"Given the frequency in which Twin Cities fans have seen Bruce Springsteen live in recent years, it's tempting to think Sunday's show at Xcel Energy Center will be just another night shared in the presence of the Boss.
After reading the new book 'For You,' I'm not so sure there is such a thing as 'just another night' when it comes to Springsteen. The lovingly compiled hardcover tome's subtitle says it all: 'Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen's Legendary Fans.' Over the span of more than 200 pages, those fans share their own Springsteen stories as well as hundreds of previously unseen, largely live photos, many of which are startlingly intimate, whether they're capturing the man onstage in front of thousands or, in one case, chatting with a young Bono in 1981.
But what's most striking about 'For You; is its almost palpable passion. You've got the fans, who write with an almost religious fervor about seeing, hearing and occasionally touching the New Jersey native, from his emergence in the 1970s right up through his Seeger Sessions tour in 2006.
Then there are the photos, which show a supremely confident showman who possesses the heightened body consciousness of a supermodel. I mean, the guy almost never takes a bad picture! That said, through the years he has chosen some iffy floral and paisley shirts that aren't nearly as timeless as his tunes. Springsteen looks best in basic black, white and maybe denim, and it becomes clear through the chronologically arranged photos that he has figured that out, too. Plenty of gems (stories) are hidden in there, too. One of my favorites involves a 12-year-old with a crush on his teacher. He attempts to woo her with a vinyl copy of 'The River' and a dozen roses but ends up inadvertently getting her Honda stolen in the process.
It's sharply designed, beautifully printed and limited to a run of 2,000 copies.
And I imagine it's the sort of book the hardcore will cherish almost as much as seeing Springsteen in the flesh."
Pioneer Press Twin Cities, Minnesota
"Of all the great armies of rock fans, few can match the devotion of Bruce Springsteen's. For them it's not just catching just one show-it's about catching them all. Anyone who has experienced Springsteen in concert will testify that the bond between audience and artist transcends the usual adulation. Something magical, almost mystical happens. Some might describe it as spiritual-most definitely it is life affirming. It is in trying to nail this phenomenon that the beautiful hardbound For You has arrived.
Edited by Lawrence Kirsch and replete with an amazing welter of outstanding photographs, it's a mind-blowing collection of thoughts and stories from fans of every age and many nations, each explaining why Springsteen occupies such an important place in their hearts. Covering all four decades of Springsteen's career it is possibly the ultimate fanzine for it is the fans who have made the journey and whose words tell us as much about them as they do about Springsteen. The warmth and humanity that flows from every page is truly moving and provides a beacon of hope from which we can all draw strength in these hard times. Not a book to be read at one sitting but rather to revisit and enjoy over time."
"I get a lot of inquiries through the Greasy Lake mailbox about all sorts of things. Some people want to know how to invite Bruce to their wedding, others want to offer me affiliate deals, and still others just want to know how to get a bootleg recording of a show they've been to. So when Lawrence Kirsch contacted me a couple of years ago regarding a book he wanted to publish, it wasn't anything too much out of the ordinary. Lawrence was looking for a way to tell the fans that their input was needed. His book was going to consist of tales from fans about their concert experiences and meeting Bruce, etc. I offered to mention it on this news page of Greasy Lake and post something on the message board, but otherwise didn't think much of it. Maybe I even had a slight feeling that this project wasn't likely to succeed. Fans these days have loads of outlets for their Bruce stories. Contributing to a book may seem a little 'last century' to a lot of people. But Lawrence seemed full of optimism and even asked if I would like to submit a story. Being the nice person that I am, I agreed to do it and wrote a piece about my close encounter with Bruce at the Stone Pony in 2001. I was a little surprised when he then asked me to send it to him in Danish, but again I agreed.
Well, fast forward a year or two where I didn't hear much about the project and, if anything, thought that it probably wasn't going anywhere. But last summer I got a message from Lawrence saying that the book was in its last stages of being completed and would be published. I think this may have been the first time I truly realized Lawrence actually meant business and that he was more than just another fan with a good idea that would never be realized. Well, to make a long story short, when I received my own copy a few months later, the last shred of doubt was removed. This was an awesome looking, beautiful hardcover book full of amazing stories and no less amazing pictures. The best part is that this is not just another run-of-the-mill Bruce biography like we have seen so many times. This book is indeed made up 100% of fan tales from around the world and with loads and loads of never-before seen pictures, many of which are among the best shots of Bruce you are likely to see anywhere, including several by one of my personal favorite Bruce photographers, Rene van Diemen.
I admit, I haven't read the book cover to cover yet. So far I have enjoyed opening random pages and reading whatever story I would come across. What strikes me every time is the enthusiasm that all the contributions radiate. When you spend a lot of time hanging out at Bruce message boards where every aspect of Bruce is analyzed and nit-picked over and over, it's actually refreshing to read these stories where genuine Bruce passion is all-dominating.
We have seen several new Bruce books in the last few years, including another long-awaited book by official Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh and a lavish book about the E Street Band. I bought them all, because as a librarian by profession, I see it as my holy duty. But if you are going to buy just one of the current Bruce books, I won't hesitate to recommend getting For You. For You is a much-needed fresh breath in the Bruce bibliography and essential to any serious fan."
Karsten S. Andersen
"Check the book listings for 'Bruce Springsteen' at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other popular retailers and you'll get a couple dozen hits. What you won't pull up, however, is a new title that's being sold exclusively online: For You is a 208-page, 9" x 12" full color, hardcover volume dedicated to chronicling the 'stories, tales and Springsteen fan experiences from across the world.' Hundreds of anecdotes and remembrances penned by fans, along with over 400 photographs (most never before published) dot the book, which was edited by Canadian writer Lawrence Kirsch.
According to Kirsch, he'd wanted to do a Springsteen book but he also wanted to take a different approach from previous treatments, which to date have mostly been biographies and coffee table photo books. 'Being a life-long Springsteen fan myself,' said Kirsch, 'I recognized there was a pent-up desire for fans to come together and share. Something magical happens at a Springsteen concert. Each concert is like a huge family reunion, even though in all reality you actually know very few of the people there. Complete strangers connect with an immediacy that is tangible.
So, in 2005 I came up with the idea for this book and set up a web site called: Foryoubruce.com to confirm if my theory was correct. I asked fans to write in with their experiences, and I was simply amazed by the response. Over 1,500 fans from across the globe submitted stories and anecdotes to the website.
For You dips all the way back to Springsteen's Steel Mill days right up to the Seeger Sessions Band in the Live from Dublin concert at The Point, Ireland in 2006. And among The E Street Band, Southside Johnny, Bono/U2, Sting, Jon Bon Jovi, Patti Smith, Robert Gordon, Gary U.S. Bonds, Joe Grushecky, Ronnie Spector, John Fogerty, Neil Young, Michael Stipe, Jackson Browne and more."
"'Well worth the wait' doesn't quite sum it up. This is a tremendous thing, the result of some hard work and, plainly, love. Thanks for this. I'm proud to own and enjoy it, add it to my collection, and recommend it."
"I was sent a copy of this lavish, hardcover book and it's a testament not only to the kind of devotion that The Boss inspires, but to that devotion itself among fans. There are more than 205 pages filled with great, previously unseen photographs spanning Springsteen's long career -- even going back to his Steel Mill days -- and page after page of personal memories of Springsteen shows, Boss meetings and other ways that Bruce has inspired his legion of fans. Order the book and gain some insight into the nature of fandom and the unique attraction of Bruce Springsteen."
"For You, titre d'une chanson du premier disque du E Street Band, est également le titre du livre-témoignage du montréalais Lawrence Kirsch. En 200 pages grand format bien tassées, For You fait revivre en photos toutes les tournées du Boss depuis 1973-et même quelques spectacles avant la naisssance officielle du E Street Band- jusqu'aux répétitions de la tournée Magic, en septembre dernier.
Quand on parcourt le bouquin autoproduit tiré à 2000 exemplaires, on est séduit par des photos jamais publiées et surpris de la diversité des expériences."
Le Journal de Montréal
"Des mordus de Springsteen, il y a en quelques-uns. Lawrence Kirsch a colligé quelques témoignages dans un beau livre intitulé For You."
Alain de Repentigny
"Hard-core fans of Bruce Springsteen who want to revelin the observations of fellow followers might not evenknow to put this book on their gift list: For You isa limited-run, $50 hardcover with hundreds of concertphotos. Primary text: E-mail-type recollections aboutfirst shows and memorable moments. The Boss himselfmight like to read it."
The Christian Science Monitor
"'For You,' Lawrence Kirsch's mammoth hardcover collection of Springsteen stories from the rock troubadour's most devoted fans, is not a well-written book in the traditional sense. Some of the accounts meander along for a while before just sputtering out,or seem to exist only for the purpose of imparting TooMuch Information — there are some things even your fellow Springsteen junkies don't need to know, like which Bruce album was playing during your first sexual experience. That's just icky.
But somehow, those less polished pieces add to the book's charm — and taken together with some of more insightful entries they help form what, in the end, turns out to be one of the most fascinating and moving books I've ever read.
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 concertstage 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."
Blogness on the Edge of Town
"Normally, you can't judge a book by its cover. But that's not the case with 'For You,' a new book on Bruce Springsteen, which features not only a great rock photo on the cover but is filled with some 400 incredible and previously unpublished images of the Boss.
For and by Bruce's 'legendary fans,' the book, available only on line, is a journey through four decades of the hottest, most energetic rock and roll since Jerry Lee Lewis set his piano on fire in concert. And the photos prove it.
Page after page of visual dynamite are interspersed with written recollections and heartfelt tributes, all gathered by editor, publisher and true blue fan Lawrence Kirsch. If you love Bruce, and/or, rock and roll, and/or photography get this coffee table hard-back soon. The triumphant cover shot is just the beginning.
Mill Valley, California
"For You is one of the most important books ever to trace the career of Bruce Springsteen. Compiled by Lawrence Kirsch, the book features the words and photos of Springsteen fans from all over the world. The majority of the photos have never been published before, and are nothing short of amazing.
Thanks to Mr. Kirsch for his generosity. The Springsteen fan community is filled with some wonderful people and Lawrence Kirsch has earned the respect and admiration of all with his beautiful book."
The Bruce Brunch
105.7 The Hawk
"Apart from the moving, intimate entries, there are plenty of high-energyaccounts of key Springsteen concerts, cherished albums or songs andunexpected brushes with the seemingly amiable artist. The stories andpictures go as far back as Springsteen's early group, Steel Mill, in 1970and take the reader up to the present day."
"Springsteen's fans are a pretty loyal and passionate bunch. This handsome, photo-packed tome is filled with the reminiscences of Boss fans worldwide."
Atlanta Journal Constitution
"A new Bruce Springsteen book, For You, a collection ofstories, tales and fan experiences from around theworld, is now available in a limited edition run of2,000. Over two years in preparation and containinghundreds of stories and anecdotes written bySpringsteen's legion of admirers, as well as over 400photographs, most of them never previously published,For You serves as a unique volume for and by thededicated Springsteen fan.
'Unfortunately, there was no way to include them all.All I can offer is that the tales that are there arerepresentative of so many other stories we received.Fans will be able to identify and relate through thememories of others. I promise you there is somethingfor everyone in this book.'
Although Kirsch requested the stories be submitted inEnglish, he received a number of stories in a widevariety of the world's languages. So, to underscorethe fact the music made by Bruce Springsteen and thelegendary E Street Band, the Sessions Band - as wellas the other musicians and performers with whomSpringsteen has played - does indeed cross thelanguage barrier, touching fans across the globe,Kirsch has scattered throughout the book some storieswritten in languages other than English, his personalrecognition that For You is for the fanaticalSpringsteen fan, no matter what language you actuallyspeak.
'I wanted everyone to feel included,' said Kirsch, 'sothese non-English language stories serve as remindersthat the Boss has a worldwide fan base and his musicand the Bruce Springsteen concert experience transcendthe boundaries of one specific language.'"
Modern Guitar Magazine
"This music has made an indelible mark on nearly everyaspect of these writers' lives: birth, love, leisure,the passing of time, marriage, sex, and death. It'sall there. One account described how the crowd partedso that his very young son was able to see during ashow. Another describes how a show brought one fan andher (now late) husband even closer together. Sometimesthough, it's just a good time with close friends,music blaring from the car stereo.
One of the most inspiring essays in the book wasprovided by a Reverend Suzanne Meyer, who totallystruck a resonant chord in this description of thesong Land of Hope and Dreams — 'The song's beautycomes from its simple profession of faith in the power of community.'"
The Friday Morning Listen
"For You, which takes its name from a Springsteen songon his first album, 'Greetings From Asbury Park,N.J.,' is ultimately a love letter from his fans.That's how it was conceived, and you won't findanything overtly critical of the artist between itspages. If you're not already an acolyte then the wholething might seem a little strange: how can so manypeople be moved so much by one man?"
"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."