say that I was wrong about that because Bruce and the band ripped through 13 more songs that included Paradise by the C, The Promise and Quarter to Three.

Bruce and the band returned to Houston for a second concert during the Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour on December 8, 1978. That concert was held in the newer arena in town, The Summit. The Summit was equipped with TV cameras and large screens at either end of the arena. This is the concert video that is included in the Darkness on the Edge of Town box set. That second Houston concert was, like all E Street Band concerts, not a carbon copy of the July 15th concert but it was very similar in pace and a bit longer. The real treats of that concert were Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Point Blank, Racing in the Streets and The Fever.

The two photos included here were exposed during the July 15th concert. The image of Bruce under the microphone was exposed near the end of Jungleland. I remember this distinctly because Bruce stayed in that position long enough for me to shoot three exposures. In 1978 I had never even seen a motor drive on a camera much less owned one so it probably took five or six seconds to make the three exposures. And this is where I was standing when he made the announcement about the 15-minute break. This image also features Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici.

I believe the image I named The Big Man and The Boss was exposed while the band played Born to Run. To me this has always been an image of Clarence, hence Clarence’s top billing in the name of the image. Clarence is squarely in the spotlights blowing a solo while Bruce is on the top of two steps that separated him from the audience.

Early in the show Bruce had jumped down to that first step and, because of my seat far from the stage, I thought he had fallen off the stage. Bruce Springsteen jumped right off the stage and right into the audience that July night. Would the front man for the World’s Greatest Rock N Roll Band do that? You bet he would because since at least July 15, 1978 the front man for the World’s Greatest Rock N Roll Band has been Bruce Springsteen!

Prints of these images and others from concert tours by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as well as images of other musicians, including Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, may be purchased at:
http://mike-norton.artistwebsites.com/art/all/spotlight/all and
See Mike Norton’s photos here: Bruce Springsteen

Mike Norton MFA is a professional photographer and an adjunct professor of photography at the Art Institute of Houston-North. His images have been reproduced on posters, book covers, CD covers and used by organizations as diverse as the Environmental Protection Agency and Exxon Mobil.

Jungleland, Houston, Texas 1978

Mike’s web site is www.mikenortonphotography.com.

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The Springsteen Song Hall of Fame

The Springsteen Song Hall of Fame
Joe Posnanski

Well, you might remember — and “might” is the key word since I did this a long time ago — I put up a survey asking people to vote for their favorite Bruce Springsteen songs so that we could start the Bruce Song Hall of Fame. This was a two step process. In the first step, I asked people to nominate songs which led to all sorts of mayhem where songs like “I Hate Bruce Springsteen” and “Jack Morris” were nominated. But about a thousand people participated and I put together a list of the 30 most mentioned Springsteen songs.

The second part involved people voting for their 10 favorite songs on the list, in order. More than 2,000 people voted. I have calculated the results using the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers or, anyway, my own meager math skills — 10 points for every first place vote, nine points for every second-place vote, eight points for every third place vote and so on.

And so… without further delay … here in the first class of songs to be inducted into the Bruce Springsteen Hall of Fame. Induction day date and ceremonies will be announced in the future.


Released: August 1978
Album: Darkness on the Edge of Town
Inspiration: The Animals “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

If you listen to the opening of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” you will note that the song more than inspired “Badlands” — it practically gave birth to Badlands. Springsteen himself has called “Badlands” grand theft.

I’ve often thought that “Badlands” is Springsteen’s best concert song, which might make it his best song. Darkness is such an enthralling album because so many conflicting emotions were running through Springsteen when he recorded it. It came out three years after Born to Run — three turbulent years that entirely changed Springsteen’s life. Before recording the Born to Run album, Springsteen wanted. What did he want? Everything. Success. Love. Passion. Fun. Escape. Born to Run is all about yearning, about getting out, about that meeting across the river, about loving Wendy with all the madness in his soul.

Darkness, though, is about the disappointments that come after, the petty fights of adulthood, the anticlimax of achieving fame and, well, yeah, the darkness on the edge of town.

The power of “Badlands,” I think, is in the lyrics. Man, Springsteen could really write songs then. Every word of “Badlands” is frustration, impotence, anger, every word shouts out this strong but rapidly fading prayer for love and hope to overcome the dreariness and pain. If you listen to the words you find that the narrator is not really hopeful. He’s almost at the end of hope.

“Badlands” has one of Springsteen’s most famous verses:

For the ones who had a notion
A notion deep inside
That it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive

But what many miss is that’s not where the verse ends. The narrator is saying to those who HAD a notion that it ain’t no sin to be alive, well, he has a message for them:

I wanna find one face that ain’t looking through me
I wanna find one place
I wanna spit in the face of these badlands.

That doesn’t sound like the narrator is approving the message of hope. It sounds like he’s still looking for that notion, and he’s losing faith that he will ever find that notion that it’s no sin to be a alive, become more and more convinced that the notion might be false.

I think, like all great songs, Badlands has grown over the years. If you listen to album version of it, I think it’s pretty clear that Springsteen was saying that life’s a losing fight, that in the end you can keep pushing the but badlands will never treat anyone good. But if you listen to Springsteen perform the song now — and the way the crowd sings along — you get the sense that he has found the faces not looking through him, the places that can raise all of us above the badlands.

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Bruce Springsteen The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story – Documenta de manera monumental

Bruce Springsteen The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story
Juan Cervera

El trueno (y el rayo) de “Born To Run” (1975) llegó tras dos intentos –“Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ” (1973) y “The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle” (1973)– alabados por la crítica, pero escasamente acogidos por la audiencia. Bruce Springsteen se encontró en la cima del rock’n’roll con un álbum de panoramas románticos y héroes más grandes que la vida. Parecía el último de su especie: toda la mitología del rock reescrita con furia, pasión y fiebre. Phil Spector y el Brill Building, soul y carreteras, Elvis, la noche y el amor, Roy Orbison, velocidad, neón y la promesa de una vida mejor. Un sueño del que Springsteen despertaría pronto con un interrogante y una encrucijada. Tenía que decidir entre convertirse en nueva carne para la devoradora máquina del show business o mantener su integridad artística y sus lazos con la comunidad de la que procedía. Optó por lo segundo. Y no fue un proceso fácil. “The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story” documenta de manera monumental –el disco original remasterizado, otro doble de inéditos – esa lucha y ese triunfo.
Con “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” (1978), el de Freehold se hizo mayor y degustó los tragos amargos de la realidad. Los héroes no habían nacido para correr: sencillamente eran seres humanos vulnerables perdidos en el lodo del dolor, la soledad y la lucha diaria por sobrevivir. Le quemaba en la cabeza y lo quiso plasmar en un álbum que no fuera continuista con el anterior. Enredado en una lucha por el control de su obra con su entonces mánager y amigo Mike Appel, sin opciones de entrar en un estudio, se encerró en su granja de Holmdel y dejó aflorar torrentes de música de la que tras un interminable proceso de descartes y reelaboración saldrían los diez cortes de “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”: los versos se hacían más concisos, sin los relatos-río de los anteriores álbumes, la música se replegaba sobre sí misma depurando al máximo la electricidad de la E Street Band –el piano de Roy Bittan es la columna que apuntala el álbum–, pero sin perder su carácter cinematográfico, y los temas se centraban en la desorientación juvenil y en observaciones aparentemente banales del día a día de la clase obrera.

Se grabaron alrededor de sesenta canciones, descartadas en su mayoría por ser excesivamente optimistas o por remitir a trabajos previos, y la secuenciación final fue un tormento (ampliamente documentado en las páginas que reproducen en facsímil su libreta de anotaciones de la época). Y desde el redoble de batería que abre “Badlands” ya se intuye que “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” es una de las grandes “novelas americanas” narradas con música, en línea paralela con la literatura de John Steinbeck o el cine de John Ford, un disco-bisagra donde Springsteen se hizo Autor, con mayúsculas, un Springsteen preocupado por el fondo y la forma en deslumbrante equilibrio, haciendo malabarismos entre la épica de “Born To Run” y “Born In The U.S.A.” (1984) y el ascetismo en blanco y negro presente en “Nebraska” (1982) y “The Ghost Of Tom Joad” (1995). Las canciones hablan por sí solas y las citaremos todas (y en orden): “Badlands”, “Adam Raised A Cain”, “Something In The Night”, “Candy’s Room”, “Racing In The Street”, “The Promised Land”, “Factory”, “Streets Of Fire”, “Prove It All Night” y “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”. ¿Queda claro para qué se inventaron sentencias como “obra maestra”? Para discos como este: escritos e interpretados con las tripas y el corazón, con inspiración y (sana) locura, radiografía sublime de todos los hermosos vencidos que se interrogan sobre el valor de la existencia, retratados en versos y notas de una pureza demoledora. O cuando la música se convierte en guía para entender un poco más el peso de la vida.
“The Promise”, el doble de inéditos de las mismas sesiones, también ayuda a entender “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”: aquí está la versión alternativa, más eléctrica, de “Racing In The Street”, un “Come On (Let’s Go Tonight)” que se transmutó en “Factory”, un “Candy’s Boy” que acabó siendo “Candy’s Room” (uno de los cortes más atípicos y fascinantes de todo el opus springsteeniano). También, la versión en estudio del “Because The Night” que le cedió a Patti Smith (y que esta mejoró, afirmo) y joyas de regusto añejo como “Gotta Get That Feeling” o la enorme “The Promise”, la canción, que parece un apéndice escapado de “Born To Run”. Son en total veintiún temas acreditados más uno oculto (“The Way”). Si tenemos en cuenta que en “Tracks” (1998) se desempolvaron otros seis, todavía quedan archivados un par de docenas de cortes de una de las etapas más fértiles y creativas del Boss: recordemos que el descomunal “The River” llegaría tan solo dos años después, en 1980.

El documental “The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town”, dirigido por Thom Zimny, no pasará a la historia del género. Las imágenes de archivo son impagables, pero la narración de los implicados en la gestación del disco es simplemente anecdótica y se pasa de puntillas (y de forma amable) sobre el espinoso affaire Appel. Sin embargo, tiene momentos reveladores: Springsteen confesando que en esa época “no tenía una vida”, lo que le permitió volcarse completamente en la música; o su obsesiva, casi enfermiza, fijación por el sonido de batería que quería para el disco.
El segundo DVD ofrece la interpretación live de “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” en 2009 en el teatro Paramount de Asbury Park, sin público, una decisión conceptual, pero extraña, para respetar la intimidad de las canciones. También, directos en Nueva Jersey, Nueva York y Phoenix del período 1976-78. Y, last but not least, el tercer objeto videográfico recupera el mítico concierto del viernes 8 de diciembre de 1978 en el Summit de Houston. Son ciento setenta y seis minutos de imágenes de calidad discutible pero de sonido torrencial y poderoso: Springsteen en plenitud de facultades poseído por el espíritu del rock’n’roll marcando la pauta de los shows arrebatadores y catárticos que le aseguraban su lugar en el sol de la eternidad.
En época de refritos y camelos que devalúan el valor de las reediciones, esta caja de presentación impecable sirve para algo más que recordar la existencia de un disco referencial para narrar el guión del rock: los añadidos no son retales para hacer caja rápida, sino pedazos de historia que complementan, explican y expanden el mensaje de la obra-madre.

Libro de Bruce Springsteen, The Light in Darkness.
Edición Limitada para fans del Boss.
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36 Years Ago Bruce Springsteen Released “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”

Springsteen and Clarence Philadelphia 1978

Darkness on the Edge of Town is the fourth album by Bruce Springsteen, released in the late spring of 1978. The album marked the end of a three-year gap between albums brought on by contractual obligations and legal battling with former manager Mike Appel. Although the album did not produce high charting singles it nevertheless remained on the charts for 97 weeks. A steady seller in Springsteen’s catalogue, it has been certified triple-platinum by the RIAA.

Although slightly less enthusiastic than those for Springsteen’s previous album Born to Run, reviews for Darkness on the Edge of Town were unanimously positive. Critics notably praised the maturity of the album’s themes and lyrics. It remains one of Springsteen’s most highly regarded records by both fans and critics and several of its songs have become staples of the singer’s live performances.
In September 2010 a documentary film chronicling the making of Darkness was first shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. Quoting Springsteen as saying “More than rich, more than famous, more than happy – I wanted to be great”, reviewer Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger commented: “For many fans, that long journey pulled onto the Turnpike here.” Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it at 150 on their list of the greatest albums of all time.

Rolling Stone Review: Dave Marsh

Occasionally, a record appears that changes fundamentally the way we hear rock & roll, the way it’s recorded, the way it’s played. Such records — Jimi Hendrix’ Are You Experienced, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, Who’s Next, The Band — force response, both from the musical community and the audience. To me, these are the records justifiably called classics, and I have no doubt that Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town will someday fit as naturally within that list as the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or Sly and the Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music.”

One ought to be wary of making such claims, but in this case, they’re justified at every level. In the area of production, Darkness on the Edge of Town is nothing less than a breakthrough. Springsteen — with coproducer Jon Landau, engineer Jimmy Iovine and Charles Plotkin, who helped Iovine mix the LP — is the first artist to fuse the spacious clarity of Los Angeles record making and the raw density of English productions. That’s the major reason why the result is so different from Born to Run‘s Phil Spector wall of sound. On the earlier album, for instance, the individual instruments were deliberately obscured to create the sense of one huge instrument. Here, the same power is achieved more naturally. Most obviously, Max Weinberg’s drumming has enormous size, a heartbeat with the same kind of space it occupies onstage (the only other place I’ve heard a bass drum sound this big).

Now that it can be heard, the E Street Band is clearly one of the finest rock & roll groups ever assembled. Weinberg, bassist Garry Tallent and guitarist Steve Van Zandt are a perfect rhythm section, capable of both power and groove. Pianist Roy Bittan is as virtuosic as on Born to Run, and saxophonist Clarence Clemons, though he has fewer solos, evokes more than ever the spirit of King Curtis. But the revelation is organist Danny Federici, who barely appeared on the last L.P. Federici’s style is utterly singular, focusing on wailing, trebly chords that sing (and in the marvelous solo at the end of “Racing in the Street,” truly cry).

Yet the dominant instrumental focus of Darkness on the Edge of Town is Bruce Springsteen’s guitar. Like his songwriting and singing, Springsteen’s guitar playing gains much of its distinctiveness through pastiche. There are echoes of a dozen influences — Duane Eddy, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Buchanan, even Ennio Morricone’s Sergio Leone soundtracks — but the synthesis is completely Springsteen’s own. Sometimes Springsteen quotes a famous solo — Robbie Robertson’s from the live version of “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” at the end of “Something in the Night,” Jeff Beck’s from “Heart Full of Soul” in the bridge of “Candy’s Room” — and then shatters it into another dimension. In the end the most impressive guitar work of all is just his own: “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Streets of Fire” are things no one’s ever heard before.

Much the same can be said about Springsteen’s singing. Certainly, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan are the inspirations for taking such extreme chances: bending and twisting syllables; making two key lines on “Streets of Fire” a wordless, throttled scream; the wailing and humming that precede and follow some of the record’s most important lyrics. But more than ever, Springsteen’s voice is personal, intimate and revealing, bigger and less elusive. It’s the possibility hinted at on Born to Run‘s “Backstreets” and in the post verbal wail at the end of “Jungleland,” In fact, Springsteen picks up that moan at the beginning of “Something in the Night,” on which he turns in the new album’s most adventurous vocal.

One could say a great deal about the construction of this LP. The programming alone is impressive: each side is a discrete progression of similar lyrical and musical themes, and the whole is a more universal version of the same picture. Ideas, characters and phrases jump from song to song like threads in a tapestry, and everything’s one long interrelationship. But all of these elements — the production, the playing, even the programming — are designed to focus our attention on what Springsteen has to tell us about the last three years of his life.

In a way, this album might take as its text two lines from Jackson Browne: “Nothing survives — /But the way we live our lives.” But where Browne is content to know this, Springsteen explores it: Darkness on the Edge of Town is about the kind of life that deserves survival. Despite its title, it is a complete rejection of despair. Bruce Springsteen says this over and over again, more bluntly and clearly than anyone could have imagined. There isn’t a single song on this record in which his yearning for a perfect existence, a live lived to the hilt, doesn’t play a central role.

Springsteen also realizes the terrible price one pays for living at half-speed. In “Racing in the Street,” the album’s most beautiful ballad, Springsteen separates humanity into two classes: “Some guys they just give up living/And start dying little by little, piece by piece/Some guys come home from work and wash up/And go racin’ in the street.” But there’s nothing smug about it, because Springsteen knows that the line separating the living dead from the walking wounded is a fine and bitter one. In the song’s final verse, he describes with genuine love a person of the first sort, someone whose eyes “hate for just being born.” In “Factory,” he depicts the most numbing sort of life with a compassion that’s nearly religious. And in “Adam Raised a Cain,” the son who rejected his father’s world comes to understand their relationship as “the dark heart of a dream” — a dream become nightmarish, but a vision of something better nonetheless.

There are those who will say that “Adam Raised a Cain” is full of hate, but I don’t believe it. The only hate I hear on this LP is embodied in a single song, “Streets of Fire,” where Springsteen describes how it feels to be trapped by lies. And even here, he has the maturity to hate the lie, not the liar.

Throughout the new album, Springsteen’s lyrics are a departure from his early work, almost its opposite, in fact: dense and compact, not scatter shot. And if the scenes are the same — the highways, bars, cars and toil — they also represent facets of life that rock & roll has too often ignored or, what’s worse, romanticized. Darkness on the Edge of Town faces everyday life whole, daring to see if something greater can be made of it. This is naive perhaps, but also courageous. Who else but a brave innocent could believe so boldly in a promised land, or write a song that not only quotes Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” but paraphrases the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby”?

Bruce Springsteen has a tendency to inspire messianic regard in his fans — including this one. This isn’t so much because he’s regarded as a savior — though his influence has already been substantial — but because he fulfills the rock tradition in so many ways. Like Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, Springsteen has the ability, and the zeal, to do it all. For many years, rock & roll has been splintered between the West Coast’s monopoly on the genre’s lyrical and pastoral characteristics and a British and Middle American stranglehold on toughness and raw power. Springsteen unites these aspects: he’s the only artist I can think of who’s simultaneously comparable to Jackson Browne and Pete Townshend. Just as the production of this record unifies certain technical trends, Springsteen’s presentation makes rock itself whole again. This is true musically — he rocks as hard as a punk, but with the verbal grace of a singer/songwriter — and especially emotionally. If these songs are about experienced adulthood, they sacrifice none of rock & roll’s adolescent innocence. Springsteen escapes the narrow dogmatism of both Old Wave and New, and the music’s possibilities are once again limitless.

Four years ago, in a Cambridge bar, my friend Jon Landau and I watched Bruce Springsteen give a performance that changed some lives — my own included. About a similar night, Landau later wrote what was to become rock criticism’s most famous sentence: “I saw rock & roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.” With its usual cynicism, the world chose to think of this as a fanciful way of calling Springsteen the Next Big Thing.

I’ve never taken it that way. To me, these words, shamefully mistreated as they’ve been, have kept a different shape. What they’ve always said was that someday Bruce Springsteen would make rock & roll that would shake men’s souls and make them question the direction of their lives. That would do, in short, all the marvelous things rock had always promised to do.

But Born to Run was not that music. It sounded instead like the end of an era, the climax of the first twenty years of this grand tradition, the apex of our collective adolescence. Darkness on the Edge of Town does not. It feels like the threshold of a new period in which we’ll again have “lives on the line where dreams are found and lost.” It poses once more the question that rock & roll’s epiphanic moments always raise: Do you believe in magic?

And once again, the answer is yes. Absolutely.

Limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness, less than 100 copies left.
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The Light in Darkness – książka nie tylko dla fanów ery “Darkness…”

Serwis informacyjny – Fanklub
01 maja 2014
Trasa promująca album „Darkness on the Edge of Town”, przez wielu fanów uważana jest jedną z najlepszych tras koncertowych Bruce’a Springsteena i E Street Bandu. Nic zatem dziwnego, że kilka lat temu kanadyjski fotografik Lawrence Kirsch postanowił udokumentować tę trasę specjalną,

ilustrowaną springsteen książką „The Light in Darkness”

. Dla chętnych zostało już mniej niż 100 książek!

Od razu trzeba zaznaczyć, że „The Light in Darkness” to nie jest klasyczna książka, z którą czytelnik zaznajamia się rozdział po rozdziale, która wyszła spod pióra zawodowego pisarza, krytyka muzycznego czy dziennikarza. Nie jest to też album z całostronicowymi cukierkowo kolorowymi obrazkami poprzetykanymi lakonicznymi podpisami…

Lawrence Kirsch wpadł na pomysł, że o koncertach Bossa z czasów Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour, najlepiej i najciekawiej opowiedzą fani, którzy na nich byli. Na tej samej zasadzie Kirsch dobrał zdjęcia do tej książki. Wprawdzie część zdjęć to fotografie zawodowców takich jak Kirsch, ale większość to dzieła fanów. W sumie w książce zamieszczono ponad 200 niepowtarzanych, wcześniej niepublikowanych fotografii.

Książkę można czytać albo tylko przeglądać, ale za każdym razem, gdy bierzemy ją do rąk można trafić na coś ciekawego. Np. zdjęcie Bossa z plastrem pod okiem. Podczas sylwestrowego koncertu ktoś rzucił na scenę petardę, która zraniła Bruce’a.

Fani którzy kupili rozszerzoną wersję płyty „High Hopes”, znajdą wśród zdjęć z 1978 roku, fotografię kojarzącą się obrazkiem znanym z bonusowego DVD z londyńskim koncertem z 2013 r.: Bruce na scenie ze swoją siostrą Pamelą.

W książce jest też jedno zdjęcie zrobione przez Lynn Goldsmith (fanom Bossa nie trzeba jej przedstawiać). Ale nie ma na nim jakiegoś wyjątkowego ujęcia Bossa… Fotografia zrobiona 23 maja 1978 roku przedstawia grupę fanów zmierzającą do wejścia do Shea Theter w Buffalo, gdzie Bruce rozpocznie trasę. Fajnie patrzy się na ówczesne stroje i fryzury, ale smaczek i urok tego zdjęcia tkwi zupełnie w czymś innym – na reklamie nad wejście do teatru możemy przeczytać, że na scenie wystąpi Bruce Springsteen.

Sporo też jest ilustracji z pamiątkami zgromadzonymi przez fanów: od biletów, przez plakaty i nuty aż po singiel z utworem Badlands wydany przez Columbię.

W książce znalazł się też wykaz wszystkich koncertów składających się na Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour oraz lista wszystkich utworów zagranych przez Bossa i TESB podczas całej tej trasy.

Bez dwóch zdań: książka „The Light in Darkness” opracowana przez Lawrence Kirscha to dla fanów Bosa bardzo atrakcyjna i cenna pozycja, ale dla chętnych zostało już mniej niż 100 książek!

Zamówienia na książkę można składać na specjalnej stronie internetowej: http://www.thelightindarkness.com/order/

Cena książki z wysyłką do Polski: 40 dolarów – pod warunkiem złożenia zamówienia do 9 maja włącznie.

Lawrence Kirsch jest Kanadyjczykiem, absolwentem Concordia University w Montrealu. W latach 70 fotografował Davida Bowie, Bruce’a Springsteena, The Rolling Stones, Boba Dylana i Eltona Johna. W latach 1977-1989, już jako zawodowy fotograf, na zlecenia takich wytwórnia jak WEA, CBS, Capitol, MCA, RCA i wielu innych, mieszkający w Montrealu Kirsch zjeździł całe Stany i Kanadę. Jego zdjęcia pojawiły się w ponad 100 magazynach oraz w wielu książkach, programach koncertowych, okładkach płyt i na plakatach. Kirsch jest też pomysłodawcą książki „For You” dedykowanej Bossowi i jego muzyce, na którą złożyły się wspomnienia i zdjęcia wykonane przez fanów Springsteena z całego świata.

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“My copy arrived in the UK after about a seven week wait – but it was so, so worth it. I sat down and read the entire thing that afternoon. Despite having listened to bootlegs, watched endless youtube clips and garnered some idea of the sort of mythology that surrounded the tour, the first-hand accounts filled a lot of gaps for me. It must be great for those of you who were there to read it and reflect, but for someone who wasn’t I can’t stress enough how wonderful this was to read. I also really loved that there was a lot of writing about the Darkness album itself, and about fans’ reactions and first listens to it, which I found so fascinating. Darkness was the first Bruce album I heard, over 30 years after it was released, with full knowledge of the trajectory of his career, so that was pretty special for me to get some idea of what it was like at the time. So, in short – absolutely would recommend”

The Light in Darkness limited edition book.
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