Bruce Springsteen, Live in Melbourne 2013

Elmo Keep

Seemingly the most notable piece of information gleaned from David Remnick’s celebrated 19,000-word profile of Bruce Springsteen (We Are Alive, Bruce Springsteen at 62) was that the band-leading singer-songwriter has been in psychotherapy for 30 years, in treatment for depression. That this detail warranted special press attention beyond the existence of the piece itself, tells us everything about a culture that still perceives a weakness or taboo in mental illness.

That the Boss—a giant of a man who has shouldered such burdens in song as the aspirations of the working class, the twin notions of freedom and democracy, not to mention love in its many guises from the destructive to the transcendent (so, just the basics!)—could be felled by the black dog as easily and mercilessly as the rest of us was perhaps a truth too foreign to grasp, despite the fact that in Springsteen’s lyrics it has always been in plain sight. Depression, a life half spent covering up, is what Born In The USA (pop’s most egregiously misappropriated song) is explicitly about.
The Born in The USA album itself is littered with some impressively brutalizing misery, anchored by a narrator ‘just tired and bored’ with himself, who yearns to be another person altogether (‘Wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face.’) I’m On Fire is about anxiety-ridden fever dreams brought on by an unfulfilled carnal fixation, a dull knife rending ‘a six inch valley through the middle of my skull,’; I’m Going Down, is about a man unable to leave a woman who no longer loves him; Downbound Train sees its protagonist in the grip of another dream, this one where his lover has not yet left him, gone with ‘a ticket for that central line.’ Glory Days’ narrator is trapped in a bar patroned exclusively by young adults whose lives peaked in high school; Cover Me is about literally barricading yourself against the world with the one person in it who maybe understands you, (‘Whole world is rough and it’s just getting rougher. Bolt the door and cover me.’) The men of all these stories display a vulnerability at odds with Springsteen’s public persona of the Herculean alpha who is at once an everyman, though they appear on almost every album he has ever released.

The E Street Band borrowed a nifty trick from The Cure on Born in the USA: by dressing up even the most anguished lyrics in irresistible pop hooks, their intent was made more explicit, not less; their strike to the heart smoothed by way of stealth delivery. Springsteen’s intention for the album was to reach as many people as possible with it. It came to deliver success well beyond that already ambitious desire.

However, the misery was only compounded for Springsteen personally when the album propelled him to the stratospheric, rarified heights of global rock superstardom. With its Annie Leibovitz cover image, seven Top Ten singles, 20 million copies sold and Rolling Stone branding him ‘Voice of the Decade’, the album encapsulated the bygone era of the blockbuster record as cultural juggernaut that peaked in the 1980s. The irony was not lost on the singer that his writing and singing about the raw socioeconomic deals dealt to an entire generation post-Vietnam—which had eroded not only basic fairness but hope, essentially, for a life lived on one’s own terms—had brought him untold personal wealth. At the time Springsteen said of this sudden access to money, ‘There were moments where it was very confusing.’

Nearly thirty years later he would describe this to Remnick in much starker terms, explaining that his live shows in the ‘80s were driven by ‘pure fear and self-loathing and self-hatred.’ And that even before the super-heated success of Born in the USA he had entered therapy to try and curb what he viewed as an hereditary depression handed down by his father. The hours-long shows were a way to blot out the darker urges of his psyche, at least for as long as they lasted.

Though we can’t be certain as to which denomination of psychotherapy’s broad church Springsteen personally adheres, we might agree that the chief aim of its project for those who engage with it is the psychic unification of the self. The sense-making of one’s life and past through the imposition of a cohesive, ongoing narrative upon the oftentimes chaotic and fragmentary nature of existence, in order to better understand our motives and actions and to actively cast a future of our choosing. The dialogue of psychotherapy is at core one of transformation; in creativity it can specifically focus on the transformation of lack—of say, a cogent sense of self, of good-enough parents, of material safety—into meaning. This sense of lack, of a perceived sense of not being whole, can fuel great fires of creativity, the writing of a great number of songs.

The dialogue between client and therapist can last for years, or in Springsteen’s case, decades. It is a relationship where one looks to the other for signposts and guidance thereby fulfilling the lack of in-family role models. There is a kind of devotion, a deep commitment to this relationship that can craft so much meaning where previously there was none. It can be a life-long palimpsest, constantly written over. Perhaps somewhat like the bond between a band and its audience, following and fuelling each other for almost forty years. This is what people mean when they say that a band scored the soundtrack of their life.

I am not a religious person but I was from a young age attracted to stadium rock shows. The sense of being lost to and sensorially overwhelmed by something much bigger than myself, to be lost in self-erasure, appealed to me greatly. This experience is described by many at a Springsteen show, as akin to ‘going to church.’ That this great, heaving throng of people are being held in sway by one person, essentially, and their band is something that must never sit quite right in those performer’s minds, I imagine. To be the object of tens of thousands of people’s simultaneously projected aspiration must, by the nature of power transference, dement you in at least some way. Probably enough to land any right-thinking person in therapy.

I’m too young to have grown to adulthood with Bruce Springsteen as my contemporary, though I will when pressed admit to a profound envy of anyone who did. Instead I found him some decades later when tracing back through the vast swathe of artists he influenced and who couldn’t exist without him. So this night at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne is the first time I have ever seen him play live, and he is 63. This is a temporal fact not borne out by Springsteen’s apparent physicality of a much younger man.

Original members of the E Street band have since moved off this mortal coil, and guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who for many years was better known to me as Tony Soprano’s consigliore Silvio, is not on this tour, instead replaced by Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine. His band soundtracked my adolescence far more than Springsteen did, and though ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me,’ might lack the lyrical subtlety of Born to Run, essentially their message is the same. Their pairing on stage is apt and Morello ably rises to the challenge of playing in his wildly contrasting, singular style alongside someone who so clearly influenced his own politics.

The seventeen-piece band now includes Clarence Clemons’ nephew Jake on lead saxophone, with percussion, keys, a trio of back-up singers, four guitar players, bass, violin and accordion, all held down by Max Weinberg’s load-bearing drums, beat out with an almost immobile, merciless precision like a carving in Mount Rushmore come to life with arms.

Springsteen the performer is more mythmaker than man, and he does little to dispel the crypto-religious overtones of the show by assuming the role of revivalist preacher in a soul revue, imploring the crowd throughout the night in a series of increasingly fervent calls and response, ‘Can you feel the spirit?!’ He runs around the floor of the arena, wheat fields of arms reaching out in his wake. On the stage, he leans out over the first few rows of fans offering up his guitar to be played. Near the end of the more than three-hour set, he submerges his head in a bucket of cold water sitting on the drum riser, and sponges almost as much over his neck and down the back of his shirt, which will be dry again in minutes. He stands over the crowd at the lip of the stage and twists the sponge over their heads, leaving them baptized and likely, grateful for a few seconds of cool relief from the heat of the lights and each other and from the frenzy they have been gleefully whipped into.

Legs are exhausted from standing and dancing—during these hours there hasn’t been even the shortest break. It seemed impossible that the field of energy conjured by the first chord, the physically tangible crackle of expectation that greeted Springsteen’s first appearance on the stage could be sustained for that whole time. But it was. It came to somehow pass through itself and into another realm of ecstatic receptivity when the encore ran through without pause: Born In The USA, Born To Run, and Dancing In The Dark, with each ratcheting up the excitement on the last. When the show then topped out with Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, I would not have been surprised if the houselights revealed the entire arena’s worth of people falling upon each other in almost post-coital exhaustion, elated.

‘For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself,’ Springsteen said to Remnick when explaining his relationship with his audience. ‘Routine, responsibility, decay of institutions, corruption: this is all the world closing in. Music, when it’s really great, pries that shit back open and lets people back in, it lets light in, and air in, and energy in, and sends people home with that […] People carry that with them sometimes for a very long period of time.’

And it’s true. I still feel dazed a day later, scratching around feebly to get it into words. The force of this show will stay with me much longer than that, for however long we have to wait for the particular alchemy of this man and his band to come around again. That might not be for another ten years, though we hope not, by which point, will Springsteen still be touring the world at the age of 73, casting out and recasting demons as life-affirming spectacle?

It seems impossible for it to be any other way. No retreat, baby. No surrender.

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain. A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour. Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping During the Wrecking Ball Tour2013: The Light in Darkness

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Bruce Springsteen – Racing in the Street

Bruce Springsteen knows rock’n'roll tells us lies – he loves the falsehoods, but he wants us to know the truth, too

When I was 19, I thought Paddy McAloon had been so clever. He had watched Bruce Springsteen’s kingdom become an empire through the mid-80s and responded with with an acerbic little song critiquing Springsteen’s lyrical preoccupations. “Look at us now, quit driving,” he sang on what became a hit single for Prefab Sprout, “some things hurt more, much more than cars and girls.” Yeah! You showed him! That big, bloated American with his will to rock power and his trite tunes about good ol’ boys in Cadillacs.

As you may have guessed, I didn’t actually know very much about Springsteen. If I did, I’d have realised that he, more than anyone, knows some things hurt more, much more than cars and girls. Those cars-and-girls songs we were pointing and laughing at? Most of them weren’t really about cars and girls. Even Racing in the Street, a song that talks explicitly and in great detail about cars, and about meeting a girl in a car, isn’t about cars and girls. Even Racing in the Street? Especially Racing in the Street.

One of rock’s commonest tricks is to pair triumphalist music with despairing lyrics. As it opens, Racing in the Street reverses that: it is sombrely paced, Roy Bittan’s piano picking out a phrase adapted from the Crystals’ Then He Kissed Me. That melody is dropped and Springsteen enters, telling us about his “69 Chevy with a 396/ Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor”. Read the lyrics to the first verse on the page, and you’d swear they’re from one of the Beach Boys’ hot rod albums – there’s no ambivalence or ambiguity here, and certainly not in the chorus: “Tonight, tonight the strip’s just right/ I wanna blow ‘em off in my first heat/ Summer’s here and the time is right/ For goin’ racin’ in the street.”

But it’s not a celebration. We know this from the music. And we wonder: why has he lifted a melody from the Crystals? Why does the title crib from Martha Reeves and the Vandellas? Why has Springsteen taken these anthems of youthful joy and turned them into laments?

Racing in the Street, I think, is about a self being torn apart. Our narrator’s at the age where he has seen his friends put their cars in the garage, forget their past, and – in his eyes – forget who they are. These are the guys who “just give up living/ And start dying little by little, piece by piece.” So why is he conflicted? Because he’s also at the age where he’s coming to realise that maybe there’s more to life than cars. That’s why we’ve got those musical steals: they are the songs of his youth, the songs before there was doubt. The songs from when racing in the street seemed like a worthy life ambition.

And so, in the third verse – think of it more like a film: this is the third act – he meets a girl (and isn’t it telling he encounters her “in a Camaro with this dude from LA”? The car, not the boyfriend, is what he notices first). He races the Camaro, he wins, and then he “drove that little girl away”.

And here the perspective shifts: our narrator stops telling us about his car, and we learn about the consequences of investing your hope in your youthful dreams. Because the girl has been driven away in both senses – his fecklessness, his insistence on defining himself through his own desires leaves no room for the compromise that is necessary in an adult life. Just three years after the couple met, “she stares off alone into the night/ With the eyes of one who hates for just being born.”

What Springsteen understands more than any other artist I can think of is that the transcendence of great rock’n'roll comes from it being built on lies. Rock’n'roll almost never tells you the truth: from Elvis to Oasis it has insisted you can live the moment; it writes the listener cheques that real life can’t cash. We’re gonna live forever, we’re gonna party til we puke, we’ll revel in girls, girls, girls. That is not real life, and Springsteen doesn’t want to pretend it is, even if he thrills to the idea of it.

And so we get this – forgive the pretension – dialectic. Springsteen wants us to celebrate, he wants us to have that moment of transcendence. On stage he works tirelessly, hamming it up shamelessly, cajoling the audience to that point where we embrace the deception – where for that moment all our worries and fears are forgotten – and we can be heroes, just for three hours. But all the time he is reminding us of what lies outside, and so – as another song puts it – “we’ll keep pushin’ till it’s understood/ and these badlands start treating us good.” (I think the most telling exploration of this chasm at the heart of Springsteen’s music is heard on bootlegs of his 1978 tour, where he would often open with an old rock’n'roll cover – Oh Boy!, Rave On, Summertime Blues, Good Rockin’ Tonight – and then pile straight into Badlands. He told the lie, then he lifted back the veil and exposed the lie.)

Springsteen’s music resonates so powerfully for me because it enables me to be in two places at once: to be both the kid dancing and shouting and drinking and singing, and to be the adult worried how his kids will fare, whether there’ll still be a job this time next year, whether I’m being fair to my wife about this and that. I don’t think there’s anyone else who tells us that both these experiences are not just valid, but vital. Embrace contradiction, Springsteen tells us, it’s what makes us who we are.

And back to the song, where the contradiction is indeed embraced. It ends with man and woman together, somehow. “Tonight my baby and me, we’re gonna ride to the sea/ And wash these sins off our hands.” One more chorus, and we enter a coda that washes up again and again, like that sea, unending, fading slowly, letting us know there was no cataclysm, that there is hope, somewhere, no matter how hard it might seem to believe that.

Michael Hann

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain. A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour. Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping During the Wrecking Ball Tour2013: The Light in Darkness
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Tom Morello on Bruce Springsteen Tour: ‘It’s Been a Really Fun Challenge’

An inside look at what it’s like to step into the E Street Band

Patrick Doyle

Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello perform in Los Angeles, California. Rick Diamond/WireImage

Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello perform in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage

Three months ago, Bruce Springsteen asked Tom Morello to join the E Street Band on their current Australian leg of the Wrecking Ball tour while Steven Van Zandt films his show Lilyhammer. The morning after playing their fourth show, in Sydney, Morello wasn’t regretting taking the job.

“It’s been great. It’s been really an honor being onstage with one of my favorite bands – one of the greatest live bands of all time,” he said. “I’ve been to a lot of Bruce Springsteen shows, but I’ve never been to four consecutive ones. And every show isn’t just a different show – a completely different experience.”

The tour has been one of Sprinsteen’s most ambitious ever: shows stretching to four hours with his biggest E Street lineup ever, Springsteen breaking out mega-rarities like “High Hopes,” “Bishop Danced” and “Be True.”

“Our band plays very differently night to night. It’s not a repetition, it’s a renewal,” Springsteen told reporters of the tour in Australia. “If you’re doing it right, that’s how it feels.”

Morello faced a challenge stepping into a band that’s been playing together for decades. “I learned about 50 songs in three months for the tour, and every night, 90 minutes til soundcheck, Bruce will text me with seven or eight songs we’ve never played before,” he said with a laugh. “And then during the show, he’ll call up songs we’ve never even discussed – some I’ve never even heard!

“Every night, there’s six to eight songs I have literally about a nanosecond to prepare for. But it’s fun. Now that I know that’s the gig I’m like, ‘Lets go!’ Make it clear: I’m not asking Bruce to stump me. I would love to play ‘Thunder Road.’ But it’s been a really fun challenge.”

Van Zandt recently admitted he was hesitant to take time off the road. “It’s a little uncomfortable, because I’ve never missed a show, as long as I’ve been in the band,” he said. “I’m very happy they got Tom Morello, ’cause it helps a great deal to know that Bruce is not there up front on his own. I think Tommy, to some extent, will fulfill that function of interacting with the audience a bit, and interacting with Bruce a little bit.”

How did Morello learn the songs so quickly? “I’m pretty good at test-taking. I have pretty good guessing skills.”

Then Morello cut the interview short to head to the hotel lobby. “I actually have to go downstairs to do a thing with Mr. Springsteen right now,” he said.

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain.
A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping During the Wrecking Ball Tour2013: The Light in Darkness

Link to this post | Leave a comment

For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans

 

Front Cover of For You - The Book

 

Bruce Springsteen represents a great deal to his fans, not only as a world-renowned artist, but as a giving and caring person, someone who stands out by helping and donating to many charitable organizations over the years. Today I am asking for your help to raise money for the Montreal General Hospital. We are collecting funds to benefit two MGH departments, the Emergency/Trauma, and the Colorectal Department.

You can play an essential role in efforts for 2013 by donating to this worthy cause. Suggested donation, $10 CDN or $15 CDN. All monies collected will be donated to the Montreal General Hospital.

Give today and Help Us Make a Difference.

 


Back Cover of For You - The Book“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 and Bruce. The stories are short, long, happy, sad, joyous, excited, funny and, above all, heartfelt. Every one excited to share their story or little piece of Bruce with everyone else. The book is beautifully produced and presented and takes you through Bruce’s musical life in the form of stunning photos throughout.”

Rumble Doll
UK


“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.”

Un livre recommandé par:
brucespringsteen.fr


“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.”
Ross Raihala
Pioneer Press Twin Cities, Minnesota

 


“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
Denmark
Greasylake.org

 


“If you are any kind of a Springsteen fan, you need this book! The first story brought me to tears it was so moving and so well written. I am not a big reader, but I sat there in my den last night with the TV on and must have spent almost 2 hours just reading the stories and looking over the great photos from the early years, and thinking back to my younger days.

Steven Delmar
Edison New Jersey


“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.”

Tom Cunningham
The Bruce Brunch
105.7 The Hawk


“Bruce Springsteen fans have submitted their memories and photos for inclusion in a new book, For You, by Lawrence Kirsch. The stories chronicle Springsteen’s career from its conception, and incorporate images from all eras (including shots of Springsteen with the E Street Band, Bono, Neil Young and more).”

Rolling Stone: Rock and Roll Daily


“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 spread the news on your Facebook page and Twitter. Thanks!

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He’s the Boss, and He Keeps His Promises

Andrew Tate
March 17, 2013

Well they’re still racing out at the trestles / But that blood it never burned in her veins. / Now I hear she’s got a house up in Fairview / And a style she’s trying to maintain. / Well if she wants to see me / You can tell her that I’m easily found. / Tell her there’s a spot out ‘neath Abram’s Bridge / And tell her there’s a darkness on the edge of town.

Lost loves never want to see you again, of course, but even as a callow youth with heart intact it was clear that was actually the point of Bruce Springsteen’s 1978 masterpiece Darkness on the Edge of Town. Thankfully, it’s a lot harder to fall out with the Boss.

In the early 1980s – a time when Duran Duran inexplicably held sway and Bob Dylan had retreated into born-again preaching – I first stumbled across Springsteen’s working-class anthems on a battered vinyl record stuffed at the back of a crate.

It is now legend that the album that became Darkness on the Edge of Town was originally a different set of recordings that Springsteen only released in 2010 under the title The Promise. Fresh from the breakout success of Born to Run the man feted as ”the future of rock’n'roll” was labouring on his new album when he heard the punk explosion and realised that his work was already outdated.

”I culled my music to the toughest collection of songs I had, songs that still form the philosophical core of what we do today, swept the rest away and headed on,” Springsteen wrote in the liner notes for The Promise. ”At 27, that is what I’d hoped for, that I’d written something that would continue to fill me with purpose and meaning in the years to come, that would continue to mean something to me and to you … I owe the choices we made then and that young man their respect.”

Recognising when everything has changed and acting accordingly is a rare skill for young men. It’s all too clear that we blokes often stumble around trying to fix things way beyond the point of no return – be it a failing relationship or dead-end job. Springsteen populates his music with good men rising above adversity and bad men trying to put things right – a blessed relief in a world where spivs and high-flyers seem ascendant.

In Darkness, the protagonist’s ”Trestles” were the surfing spots on the coast of California, mine was (believe it or not) an old trestle railway bridge tucked into a hidden river valley. Just as there always seems to be a ”Mary”, so it is most have a quiet place where possibility can still trump reality.

When Springsteen came to the Melbourne Showgrounds in 1985, my younger self – complete with long-departed mop of blond hair – was immortalised as a smudge in The Age’s picture of the crowd. Bruce sang 30 songs that April night – Darkness was not one of them, but in a seemingly endless set-list he knocked off Twist and Shout as a finale.

The twists were only just beginning and life was never again so simple. Soon I was working a long way from home and within five years, aged just 23, became a father. That’s when you truly land yourself in a Springsteen song.

The man himself wasn’t immune from personal failings, and a short-lived marriage spawned 1987′s Tunnel of Love album. Like Dylan before him, the blood on the tracks were there for all to see, particularly in Cautious Man, a tale about a drifter trying to honour his marriage vows even as the road calls him back.

Melbourne has only called Bruce back twice since 1985, a three-night solo stand at the Palais Theatre in 1997 during the Ghost of Tom Joad tour, and one night of The Rising at Docklands in 2003. As it happened, those two concerts book-ended my own journey from small-town galoot to settled city father and (yikes!) grandfather. In 1997 I was on the run and camped out in a Dublin studio apartment behind Croke Park Stadium – where the best the locals could manage was three interminably long nights of country singer Garth Brooks. By 2003, I was back in Melbourne and whingeing about the acoustics to the sweet soul who would become my wife – Wendy.

So thanks is due to the evergreen Mr Springsteen. His latest album Wrecking Ball is as strong a statement on fairness and yearning as Darkness was 35 years ago. The Boss may now dine with presidents, but the promise has been kept …

Tonight I’ll be on that hill ’cause I can’t stop. / I’ll be on that hill with everything I’ve got. / Where lives are on the line, where dreams are found and lost. / I’ll be there on time and I’ll pay the cost / For wanting things that can only be found / In the darkness on the edge of town.

The album ends with those words and Springsteen’s fading voice humming the chorus into infinity. We’ll probably never know why the girl with the house in Fairview turned so hard, but when the darkness turns to grey perhaps straining to hear the echo goes with the territory.

■ Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform at Rod Laver Arena on March 24, 26 and 27, and at Hanging Rock on March 30.

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain.
A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping During the Wrecking Ball Tour2013: The Light in Darkness

Link to this post | Leave a comment