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"The Boss has built up a legion of die-hard fans since he first hit the music scene in the 1970s, and it is from their perspective that Lawrence Kirschs new limited edition book examines Bruce Springsteens influence.
More than 1,500 fans submitted stories and anecdotes of their experiences from the 1970s through the 2000s, of which only a few hundred made the final cut. Those that are in the book are compelling reads and range the gamut from tear-jerkers of how The Boss music helped someone through a tough time to a fans recollection of making a post-concert beer run with The Boss.
This deluxe coffee-table book features more than 400 photographs on its thick, glossy pages; most of those images never were previously published. The captions are limited, detailing, at most, the show, date and venue where the photo was shot. They appear in very fine print, which may challenge some aging eyes or prompt readers to skip over captions altogether in favor of simply focusing on the images.
Overall, though, 'For You' is an enjoyable read, and its format makes it easy to skim in bites or consume in one sitting."
"If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be 'beautiful.' This book is without a doubt for 'real fans.' I have quite a collection of books about Bruce but this one is different to the rest by the fact that it's brim full from front to back with stories from fans. It has given fans the opportunity to tell their stories of themselves & Bruce. The stories are short, long, happy, sad, joyous, excited, funny and above all heartfelt. Every one dying to share their story or little piece of Bruce with everyone else.
What comes through more than anything else is how this very special man, his music, his writing and his band has dramatically effected and enriched the lives of so many people. This book is filled with emotion... so be prepared to find yourself smiling, nodding your head in a knowing way, laughing... and crying. You will put the book down but a story you read in there will stay with you and you'll pick it up & read that story over again.
The book is beautifully produced and presented and takes you through Bruce's musical life in the form of stunning photos throughout.
Obsessed fan I may be but I truly believe that no other artist in history has given so much to his work, fans & performances as Bruce Springsteen. There is no other artist that comes even close to Bruce in terms of the sound of his voice. I have listened & watched him duet with some very great artists, artists that I highly admire, but damn me, none of them can remotely compare to this man. He has fulfilled his promise time and time again... or night after night after night. His music, voice and writing have inspired me in so many ways and helped me through some very difficult times in life. He has also inspired me to start learning to play guitar a couple of years ago at age 40, having never picked up an instrument in my life.
I feel lucky to be living the same time as Bruce Springsteen. He has made a huge difference in my life and my small world, that's without a doubt. I also admire and am impressed with his understated, simple, humble way of conducting himself, and whilst wild on stage, he is gentle and polite when speaking off stage. He never seems to have gone along with the flash, arrogance of celebrity and that is hugely appealing to me. In other words, he never seems to have become full of his own self-importance. He still looks like he just jumped down off a truck or come from the mill and picked up a guitar... 'and that's alright with me Bruce!'
This book is worth every 'penny' (sorry... I'm in the UK!). If you're not in the States or Canada, please be patient as it may take a long time to arrive but I can promise you you will be beaming from ear to ear when you receive this book. This book is 'For You... for us... for tramps like us!' I love it & will cherish it."
"Je l'ai reçu et je peux vous assurer que la qualité du bouquin est vraiment à la hauteur de mes attentes. Près de 500 photos réalisées par plus de 70 photographes différents et s'étalant sur une période allant de 1971 à mars 2007 contribuent à ranger 'For You' dans la catégorie des poids lourds en terme d'images. Et, grande originalité du livre, ce qui n'était pas un mince challenge après tant de livres déjà conscacré à Springsteen : 99% des photos et textes ont été réalisés par des fans. Seule la présentation et l'introduction sont de la plume de Lawrence Kirsch, éditeur de cette excellent bouquin. For you n'a été tiré qu'à 2000 exemplaires et est directement à commander auprès de l'éditeur via son site Internet : www.foryoubruce.com.
Alors je ne peux plus vous recommander qu'une chose : dépêchez-vous !"
"Dave Marsh, the biographer of the Boss, has dubbed Springsteen fans the cult. Springsteen fans habitually follow the guy around. Waiting in line at a show, waiting for the gates to open it is not uncommon to hear a cacophony of accents and languages. Some more than others. Natives from New Jersey and Italians tend to follow the Boss with just a tad more fervor than the average Springsteen fan, but it's a trait that runs through all of us. There are many rewards of following the man around, of collecting every recording, legally or otherwise. Few artists allow you to actually grow old with them, few artists manage to maintain a certain level of integrity and artistic merit throughout their entire career. Springsteen does just that and gives a mean show to boot. For those in the know, following Springsteen around isn't as odd as it may seem on the outside.
Springsteen may also be one of the few artists that is defined as much by his audience as he is by his body of work. After all he is continuously looking for that connection with the fans that surround him. So as good as Dave Marsh's biography may be, it only tells half the story. For the other half you need to turn to the fans themselves. For You does just that. The book is the labor of love of Lawrence Kirsch, part of the cult since '75. Kirsch first had the pleasure to experience Springsteen on a freezing winter night in '75, in Montreal. 'Bruce acted out the songs with such conviction he seemed to be living them out on stage. The audience was spell bound as this small skinny whirlwind of a man commanded their attention, he remembers now. Realizing, after attending many shows that felt like a family reunion, that the cult has a 'pent-up desire to share' he set out to collect those stories. He received over 1500 stories from all over the globe. Kirsch gave himself the task to edit through them and decide which to publish. 'It was very difficult to pick the ones that appear in the book' Kirsch relates. 'The ones that made it into the book are not necessarily the best,' he confesses. 'No these stories are representative of the 'Springsteen experience' from the poignant and heartfelt, to the passionate and the trivial.' Lawrence himself calls the book a testimonial, and a treasure trove of tales. I think For You became more than that. Taken as a collective these stories represent the missing half of Springsteen's biography.
Through the book we get a different perspective on Springsteen. We watch him grow up through the eyes of the cult and see the cult growing up with him. Kirsch allows us to unravel the secret of Springsteen's magnetism like few other books can. There's the complete awe of first concert experiences over the decades. There's the fulfillment of that promise years burning down the road. There's stories of fans coming to terms with strained family relations, Springsteen as the natural soundtrack in the back. We share in the battle against cancer, Springsteen offering that comforting shoulder. Flipping through its pages we meet Wendy from Born to Run, learn that the Big Man's name is also Paul. Story after story the picture unfolds, after you're done you feel like you've captured an essential element of Springsteen a classic biography could never capture. In a sense Kirsch is re-writing the book on how these things should be done or at least giving us the other side of the coin. The 400 something gorgeous pictures that were contributed to the book almost seem like a side note compared to that.
Bruce fans are a fraternity,' Kirsch reflects on the book now. 'We share something deep and special, a relationship with the artist and with each other. At every show you meet old and new fans and the 'family' grows larger and larger.' That probably explains why Springsteen is the first artist to have an alternative biography like this. You could wonder if the same kind of biography could even work for other artists. I like to think Springsteen fans are pretty unique in our seemingly unhealthy devotion. Although Kirsch called the book 'a very personal tribute to an inspired and inspiring human being,' I think the reverse is also true. For You is a tribute to the cult as well."
"For You anthologizes hundreds of fans stories... it forms a genuinely interesting social history, even for those with only a passing interest in Springsteen. Adorned throughout by a luscious range of colour and black and white photos... this is a treat for the eyes and the heart, really capturing the sense of a global fan community."
"In Lawrence Kirsch's new coffee-table book, 'For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen's Legendary Fans', Seattle music fan Glen Boyd recounts his experience attending Springsteen's first Seattle show in 1975 at the Paramount Theatre.
A friend had given him a free ticket to see 'the future of rock and roll': 'Not since I saw the Beatles on TV as a 7-year-old boy has a single rock-and-roll performance left such a lasting impact on me.'
Another Springsteen concert years later, at the Tacoma Dome in 1988, had a similar impact on yours truly. For years, that marathon performance remained a favorite among arena-rock shows I had seen.
'Rock stars don't come in sizes larger than Bruce Springsteen,' I wrote in my review."
Seattle Post Intelligencer
"Superbe ouvrage en effet. Les photos sont magnifiques et couvrent pour ainsi dire toute la carrière du Boss. Mais pour sur, ce sont les témoignages qui me font le plus rêver/halluciner. Très franchement -et à mon grand désespoir- j'ai du mal avec l'anglais; mais le peu que j'arrive à comprendre de ces textes de fans est souvent touchant de sincérité.
Il y a aussi nombre d'anecdotes qui permettent de démystifier un peu le personnage, qui le rendent plus proche et accessible. Par le biais de quelques mots on partage l'immense bonheur que Bruce a apporté à ces gens au fil des années à des périodes plus ou moins heureuses de leur vie."
"Un petit mot pour vous dire que l'initiative de ce livre est tout simplement extraordinaire. Je vais faire 2 heureux, moi et mon ami, 2 fans du Boss !"
"Het idee is briljant: laat het mondiale leger vandevote Bruce·fans ('Bruce Tramps' worden ze inhet voorwoord genoemd) maar eens geluigenvan hun liefde voor The BOSS, For You toont onsde held van de gewone man, bezien vanuit hetperspectief van de gewone man en vrouw voorwie hij al bijna veertig jaar zijn muziek maakt. Endat in woord en gebaar (lees: foto's). 206 pagi-na's lang amateurbeelden (van vaak zeer hoogniveau, backstage, vaak live, maar ook zomaarergens op straat of op een baseballveldje) enfanleksten, die soms wat onbeholpen aandoen,maar altijd vol staan van ontzag en enthousi-asme Hartverwarmend is het woord. De stel-ling dat Bruce het leven van velen begeleid engetekend heeft, komt in dit door de Canadesefotograaf Lawrence Kirsh samengestelde kof-fietafelboek volledig tot wasdom. Het boek isverdeeld in vier hoofdstukken (jaren zeventig,tachtig, negentig en 2000) die onveranderlijkde vlinders in de buik beschrijven van concert-gangers en trouwe fans. Het hoogst particuliereproza 'werkt' en raakt op een prettige en uit-nodigende manier de kern van het Bruce·fan-schap. Al lezend begin je je eigen verhaal te verzinnen:waarom Jijzelf ooit zo'n sympathie voordie kleine hardwerkende man uit Freehold, NewJersey opvatte, een gevoel dat al gauw omsloegin een onvoorwaardelijke liefde die tot de dooddoor lijkl te gaan. Prachtig boek, zeer mooi uitgevoerd,een must voor elke Bruce·fan. Aan teschaffen via: Foryoubruce.com"
"WOW! I received my book today... As wonderful as the web site is, each page of For You unfolds into a new memory and recollection of days gone by."
"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.
For You was worked on meticulously for a two-year period and is a self-published book limited to 2,000 copies filled with unbridled passion. Editor Lawrence Kirsch had very ardent and strict rules compiling this book; only scans from original negatives and slides were considered. I don't know anyone who would hold a book to standards this high today in the age of internet scans and cell phone photos. I'm glad he did, as For You is staggering in its detail, vastness and variety of concert shots. Kirsch dug his heels in, shot for the moon and the stars while putting this book together and succeeded wildly. It's an awe-inspiring book that should be on your book shelf even if you aren't a Springsteen fan because it would convert you without hearing a note of his music; it's that impressive. It encompasses every Springsteen tour in detail (organized by decades) and has over 400 pictures. The book contains 200 stories from fans explaining why this music and this band mean so much to them. The good news for fans is that the largest section (close to 70 pages) is the 1970s and many of these photos I didn't even knew existed and let me tell you, they are a sight to behold. They range from epic concert poses to random softball games where someone was fortunate to have a camera on hand. The 1980s is a close second in coverage with 53 pages dedicated to the decade and even the most current decade has a whopping 50 pages dedicated to it. You see pictures of Bruce with assorted musicians through the years including John Eddie, Southside Johnny, Jon Bon Jovi and Neil Young.
The difference between For You and most other books commissioned by the artists themselves is that there wasn't a 4th quarter release or special anniversary being exploited dictating the contents or the constraints of it. The book is held together by passionate and resourceful fans whose main objective was to provide fans with the best damn book possible. Saying that Kirsch succeeded would be saying that Born in the USA was a semi-successful. For You is a photographic passage through forty years of Bruce Springsteen's career. The photographs are not just revealing and are more than mere images, but part of a larger story of just not Springsteen's life, but many fans as well. The detailed anecdotes make the pictures jump off the page and come to life. For You provides a better history lesson of who Bruce Springsteen is better than any album, DVD or book has done to date.
For Youis an epic visual storytelling time machine that encourages you to hop on for a ride down thunderous roads to simpler times for a journey through the heart of darkness where the fans feel so close and intimately personal with Springsteen like he's an old college buddy. This book is not just a fine addition to your collection, but is essential for any Springsteen fan. It is a treasure trove of pictures and stories that will not just take you for a ride down memory lane, but will leave you with an impenetrable sense of hope much the same way you feel cruising down the highway and having 'Thunder Road' blast from your speakers with the wind in your hair. When was the last time the written word did that?"
"Lawrence Kirsch, fotógrafo canadiense, mordió la fruta prohibida a finales de 1975, cuando compró dos entradas para ver a Bruce Springsteen y la E Street Band en el Place des Arts de Montreal. Cuestionado al respecto, aclara: «En el 75 yo no era un gran fan de Springsteen, me tiraban más Bob Dylan, David Bowie o los Rolling Stones. Aquella noche, cuando apagaron las luces, olvidé todo e inicié mi viaje con Bruce y con Roy Bittan (pianista de la E Street). Arrancaron con una versión acústica de Thunder Road. Nunca había sido testigo de una apertura de concierto tan sencilla y, sin embargo, tan efectiva y apasionada. Bruce cantaba con tanta convicción que parecía revivir sus temas. El concierto duró tres horas, mucho más que cualquiera que yo hubiera visto antes, y al final la audiencia estaba exahusta. Abandonamos el teatro sabiendo que habíamos visto algo especial».
Treinta y tres años, y setenta conciertos de Springsteen más tarde, Kirsch publica (mejor reedita: la primera edición, limitadísima, se agotó hace meses, al poco de salir) For You. Ofrece testimonios de cientos de seguidores del de Nueva Jersey contados en primera persona. Sus vivencias alumbran toda una épica. Van de la anécdota descacharrante al bosquejo de una vida enroscada en torno a la música. Demiurgo, socio, compañero y maestro, Springsteen proyecta entre sus seguidores una imagen atípica. Trasciende su papel asignado (megaestrella) y se transforma en algo más, tal vez el buen pastor que consuela sin arengar, cronista implacable del sueño americano y sus desvelos.
Convocados por Kirsch para enviar textos y fotografías, los seguidores respondieron con entusiasmo. Había que documentar décadas de conciertos masivos y secretos, de los estadios de fútbol a los bares donde a veces, muchas, Springsteen rocanrolea hasta la madrugada, explicar porque se trata de uno de los dos o tres artistas más pirateados de la historia, contar, como hace Kirsch, porque «Springsteen nos da esperanza. Si se limitara a entretenernos, sería estupendo. Pero hace más, ha contribuido a nuestra educación, nos pide mantener la mente abierta y receptiva hacia los problemas sociales y (desde 2004) la situación política de los Estados Unidos. Algunos fans no están de acuerdo con éste último aspecto, pero es su problema». Kirsch, él mismo uno de tantos tramps (vagabundos, por Born to run) que planean sus vacaciones con la idea de ver tantos conciertos de Springsteen como sea posible, apostó todo en For You, dispuesto a colocar el espejo en el lado contrario.
Arrancas For You inquieto, fascinado con sus fotografías y, sí, temoroso por la perspectiva de un aluvión de cartas del tipo Bruce salvó mi vida y blablablá, y vale, bueno, algunos mensajes turban por ingenuos, pero en el cómputo final pesan infinitamente más las increíbles historias de gente corriente y los nudos que el mejor arte sugiere, haciendo de la ecuación música/biografía fascinante sucesión de lágrimas, risas, polvo y sudor, besos y estrellas, que viaja de lo divertido a lo mágico sin derrapar en el misticismo barato. For you, al cabo, termina por ser un canto de amor, pero no el previsto desde la trinchera cínica. Gozoso, vibrante, lírico y poético, demuestra que si bien «lo más difícil es conservar tu idealismo tras perder la inocencia» (Springsteen dixit), siempre nos quedará la música (nuestro París de Fenders)."
Julio Valdeón Blanco
"Accompanied by hundreds of photos, the stories hit onthe typical facets of fanaticism - the quest forconnection, the pinpoint clear recollections offirst-time experiences and the life-enriching qualityof poignant songs."
"Canadian Lawrence Kirsch is such a fan that he wantedto present the written and visual show memories ofother die-hards, and has done so brilliantly with ForYou. A lavish, gorgeous, detailed book, it is truly apleasure to read and counters the often slapdashefforts of privately-published or 'special edition'fan tomes."
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