Bruce Springsteen and Growing Up

Never could I have imagined how much one man’s music could effect my life, yet here I am reflecting on a lifetime of inspiration, born of heartfelt lyrics and stories, of soaring guitars, sumptuous sax and piano solos and drums that reverberated n your gut. It is a look at how those tools brought such joy and love to so many like me. And all that from an unassuming, skinny, scruffy guy with a raspy voice from New Jersey.

Bruce’s music entered my consciousness at the tender age of 14, a mere two years after my father’s long illness had led to his death. To my young ears and wounded heart, it felt like these first two albums were delivered to save me. They represented hope and that was a feeling I hadn’t known growing up.

I was a Delaware kid, from the suburbs north of Wilmington in a town called Claymont, which was nowhere until President Biden. He too grew up there. It was just shy of the Pennsylvania border. Highway I-95 was built in my backyard where woods once stood, forever robbing us of peace and quiet. It wasn’t anyone’s definition of paradise. Our household felt unlike anyone else’s I knew. I have a physically challenged older brother, who loves musical theater, so all I heard on the record player prior to Bruce, were show tunes and classical played by my mom. She was an art teacher, a frazzled single parent after caring for my dad as he faded away. And then there was my feisty and affectionate Russian grandmother, Nadia. Her presence was a godsend. But her reaction to Rock music was itself a broken record… “Vhy do dey schrrreem?” That’s all I ever heard.

Needless to say, Rock n’ Roll was very unpopular in my house, but it stirred my soul in ways I never knew prior to hearing it. I was determined to make it my own, but it made me for friction on the heels of already challenging times.

Before all the heartaches, Atlantic City was where my family headed each summer for a token week-long vacation, while Dad was still able to walk. The carnival atmosphere was intoxicating and magical. A favorite activity was riding rental bikes on the boardwalk, which made a distinctive clacking sound, not unlike that of a train as they rolled across the sun-drenched boardwalk. And yes, the pinball “pleasure machines” were ubiquitous.

I can recall the day I happened to hear Bruce’s first two albums at a friend’s house while playing pool in his den. It instantly felt like I was back at the Jersey shore, carefree and joyful like that ten-year-old kid again. But it was more than mere nostalgia. The music also offered the stuff I craved as a teen; rebellion, escapism, girls, cars, characters, parties, and the promise that there was something bigger and better awaiting. There were also standout tunes like Incident on 57th Street, which to my ears, sounded like it was straight outta West Side Story. This was significant, for it helped make Bruce’s music and lyrics that much more relatable. It wasn’t such a stretch after-all.

When one of us finally landed a driver’s license in 1975, we took advantage of it and bought tickets to Bruce’s show at the Widener College Field House in Chester, PA. The venue was a typical gymnasium with horrible, echoing acoustics. There were two shows in early February. Our show was the first, on the night of the 6th. We eagerly got in line in the freezing cold, waiting with shivering anticipation to enter the hall, but the start time was delayed by at least an hour and a half, and no one explained why. It was years later that I learned from one of the many Bruce books, that his manager, Mike Appel, had 8’ sheets of acoustic foam hung across the entire ceiling like bats in a cave. This helped dampen the gym reverb. Bruce’s attention to such acoustic detail would become legendary in and of itself as the years would pass.

Shortly before the doors were to open, someone realized the foam was within reach of the cig lighters that were held up like beacons at concerts. It was a fathomable horror should one of the panels get lit. The place could have gone up in flames. Countless sheets of foam had to be raised higher, enough to alleviate any possibility of this happening. Now in hindsight, this is a novel memory, and needless to say, the show was well worth the wait. It was an introduction to a journey that would last a lifetime.

This was the tour where Bruce’s violinist Suki Lahav, a young Israeli gal in a flowing white dress, played such gorgeous sounds, it sent chills down your spine. It was all so powerful, so authentic and heartfelt, and it was unlike most bands from that time. In encompassed many genres of music. That night, I was indoctrinated, converted and forever committed to this man and his music.

By mid 1975, I had my version of a freedom machine, a 1972 blue VW Super Beetle. Notably, stuffed in what was called a “hatchback” for this model Bug, by lowering the back seats, was my prized souvenir from that memorable concert, a sheet of the gray acoustic foam that I managed to steal at the end of the concert. By standing on my tallest friend’s shoulders, I just managed to wrap my fingers around the bottom edge. One quick yank, and the calliope, including me, crashed to the ground. That foam served as luxurious bedding for me and my girlfriend Sharon. It was an incarnation of Spirit in the Night and/or Growin’ Up, manifesting in my teenage world. Later, this trusty vehicle would take myself and my best friend Joe out west on an epic, camping journey that set the stage for where I would call home as an adult, and where I’d be seeing a lot more Bruce concerts.

From Darkness to The Promised Land

Time passed in 1976. Graduation was in June, and big plans were made in study hall prior to the big day. I had to get outta that town. It was a deathtrap; a suicide rap and I chose Colorado for college and skiing. By now, besides Bruce’s music, skiing and photography had become my obsessions. With my 8 track carefully custom mounted in the glovebox, my trusty VW gassed up, I was a free spirited seventeen year old. Nothing could stop me. Certainly not my mother. And Bruce came along for the ride like a trusty friend. But as time passed, that first concert began to feel like an eternity ago, like some sort of teenage wet dream that would never be relived again.

In 1978, I was now two years outta high school, living in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, attending college, and skiing in Vail and Aspen, much to my amazement. Life had dramatically improved on so many levels. Then one day, the clouds parted and the gods delivered Bruce back to the promised land. He was finally returning in the flesh, this time to a place called Red Rocks Amphitheater, in Denver. It’s a unique, amazing venue looking like something out of an old western set. We’re talking towering, cathedral scale red rock walls, and wide rows of bench seating, great for dancing. It was a mere three hour drive to this true rock venue. I convinced a few of my soon-to-be luckiest Western friends to join me. They were accustomed to listening to guys like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, and I just couldn’t relate. I was an east coast fish outta water, and I’m sure they noticed, but they agreed to come along. By this time, I was already a concert aficionado, so we arrived early, and managed to land great seats in the third row. The wait began but it was a beautiful place to hang out, to take in the scenery and to anticipate the magic in the night, that was to come.

As a budding pro photographer, I decided to risk confiscation and bring my camera. So there we sat, baking in the sun, whiling away the hours. Now imagine my shock when I happened to peer through the telephoto lens, and spot a dark-haired, handsome young dude who happened to be leaning against a flat on the right side of the stage, and suddenly realize it was Bruce, the man himself. I recall it took me a moment, as I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was no longer scruffy faced, but I knew that face well. He was clean cut, polished, mature, and even just standing there, he possessed that cool swagger to his stance. How was it that no one else noticed? There were probably fifty people lounging around in the bright Colorado light, and no one spotted him but me.

He was just taking it all in, gazing up at the amazing rock setting like a tourist. He too was experiencing the place for the first time. My mind was churning. So what now? There was only one thing to do, it was obvious, but it required chutzpah. I casually got up, slung the camera over my shoulder, and nonchalantly strolled to the front of the stage. My heart started racing. And what’s more, I was wearing “the shirt”, the cherished emblem of my youth, my slate gray, yellow silkscreened flag of honor… my Greetings from Asbury Park T-shirt. This was bought by an older friend’s brother at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA, a favorite Bruce venue. The shirt was significant in my mind. I figured he’d know I was a longtime fan with that shirt, and based on his twinkling, smiling reaction, he actually did.

Bruce gave me an affirming, warm smile, nodding as if to say, ‘hey old friend, how ya doin’?’ I was star-struck, and of course he’s had that effect on me for almost 50 years now. Nowadays, I know it was with good reason. Bruce was a legend to me, even back in 1978. I managed to summon the courage to raise the camera, and snap a couple photos, then sheepishly lowered the camera and realized I was staring like a goofy groupie. I had to somehow gracefully break the spell before others realized at whom I was gawking. I didn’t want a crowd to ruin his peaceful moment so I smiled back with as much coolness as I could muster, turned and walked conspicuously back to my seat. I recall being barely able to contain my excitement to my friends, repeating giddily, “That’s him! That’s Bruce!”. ‘Huh? Really?’ They were baffled. Why would a rockstar be hanging around the stage midday? It was one of those moments etched in my mind that I cherish to this day. Bruce has always kept it real.

The show started on time, like the proverbial bolt of lightning. My friends who hadn’t known Bruce’s music, were immediately thrilled and absorbed. By the time he belted out Streets of Fire, the second song, they were enraptured. I remember I looked to my left, and their jaws gaped like converts. It was the power of rock n’ roll in its purest, most impeccable delivery. Every note was intensely and passionately delivered. I felt so proud for I knew all this was coming. This was the era when Bruce unleashed his confidence in his talents, into a show that was crisp, raw, immediate and so powerful. The passion hit you in your gut. He belted out those songs like there would be no tomorrow. He still does this to this day of course, but there’s no denying the power of a rocker like Bruce, finally playing after all the false starts, now in his prime. This was the Darkness tour.

I’ve seen a lot of shows over the years, and none have disappointed, but there was something about this one that seared into my memory bank, a feeling that still makes me verchlempt. It was profound. It was rock history, and I was there.

Wrecking Ball And The Pit

More recently, well ten years ago now, I finally got into The Pit. This time it was in Portland, Oregon and I lucked out. My friend Randy, a Colorado buddy, convinced me in a number of coaching calls, the Pit was worth the effort. He was so right. I landed in the center, third mortal back from the stage. Bruce surfed over me in a crush of excitement, and I helped hoist him back onto the stage with steadfast loyal support. That was a crazy, honorable experience. It’s noteworthy to compare this show to the early ones, for the energy and passion was still there. It was just delivered in a 60 year old version. But to be that close to the man and his band, was nothing short of phenomenal. As others have often stated, it was like a religious experience. I’ll never forget it and will definitely try for The Pit at least once more, before I die.

Neon Lights On Broadway

And then there was the Broadway show. That same friend Randy, now a Bostonian, called me with an idea. How could we not? It was a great trip, starting in Boston, with a drive to Manhattan together that became another fabulous memory.

One of the things I’ve always loved about Bruce’s shows are the stories he’d tell between songs. The older I get, the more I appreciate the art of storytelling, and Bruce is masterful.

Ticket prices calmed down after he extended the run and we jumped at the chance. We checked into the nearby Sheraton and decided to meander down to the theater and check out the scene before his usual arrival around six p.m. We weren’t going to stay, but found ourselves enjoying the folks there.

Even a downpour didn’t thwart our enthusiasm. Luckily, more like fatefully, I had brought “the shirt”. It was stuffed in my pocket in the off chance I could get it autographed.

I must admit, seeing Bruce in person, out of context, is jarring. I guess because he’s become a legend, seeing him on the street like that, was surreal.

So, when he emerged from the SUV onto the sidewalk, I was in awe. He kindly took time signing people’s stuff. I was by the stage door so it was anyone’s guess if I’d get an autograph, and he was about to exit, when he spotted my flag of honor… my forty year old faded, pitted shirt, the one I wore at Red Rocks in ’78, waving above the fan’s heads in front of me. Bruce suddenly stops, looks up and says in that familiar rasp, “Watcha got there?”. I’m stunned to have his attention, and I blurt out, “I’ve been holding onto this a long time Bruce!” He motions to hand it over, holds it up like he’s just found a long-lost treasure, shakes his head and utters simply, “Wow”.

He stares at it like it has teleported him to another time and place. There’s a long pregnant pause, making the moment even more surreal. Then he starts looking for something to place it on to sign it. I offer my back, he shakes his head no, but the guy near him with the Darkness album hands it to him. He lovingly stretches the shirt out over the album, begins to sign his name on the shoulder, and officially places my artifact into rock n’ roll history. I thank him for making my day, he smiles a warm acknowledgment, waves us all goodbye and darts through the stage door.
I’m now on cloud nine. I suddenly feel this strange sense of completeness I never imagined. It was like a special part of my life story, following this American troubadour, had suddenly come full circle.

My only regret is in not mentioning that day at Red Rocks, of me in my shirt, of both of us in our youth. Bruce has done thousands of concerts, but maybe, just maybe, he’d have recalled the moment.

The Broadway show was so affirming, so illuminating… a look behind the scenes of the stories and songs that served us all so well. Afterwards, Randy and I reflected on it all. The Broadway show was conveying what we the fans were all feeling, along with Bruce. Like a shared cross-country drive, we were all reflecting on our lives, how we got here, what it’s all meant, and how sharing the journey made it that much sweeter.

As I write this, Bruce has just announced he’s hitting the road again in 2023. It’s much welcomed good news. Long live The Boss, and the East Street Band. And thanks Bruce… for the memories.

Keith Brofsky
June 2022

Keith Brofsky is a professional photographer working and living in Seattle, WA.
Thanks to Keith for sharing his wonderful Bruce Springsteen journey with the rest of us.
Cheers, Lawrence Kirsch

ps If you have a Bruce story of your own that you would like to share with the Springsteen fan community,
please email with any concert photos (that you personally took), and or personal memorabilia to this email address and I will try to post a new story every week:

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Bruce Springsteen – A Reason to Believe

He walked alone with a single spotlight following him to a stool that was placed downstage nearly at the lip of platform. The audience around me erupted with glee, a vocal lava that spewed forth a series of BRUCE!!!!!!!!!!! The refrains echoed off the old arena walls, which basketballer Larry Bird once called, “an oversized gym.”

Despite the mayhem, he sat down quietly in front of a boom mike and an electric guitar placed beside in its own stand like a gun in its holster. At first glance, he seemed like a scruffy waif who could use a little food. Of course, there is nothing in a caterpillar that remotely suggests that it will turn into a butterfly. Nevertheless, the young man who just wandered onto an expansive stage holding a newspaper had inexplicably captured the attention of 15,000 people instantaneously.

As the cries continued to resound throughout archaic Boston Garden, a bulging, shabby, and anachronistic edifice, the spry performer took out that day’s edition of The Boston Globe, September 25, 1978, and began to methodically peruse through it. The audience became transfixed and began to hush themselves to a semblance of quietude. In the meantime, the urchin on stage continued to read the local daily newspaper as thousands looked on with reverent silence.

Suddenly, as if struck by an electrical surge, Bruce Springsteen shot upright, hurled The Globe skyward, lunged for his guitar, grabbed it in one fell swoop, and then screeched into the mike, “Have you heard the news? Everybody’s rockin’ tonight!”

13 months after the death of the first King of Rock ‘n Roll, we who were in Boston Garden at that moment recognized that standing before us was Elvis Presley’s successor. For the rest of the evening, those of us in the old arena hardly sat. We danced, sweated, jumped, and swayed along with a performer and his band who seemed immortal at that moment.

In retrospect, this was just another evening in an extraordinary year that would prove to be Bruce Springsteen’s analog to Picasso’s Blue Period. After a three-year gap between albums brought on by contractual obligations and legal battling with former manager, Mike Appel, The Boss had finally released a follow-up to his seminal disc, Born to Run. On June 2, 1978, Darkness on the Edge of Town was released to universal acclaim. Unlike the adolescent exuberance of Born to Run, “Darkness” was primarily an adult album, a disc whose ballads described a never-land where expectations and dreams were often swallowed up by life’s obligations.

Because he could not legally release the album until that date, the contractual restrictions triggered a wellspring of creativity within Springsteen. Over an 11-month period, Bruce wrote a staggering 70 songs, enough to fill five albums (much of The River was composed at this time as well; the rest of these tunes were eventually released years later on Tracks, a 64-song retrospective). In addition, Bruce had churned out a gaggle of original tunes like pieces of candy to both soloists and bands who then gratefully recorded them that year. These included Patti Smith’s searing cover of “Because the Night,” the Pointer Sisters’ evocative treatment of “Fire,” Greg Kihn’s infectious recording of “Rendezvous,” Gary “U.S.” Bonds’ rollicking version of “The Little Girl,” and five indelible tracks, which Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes included in their most successful album, Heart of Stone.

Springsteen even gave Welch devotee Dave Edmunds, a revered new wave producer and performer, a proverbial chestnut to record, “From Small Things, Big Things One Day Come.” When I first heard Edmunds’ Freddy Cannon-like version in August 1978, a dirge about a young beauty who becomes a waitress and attracts the attention of a well-connected young man, which included the line – She took his order – then she took his heart…” I turned to my girlfriend at the time and exclaimed, “Bruce Springsteen had to have written that!”

What made all of these songs so profoundly intoxicating is that they presented people who resided in a shade-of-gray world, and yet, when an explosion of colors suddenly hit them out of nowhere, it gave them a star of hope. It reminded me of the hordes of Beatles fans who fervidly sang along with John Lennon throughout a live performance of “I’m a Loser.” In the final analysis, the assorted singles that Springsteen ground out like coffee turned out to be about all of us. “The great challenge of adulthood,” Bruce would write decades later in his superb autobiography, “ is holding on to your idealism after you lose your innocence.”

Beginning on May 23, 1978 at the Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo and ending on December 31 at the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed to 114 audiences from intimate settings to arena-sized venues. Throughout the seven-month tour across both the US and Canada, he performed with his just-as-famous backup group, who were at the height of their individual musical powers. That, of course, meant Clarence, “The Big Man” Clemons on tenor sax; Roy Bittan on piano; Danny Federici on the organ and accordion; Garry W. Tallent on the bass; “Miami Steve” Van Zandt on both rhythm and lead guitar, and “Mighty Max” Weinberg on the drums.

At the time, Bruce Springsteen was just 28-years-old. Buff; ambitious; and unswerving, he was a band leader who prided himself and his group into normally producing four-hour concerts. Given that reality, you would attend such performances with expectations that were off the charts and still be transformed afterward into an oasis of personal emancipation that was both moving and unexpected

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. As Los Angeles Times critic, Robert Hilburn wrote later on, “I realized the faith I was beginning to put in Springsteen the December day in 1978 that I drove 400 miles to Tucson, Arizona, to see him in concert – for personal reasons, not as a professional assignment. The show was part of a short western swing near the end of the ‘Darkness Tour’ that skipped Los Angeles…. [a] swell of emotion came to me during Bruce’s concert in Tucson … seeing Springsteen push himself so hard on stage and listening to the eloquence of his songs made me forget about doubts and think about my own dreams again.”

As Springsteen and the E Street Band crisscrossed North America that summer, the word got out that he and his bandmates were putting on a show that was so good that even if you had to sell your soul to see it – you made sure that you did. Consequently, I took the T to the Garden the day that tickets went out on sale, and secured two of them in a loge section 100 feet away from the stage.

In the meantime, Bruce, perpetually attentive to his fans, agreed to have a few of his 1978 concerts broadcast live on local FM radio stations in the Northeast. Through a stereo loudspeaker at home, one could easily feel the indefatigable energy of both the band and its audience. As biographer Dave Marsh wrote, “The screaming intensity of those ’78 shows are part of rock and roll legend in the same way as Dylan’s 1966 shows with the Band, the Rolling Stones tours of 1969 and ’72, and the Who’s Tommy tour of 1969 – benchmarks of an era.”

Thus, just six days before the Boston Garden concert, Bruce performed a particularly enlivening homecoming concert live from Passaic, New Jersey to listeners on such radio stations as WBCN in Boston, WNEW-FM New York, WIOQ-FM Philadelphia and WIYY-FM Baltimore. This now legendary broadcast, expertly mixed by producer Jimmy Iovine, was listened to by hundreds of thousands of fans across the I-95 corridor. Within a year, a pristine bootleg of the radio broadcast, Piece de Resistance, would be sold in record stores in both the US and Canada.

Six days later, after the Boston Garden crowd stood up for Springsteen’s reverent version of “Everybody’s Rockin’ Tonight,” he broke into “Badlands,” the ballad that opened Darkness at the Edge of Town, at a breakneck speed, as if daring his band members to keep up. Right from the get-go, Bruce reminded us all of the crucible of adulthood, admitting: “I’m in a crossfire/that I don’t understand.” Like thousands of other young men in the Boston Garden audience that evening, I was then an angst-ridden young man who wanted to change and take control of my life. As I wrote in a review of the album earlier that summer, “ Right out of the gate, ‘Badlands’ hits the listener smack between the eyes.”

The Boss then went to familiar territory, an audience participatory version of his 1973 classic, “Spirit in the Night,” which featured the familiar call-response echo from the Garden crowd, who repeatedly shouted, “ALL NIGHT!” to his refrain. By the last stanza, even the ushers were bawling, “All night!”

Springsteen then purposely toned it down and dutifully sang a deferential version of “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” The title song of his then new album, Bruce was somehow able to cut to the core of contemporary American ennui, which often stemmed from systemic financial and societal alienation in a nation where one’s hopes and dreams were often defied by reality. This was followed by another poignant ballad about loss and absolution, “Independence Day,” a staggering number about letting go even as one took on the mantle of supposed freedom. As Springsteen wrote decades later in his autobiography, “Our children are never really yours; they’re on loan until they’re all on their own..”

The Boss then revved it up and introduced his first single from “Darkness,” “The Promised Land,” a version that both kicked butt and took names. A veritable rock ‘n roll encyclopedia, Bruce dedicated his harmonica solo that began the piece to the great Delbert McClinton, whose work on Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby,” back in 1962 influenced John Lennon to imitate it on the Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do.” For many, including me, the pulsating saxophone solo by Clarence Clemons, which formed the bridge of the ballad, turned out to be icing on the cake.

In a concert of astonishing moments, one of them occurred near the beginning of the song when Bruce motioned to the audience to sing the chorus of the song acapella. Given the fact that the album had only been out for three months, this was a ballsy thing to do, but the Garden crowd was up to the challenge. Ultimately, they nailed it perfectly.

The dogs on Main Street howl

‘Cause they understand

If I could take one moment into my hands

Mister I ain’t a boy, no I’m a man

And I believe in a promised land!”

For his next musical foray, Bruce Springsteen decided to remind his Boston audience that we were not only his captives but his lovers for the evening. Accordingly, he and the E Street Band broke into one of my favorite numbers on Darkness on the Edge, “Prove it All Night.” The number was launched with a flamboyant riff from pianist Roy Bittan, and then The Boss took over for a stellar guitar solo that last three minutes of unadulterated brilliance. He and then band then broke into the recognizable opening refrain, and the song literally took off from there. Not only did he then prove it musically, but his gymnastics throughout the number turned out to be utterly jaw-dropping.

“Goddamn!” shouted one fan in front of me when Springsteen sprint across the stage jumped five feet up onto one of the large speakers, began serenading us from there, jumped down, took 10 steps at a full run, and then slid across the stage on his knees while still playing the lead guitar. I remember thinking at the time that Bruce was a musical centerfielder, and, like Willie Mays, he could get to every ball hit his way.

After such an explosion of sustained effervescence, it was predictable that Bruce would subdue it once again, but to do so with the signature song of “Darkness” bordered on the sublime. Roy Bittan initiated “Racing in the Streets” with an emotive piano introduction, which was not only a stroke of genius, but actually set us up for the radiance to follow. As we were constantly reminded that evening, Springsteen was an old-fashioned balladeer who sang about the plight of “every-man,” individuals whose compromises and decisions led them to settling for the best they could make of their lives. Bruce wasn’t singing about the mapped-out lives of the well-connected, but about the vast majority of us who simply make up the lives we had on the fly. When he got to the capstone of the number, a young woman below me began to weep as The Boss crooned:

But now there’s wrinkles around my baby’s eyes

And she cries herself to sleep at night

When I come home the house is dark

She sighs, “Baby, did you make it alright? “

She sits on the porch of her daddy’s house

But all her pretty dreams are torn,

She stares off alone into the night

With the eyes of one who hates for just being born

For all the shutdown strangers and hot rod angels,

Rumbling through this Promised Land

Tonight my baby and me, we’re gonna ride to the sea

And wash these sins off our hands.”

As Bruce Springsteen sang the haunting ballad, the E Street Band purposely backed in reverence as he completed it on his own. When she thought back at the concert later on, my girlfriend recalled, “Now that was a moment.”

After the obligatory “Thunder Road,” “Kitty’s Back,” and “Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” which the audience lapped up, clapped along with, and sang it all back to a jubilant Springsteen, he closed the first half of the show with a transcendental version of “Jungleland,” featuring the incomparable saxophone work of “The Big Man,” Clarence Clemons (from 3:42 – 6:05). Amidst a flurry of helter-skelter chord changes and infectious guitar riffs, Springsteen’s poetry dripped forth images that bored into one’s soul, from “barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge/drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain,” to “outside the street’s on fire/in a real death waltz/between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy.” At the end of the anthem, when the entire group sprinted off the stage like schoolboys in order to cool off, you thought they would live forever. Sadly, Danny Federici would die of melanoma in 2008. The seemingly immortal Clarence Clemons would then succumb to a stroke three years later.

After a 20 minute “cool-down,” Bruce Springsteen and his bandmates came back onstage for the second set, which began with “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” a sprite holiday tune that he had just begun to include in his sets that fall. The Boss deftly used the brilliant arrangement that Phil Spector first incorporated on his 1963 Christmas album with the Crystals, turned up the energy a bit, and let the mirth of the song takeover. As “The Big Man” began to “ho ho ho” during the song’s bridge, fake snow began to fall from the rafters, covering the Boston Garden stage! Magic.

From his bag of tricks, Springsteen then rolled out five disparate tunes, which he had both written and recorded earlier that year, including “Candy’s Room,” “Adam Raised a Cain,” “Streets of Fire,” and “Something in the Night.” Except the newly-composed ballad, “Point Blank,” which he would include on The River album in 1980, the hyperkinetic participation of the crowd was so intense that Bruce had us sing the chorus lines to every song.

The next number of the set, “Fire,” a hit song for the Pointer Sisters that fall, instantly turned 8,000 women in the Garden that evening into weepy, sweat-soaked sirens all intent on slaying the Odysseus-like figure singing to them. That was followed by The Boss’s smoking version of “Because the Night,” which put Patti Smith’s cover into the proverbial dust in the process. After a Santana-like guitar solo to begin the ballad, Bruce’s distinctive baritone took over:

“Take me now baby here as I am
Hold me close, try and understand
I work all day out in the hot sun
I break my back till the evening comes
Come on now try and understand
I work all day pushing for the man
Daylights gone, take me under your cover
They can’t hurt us now
Can’t hurt us now, can’t hurt us now
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us!”

Of all of the songs Bruce performed that evening at the old Boston Garden, “Because the Night” proved to be the one that most lingered in my memory, mainly because his band matched his passion and his prowess.

The E Street Band then went back to the well for two beloved numbers that had been staples in the group’s repertoire for almost four years to that point. “Incident on 57th Street,” one of the great story-songs from Bruce’s highly underappreciated second album, The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, focused on Johnny and Jane, two Hispanic-Americans, who found themselves wrapped in the charms and clutches of the New York City gangland. A Scorsese-like plot then unfolded all the way to an unexpected conclusion.

Springsteen then followed this with a non-fictional account of how his own band formed in his hallowed song from Born to Run, “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.” When Bruce hit the autobiographical third verse and cried out, “When the change was made uptown, and the Big Man joined the band/From the coastline to the city, all the little pretties raised their hands!” the Boston Garden crowd literally erupted with spasms of delight. To add to the luster, an overhead spotlight shone on an ivory-suited Clemons throughout this stanza, which inspired him to project an extra bit of sound from his tenor sax. This caused the audience’s screams to then reverberate to the rafters high above the stage.

Bruce then followed his signature song with two iconic masterworks, “Rosalita,” followed by “Born to Run.” While his version of “Born to Run” was to die for, it was the group’s performance throughout “Rosalita,” that put another exclamation mark on the evening. When the young bard finally punched out the climax of the number at the 4:20 mark, the audience was there, bellowing out the lyrics in unison.

Now, I know your mama, she don’t like me, ’cause I play in a rock and roll band

And I know your daddy, he don’t dig me, but he never did understand

Your papa lowered the boom, he locked you in your room, I’m comin’ to lend a hand

I’m comin’ to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man

Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny

But now you’re sad, your mama’s mad

And your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money

Well, tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance

Because a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance!

Even as Bruce played on, a string of girls climbed onto the Garden stage and kissed him, one of them avec vigueur. Steve Morse of The Boston Globe later wrote that he had never seen such joy onstage. None of us had!

Exhausted and yet clearly exhilarated, The Boss ended the second set with Eddie Floyd’s 1967 soul anthem, “Raise Your Hand,” later made famous by Janis Joplin. For this one, Springsteen played the role of lounge singer and worked the audience with an old-fashioned standing mike as his main prop. That he ended up singing on top of the stage’s tallest speaker system, some 15 feet off the ground, made it even more remarkable. While Bruce was dancing, crooning, and carousing, it was the translucent sax work of “The Big Man” that drove the musical bus on this number to the last note.

After such an explosion of sustained effervescence, it was predictable that Bruce would subdue it once again, but to do so with the signature song of “Darkness” bordered on the sublime. Roy Bittan initiated “Racing in the Streets” with an emotive piano introduction, which was not only a stroke of genius, but actually set us up for the radiance to follow. As we were constantly reminded that evening, Springsteen was an old-fashioned balladeer who sang about the plight of “every-man,” individuals whose compromises and decisions led them to settling for the best they could make of their lives. Bruce wasn’t singing about the mapped-out lives of the well-connected, but about the vast majority of us who simply make up the lives we had on the fly. When he got to the capstone of the number, a young woman below me began to weep as The Boss crooned.

20 minutes later, I poured into an impossibly crowded subway car and headed back to the Woodland T stop feeling as if I had just pitched a nine-inning shutout. Dripping with sweat – we all were – people commenced high-fiving one another as we boarded the train. As if on cue, many of the passengers, all of whom had just attended the concert, spontaneously broke into their own version of “Prove It All Night” as we rolled on into the Boston night on the Green Line.

Often times in life, we invest way too much passion in the stuff of dreams that we sometimes fail to love what is right in front of us. In the end, life is not about searching for the things that can be found, but it is about letting the unexpected happen and finding things you never searched for previously. As he had done throughout the legendary “Darkness Tour” during the last seven months of 1978, Bruce Springsteen ended up giving all of us who had attended his concert that evening a reason to believe.


Shaun L. Kelly
Cape Cod (Eastham), Ma
August, 2018
Shaun is an English teacher at The Greenwich (CT) Country Day School.

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Bruce Springsteen and How Life Just Gets Away From Me Sometimes.

As is the case with my memories of the first time I saw Bruce Springsteen. It will be 40 years since that November 29th show. It seems like yesterday.
Darkness on the Edge of Town was released that year and I had just moved to St Paul with my family. I was almost 16 when the album came out.
My older brother introduced me to Bruce only 2 years earlier, Born to Run. The first time I heard the music & listened to the lyrics, I was a fan

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. But it was more than just a fan. It became almost like a religion! I was from a middle class suburban family of 7. I never knew a working class upbringing, but I struggled. I struggled for independence from my father’s reign. I struggled to figure out who I was and where I belonged. While the songs didn’t describe me, or my life, they talked to me about everything I was fighting with on the inside.
When the Darkness album came out, a local radio station ran a satellite feed of a live concert Bruce did at the Agora in Cleveland. It aired on WMMS and I recorded it on an 8 track tape player/recorder. When it was announced he was coming to St Paul I knew I just had to be there. To me it was a pilgrimage. I felt that in order for me to grow and mature, I needed to be in his presence and get blessed. I know that all sounds shallow and childish, but I was still childish in many ways. I was in that teenage DMZ where you are no longer a child, but not yet a man. What I gained from that concert was the knowledge that it’s ok to be confused. It’s ok to struggle. These moments shape us. I learned that it’s not the struggle, but how you respond! How do you handle the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The concert lasted about 3 hrs. I never sat, not even at intermission. My brother and girlfriend went with me, they took me actually, and she was not impressed. I didn’t care. I basically forgot they were there. It could have been easy to talk about the setlist, or performances of the “Big Man” and the rest of the E Street Band, but we can find that info on online. I can honestly say that my life got completely crazy from 1978 – 1989. I almost didn’t make it. Obviously I did and I think a huge contributing factor was the music of Bruce!
Now I have a son that is the same age I was then. I see my life struggles going on inside him. It causes great concern and fear for me. While Springsteen isn’t his type of music, I trust his love of music will get him through. That said, I will encourage him by playing “Darkness” and see if he connects as I did.
Kevin Scott
Chicago, Illinois

Bruce Springsteen Limited Edition Book

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Tramps like us: In Bruce Springsteen’s fearless memoir, Born to Run, his story becomes our story

I heard my story writ large the first time I heard Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was 1978, I was 21 and it gave me the courage to believe that I wasn’t going to be stuck in this house of fear and this defeated Northeast town forever. I carried it with me to California

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. It inspired and comforted me through depression, parenthood, illness, middle age, loss. And whenever Springsteen comes to my town, I’m there, surrounded by my fellow aging fans, with our aches and pains of body and soul. We all have our own stories, but in every one of them is a chapter called “Rock and Roll Salvation,” subtitled “Bruce.” We are all part of that train that Springsteen set in motion, and now, with the bittersweet summing-up of Born to Run, he’s taking us home.

©Joyce Millman, The Mix Tape 2016

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38 Years of Fandom: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen

38 Years of Fandom: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
In 1978, I had no clue how much he’d help me weather life’s ups and downs

On November 21, 1978, I saw Bruce Springsteen for the first time. I was a freshman at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and the wild boy I was dating had scored 13th-row tickets to hear some guy I’d never heard. (Yes, Born to Run had been released three years earlier and The Boss had landed on the covers of Time and Newsweek. What can I say? I’d never listened to him.)

This past April 23, I saw Bruce again — at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, 38–gasp–years after I got my first fix

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. I brought my cousin Brenda, who was a Springsteen virgin, just as I had been those many years ago. It was a rush watching her joyful astonishment as he played song after song, 35 in all. It was also a reminder of all that has happened in my life, the highs and the lows, in the nearly 40 years I’ve been a fan.

Back in the fall of ‘78, with a bright future lying in wait, I was focused on school, yes, but also fun. Animal House had come out that summer and fraternity toga parties were all the rage; I was wearing only a leotard and a sheet and downing punch when I met Chris, a junior with an appealing gap-toothed smile, a roguish attitude and a fast car.

The last time I’d seen Bruce before Barclays, at Madison Square Garden, my marriage was already on the rocks, but that didn’t prevent me from buying us tickets.

Up until the night of the concert, my musical tastes had veered toward James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, but Chris was exciting and new and I was up for anything he suggested, even when that meant him driving to an empty parking lot late at night, gunning his car and spinning around, tires screeching.
A Fan Is Born

I’m sure Chris must have tried to clue me in to what I was going to experience during that night’s Darkness tour, but when we entered Northwestern’s McGaw Memorial Hall, I had no idea what I was in for. There was no opening act, just Springsteen and the original E Street Band: Steven Van Zandt; Garry Tallent; Roy Bittan; Max Weinberg and Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici, now both gone.

That night, Bruce’s 22-song power drive would introduce me to Badlands, Jungleland, Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born to Run. As anyone who’s seen The Boss on stage will attest, it was a jaw-dropping, life-affirming experience; I became a convert and would go on to see him in several venues, including Atlanta’s Fox Theater and Madison Square Garden.

The next day, I went out and bought everything he’d released to date, from Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. to Darkness on the Edge of Town. My relationship with Chris fizzled a few months later, but the ties that bound me to Bruce would stand the test of even the rockiest of times.
Life Intervenes

I’ll admit to taking a Springsteen breather for several years in between. Born in the USA, released in 1984, would be the last of his albums I would buy for quite some time. It was the same year I moved from my newspaper job in small-town Colorado to an editing gig in Manhattan, where I focused on my career during the day and hit the clubs at night, with Madonna and Michael Jackson supplying the score. I was in my 20s and didn’t have time for marathon sessions spent studying an album’s lyrics till I knew every word, and New York radio did an awful job of showcasing artists like Springsteen.

In my 30s, I married a guy from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, who’d been exposed to disco while I was dancing in the dark. We enjoyed a lot of music together, led by Lucinda Williams, but he didn’t share my enthusiasm for Springsteen or stadium concerts. So I watched as Bruce came and went, tour after tour. Despite the fact that I was working at Entertainment Weekly, where the music critics would share his latest tunes with me, I lost that part of myself.

Then, in my 40s, we adopted our son; just before his fifth birthday, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. By then, my employer TV Guide had laid me off and all my energy went into being a special-needs mom — an advocate who would fight for the right diagnosis, schooling and therapy. I had no time for Bruce or much of anything else, for that matter, let alone knowing which new album had been released or when he would be touring.
Endings and Beginnings

The last time I’d seen Bruce before Barclays, at Madison Square Garden, my marriage was already on the rocks, but that didn’t prevent me from buying us tickets. We had seen him once before, during happier times, and I wanted to escape my problems with a few hours devoted to singing at the top of my lungs.

But a few years later, I could no longer deny that the marriage was over. Now I’m in my 50s, separated, with my son away at boarding school, and trying to grab hold of the things once again that made me “me.” That has included rekindling long-neglected friendships and rejoining the Bruce brigade.

So there I was that Saturday night at Barclays Center with the rest of the fanatical crowd, which consisted of everyone from bearded hipsters to middle-aged types like me, some bringing their kids along for the ride.

Turns out Bruce is wearing 66 much better than I am 56; while the icon performed in boots for three-and-a-half hours straight, I wore running shoes to baby my creaky knees. But what Bruce and I do share is a lot more life experience. We’ve both become parents, both lost people close to us, both been through the heartache of love gone wrong.
A Rush of Memories

Of course there were the songs that had the rowdy crowd up on its feet for most of the concert, many of which were performed in ’78, The Ties That Bind, Cadillac Ranch and Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) among them. But it was the slower, sadder songs that touched me in a way they couldn’t have 38 years earlier. When Springsteen said The River is about time flowing by, I nearly cried.

Now that my industry has imploded and I’m trying to figure out how to remake my career, Bruce singing “lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy” cut me like a knife. Meanwhile, Fade Away, which spoke to the death of a relationship, and Hungry Heart, about our craving for love and companionship, touched on my loneliness after the end of a 20-years-plus marriage.

Yet something about the band’s high-octane performance, the adrenaline rush of the crowd, and my bellowing “Bruuuuce!” helped me defy the years. And for that, I’m forever in The Boss’ debt.

Beth Arky
Writer and social networker, the Child Mind Institute

Original story was posted on Next Avenue

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When I first heard “Born to Run” on the radio, I knew immediately I had discovered something special. I was obsessed.

I knew immediately I had discovered something special. I was obsessed.

Michele DeVinney

When I first heard “Born to Run” on the radio, I knew immediately I had discovered something special. It was 1975, and I was 13 years old and couldn’t wait to buy the album and commit every word to memory. I was obsessed and quickly owned not only Born to Run but soon Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. At that point, as owner of all three Bruce Springsteen albums, when some of my peers didn’t own any, I felt I could definitely consider myself a serious fan.

After the long drought that followed, I was excited to hear what Darkness on the Edge of Town was all about and immediately loved “Prove It All Night” which was on rotation on my favorite AOR station in Rochester, WCMF. I was especially excited when I heard Bruce would be playing at the War Memorial (now the Blue Cross Arena) in August of that year. I asked my best friend and partner-in-crime Andrea Willis if she wanted to go, and she declined. (I believe she has since seen the error of her ways!) So I asked her brother Michael, one year older, if he’d like to go, and he quickly said yes. Tickets were purchased (at the princely sum of $6.50) and plans were made for that fateful night. We had tickets for the floor—this was long before the current lottery system which meant we could not only pay to be on the floor but have chairs to boot.

When the evening finally arrived, Michael picked me up around 7, and on our ride we fantasized about what the show would be. We assumed there would be an opening act, though none was announced, and hoped against hope that it might be Patti Smith. Needless to say, when Bruce took the stage shortly after 8, we realized it was all Bruce, all night. We adapted to that pretty quickly.

In some ways, the night is a blur. He opened with “Summertime Blues” which surprised me because I was expecting something from Darkness (which I had yet to purchase). But it was high energy and quickly introduced us to what Bruce concert veterans already knew: there was no one like the Boss live in concert. One song after another, Bruce jumped and slid across the stage in ways I never imagined. The E Street Band, which I feel I underrated before seeing them live, were clearly more than a good backup band, and Clarence, of course, completely stole my heart.

One moment from the show has always stuck with me. While we had chairs, we seldom used them, standing through most of the show. It felt impossible then to sit when Bruce and the boys were working so hard. At one point, I noticed people standing on their chairs, but I knew Michael was a fairly restrained sort and was reluctant to go overboard until one point when I turned to exclaim to him about something and realized I was looking at his knees. He was already standing on his chair so I felt liberated to do the same. The spirit of Bruce compelled us!

Sometime around 10 Bruce left the stage, promising to return shortly. An intermission? At a rock concert? I’d never…it seemed weird, but I figured this meant we were really going to get our money’s worth (again, a princely $6.50) out of the night. Maybe 20 minutes later, after we’d had time to catch our breath (we may have needed the break more than they did), Bruce returned for another hour-plus, completely blowing away any previous concert experience I’d ever had. But the night was not over—not by a longshot.

After the show “ended,” everyone knew at least one encore was coming because he hadn’t done “Born to Run” yet, and of course they all returned to the stage for a couple more songs. But still, no “Born to Run” so we all clapped mightily until he came back for a couple more songs, closing with “Born to Run.” At that point, as he left the stage, the arena lights came up and people began filing out. But some of us were greedy and moved closer to the stage, filling spots vacated by the casual fans. We applauded loudly until they returned, to a fully lit venue, for a third encore. After that, still more left the building but some of us continued to scream for more, and he delivered – an amazing fourth encore, still performed with the arena fully lit. It was a remarkable thing, and I always pity those who left too soon. The rest of us had ourselves quite a party. When it was over, we looked at the clock: 11:45.

We hardly knew what to do with ourselves. Michael and I were both somewhat delirious from what we’d just experienced and didn’t want it to end. We both kept laughing giddily, though it’s hard to know why. We hovered outside the War Memorial for awhile in the impossible hope that Bruce was going to suddenly emerge from a door somewhere, but it never happened so we finally knew to call it a night.

The next morning, I left on a trip to Pittsburgh to visit my father for a few days before I began my senior year in high school. (Michael left for college shortly after that, too.) I told my dad that I needed to pick up a record so we stopped at the Listening Post so I could finally buy Darkness on the Edge of Town. The following day, after he left for work, I put the album on my father’s turntable and listened repeatedly. He called sometime around lunch and asked how I was doing. “I have just had a religious experience,” I told him

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. And that’s when I knew that being a Bruce “fan” meant much more than just having all of his albums.

Bruce Springsteen Rochester New York, 1978

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, Springsteen’s iconic 4th album and 1978 concert tour. Read about the live concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum, Shea’s in Buffalo and over seventy more, this book is a must have.
With less than 20 copies left, now is the time to order this collectible book.
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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band continues a string of shows in Buffalo that dates back almost 40 years.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will play before thousands of fans in First Niagara Center, continuing a string of shows in Buffalo that dates back almost 40 years

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Buffalo got one of its first glimpses of The Boss on May 23, 1978, in Shea’s Buffalo, as he toured in support of his album “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” One of the people in the audience that night was Buffalo Evening News Music Critic Dale Anderson. His review ran in the next day’s paper. It is reprinted here in its entirety.

(An earlier version of this post incorrectly called in Springsteen’s first stop in Buffalo. It was not.)

Springsteen’s Born to Run, And He’s Off to Good Start

Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band revved up their engines in a sold-out Shea’s Buffalo Tuesday night for the start of a four-month U.S. tour.
When they finished the first lap three hours and three encores later, it was clear that this powerhouse had everything it needed to go 80 dates in 70 cities. And then some.

Running on a mixture of old favorites and songs off his soon-to-be-released fourth album, “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Springsteen overcame a badly calibrated sound system and roared into a finale that almost refused to end.

The first encore was a tinkly new number, “The Promise,” which backed into that hit-the-highways anthem, “Born to Run.” The second encore was a glorious “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” which raised virtually everyone to their feet.

When the house lights came up, the cheering, clapping crowd ignored them. The noise continued until the lights dimmed again several minutes later and the band bounced back for one more – the Philip Upchurch raver from 1961, “You Can’t Sit Down.”

The evening that didn’t want to quit started off with Springsteen screaming right up to the redline on a new song, “Badlands.” He went to the top of his lungs again in the next number, howled a wordless cry over a steady beat, then broke into a frenzy of “For You.”

The pace couldn’t go on forever. Or could it? The insistent “Thunder Road” was next.

The 1978 Bruce Springsteen review by Dale Anderson in The Buffalo Evening News.

The 1978 Bruce Springsteen review by Dale Anderson in The Buffalo Evening News.

Springsteen darted about the stage as energetically as he sang, doing embraced duets with guitarist Miami Steve Van Zandt, ranging onto the raised orchestra pit with saxophonist Clarence Clemons and venturing up an aisle during “Spirit in the Night.” He nearly got mobbed.

The ensemble dressed the way they played – sharp. Springsteen wore a three-piece black suit, shirt open under the vest. Clemons’ suit was white, set off by a shirt of El Dorado green. Even drummer Max Weinberg wore a vest for the first half of the evening.

The sound, however, was far from impeccable. Technicians scampered out with monitor speakers for Springsteen early in the show. Needles of feedback haunted him until intermission. Meanwhile, the instruments were muddy in midrange and at first were hideously distorted.

Four unfamiliar new songs slackened the mood prior to intermission. Springsteen, having built his reputation on streaming, street-wise poetry over ’60s rhythms and phrasing, builds it into workingman’s dreams in his fresh material, numbers with titles like “Racing in the Streets” and “Promised Land.”

Part two opened by catching the youngish audience off guard with a couple oldies they didn’t recognize — a vintage saxophone rock instrumental and Elvis Presley’s “Fire.” Springsteen has a thing about Presley.

The second half was laced with extended instrumentals, Springsteen proving his worth on guitar before finally clearing the decks with the beloved “Backstreets” and “Rosalita.”

At one point, a hand-painted Exxon sign was unfurled from the front of the balcony. Springsteen was pleasantly taken aback, but the song it referred to — “Jungleland” — was not in the opening night scheme.

Despite periodic shortcomings in audio quality and pacing, this first outing found the Asbury, N.J., heroes with horsepower to spare. All they need is a little fine tuning. By the time they get to Boston for Memorial Day, they ought to be unbeatable.

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, Springsteen’s iconic 4th album and 1978 concert tour. Read about the live concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum, Shea’s in Buffalo and over seventy more, this book is a must have.
With less than 20 copies left, now is the time to order this collectible book.
We are offering savings on Shipping anywhere in the world.
Save Now- Order Here: The Light in Darkness

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Bruce Springsteen, My SRT101, a Few Rolls of Film and Me…

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

I started listening to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as they became more popular in the early 1970′s. At that time I was still living in my parent’s home in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. My best friend was a musician and had a few bands and probably got me listening. At the time we were both students at Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta and had both volunteered to be DJs on the college radio station, WRAS. This was back in the day when DJs actually could greatly influence their audience with the music they played. Sadly we now have most of our music stations owned by big corporations with programing decided elsewhere. I remember the station’s studio, it was in the basement of the building where the student center was, a place for students to hang out and I think there were some administration offices on the upper floors. My friend Ed and I both got horrible graveyard shifts to start with since we were the new guys. We had to both take some kind of FCC test and were given some guidelines for what not to play such as The Rolling Stones “Star Star” because of all the F-words. Other then that we were pretty much allowed to play whatever we wanted. But being in the “radio business” as we were, we got to listen to a lot of new releases. I remember several times sitting around in one of the small recording studios they had for the occasional interview or live studio performance and queuing up different new albums. I remember everyone being excited when we got Born to Run. Most of the other DJs liked it very much. There was one guy though I remember didn’t think much of it. He was an older guy who had the afternoon drive time shift and was into the Carpenters, John Denver and bands like Chicago and Three Dog Night. He didn’t think this new band was going anywhere!

I first saw Bruce and the band at Alex Cooley’s Electric Ballroom in August of 1975. My best friend, Ed and I had gone to Europe as a senior graduation trip; we both graduated in 1974 and had saved up for this trip. We had been in London and Paris and seen so many concerts, Elton John, Patti Smith, The Rolling Stones and some other groups. We got back home to Atlanta in late July and got tickets for Bruce’s Atlanta show, I think we only went to one show out of the few nights he played. I imagine we paid $10 or so for each ticket, back then tickets were so cheap. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera at that time, mine had been stolen and I was saving up for a new one before heading out to California the next year to go to photography school in Santa Barbara. To be honest, so much time has passed I don’t remember much other then it was near the Fox Theater which was considered at that time to be in a bad section of Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Our parents were worried every time we went to THAT section of town. About all I remember was it was an energetic show that got us introduced to Bruce and the band and the style of performance that we would all come to know and love as the years went on.

August 1975 Atlanta, GA, Bruce’s intro to “She’s the One”
“Here’s something that’ll be on the new album that should be out in a few weeks…it’s called “She’s the One”…”

I left Atlanta in the summer of 1976 for Santa Barbara and I saw Bruce and the band 4 times while on the west coast. I had only been there a few months when they played the Santa Barbara Bowl which was an outdoor amphitheater on a smaller scale then the Hollywood Bowl. I didn’t get a ticket but I remember some friends and I were able to find a spot on a street a few blocks above the Bowl and see part of the show from there, Santa Barbara is very hilly as you get away from the coast and a lot of people would just find places to sit outside the theater property and listen or get a partially obscured view of whatever was playing there. One thing that I do remember was Bruce had to cut the encores short as the Santa Barbara Police were summoned on a noise complaint and I remember him laughing about it on stage, apologizing that they would only do one more song to finish the show that night!

The itinerary I looked at for Bruce’s 1978 concerts with the E Street Band show them making 3 different swings through California during that year for the Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour. They played San Jose, Berkeley, Inglewood and the Roxy in West Hollywood. I am pretty sure I saw him at one of these shows, the Roxy still seems to ring a bell in my memory cells but I really can’t say for sure. I saw a fair number of shows there over my years on the West Coast; I remember seeing Leon Russell and some other groups there. I definitely remember seeing Bruce and the band both nights they played the Winterland in San Francisco in December 1978, just before Christmas.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

My friend, Ed was attending school in San Francisco and I had just finished my semester at school in Santa Barbara. I remember driving up to stay at his apartment and we had tickets for both shows, December 15th and 16th.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

We both planned to fly back to Atlanta the day or so after the concerts for our Christmas breaks as our parents still had homes there, Ed and I had been friends since 8th grade and attended the same high school. I arrived early to get in line ( as we were in the general admission floor area with no seating as I recall and we wanted to get as close to the stage as possible. San Francisco in December is a damp and dreary place when the fog and wintertime rain comes in from the Pacific Ocean. It was drizzling and cold as the line began moving. Winterland had a huge sign that you could see from a few blocks away, it was red with big white letters going down from the top that said WINTERLAND and then it had the typical sign where they just change out the letters to say who is playing.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

As I recall it was at Post and Seiner streets and was not very far from The Fillmore and the area known as Japan Town and the Western District. About 15 blocks to the east is Union Square with all the nice hotels and stores, and the area known as the Tenderloin was also to the southeast, that was one bad neighborhood back then.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

I took a lot of pictures both nights at those shows and I recall the energy that Bruce was well known for being evident. (We always wondered how could he put out so much with all his running around the stage and climbing up on the stacks of speakers and jumping back off down to the stage. On the first night we were able to get pretty close to the stage and really enjoyed the show. On both nights I can remember as Bruce and the band went into their mutli-song encore that the crowd began stomping to the music and the entire floor, which was an old hardwood floor, began to shake with the rhythm. I was a bit concerned as to whether the old building would collapse and we would all end up in a pile in the basement. 

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

After both shows there was just a lingering feeling of energy for all of us as we made our way out into the foggy damp San Francisco night. Our ears were still ringing from the sounds and being so close to the stage and there were lingering memories of each song. As we walked back to where ever we had parked the car I can remember each of us occasionally bursting out with a line from Thunder Road or Born to Run. The next day we had to get to the airport and catch a flight home for the holiday. We both felt so exhausted from those 2 shows at Winterland.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

I had been taking concert photographs since the early 70′s. I shot David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, The Rolling Stones, Yes, Elton John, Genesis, and others. I used a Minolta SRT101, which in my opinion was a pretty darn good solid camera back then. No motor drive or anything special and my only telephoto lens was the classic Vivitar Series 1 which was a 70-210mm with macro. As I became more familiar with shooting concerts I started to buy bulk rolls of Ectachrome film. The camera shops only had 200ASA film speed for the fast stuff and I would push the hell out of it. After a concert I always had 5-10 rolls to process, sometimes if there were multiple shows happening in a month that we had tickets for I would try to save up enough because once you started mixing up the chemicals and using them their quality decreased in a short time.
When I went out to Santa Barbara a lot changed. I still had an enlarger in my apartment for B&W work, we did pretty much only B&W in our first year of school assignments. But the school did have a full color lab and I could get my work done there and later worked in the lab and processed my own film in a big Calumet dip and dunk system.

Looking back and thinking about favorite shows or sequences is hard since it was just so damn long ago. I do remember it was always a struggle to get close to the stage. Some shows had a big general admission area on the floor and you just pushed and shoved and tried to wiggle your way up to the stage. Later on a lot of bands got the idea to sell more expensive general admissions tickets for the area closest to the stage and fence it off with a barrier of some kind and station security bouncers to try to keep others out. That made it a lot harder since you probably would get booted out if caught jumping the fence but we did it a few times. I just think the things I liked most about seeing Bruce and the E Street Band perform was the energy they put out, lots of running around and interplay.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

Bruce was always telling stories as he led into songs and when he got going with the music he always hammed it up with Clarence or Steve. Depending on the venue they were performing in, Bruce began putting little sections of the stage that went out into the crowd and he would stroll out on each one which was great for different angles, that usually happened more at larger stadium type shows where they built an entire stage more then the clubs or theater type venues. And there was always lots of jumping up and down on the piano or on and off of stacks of big speakers. And one thing that he and a lot of other performers were getting into was having really good lighting for the solos and group songs, in the early days they seemed limited to just some simple stage lighting and a big spotlight somewhere out on a balcony but in the later tours they all seemed to have the huge racks of lights with fantastic colors geared to each song. That is probably why I enjoyed shooting so much color film.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, San Francisco Winterland, December 1978

Over the years I have still gone to see Bruce in concert

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. After those shows in the 70′s I saw the River Tour when it came to Houston and then again for the Born In The USA tour in 1984. Sadly if I took pictures I have no idea what became of them but at that time I was married with kids so I probably couldn’t afford the best seats. I introduced my second wife to his music and took her to the Reunion Tour; it played at Houston Compaq Center which was the basketball arena. Funny but that place is now a mega-church and Compaq computers are no more. I did see him and the band one more time in Atlanta in 2008 or so, I was there helping out my elderly parents before they died. My old best friend Ed and I went, I think it was at the Philips Arena. Sadly my friend died a few months later. I still follow Bruce and the Band when they are in the news, I hope to see them again but they have made it a lot harder to take pictures other then with a cell phone which isn’t worth it.

Chris Summers
Kingwood, Texas
January 26, 2016

Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The book focuses on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Springsteen’s iconic 4th album and 1978 concert tour. Read about the live concerts from fans who were there.
The Light in Darkness
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Darkness in Detroit 1978

The Bruce Springsteen Detroit show (and the one the next night in Cleveland) were announced with less than a month before show date but

Bruce Springsteen 1978 Cobo, Detroit, Michigan

which had crossed the nation knocking rock fans back on their heels. Bruce had played small town 5-6 thousand seat hockey rinks like those in nearby Toledo, Kalamazoo and Saginaw in the previous six months but to sell out Cobo Arena nearly 15,000 seats was unprecedented. Self important Detroit rock fans had largely resisted Springsteen’s siren call (he’d played the 4,000 seat Michigan Theater in the city a few months earlier) but the cult of Bruce had finally blown past Detroit’s music intelligentsia and into the mainstream. The show was especially popular because of its timing. Everyone was home from college for the holidays and suddenly Bruce was the sensation everyone had discovered in Fall term. Several of us convened back home in Toledo in just such a fashion and determined Bruce at Cobo was a must. In those days you bought your tickets at the (long gone) JL Hudson department store chain so off we went. Tier C at Cobo was like being on the moon in its distance from the stage but that’s all that was available. When we got to the show the next night we found ourselves in the second to last row of Tier C having procured five of the last few dozen tickets sold. As the set list attests the show was a tour de force offering the warhorses as well as the unreleased stuff that already been well circulated by the bootleggers. A special treat for a couple in our group and me was the inclusion of The Fever which was regularly played on Houston radio where we’d all lived a couple years earlier.

The next night Bruce made a triumphant return to Cleveland selling out the similarly sized Richfield Coliseum on New Years Eve. Detroit and Cleveland were close in proximity, size and blue collar mindset but very different rock and roll “capitals.” Cleveland embraced all that was new, flash and even a bit offbeat while Detroit worshiped at the altar of the heavy blues rock. To see Bruce sell out the biggest venues in both towns meant that he had finally put himself over the top. Ever after we would brag, “Oh, I saw Bruce in (insert minuscule, over-the-hill vaudeville house here) with a thousand people.”

Richard B. Kelley Grand Rapids, Michigan  Facebook

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From the Darkness archives…

Finding The Light in Darkness: A conversation with Springsteen book publisher Lawrence Kirsch

As we break the seal on 2010, I’m looking forward (as so many Springsteen fans are) to the much-discussed commemorative box set for Bruce Springsteen’s classic release, Darkness on the Edge of Town.  We don’t know at this point specifically what shows/materials will be incorporated into the bonus elements of the release, but it is allegedly going to hit the shelves this year.  If you bought the previous box set for Born to Run, I think you’ll agree with me that this new release will be something to look forward to as a Bruce fan.

My anticipation for the release of this set doubled late last year with the release of The Light in Darkness, Lawrence Kirsch’s excellent chronicle of the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour.

The Light in Darkness
Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen Book

Told from the fan’s perspective, by the fans themselves, Kirsch took the numerous fan story submissions, combined them with over 200+ classic photographs from the tour, and delivered an amazing gift to Bruce fans.  With time travel via DeLorean still unlikely, The Light in Darkness is the closest that you’ll ever come to attending a show on the Darkness tour.

After finishing the book (my review is posted here), I had some further questions and wanted take a look under the hood at the assembly process behind releasing something like The Light in Darkness, one that is most certainly mammoth.  Kirsch was more than happy to answer a few questions, and I’m glad that I took the time to inquire, because he certainly had plenty to say, and I think that all music fans will enjoy reading the story of how The Light in Darkness (and Kirsch’s previous book For You) moved from a concept to the actual release.

To start off, let’s talk a little bit about your early background professionally – from what I read, you spent about 20+ years as a professional photographer with Springsteen being among the many famous names that you photographed.

I started shooting concerts as a hobby in 1972, The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street tour was the first concert I photographed. I worked professionally from 1977 (first gig was Elvis Costello for CBS records) until 1989. Since 1972 I have photographed over 300 major rock acts including David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Queen, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, The Ramones, U2, Rush and Elton John.

Based in Montreal, I traveled throughout Canada and the US for photo sessions commissioned by WEA, CBS, Capitol, MCA, RCA and other major record labels. My photographs have appeared in more than 100 magazines, as well as CDs, DVDs, box sets, (including 3 photos in the Springsteen Ties that Bind, River box set) record label web sites, books, posters, concert programs, calendars, wine labels (AC/DC) gallery showings, and on record sleeves.

“I was in the right place at the right time. People ask me how did you choose to be a rock & roll photographer? Well, I never did, really. It chose me. I was attending music concerts since 1970 and wanted to linger on long after the concert was over. So I picked up a camera and starting shooting photographs for friends and myself. In university I met a friend who had connections to CBS Records. She got me an interview and ultimately my first professional gig in 1977.” You can view some of my work here.

For You Stories and Photographs
by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans.
Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen Book, Sold Out

I just got my hands on For You, your first Springsteen book from a couple of years ago, and it’s amazing. Had you done any other books prior to For You?

I had contributed photographs to quite a few books focusing on different music artists, and came up with the concept for a book on Bruce Springsteen published in England called Bruce Springsteen: Blinded by the Light, but had never worked on a book of my own.

Where did you come up with the idea to do a book about Springsteen, and what kind of legwork was involved in making it happen, legally?

Having attended so many Springsteen concerts since 1975 I kept meeting fans that all had this incredible sense of shared community. Whether I met them in person at concerts, through written correspondence or later via emails, we all had the same thing in common, this undeniable love and appreciation of Bruce Springsteen’s music. What I thought was missing was a touchstone that fans could contribute to and ultimately turn to understand that they were not alone in this passion for this great songwriter and human being.
From a legal perspective I asked everyone that submitted a story to sign a document stating that the text they sent was there own, and that we could use it in the book and for publicity. I also asked all the photographers to sign a photo release form stating the images belonged to them and that they were granting us permission to reproduce them in the Springsteen book For You, Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans. Another legal aspect that I was very conscious of was that many fans quoted Bruce’s lyrics in their story submissions and I was not 100% clear on the legality of that. To make certain that we did not break any legal rules I had my editor remove all lyric quotations from the final selected stories. It certainly took away some of the flavour and nuance of the some stories, but I could not take the chance.

From the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour:
The Palladium, New York, NY ©Anthony Pecora

Your two books are also self-published, assembled with a small team of editors and layout professionals. What are the pros and cons to this approach?

Well, I guess the first and most important benefit to self-publishing is that you have total control; you are the final decision maker. However, I did surround myself with artistic and passionate professionals who helped me produce excellent quality work. I could not have done these two books without the unbelievable generosity of the Springsteen fan community at large. They provided me with fantastic material to work with, original stories, photographs and scans of memorabilia came pouring in, all contributors were interested in making the tribute volumes as great as they could be.
As I found out, even with many of the contributions being offered gratis, self-publishing is a very expensive proposition. Design, editing, scanning and printing are costly tasks that need to be addressed. Especially for the first book For You, which was a hard cover book. But possibly the most difficult and tedious task of the whole experience is the actual distribution of the book. Anyone can print a book, but then you have to sell it and get it into the hands of your buyers.
This is no easy task and I have dealt with at least 4 different methods of shipping both books. Being situated in Canada, my options are considerably less and more expensive then shipping out of the US (yes, this is one of the options I tried) and the time delay is longer. Fans are for the most part forgiving, and I understand their impatience, after all they paid good money for a product they do not take delivery of sometimes up to 9 weeks. But after the book leaves my office the delivery is out of my control, even if I have a tracking number.

What sort of learning experience did you have based on any mistakes that you might have made during the assembly and promotion of For You?

I have to say that the overall learning experience was phenomenal on both books. As I previously mentioned the outpouring of responses from fans was overwhelming.
For For You, I asked for story contributions of no longer than 300 words, on The Light in Darkness I increased that to 400 words, and permitted contributors to include 3-4 lines of lyrics from any one song. I had a clearer more focused idea of the chronological order of the way we were going to sequence the material in the second book.

Both books are unique – in that, the story is told completely from the fan’s perspective – written by the fans, which is a ballsy move. And yet with Springsteen, I’d argue that there’s nobody better to tell the story.

Agreed. The cliché I read many times is “For the fans, by the fans”. But is there a more qualified fan base to write about their hero? Since the very beginning, Bruce’s personal interaction with his fans is legendary, both during his concerts and his down time, when he walks the streets as a normal citizen of where ever he may be.

From the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour:
The Palladium, New York, NY ©Mark Wyville

Unlike For You, which focuses on Springsteen’s entire career of touring, your new book The Light in Darkness focuses exclusively on the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour. Why Darkness?

The songs on Darkness spoke to me personally. Yes, the mood is darker than previous albums, but not entirely without hope. Darkness on the Edge of Town is pure, energetic rock and roll and one of the best works that Springsteen would create.

Live in concert, The Music, The Music, The Music.

From the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour:
Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia PA ©Peter Howes

The Darkness tour was distinguished for the now-legendary two-plus hour sound checks, where Springsteen himself would tour the arena while the E Street Band played in order to judge the sound. Much of this practice was no doubt a vestige of his initial reluctance to play hockey arena-sized venues in light of his audience intimacy and sound concerns, but in truth, the sound on that tour was great – it had to be, as the spoken song intros and stories played a major role in that tour’s message. You had to be able to understand what was being said. And there was a lot spoken, in setting up songs and connecting with the audience. Bruce was thankful to be back where he belonged, on stage, and thankful that his loyal audience was there-and he let us know it.

The best way to describe what you felt when the band walked out onto the boards and ripped into the opening number (whether it was ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’, ‘Summertime Blues’, ‘High School Confidential’, or ‘Badlands’) is to harken back to the old Maxell tape ads, where the guy puts a Maxell tape into his stereo and the sound that comes out of the speakers blows his hair and his scarf back, and sends his drink skidding across the table through the sheer force and power of its volume and energy. Much has been written and said over the years about the sense of desperation and emotion driving Springsteen on that tour – it’s all true, and then some. Trying to explain it can sometimes seem as daunting a prospect as the challenge put forth by John Sebastian in the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe in Magic?” in that “It’s like trying to tell a stranger about rock and roll.” Bruce and the E Street Band, compared to now, played fast. And they played loud. Not “The Who loud”, but loud enough to trash your ears for a day after the show, regardless of your rock show-going experience. The opening set was heavy on Darknessalbum material, and the songs were augmented, enhanced, and accessorized in a way that doesn’t happen these days. The organ/piano intro to the title track, the extended harmonica/piano intro to ‘Promised Land’, the now-legendary piano/guitar intro to ‘Prove It All Night’, the extended piano coda to ‘Racing in the Street’, the ‘Not Fade Away’/'Mona’/'Gloria’ lead-in to ‘She’s the One’, along with the instrumental break in the middle of it – these flourishes made the songs even more special, and these types of reworking’s are not seen much anymore. By the time ‘Jungleland’ closed the first set, some first-timers in the crowd thought the show was over, such was the quality and quantity of what was delivered in just the opening set!

From the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour:
Providence Civic Center, Providence RI ©Peter Howes

From the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour: Fox Theater poster, Atlanta, GA
Live FM broadcast simulcast by about twenty radio stations throughout the south-eastern United States.

The Darkness tour also marked the last time many would get to see The Boss in small concert halls, as Bruce’s exploding popularity forced him to trade up to hockey arenas during several stops on the tour. Stadiums would soon follow. Today, many fans lucky enough to have attended the Darkness tour are glad they did whatever it took to land a ticket, a memory they can still cherish as they now watch Bruce from the nosebleeds. As many fans have noted, a Springsteen concert is something akin to a big tent revival meeting: the energy, the enthusiasm, and most importantly, the healing.

Many performers can entertain a crowd, and put on a great show. But at a Bruce show, he doesn’t just entertain, he brings the audience together. Those around you aren’t just strangers in the seats, they become family, if only for a few hours.

On the way out the concert hall, theater or arena, one was left with an uncanny mix of exhaustion and exhilaration that comes at the end of a Springsteen concert, a feeling that comes because the marathon shows both drained you entirely of energy, while somehow also replenishing with a new strength. In both books that I worked on, fans struggled to describe what this feels like, and how the feeling differs from all the other rock concerts they’ve been too. I don’t pretend to have an explanation. But at best, what I can offer is that through some strange magic, Bruce, in his pure enthusiasm for what he does, and his unpretentious ability to connect with a crowd, he was able to elevate that mass of people from a mere rock and roll crowd into a rock and roll community.

As fan Lou Carlozo wrote:

“But Bruce – a bus driver’s son wielding all the determination of a blue-collar man sweating to the last paycheck dime – shared his best with his fans again and again and again. Is it any wonder, then, that magic permeates every Bruce Springsteen concert and touches the people who pack his shows to capacity? Yes, Bruce was one of us: The only real difference was that he wrote and sang amazing songs, though he thrived whenever we joined him and sang along. He fed us, we fed him back. The circle was joined. And it remains unbroken.

From the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour:
Augusta Civic Center, Augusta ME ©Lawrence Kirsch

As a fan, you had the dream ticket being in attendance for the opening night of the Darkness tour.

Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, Buffalo, NY

I had first witnessed Bruce in concert in Montreal, December 1975 on the Born to Run Tour. I saw it with my cousin from New York. After that, Bruce disappeared, at least for me, with no new album and no concert dates in my area for three years. So when I received a call from the same cousin now living in Buffalo to attend Bruce’s premiere show to showcase his new album, I was psyched.
I was there when Bruce broke out of creative jail. The night Bruce was able to perform new songs how and when he wanted to. What I remember most was the raw emotion that Bruce presented on stage. I would even say he was a bit nervous and tentative. But by the time he launched into “Something in the Night” and screamed so his body shook, we knew he was going to take no prisoners, even if it killed him, and us. I had been anticipating this show for close the three years. The audience and atmosphere were electric, we had no idea what to expect, as the new album Darkness on The Edge of Town had not been released yet. I remember the thick smell of marijuana when I walked into the grand old Shea theater, and the humid heat of the air. I remember superfan Obie and photographer/girlfriend Lynn Goldsmith hanging out in the first row waiting with anticipation like the rest of us for the lights to go down.
And then it started.

How many shows did you end up seeing on the Darkness tour?

I saw nine shows on the tour, including the opening show in Buffalo and the last two in Cleveland. I have photos I took from six of the shows reproduced in The Light in Darkness.

How did you first come across Springsteen’s music, and what is that moment that you can point to that officially made you a fan?

I discovered Bruce’s first two albums in 1974 by hearing them on the radio. I liked the albums, can’t say I loved them.
The defining moment for me was December 19, 1975 when I saw Bruce in an 800 seat theatre in Montreal.

What do you remember about your first Springsteen show?

I remember that the night was freezing and that Bruce commented on the temperature during the show, more than once. He wore his customary wool hat on stage and unbelievably he would fling it at his mike stand from various locations on the stage and nail it on the stand!
I remember having tickets in the balcony and feeling that Bruce was playing to us all night. Oh yeah, and I remember the music. I remember Bruce coming on stage in the dark to start the show, one blue spotlight on Roy Bittan while he played the introduction to Thunder Road. I had seen and photographed many shows before then, but nothing as dramatic as that. His interaction with the audience, the stories, and the musicianship all were new experiences for me.

It’s often hard for a non-Springsteen fan to understand the typical Springsteen fanaticism – How many Springsteen gigs have you been to over the years, and what is it that keeps you coming back for more?

I don’t really feel compelled to try to convince anyone to see a Bruce Springsteen concert. Many music fans in my hometown do not appreciate him, and I can understand that. I have seen close to ninety shows, which amazes me to this day. But whenever I think that this is a large number, I think about fans that have season tickets to baseball, basketball or hockey teams-how many games do they see a year, year after year? It is all about the passion, the passion of the music and sharing it with 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 like-minded fans.

From the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour: Cleveland Coliseum, Cleveland OH
©Anastasia Pantsios

Have you gotten any reaction from the Springsteen camp about the books?

When I launched the first book, For You, I had met Bruce’s security person in Boston in November of 2007 and had given him a book to show to Bruce. It was returned to me about a month later from Denmark, signed.

Then Bruce announced a concert in my home city of Montreal. From the time I got the call around 6.20 Sunday night, March 2, until 23 seconds before Bruce took the stage, I was backstage. Along with Humphrey Kadaner president of HMV Canada, I was the personal guest of Bruce’s co-managers in their Bell Center suite. There we were offered wine and cheese in a very relaxing atmosphere. Prior to this I had to go through 2 security checks and have 2 wrist bands applied, a backstage pass and given a ticket to the “pit” area. I chatted to Bruce’s managers for close to 90 minutes and during that time was given a handwritten set list for the Montreal show…

And then it happened, I met Bruce. We chatted; I presented him a copy of the book and told him it was on behalf of his fans worldwide who appreciate his great music and the enjoyment he has brought to us over all these years. He signed a copy of the book for me. While all of this was going on Miami Steve and one or 2 other E-Streeters were rehearsing the harmonies on “Because the Night” a capella not 10 feet away. Bruce posed for photos with me, and then I walked with him as he joined the other members of the E-Street band literally 23 seconds before he took the stage. Then I took my spot in the pit and had the time of my life.

Like the first book, The Light in Darkness also is a limited pressing of 2400 copies – What’s the next project on tap for you after this one is done?

Well, I am contemplating several ideas for books right now.

Subjects include The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and a book on meal planning for vegetarians. Also, a short story written by a Springsteen fan that grew up in Bruce’s neighbourhood and came in contact with several of the same people he did on a daily basis. He spent some time with Bruce; the time period covers the early 1970’s to around 1976/1977.
Of course if this becomes a reality it will have some classic never seen before photos. I know if fans had their way they would like to see a book on The River. I don’t think that is in the cards for me, but never say never.

Thanks to Lawrence for a great interview!
The Light in Darkness was a limited edition printing of only 2400 copies, and is now sold out. Thanks to the Springsteen fan community for all your support, without you the book could never have seen the light of day. all the best,
Lawrence Kirsch
The Light in Darkness

Matt Wardlaw
Matt grew up in the 80’s in Odessa, Texas – home of prairie dogs, Permian Panthers football (as covered in the movie Friday Night Lights,) oil wells, and not much else. The remainder of my time growing up was spent in the mountains of New Mexico which led to my family moving to the Chicago area suburb of Joliet, and finally in 1989 we made our final move to Cleveland, OH. An early life spent living in small towns and cold weather left me plenty of time for listening to as much music as I could get my hands on.

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Bruce Springsteen – History Is Made At Night: Madison Square Garden, 1978 New York, NY

Bruce Springsteen – History Is Made At Night: Darkness Tour Madison Square Garden, 1978 New York, NY

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA – 21-23 August, 1978
Cliff Breining

In 1973 the band Chicago played a string of dates culminating in two nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 14 and 15 June. The support act was Bruce Springsteen, and the tour was, to say the least, not a happy experience for him, as Christopher Sandford relates in Springsteen: Point Blank: “Things soured in Philadelphia…’Kids were throwing rolls of toilet paper,’ says [manager, Mike] Appel. A fan bounced a basket ball off Springsteen’s piano. ‘They’re not paying attention to me,’ was his wild understatement to his manager. Something similar, or worse, happened at Madison Square Garden…Springsteen ran off stage in New York, announced he was quitting, ‘shrieked like a beast’ at Appel and burst into tears. After the recriminations had died down, he vowed he’d never play another ‘shed’ and ‘never as someone’s butt-fuck.’ ‘I told Bruce, okay, no more big venues,’ says Appel.”

However, shows at “big venues” became inevitable as Springsteen’s popularity grew over the next few years. As Robert Santelli writes in Greetings From E Street, “The Darkness Tour saw Springsteen and the E Street Band graduate from clubs and theaters to arenas wherever their popularity was solid enough to sell twelve or fourteen thousand tickets in one night…The push was on to reach as many people as possible with the new album.” “It was a triumphal tour,” writes Dave Marsh in Born To Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story, “selling out even in some places where Bruce had never played before; the best shows came in the biggest halls, too, proving that Springsteen had broken through that final barrier, on his own terms…Certainly, by playing sports arenas so successfully, Springsteen proved that he could have both quality and quantity; in fact, he got a clearer, more powerful sound in Madison Square Garden than many acts have at the Palladium or the Bottom Line.” As Springsteen’s three concerts at the Madison Square Garden clearly demonstrates, he laid the ghost of the Chicago experience to rest. Chris Hunt, in Springsteen: Blinded By The Light, states: “Bruce returns triumphantly to the venue he had last played as support to Chicago in 1973.”

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA – 21 August, 1978

Summertime Blues, Badlands, Spirit In The Night, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Heartbreak Hotel, Factory, The Promised Land, Prove It All Night, Racing In The Street, Thunder Road, Jungleland, Paradise By The C, The Fever, Sherry Darling, 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), Sweet Little Sixteen, Not Fade Away/Gloria/She’s The One, Growin’ Up, Backstreets/Sad Eyes, Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), Born To Run, Because The Night, Quarter To Three

The first show gets off to a cracking start with a boisterous rendition of Eddie Cochran’s 1958 classic, Summertime Blues, which had already opened several other shows during August. As usual, Clarence Clemons voices the lines of the song’s authority figures. Springsteen made a habit of starting shows at this time with either Badlands or, as here, with classic numbers from the past. The effect of the opening of a Darkness Tour show is conveyed by second night attendee, Anthony Fischetti, on the The Light In Darkness website: “The best way to describe what you felt when the band walked out onto the boards and ripped into the opening number (whether it was ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight,’ ‘Summertime Blues,’ ‘High School Confidential,’ or ‘Badlands’) is to harken back to the old Maxell tape ads, where a guy puts a Maxell tape into his stereo and the sound that come out of the speakers blows his hair and his scarf back, and sends his drink skidding across the table through the sheer force and power of its volume and energy.” The almost tangible sense of energy is continued with a spirited Badlands, offering its defiant response to the inevitable hardship and mundanity of human existence, which ends amid a level of cheering and applause from the audience that renders redundant Springsteen’s question, “What do you say? We doing OK so far?” Next up is a vibrant Spirit In The Night, enjoyable but, like other versions from the Darkness Tour, somehow less sinuous and earthy than performances from earlier years.

Things take a somber turn with a searingly intense Darkness On The Edge Of Town, but this mood, which one might expect to continue into another Darkness song, is immediately interrupted with a performance of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, with Springsteen attempting a distinctly Presleyan vocal turn. He then creates a rather tenuous link with the next song, informing the audience that, “across the street from that hotel they…they built a factory.” During the atmospheric opening he goes on to tell the now-familiar tale of listening to his father attempting to start one of his “hundred dollar junk cars” so that he could go to work. As Joanne Hoffman Garroway recalls in The Light In Darkness, Springsteen “peppered the show with stories – some funny, some poignant – and made that huge arena seem like his family living room.”

Like Badlands, The Promised Land offers a spirited defiance of life’s vicissitudes. Like much of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, the song discusses the effect of a mundane and dispiriting working life (“I’ve done my best to live the right way/I get up every morning and go to work each day/But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold/Sometimes I fell So weak I want to explode”). As Vike Savoth argues in the foreword to The Light In Darkness, performances such as this are “riveting” because they “ask us [not] to escape but to confront” the dispiriting nature of “our working lives.” Prove It All Night, of course, gains the then-usual piano and guitar intro, together with an additional guitar part at the end. The intro tended to get longer as the tour progressed, and with the stunning guitar solo. When I bought my first vinyl bootleg, Live In The Promised Land (the classic Winterland show of 15 December 1978), of the many live flourishes that impressed me, the expanded Prove It All Night made the biggest impression. Fischetti sums this up splendidly: “The opening set was heavy on ‘Darkness’ album material, and the songs were augmented, enhanced, and accessorized in a way that doesn’t happen these days. The organ/piano intro to the title track, the extended harmonica/piano intro to ‘Promised Land,’ the now-legendary piano/guitar intro to ‘Prove It All Night,’ the extended piano coda to ‘Racing In The Street,’ the ‘Not Fade Away’/’Mona’/’Gloria’ lead-in to ‘She’s the One,’ along with the instrumental break in the middle of it – these flourishes made the songs even more special, and are not seen much anymore.”

Roy Bittan, whose piano playing enhanced the ’78 shows so beautifully, then brings his considerable skills to bear on a superb Racing In The Street, which Springsteen dedicates to his sister Pam, who was in the audience. Bittan’s gorgeous piano provides the bridge to a vivacious full-band Thunder Road, which is prefaced by the story of encountering a house in the Nevada desert built by a Native American from scavenged remnants and the accompanying sign pointing down an “old road” called Thunder Road, reading, “this is the land of peace, love, justice and no mercy.” Has there ever been a better distillation of what the song is all about than that?

The second set opens with Clarence Clemons’ sax leading a high-spirited rendition of the instrumental Paradise By The C, which is a contender for best live version. This is succeeded by what Hoffman Garroway calls “the slow burn” of The Fever, with its sultry sax solo, before more high jinks with the then-new song, Sherry Darling. As was often the case, Springsteen provides a brief introduction to the phenomenon that was fraternity rock before asking the audience to provide the “party noises” to kick start the song.

4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), with its nostalgic, almost melancholy overtones, is a beautifully executed highlight of the second set and the mood is then immediately lightened by the performance of a second classic ’50s number, Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen, another song which Springsteen dedicates to his sister. Next comes a wonderfully vibrant She’s The One, prefaced by Not Fade Away, which begins with the usual animalistic calls, but also including a snippet of Gloria. As with the version played in Atlanta on September 30, we only hear the lyrics, sung over the music of She’s The One. This is followed by a sparkling version of Growin’ Up, which usually featured a funny story rather than poignant kind. Here, Springsteen tells the audience of how he discovered that he was a teenage werewolf (“I started acting strange. I went to school, sat down, ate my arithmetic book. I pissed in my desk.” Unlike other Lycanthropes, however, Springsteen’s transformation additionally involves a gold guitar growing out of his side and the tale culminates in Springsteen speeding down the New Jersey Turnpike in a car driven by a certain bulky saxophonist pursued by various police forces, the army, the navy and the marines – “and all I could hear was the chief of Asbury Park police leaning out the window with a megaphone screaming, “stop that son-of-a-bitch with the gold guitar!’”

The second set continues with an emotionally affecting Backstreets, featuring the spoken “Sad Eyes” interlude, and then the main part of the show ends with a barnstorming Rosalita, which includes the band introductions

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. Springsteen and the E Street Band begin the encores with a positively hair-raising Born To Run and then treat us to what Hoffman Garroway calls “the sexual power” of a brilliantly played Because The Night. Finally, a wonderful show ends triumphantly with an ebullient performance of Gary US Bonds’ Quarter To Three. According to SoulBoogieAlex, the first night’s show, “can compete with the holy trinity of Winterland, Capitol Theatre or the Agora.”

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, we are now 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

Limited Edition Springsteen Book, The Light in Darkness

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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

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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

Link to this post | Leave a comment

“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: and, 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: e, 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

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“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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BackstreetsBTX | Greasylake Blogness on the Edge of Town Land of Hope and Dreams(fr)


Translated by Marta Giani –


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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”

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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

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. 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

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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

Link to this post | Leave a comment

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

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. 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

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. 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
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* 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

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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
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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

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. 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

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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

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.
Thanks to the Springsteen fan community for all your support. The book The Light in Darkness is now sold out.

Link to this post | Leave a comment

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

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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
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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

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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.
Many thanks to all the fans who ordered the book, The Light in Darkness. We are now sold out.

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

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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.
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Bruce Springsteen Limited Edition Book, The Light in Darkness.

Limited edition Bruce Springsteen book.

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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
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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

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… 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 !
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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

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. 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 !
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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

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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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