Bruce Springsteen -The Promise, The Making Of Darkness on the Edge of Town
The (Other) Christmas Gift Every Springsteen Fan Wants - "Darkness," the Book
“The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story” is a killer 3 CD/3 DVD package that includes a remastered CD of Springsteen’s 1978 masterwork, two albums of previously unreleased tracks, six hours of studio and concert footage, plus an 80-page facsimile copy of the songwriter’s personal notebooks from the time, filled with handwritten lyrics and more. Yeah, it’s awesome. But maybe the Springsteen fan on your holiday list already has that set, or you’re not ready to spring for the $85.00 retail price. Or maybe you just want to take your favorite Springsteen fan by complete surprise with something else that packs a wallop. In that case, check out “The Light in Darkness,” a large format paperback book of great photos and concert reminiscences that covers the next chapter in that particularly fertile period of Springsteen history. As seen in the boxed set’s documentary film about the creation of the “Darkness…” album, it was a prolonged and sometimes painful process as Springsteen wrote and rewrote dozens of songs while in the midst of a lawsuit that placed him in self-imposed studio exile. Once the 70+ songs were whittled down to the 10 that Springsteen felt best served his artistic vision and then released to the world, the sense of release and triumph that he and the E Street Band felt upon hitting the road again resulted in a tour that many fans (this DAME among them) consider as one of the best and most energetic of Springsteen’s entire career. The band was on fire and, although the dramatic and sometimes angry songs of the “Darkness” album were on the set list, the sense of celebration and exhilaration that had always fueled Springsteen’s concerts was at full power in epic, three-plus hour shows. “The Light in Darkness” is a great fan-focused souvenir of that tour, which ran from May 1978 through January 1979. Publisher Lawrence Kirsch, who’s clearly as much a fan as a business man, solicited stories from the fans in the crowd and then combined their impassioned tales with over 200+ classic photographs from the tour, showing Springsteen and the band in all their intense and sometimes goofy glory, proving it all night, every night. As Kirsch put it, “The connection and bond made between performer and audience during this tour set the stage for all future albums and tours to come…The book will give readers at least a small perspective of what we experienced in 1978.” It’s a beautiful book that will bring back fond memories to those who were there, and maybe elicit a little envy from those who missed out. The book is only available on-line for purchase at www.thelightindarkness.com, where you’ll also find a treasure trove of Springsteen material, including a photo gallery that gives a taste of the book’s great shots.
Marianne Meyer, Digital Music Examiner Examiner.com
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Book Review: The Light in Darkness by Lawrence Kirsch
For many die-hard Bruce Springsteen fans, the 1978 tour ranks as his best. It was Springsteen at the height of his powers, when his live shows truly became the stuff of legend. The tour lasted only seven months, and he wasn't playing arenas yet so he wasn't yet drawing the huge crowds that would see him in the 1980's, but the tour lived on in the numerous bootlegs created during these incredible shows. So, when I heard of a new book about the tour, I had to check it out. The Light in Darkness by Lawrence Kirsch is an excellent tribute to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and the memorable tour from 1978. Bruce would release Darkness on the Edge of Town during the tour, which broke a three-year drought caused by Springsteen's legal battles with his previous manager following the success of Born to Run. The first thing you notice is the photography. Kirsch compiled an impressive collection of photos from that time period, many of which came from fans and had never been previously published. But the stories are equally rich, as writers, fans, DJs and others who saw the tour or participated in various ways share their experiences.
Growing up in Cleveland, I was introduced to Springsteen through WMMS, the legendary AOR station that featured Kid Leo as the afternoon drive DJ. Kid Leo became Springsteen's most enthusiastic supporter outside of Springsteen Jersey/Philly base. I didn't get to see my first Springsteen show until 1980, but I was introduced to the 1978 tour when WMMS would replay the incredible free concert Bruce gave at the Agora in Cleveland that was broadcast on WMMS. Like everyone else I taped it and memorized the entire show. Kid Leo game the memorable introduction to Bruce and the band that everyone can hear on the recording: "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!" Bruce then tore into Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" and then "Badlands" to kick off the epic performance. Through the years you hear the evolution of Springsteen's live versions of his signature songs, but the raw intensity he displayed on this tour has always stuck with me as Bruce at his very best. In The Light in Darkness, Kirsch includes four stories about this memorable performance, two from die-hard fans, one from John Gorman who helped produce the show's broadcast and one from WMMS DJ Denny Sanders. I learned that Bob Segar was quoted as saying "This was the greatest rock and roll show I ever heard," and that Max Weinberg called it "The best show the E Street Band ever did." The book is a celebration of rock history. If you're a Springsteen fan, it's something you'll have to add to your collection. You'll want to break out the old bootlegs and rock out to the Boss all over again. If you're a rock and roll junkie who's never been a big Springsteen fan, this book might be the introduction you need to one of the best live artists in rock history.
Bruce Springsteen Book, The Light in Darkness; Fans on the Magical Tour of 1978
Nothing is forgotten or forgiven, when it’s your last time around, I got stuff running ’round my head That I just can’t live down - Bruce Springsteen, 1978
Buy this glossy book for the holidays written by the people who love and feel changed by the music. I used to wonder vaguely in my mid-teens why everyone in the world was not instantly transformed to a place of paradise after listening to the consecutive songs of Something in the Night and Candy’s Room on Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978).
Check out ‘The Light in Darkness’, the collection of fan reactions to Bruce’s 1978 tour, with shots of grit and raw truth that is the music of Bruce’s very best album. In my opinion, Darkness is in fact the very best piece of music ever recorded, what Pete Townsend called a “f*&king triumph,” … a piece of literature and art that lives forever.
Bruce Springsteen Photo Book "The Light in Darkness" is a Coffee Table Must
If you are from New Jersey or if you just plain love Bruce Springsteen, then you need to nab yourself a copy of The Light in Darkness, a photo book featuring the lore and history of the Boss, focusing strictly on certain period of his career.
I recommend that you place the book on your holiday wish list. It's a coffee table "must" for fans of rock music, especially those of Springsteen. But it's not a collection of photos and such spanning Bruce's career. Yawn. Anyone can do that. Rather, the book is a yearbook and ultimate souvenir of the Darkness on The Edge of Town album and accompanying tour, which ran from May 1978 through January 1979. But it's just not candid shots of the Boss doing what he does best. It's also sprinkled with ticket stubs and other memorabilia, along with text and stories provided by fans about the shows.
The book was edited by Lawrence Kirsch and is a meticulous examination of The Boss during that phase of his career.
"With Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took a stand at a time and place where everything was on the line," writes Vike Savoth in the foreword to The Light in Darkness. "They were prepared to pay the price of hurtling headlong into rock and roll oblivion by walking away from the sound and look that took them to the heights of fame and fortune."
So why Darkness? The album is often overlooked in favor of other classic Springsteen records, even though it provided a much rawer and angrier sound than anything Springsteen had done previously. Coming at the end of a bitter, three-year legal battle with Springsteen's first manager, the album's darker sound was difficult at first for many fans and critics to grasp.
"The songs on Darkness spoke to me personally," stated Kirsch. "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."
Despite the album's darker tones, the accompanying tour was one the most raucous and energetic of Springsteen's career. The photos in The Light in Darkness show Springsteen at his peak, bounding across the stage, leaping from pianos and wading into the crowd. With the 1978 tour, Springsteen began a tradition of epic, three hour shows, something so incomprehensible to fans at the time that many, thinking the show was over, got up to leave at the intermission. As Springsteen turned 61 this year, he continues the tradition of epically long shows that outdo all other musicians.
Chronicling some of his most famous shows, such as the Agora in Cleveland, The Roxy in L.A. and San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom, The Light in Darkness brings to life some of the final concerts Springsteen would play in small venues.
"The book will give readers at least a small perspective of what we experienced in 1978," Kirsch said. "The connection and bond made between performer and audience during this tour set the stage for all future albums and tours to come."
Will you be grabbing a copy of The Light in Darkness for your coffee table? My copy adorns mine, right next to my illustrated history of black metal. No joke.
On last month’s Popdose Podcast, I endorsed The Light in Darkness, an oral history about Bruce Springsteen’s 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town album and its subsequent tour as told by Springsteen fans. In full disclosure, its editor, Lawrence Kirsch, is a friend and I contributed an essay to the book (as did Popdose’s Farkate Film Flashback columnist, “Outlaw” Pete Chianca). But even though I’ve had my copy for about a month, it took a while for me to finally get through it. The reason isn’t (entirely) due to my laziness, but rather that I wanted to savor every word.
You see, compiling fan stories about a favorite artist, as Lawrence did in 2007 with For You, can be difficult. There’s the potential for repetition, and that possibility increases when you decide to narrow the scope of the book to one year in the artist’s life. So when you read it, you don’t want the stories bleeding into each other. You just take it in about ten pages at a time.
But Kirsch does a fantastic job of mixing things up. In between the memories of the concerts are analyses of the main themes found in the album, why the tour was such a pivotal moment in his career, and even an account of the songs that were recorded but didn’t make the final cut. Every Springsteen fan will be able to see themselves in the stories here. I got goosebumps plenty of times while reading because they hit so close to home. The book also serves as a cool document of what being a fan was like in the late ’70s now that virtually everything about the music industry has changed. Yeah, Ticket Master sucks, but does anybody else remember mail-order ticket lotteries?
Many of the dates on the seven-month tour are represented, but special attention is given to the nights that have achieved iconic status among Springsteen fans through bootlegs, including the Roxy, Capitol Theatre, and Winterland shows. But the highlight of the book is the 16 pages devoted to the legendary show at the Agora in Cleveland on August 9, widely considered to be Bruce’s greatest show. I call it The Night Rock Achieved Perfection, a belief that, according to the book, I share with Bob Seger (take that, Homer Simpson!). That bootleg kickstarted my collection back in 2000. I had only had a few cassettes up to that point, and that night’s show, especially the four-song, 55-minute roller coaster ride between “She’s the One” and “Rosalita,” made me want to track down as many as I can find, especially from the Darkness tour. And I finally learned exactly what caused Bruce to say, “I’m working here!” before the last verse of “Spirit in the Night.”
And if you do somehow get tired of reading, there are over 200 photos of the Boss and the E Street Band in action. For those of us who didn’t get to experience the shows firsthand, the shots are revelatory. They portray Springsteen simultaneously out of control and in complete command of his craft. On one page he’s sprawled out across the stage (or the piano…or the crowd) and on the next he’s staring down the audience, wielding his Telecaster like a weapon.
The Light in Darkness is a collector’s edition in a limited run, and is available exclusively through its website for $40 plus shipping and handling. With so many Springsteen-related books available this holiday season, you might not know where to begin to get the perfect gift for the Bruce fan in your life. You cannot do better than The Light in Darkness.
Merci mille fois pour ce merveilleux livre. Mon anglais n'est pas fameux mais j'ai pu traduire la plupart des anecdotes! Vous êtes vraiment arrivé à retranscrire l'ambiance autour de cette tournée, vraiment à part.
Un gros merci de France. François D.
Bruce Springsteen sortait en 1978 un de ses chef-d’oeuvres, “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. Plus de 30 ans plus tard, Lawrence Kirsch publie un recueil de témoignages uniques, “The Light in Darkness”. Un magnifique cliché inédit illustre le livre et on en retrouve plus de 200 autres, pour la plupart jamais publiés avant, tous pris par des fans partout dans le monde et reproduits avec les négatifs originaux. Au fil des 208 pages, on retraverse la période du 23 Mai 1978 au 1 Janvier 1979 aux côtés de Springsteen, qui revenait frustré de trois années privé de studio à cause d’un procès en cours avec son producteur de l’époque.
Grâce aux nombreuses histoires, elles aussi toutes écrites par des fans, les curieux découvriront la façon dont Springsteen a signé un pacte scénique avec son public lors de cette tournée d’une intensité rare, ce qui fait de lui la légende que l’on connaît encore aujourd’hui. Les concerts étaient de plus en plus longs, le fidèle E Street Band jouait de mieux en mieux, toujours à l’affût du moindre geste du Boss qui n’hésitait pas à changer son set en plein milieu d’un concert. Quant à ceux qui l’ont vécu ou découvert sur une autre tournée, plus tard, ils raviveront la flamme allumée lors du premier concert; de celles qui ne s’éteignent jamais vraiment, et que chaque témoignage fait grandir.
On retrouve dans “The Light in Darkness” des anecdotes folles, drôles, comme celle de deux fans faisant connaissance au premier rang un soir de concert et se retrouvant par hasard des années plus tard; poignantes, comme ces gens qui vivent les choses en même temps que Springsteen les chante. A lire aussi, le récit du scénariste du film “A History of Violence” qui raconte avoir écouté “Darkness on the Edge of Town” en boucle lors de son travail d’écriture sur ce film. “The Light in Darkness” fait toute la lumière sur le côté obscur de Springsteen.
Artists are defined by two central fundamentals: their songs and concerts. For years, concerts were used as promotional tools to sell records, bring awareness to the act and hopefully sell a few t-shirts. Little money was made and it was more or less a brief glimpse at their favorite artists in the flesh. When the Beatles played Shea Stadium in 1965, they played a mere 29-minutes. As the sixties progressed, the Grateful Dead appeared and within a few years, Led Zeppelin took concerts to new heights with festival grooviness and flashing arena-rock presence. For bands like the Dead and Zeppelin, the records weren't enough. The concert became an extension of the record and in many ways, a more vital experience. Tapes were shared, stories told and myths were born. In the entire rock era, no other artist has a greater and more extensive legend than Bruce Springsteen. From stories of intimate in-your-face clubs shows early in his career to the misquoted myth of the five-hour show, the adoration and fervent followings Springsteen has amassed over the decades is almost unparalleled and on full display in a new book chronicling the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour, The Light in Darkness.
To this day, I can't go to a Springsteen show without someone telling me a tall tale about how they saw Springsteen "play an eight-hour show and then he took out a broom and swept the floor of the club." It's almost laughable, but understandable. In 1978, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band embarked on their most discussed and legendary tour of their career in support of Darkness on the Edge of Town. Now, to fully understand the importance of this tour, a brief history needs to be given. After having a small cult following, Springsteen broke into the mainstream with Born To Run in late 1975 and a lawsuit by Springsteen to dissolve his contract with manager Mike Appel. This led to a countersuit where Appel kept Springsteen from recording a follow-up to Born To Run until it the legal proceedings were resolved. Once both parties came to an agreement in the spring of 1977, Springsteen and the E Street Band took to the studio recording upwards of thirty songs which were finally released in May of 1978. While the 1977 tour is viewed by many as some of the most staggering the band would ever do, it set the template for the 1978 tour. Springsteen's Born in the USA trek may have been more epic and his jaunt in support of The River more exhausting and epic, none of them would have been possible without the '78 tour. Springsteen decided to blend his new material with his older material which led to show times around the three-hour mark. To this day, three-hour shows are largely unprecedented, but in 1978 it was virtually unheard of. It's one thing to do a lengthy show and another to keep the audience's attention, which Springsteen and the E Street Band did with ease. This was also the last tour where the band played theaters as arenas were necessary come 1980 in places other than the Northeast.
The Light in Darkness is a document of the 1978 tour and in all honesty, it's surprising that Springsteen and his management team hasn't done something similar before now. In their need to always do things on specific anniversaries, they often miss the boat and low and behold, a group of fans beat them to the punch. What provides The Light in Darkness with an authentic voice is the first hand reports and stories it provides. These aren't so much embellished accounts, but earnest and brutally expressive stories of how music became something more than a distraction but a life force. I'll admit, some of the stories feel repetitive and a little too much emphasis is given to the Darkness album in the text. Yet, to the credit of the writers, they were trying to give the 1978 tour context and it's impossible to do so without a look at the Darkness record. However, as you page through the book, it's impossible to deny the sincerity of the entries. These are truly revealing stories no one can deny and the intensity of some of them match Springsteen's music and concert performances. The book very easily could have turned into a messiah-like worship of Springsteen, but by revealing the stories of where everyone was at a certain point in their lives, gives the book a lift up from your standard fan publication.
The real treasures of the book are the hundreds of pictures and memorabilia that fill the pages in between the stories. Newspaper ads for the shows, flyers for on-sale dates, pins from the Madison Square Garden stand, concert tickets, specially made posters, backstage passes and special promotional items not seen for years. Aside from a time machine, this is the closest anyone can get to truly placing themselves in the thick of the action from over three-decades back. Up until now, the closest anyone could get to reliving this tour was through bootleg recordings, but now The Light in Darkness puts the tour into perspective in a little over two-hundred pages. The soft cover book is full of many revealing pictures, stories and loads of insight into the tour that truly defined the Springsteen legend. For anyone who was unable to attend the 1978 tour, The Light in Darkness is an essential buy as it places you in the thick of the action. For those who were lucky enough to be there, then it's the greatest souvenir they ever could have.
A fan of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band for more than 30 years, writer and editor Lawrence Kirsch released the photo-heavy coffee-table book For You in 2007. Compiled from hundreds of interviews Kirsch conducted with Springsteen followers of various ages and from various walks of life, the book offered a fan's-eye view of Springsteen's music, and provided insight into its significance in the lives of listeners. For You ably laid the groundwork for The Light in Darkness, Kirsch's new tome, which follows the earlier book's fan-interview methodology, this time in service of an examination of Springsteen & the E Street Band's groundbreaking 1978 tour.
The Darkness on the Edge of Town tour kicked off on May 23, 1978, at Shea's Performing Arts Center. Kirsch was there, and it was this show that turned him into a devout Springsteen follower.
Jeff Miers Buffalo News
A popular subplot in The Light in Darkness - I touch on it in the essay I wrote for the book - is that there are a lot of people out there who really, really wish they were around and of concert-going age in 1978. That was the year Bruce Springsteen released Darkness on the Edge of Town and mounted a seven-month tour that many fans say eclipsed any other before or since, and cemented Springsteen's reputation as a live act for the ages.
But there were also a lot of people who were around, who experienced that tour, and who say to this day that it changed their life. It's those people whose reminiscences make up the bulk of the stories in editor Lawrence Kirsch's latest fan-driven Springsteen anthology, and believe me: If you weren't there, they will make you feel worse.
Oddly enough, though, like the Darkness album itself - on which Springsteen's ragged baritone manages to wring hope out of the direst of circumstances - the stories in Kirsch's book make you feel better at the same time, to know that an artist could touch people in the way Springsteen did during that seminal tour, and still does for newer generations of fans.
It's worth getting your hands on The Light in Darkness for the amazing photos alone, both amateur and professional - they capture Springsteen and his bandmates at turns both jubilant and intense, often possessed of a fervor that seems to go beyond religious. The Springsteen in these photos was at the top of his game, and the best of these pictures, with his face taut and his guitar thrust forward like a weapon of mass destruction, paint a picture of man so in command of a room it looks like he could make it spontaneously combust at will.
But it's the stories, in my opinion, that make up the heart of the book, just as they did in Kirsch's last collection, For You. That book was more general, which meant a wider variety of submissions, some more moving or funny than those you'll find in The Light in Darkness. But if there's a certain sameness that comes from this volume's laser focus, it's just indicative of what a galvanizing force this album and tour were to the fans who got to experience it.
Of course, there are any number who say "their" show was the best of the bunch - fans from Boston, New York, Philly, New Jersey (of course) and even Augusta, Maine all make good cases. But a long and rollicking account of Springsteen's famous Agora Theater concert in Cleveland by Brian Schmuck may best capture the way these shows grabbed people and haven't let them go to this day. Writes Schmuck of the famous "meeting with God" story Springsteen tells during "Growin' Up":
"Still 30 years after the show, when I hear this song played, like Pavlov's dog, I get a physical reaction it's when Bruce comes to the end of the story, where he belts out the message he got from God himself about what he should do with his life, 'And then I heard just three words: Let it rock!' Hearing these words always send a release of adrenaline or endorphins shooting through me in waves."
The Light in Darkness isn't only about the tour, though. Plenty of the writing focuses on the album, so different from Born to Run and its lyrical tales of escape. Darkness, which deals with what happens after you realize there may be nowhere to escape to, is, well, dark - and the stories in this book show how much its songs have meant to people going through dark times.
"Darkness is haunting, listening to it hurts," writes Stefanie Oepen. "It opens a wound deep in my heart and then tells me how to mend." And Annabel Nanninga, a Dutch woman who says the album pulled her out of severe depression at 15, says she "found my fears and worries expressed on this album, better than anybody could have put it."
The book also has its share of untold stories - Dick Roberts reveals he's the one who provided the stretcher the first time Bruce pulled his "exhaustion" shtick, only to bounce up again, guitar humming (the stretcher was never returned, not that Roberts cared). And photographer Mark Neuling tells of visiting Bruce's parents' home in California with a mutual friend, and something that surprised him after having heard of the strained relationship between the singer and his father, Douglas:
Douglas "took me into a small area just off the living room. It was a shrine. Gold and platinum records hung from the walls as Douglas Springsteen showed me around the awards and industry accolades amassed by his son, I couldn't help but feel the pride he held for his boy."
The Light boasts its share of professional writers, including "A History of Violence" screenwriter Josh Olson and "Runaway Dream" author Louis Masur. (And me, I guess.) Those pieces are a welcome part of Kirsch's attempts to piece together the Darkness puzzle, but it's the regular fans whose words pack the greatest punch. "I had no idea what I was witnessing at the time, but I felt sanctified," writes super-fan Gina Giambone of her first Springsteen concert, capturing the feelings of so many of her fellow converted.
In the end, The Light in Darkness may not have the emotional heft of the wider-ranging For You. But as a time capsule and testament to the power and the glory of what may be the greatest chapter in a storied career, it's an invaluable souvenir for those who were there at a time, as John Huffman writes, "when the E Street Band was young and so were we."
And as for those of us who weren't there? If you've been touched by the album and by Springsteen's work since, that doesn't matter. "I may have missed the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour," writes Jeffrey Blout, "but it didn't miss me." Get this book and it won't have to miss you either.
2010, l'anno di Darkness. Ma non si preoccupino i fan del Boss perché, sebbene anche questo tour sia giunto al termine e Bruce abbia espresso l'intenzione di prendersi una lunga pausa durante la quale lavorerà alla propria autobiografia, il futuro prossimo si preannuncia ricco di uscite. Ma le novità riguardano soprattutto Darkness On The Edge Of Town, del quale nel dato loro popolarità e fortuna. «Il libro regalerà ai lettori almeno una piccola prospettiva di quello che abbiamo vissuto nel '78» gli fa eco LawrenceKirsch. «La connessione e il legame creato tra il musicista e il suo pubblico durante questo tour ha definito il nuovo punto di riferimento per tutti gli album e i tour che sarebbero seguiti». Nonostante l'umore scuro dell'album,il Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour è stato uno dei più esplosivi dell'intera carriera di Springsteen: prova ne sono le straordinarie immagini che ritraggono il Boss e la E Street Band al top della forma, oltre a svariati memorabilia, le liste dettagliate delle tappe della tournée e delle canzoni suonate e la cronaca di alcuni dei suoi più celebri show come quelli tenuti all'Agora di Cleveland, al Roxy di Los Angeles e al Winterland Ballroom di San Francisco. C'è persino un'intervista rilasciata al deejay Dave Herman della stazione radio WNEW nel luglio del '78, nella quale Bruce racconta di quella famosa notte in cui lui e i suoi ragazzi imbrattarono con della vernice spray il gigantesco cartellone pubblicitario di Darkness On The Edge Of Town che campeggiava su Sunset Strip a Los Angeles. Insomma c'è tutto quello che avreste voluto sapere su un disco epocale e un evento live unico e irripetibile il tutto raccontato attraverso le parole di chi c'era, di quei fortunati seguaci la cui percezione della musica è stata segnata in modo indelebile dal potente rombo di una delle macchine da rock più micidiale che sia mai esistita: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. 2010 verrà pubblicata una edizione deluxe che promette di essere altrettanto sostanziosa di quella uscita nel 2005 per la Columbia in occasione del trentesimo anniversario di Born To Run.
Another album you don't really need an excuse to listen to is Darkness on the Edge of Town. But regardless of that, you sure get a fine excuse after flipping through Lawrence Kirsch's new fan tale compilation: The Light in Darkness. A couple of years ago Lawrence published the book For You, which was about Bruce Springsteen in general and consisted of nothing but the fans' own stories and tales about their Bruce experiences. The new book is the exact same concept, but focuses entirely on the Darkness era.
So unlike Runaway Dream, in The Light in Darkness facts and research don't play any role at all. It's all about the emotion and how that album and tour made you feel. And if these fan accounts are any indication (actually, they are all the proof you could ever ask for), 1978 was and always will be the time when everything clicked for the most people when it comes to Bruce. These tales all tell the story of the unprecedented magic and intensity that was the Darkness era. And very often, the writing lives up to its subject and sends shivers down your spine and makes you check your CD shelf for that Agora or Roxy bootleg that you haven't listened to in two years.
Unlike the first book, it seems like this time Lawrence hasn't put any limit on how many words the stories were allowed to be. Some of them take up several pages and usually they are not a paragraph too long. And even if they were, it helps the reading experience that every single page is enriched with pictures that in most cases have never been published in a book before.
Altogether, everything from the paper quality to the layout of this book gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling while you devour the words. Great care seems to have been put into every detail. It's just a beautiful publication that fully lives up to its predecessor. That one is said to sell for good money on eBay, and I wouldn't be surprised if The Light in Darkness will fare the same way.
In my entire life, only once have I lined up overnight in order to buy tickets for anything. It was 1978, and my university buddies and I took turns holding our spots in line, eventually scoring two sets of six seats on the floor at the historic Montreal Forum for Bruce's November 8, 1978 concert. That was a long time ago, and I have to confess I don't remember much about the show, nor do I think it changed my life, but I have no doubt that it was the most exhilarating performance I ever saw. I also know that it was everything rock and roll should be and I walked out of the Forum knowing I would be a Bruce fan for life.
After all the hype and the well deserved breakthrough success of 1975's 'Born to Run', and the subsequent frustration and near career death experience of his legal battles with Mike Appel in 1976 and 1977, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were finally free to resume their assault on the rock and roll world. They returned to the recording studio, and in 1978, Bruce delivered his latest masterpiece 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town' to Columbia Records.
On May 23rd, 1978, Bruce and the boys set out on a ferocious seven month tour of North America in support of the album.Lawrence Kirsch's great new book 'The Light In Darkness' documents this tour through a collection of photographs and essays submitted by fans who, each in their own way, have strong emotional connections to and recollections of this tour. I'm about half-way through the book, and I'm struck by all the passion and detailed memories people have regarding the Darkness album and tour. Reading this book has inspired this week's Friday Bruce Fix. It would also make a great companion piece to the much anticipated commemorative Darkness box set, with a remastered audio disc, full length concert DVD and any other goodies that might be hiding somewhere in a vault. (Come on Brucie... please???)
One of Bruce's greatest talents is his ability to write, record and perform in a way that enables forming powerful connections with his fans, who in turn connect with important people in their lives and build families and communities. For a lot of people, Darkness and its tour came along at a time in their lives when they were figuring out who they were, where they were going, what they valued, where they drew the lines, and what they believed was possible.
It is no coincidence that Bruce and his band were at the same point in their evolution. It is something that naturally happens as we transition fully into adulthood. Continuing to this day, I believe that people who were too young in 1978 to notice, or perhaps had not even been born, are able to go back to the Darkness album and tour and make those connections if they are at such similar points in their lives. The themes Bruce dealt with on that album are easy for us to identify with and relate to in our own lives. Those songs become our songs and our stories.
Reading Lawrence Kirsch's book reminds me that this band was on a mission, taking no prisoners, running from town to town simultaneously discovering and proving their greatness, and redefining what a rock concert could be.
Toledoans Chris Kozak and John Rockwood have been to a combined 19 Bruce Springsteen concerts.
Both men have been fans of "The Boss" since the '70s and both have passed on their appreciation to their children. Most recently, they each contributed memories to Lawrence Kirsch's book, "The Light in Darkness."
Kirsch, of Montreal, Quebec, created the book to be a touchstone or reference point to Springsteen fans across the globe. He works as a productions coordinator for a graphic arts and communications company and said he has spoken to many fans in the 30-plus years since his first Springsteen concert, part of the 1975 "Born to Run" tour.
"We'd all go into concerts feeling like we had a few friends there," Kirsch said. "And we'd leave with brand-new friends."
Kirsch's first book, "For You," chronicles Springsteen's journeys from 1975-2006, as seen through the recollections and personal photographs of fans. "Light in Darkness," focuses on the "Darkness at the Edge of Town" tour in 1978.
Kirsch said "Darkness" is his "favorite album, favorite tour, favorite song." Following the grand symphonic "Born to Run," it is a coming of age album, a darker album with harsh, guttural guitars.
Kozak's favorite song "Badlands" is the opening track on the CD. His essay, "Poor Man Wanna Be Rich" is a comparative reflection of the relevance of his favorite lyrics on the economy of 1978 with the situation today.
"Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be king And a king ain't satisfied Till he rules everything"
He said Springsteen's lyrics open themselves up for interpretation and are still relevant years later.
Kozak was approached by Kirsch after he had written an article for Toledo Free Press on April 5 about the Springsteen exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"To write about something I love and get it out to more people, it was a no-brainer," said Kozak, community relations manager for Columbia Gas of Ohio. "I said 'I could have it done this afternoon."
Kirsch left the topic entirely up to Kozak, as he did with all his authors. He accepted submissions through his Web site.
Rockwood, a project coordinator at Hines, has photographed bands from the Rolling Stones to B.B King and said he has always been a fan Springsteen. He recalls a concert at the Toledo Sports Arena in 1977 where Springsteen grabbed his chest and fell on stage. Men in white coats came out, put him on a stretcher and said, "Bruce had a heart attack and the only way to bring him back is to scream."
Rockwood, who contributed photos, said that the four-and-a-half-hour show was "the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life."
He had pictures featured in Kirsch's first book, after sharing them with a contributor to "For You."
Kirsch, who has seen Springsteen more than 80 times, presented a copy of his first book to Springsteen. Kirsch said Springsteen was amazed to see how many of his fans wrote their comments.
"[Springsteen is] an unbelievable performer and humanitarian," Kirsch said. "He's so selfless in terms of his time and charity."
Rockwood and Kozak are passing their appreciation of Springsteen to their children.
Rockwood remembers his kids yelling, "Hey Dad, Bruce Springsteen's on T.V.," and Kozak hopes to take his 8-year old and 10-year old to a concert in a few weeks.
"The Light in Darkness" is available online at www.thelightindarkness.com. Kirsch said he has had orders from as far away as Lebanon and Turkey, places Springsteen has never played, but where people are still affected by his songs.
Alissa Romstadt Toledo Free Press
New Springsteen Book Chronicles Darkness Tour
Lawrence Kirsch has just published The Light in Darkness, a collection of fans recollections from the Darkness tour. Accompanied by previously unseen amateur photos (including a few shots by Scene's Anastasia Pantsios), the book of anecdotal essays is more loving tribute to the Boss than critical assessment of his life and music. It includes essays on both of his stops in Cleveland: first at the Agora and then at Richfield Coliseum.
The intention is to try to give the average fan who wasnt there a taste of what that tour was all about, he says of the book. I get as big a kick out of reading the stories as much as any other fan. One thing I cant stress enough is the unbelievable generosity of these Springsteen fans, who submitted all these amazing stories and photos. Its a labor of love. Theres an underlying message of honest and faithfulness and loyalty to the band. Im preaching to the converted so if youre a Bruce fan, youre going to like the book.
Jeff Niesel Cleveland Scene
New Bruce Springsteen Superpicturecoffeetablebook, The Light In Darkness
When gorgeous Springsteen picture/coffee table book The Light in Darkness arrived on our desk last week we shipped it straight over to superfan Matt Soniak who knows enough about the Boss to fill a book of his own. Soniak spent the weekend combing through Light. His review follows.
To see Bruce Springsteen and the heartstoppin, pants droppin, hard rockin, booty shakin, earth quakin, love makin, Viagra takin, history makin, legendary E Street Band is not only to see a mere concert or be entertained by a band. It is to be baptizedno matter how many times youve done it (me: 9, Chris Christie: 120)into a cult whose fervor and foaming-at-the-mouth enthusiasm knows no bounds: the E Street Nation.
E Streeters love to talk about their Boss, but sometimes its so hard. Whether its a news story, album review or even the most casual of conversations, once a member of the Nation gets a chance to mention Springsteen, its all goes to hell and you wind up sitting trough gushing, blubbering, Rosalita-fueled, blood- and cum-stained love letter to a 60-year-old guy from Jersey. Were I the kind of guy that could step back and look at the situation objectively, I might say that its all sort of unhealthy. However, I am not that kind of guy and am, in fact, a guy that makes a not-depressing sum of money each year to give verbal beejes to Mr. Springsteen in various publications (and for that I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth).
Lawrence Kirschs mammoth (weighing in at 4.5 pounds on my bathroom scale) The Light in Darkness embracesnay, celebratesthe Springsteen devotees tendency to go a little off the handle by giving a variety of fans 208 pages to share their stories about Bruces 4th album, Darkness on the Edge of Town, and the legendary 8-month, 117-show tour that supported it. There are stories from semi-famous people (Josh Olson, screenwriter for A History of Violence) and not-famous-at-all people (some guy named Ralph). There are stories about endless teenage nights driving around with the windows open and Springsteen in the 8-track player and there are stories about finally understanding Adam Raised a Cain after years of feuding with your father. There are stories that are happy and stories that are sad and everything in between. And yes, there are some cheesy stories, but every one of them comes across as so heart-felt and sincere you can imagine the twinkle in each authors eye and the madness in their souls.
The pictures alone200+ shots from pro and amateur photographers who were at the shows in 78are worth the price of admission. Bruce loses a few cool points for losing his Born to Run-era beard, but Little Stevie and the Big Man dance across the pages like stone-cold bad asses.
Like Kirschs last book For You, the book is only available at its website and is limited to 2,500 copies. One is already dog eared and drool stained on my coffee table, so grab a remaining one while you can.
Matt Soniak Philadelphia Weekly
Remembering Bruce Springsteen's 1978 Dallas Convention Centre Performance...
Last week, a gem of a book arrived in the office--well, a gem for any Bruce fans in the building, which, I'm pretty sure is everyone?
In my clouded perspective, at least, yeah.
Anyway, here's why it's interesting: The Light in Darkness, as it's called, features on Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's 1978 tour for Darkness on the Edge of Town, the band's fourth album--and, more specifically, on the band's stops while touring to support it.
And, of course, included in the book--which features 100 memoirs/essays and 200 original photographs taken from the tour--is the band's July 12, 1978 show at the Convention Centre in Dallas.
Pete Freedman Dallas Observer
Just has he did with the incredible self-published coffee-table effort For You, Kirsch puts together a fine work combining fan remembrances and around 200 mostly never-before-seen photographs, this time focusing on the 1978 Darkness record and tour. ...if you love the starkness of Darkness, it's a worthwhile library addition.
Bob Ruggiero Houston Press
New Springsteen Book Chronicles the Darkness Tour
It would be corny but true to say that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band really did have to prove it all night in 1978, the year The Boss' fourth album, "Darkness on the Edge of Town," was released.
A lawsuit with his former manager, Mike Appel, kept Bruce from recording for three years, an eternity at that time. When the album was finally released, it was angry, dark and raw, so much different-sounding than the big sound and grand themes of "Born to Run." Perhaps because of things happening in my own 17-year-old life at the time, or perhaps because of the pure power and urgency of its songs, Darkness remains my favorite Springsteen album, and the tour that followed is, I think, rightly considered by many to be Bruces most powerful.
Now photographer and editor Lawrence Kirsch has immortalized the Darkness tour in a beautiful new book, "The Light in Darkness." The book features more than 200 photos and 100 original stories that chronicle the seminal Darkness tour (including, as a disclaimer, one by me). Legendary shows from the tour like the Cleveland Agora show, Winterland in San Francisco, and the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, get their just due.
The book is a reminder of a different time, before we all knew what setlist Bruce was playing every night, when information about upcoming tours came through scanning ads in the newspaper or religiously perusing the "Random Notes" column in Rolling Stone magazine, to a time when you could leave a concert feeling your life had changed forever.
Jean Mikle Asbury Park Press, New Jersey
New book on Bruce Springsteen's Darkness era
I received a copy of Lawrence Kirsch's new book "The Light in Darkness" tonight and all I can say is Wow! Lawrence, whose book "For You" from less than two years ago is totally sold out (a copy just sold for more than $250 on eBay), has done it again with this book.
The new book, takes a special fan-focused look at Springsteens Darkness on the Edge of Town - the album and the tour. Incredible pictures, incredible stories. It's going to take hours to go through everything in this book. You've listened to the bootlegs: Agora 1978, Passaic, Winterland etc., now relive those magical nights with incredible photos and stories. The book covers the entire Darkness Tour, from the first show on May 23, 1978 in Buffalo to the final show on Jan. 1, 1979 in Cleveland. Just about every show is covered with fans' stories and photos that I'm sure have never been published anywhere. As I sit here and thumb through it, I can't say enough good things about it. The book is 208 pages.
You see people posting on BTX looking for copies of the For You book. That had a limited run of 2,000 copes and and Lawrence tells me this books is only 2,000 copies also. It will make an awesome gift for Bruce fans, especially anyone who was fortunate to experience the Darkness Tour.
I did spend a lot of time listening to Darkness on the cassette player of my Chevy Nova while flooring it on the Atlantic City Expressway on the way home from high school every afternoon. And there was also that bootleg tape from an August 1978 Darkness tour stop at the Agora Theater in Cleveland that I played as I waited impatiently to see Springsteen live for the first time in December 1980 at the Spectrum.
That's the show that starts off with Eddie Cochrane's "Summertime Blues" and is chronicled in great detail in The Light in Darkness, Lawrence Kirsch's coffee-table book of fan recollections and superb concert photos.
Dan DeLuca The Philadelphia Inquirer
For the second time, Lawrence Kirsch has enabled Bruce Springsteen fans to connect in a very special way. As he did with his previous Springsteen book For You, Kirsch solicited stories and pictures pertaining to the golden era of Darkness On The Edge Of Town and is two-for-two with the production of The Light In Darkness.
Much like your favorite fellow Springsteen fans, The Light In Darkness features stories that come in all shapes and sizes. The common theme throughout the book is the sincerity of the submissions. Sure, some are better written than others but that matters not. There are friend stories and loner stories and love stories and break-up stories and sad stories and happy stories, and yet they are all of a common voice. The very best parts of the Springsteen community are represented in this book.
And then there are the pictures. An overwhelming majority of the photographs in this book have never been seen before. The pictures alone are worth the price of admission.
The Darkness tour is pretty much chronicled in pictures from beginning to end. Its the photographs that capture the urgency of this man and this band and this music in 1978.
Shared art is powerful. Yet again, Lawrence Kirsch has enabled us to share a place and time that deserves to be held in high esteem with the release of The Light In Darkness.
I was speaking at the Glory Days conference at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. I had a really nice time meeting Springsteen-interested academics, musicians, and interested parties. I was also quite happy to discover a new book of photos and essays called The Light in Darkness which made me painfully, but happily, nostalgic about the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town tour, one of the greatest experiences of my life. The photos of the tour are fantastic and while the essays naturally vary in quality, some of them are real gems. "It was like lightning flashing through the darkness and the band was the thunder," writes Ron Wells. "I had never seen any performer so full of energy and joy. He was definitely on a mission. This was not just a gig for him; it was freedom and exhilaration personified." It's on large format 9.25" x 12" EuroArt Silk 200m paper stock and contains more than 200 photographs reproduced from the original negatives and slides.
Like its predecessor For You, Lawrence Kirsch's The Light In Darkness is a beautifully put-together, limited edition coffee-table sized collection of reminisces from Bruce Springsteen fans. What makes this a must-have for the Springsteen fan on your holiday shopping list are the hundreds of photographs here many of which were shot by fans as well, and thus are seen here for the very first time.
The difference with The Light In Darkness is the fact that this volume focuses specifically on the 1978 tour behind the album Darkness On The Edge Of Town. As most longtime Boss fans will tell you, this was the tour where Springsteen and the E Street Band largely solidified their reputation as one of the greatest live attractions in rock.
If you identify with the approximately quarter of the crowd last night (October 3) that treated the rendering of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' in sequence as if it were a sacramental offering, or if you count yourself as more in line with the other 75% who may wonder why people are so relentless in blathering on about a 7+ month period of time that occurred over three decades ago, you really should check out Lawrence Kirsch's The Light in Darkness.
If you are familiar with For You, then you know the quality of the presentation. Suffice it to say that if a Springsteen concert these days is a ticket to a time machine, then last night melted 31 years off my life for approximately 50 minutes.
And Mr. Kirsch's most recent book accomplishes with pulp and print what we were able to witness in the flesh last night.
Adam Zagoria on Hoops, Recruiting and Rock and Roll
In the past three days, I was lucky enough to witness the Yankees celebrating their 27th world championship with a parade down the Canyon of Heroes; LeBron James making his lone Big Apple appearance of the season by dropping 33 on the Knicks; and Bruce Springsteen closing out a two-night stop at Madison Square Garden by playing The River in its entirety.
If only the lowly Knicks stoked the New York fan base as much as Bruce.
Ive probably seen 12-15 Springsteen shows in my life and this one ranks among the best. There wasnt an empty seat in the joint.
Maybe it was the fact that he was following the Yankees and LeBron. Maybe it was that the E Street Band played The River an epic, brooding, transitional double album live for the first time ever. Maybe it was that he was closing out his run in New York.
Whatever the case, Bruce put on a special show Sunday.
I saw Bruce recently at Giants Stadium when he played Darkness on the Edge of Town, which was also tremendous, especially Racing in the Street. Speaking of that album, we highly recommend Lawrence Kirsch's new book, The Light in Darkness, about that album and subsequent tour.
Lawrence Kirsch ha ultimato il suo nuovo libro intitolato THE LIGHT IN DARKNESS, che vuole celebrare il disco Darkness on the Edge of Town e il periodo del 1978, quello del relativo tour.
Come "For You", il nuovo libro è costruito sulla base delle originali testimonianze dei fans che all'epoca hanno avuto la fortuna di assistere a quei straordinari show e che oggi consentono ai lettori di rivivere almeno in parte le stesse emozioni.
Memorabilia e oltre 200 inedite foto mozzafiato di Bruce & The E Street Band scattate per lo più da fans arricchiscono questo splendido volume.
Il libro verrà stampato in edizione limitata da collezione e non sarà disponibile nei negozi.
The Light in Darkness is a spectacular addition to the Springsteen print library. The chronological presentation provides seamless narrative flow and the photos including the pre-show shots from Winterland and Augusta and the marquee and ticket stub shots are just phenomenal. The book is the ultimate retrospective tour program. A rock and roll time capsule. If you havent already done it, order yourself a copy, put on those 78 radio broadcasts, and immerse yourself in one of rocks greatest bands during a seminal season.
Jeff Blout BTX Backstreets.com
My copies arrived yesterday and I can confirm it is an ESSENTIAL keepsake for anyone who cares not only about Bruce and the band in 1978, but also gaining insight into perhaps the single greatest rock and roll tour of all time.The layout, photos and vignettes are totally enjoyable, including a surprising memory involving Adele and Douglas Springsteen.If a D31 box set does appear for Christmas 2009, you'll want The Light in Darkness right by your side.
Johnny Saulovich BTX Backstreets.com
THE LIGHT IN DARKNESS
Lawrence Kirsch Communications, creator of the recent book For You, has completed work on a new book called The Light in Darkness, which focuses specifically on the Darkness on the Edge of Town era. Like For You, the book features concert photography and stories from fans. Kirsch tells Backstreets, "This tribute to Darkness is something special: more passionate stories, breathtaking never-seen-before photos, and some discovered artwork and memorabilia gems that will be of great interest to fans no matter when they were introduced to Bruce's music."
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.
RM Geneve, Switzerland
Lawrence; Just checked out the web site on the Light in Darkness. It looks brilliant and you have taken the art of letting those who love, appreciate and understand this very special artist and have been with him through the darkest times to a depth that has not been captured before. After Born to Run there were many who thought he could never to get to that special place again, and he did with lesser numbers on the journey then before, but those who were with him have and will be with him forever.
Mike Bradley Mayor Sarnia, Ontario
Nous l'attendions avec impatience et vous l'avions annoncé il y a plusieurs mois en exclusivité : The Light in Darkness un nouveau livre consacré à Bruce Springsteen et édité par Lawrence Kirsch, est enfin disponible ...
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 !
Lawrence Kirsch, Herausgeber des 2007 erschienenen Springsteen-Buches For You, arbeitet derzeit an einem neuen Projekt, welches ausschließlich Bruces Meilenstein-Album Darkness On The Edge Of Town und der dazugehörigen, legendären 1978er-Konzerttournee gewidmet ist. Neben Geschichten und Erinnerungen von Fans sowie zahlreichen bisher unveröffentlichten Fotos wird The Light in Darkness auch Abbildungen seltener Schallplatten und Memorabilien aus dieser Zeit enthalten.
Lawrence Kirsch, de maker van het BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN boek For You, zet zijn tanden in een nieuwe uitgave, die zich focust op het Darkness On The Edge Of Town tijdperk.
De titel van het nieuwe boek is The Light In Darkness. Net als bij For You staan daarin de verhalen en concertfotos van de Bruce Springsteen fans centraal. Maar in dit geval toegespitst op de het album Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
Door de donkere rand was Darkness On The Edge Of Town een beetje een moeilijke plaat voor de doorsnee luisteraar, maar voor de fans van Bruce was het juist een lp die ze helemaal in het hart sloten. Mede hierdoor wordt de nieuwe uitgave volgens Kirsch nog bijzonderder dan For You.
Met meer gepassioneerde verhalen, adembenemende, niet eerder gepubliceerde fotos en artwork en memorabilia die van groot belang zijn voor de fans. Het maakt niet uit wanneer zij met de muziek van The Boss hebben kennisgemaakt.
Kirsch roept fans van over de hele wereld dan ook weer op om een bijdrage aan het boek te leveren.
Het eerste dat opvalt, is de magere kwaliteit van de cover. Hij is van dun karton en het boek ziet er na een paar keer doorbladeren uit alsof het in een tweedehandsboekwinkel is gekocht. Dat kan toch niet de bedoeling zijn van het The Light in Darkness-project? Er zit zoveel tijd in, zoveel mensen hebben eraan meegewerkt. Het boek verdient een betere, chiquere cover. Maar goed, het gezegde luidt niet voor niets 'Never judge a book by it's cover'. Het gaat om de inhoud. En die is niet mis.
Redacteur van het boek, de Canadees Lawrence Kirsch maakte eerder 'For You', een boek vol verhalen en foto's van fans over Springsteen. The Light in Darkness kent eenzelfde opzet, maar dan gericht op Darkness on the Edge of Town en de Darkness-tour. Iedere rechtgeaarde fan kent de mythische verhalen over deze tour en heeft de bootlegs zoals Winterland Night, Summertime Bruce, Paramount Night en Pice de Resistance in de kast staan. Uit de verhalen in het boek wordt duidelijk dat het een unieke tour en tijd is geweest. Het album met zijn sobere teksten, geluid en productie, was een duidelijke vertrekpunt van het bombastische Born to Run. En het was in deze tour dat Springsteen 'het gesprek met zijn publiek' aanging, in letterlijke zin. Kirsch was aanwezig bij de openingshow van de tour, 23 mei 1978 in Buffalo, New York. Het was de herinnering aan deze show die Kirsch deed beslissen om een boek over de tour te gaan samenstellen.
We zijn vandaag de dag verwend met de technologie en het gemak waarmee we tijdens shows foto's maken (en audio-opnames...). Maar in 1978 was dat nog een hele klus. De hoeveelheid foto's genomen door fans en toekomstige fotografen in het boek, zijn indrukwekkend en veel zijn van uitstekende kwaliteit.
Een prachtige foto staat in het begin van het boek. Springsteen op straat voor The Record Plant-studio in New York. In zijn hand houdt hij een demotape van Darkness vast. De foto is genomen door Ross Gadye. Gadye schrijft dat hij een filmrol heeft volgeschoten van de ontmoeting van hem en zijn vrienden. Op een andere foto zien we Springsteen in een afzichtelijke gestreepte trui optreden, en weer op een andere zelfs in een geel poloshirt. Kom daar bij laatste tours maar eens om, met de strikte podiumkledingvoorschriften. De foto's laten zien hoe los de shows waren, hoe gedreven en nog onaangetast door het latere grote succes en alles wat daarbij komt kijken.
Naast het mooie beeld staan er ook een aantal goede verhalen in. Zoals dat van de man achter het Greasy Lake-forum, Karsten Andersen. Hij vertelt over zijn teleurstelling toen hij voor het eerst, tien jaar na verschijning, Darkness on the Edge of Town hoorde. En hoe het album beter werd naarmate Andersen ouder werd. 'Het is het album voor als je op de grond bent neergeslagen, maar nog niet hebt opgegeven.' De uit New Jersey afkomstige Bruce-fan Stan Goldstein schrijft hoe spannend het was toen bekend werd dat Springsteen met een nieuw album zou komen en zou gaan touren. Josh Olsen, scriptschrijver van de film A History of Violence schrijft dat hij het script schreef met Darkness on the Edge of Town op de achtergrond. Het script had voor Olsen hetzelfde gevoel als het album. Een aantal fans refereren in het boek aan hun relatie met hun vader. De meeste verhalentellers zaten in 1978 nog op de middelbare school, of waren net aan hun collegetijd begonnen. Veel fans herkenden zich in 'Factory' of 'Adam Raised a Cain'.
Het mooiste verhaal is wellicht het verhaal van de 'Brookpark Boys' opgeschreven door Brian Schmuck. Vrienden van Schmuck hadden kaarten voor de show gewonnen en de avond voor de show gingen ze naar de zaal om te overnachten in de hoop zo de beste plek te krijgen. Er waren nog geen andere fans, dus ze reden rond in Cleveland in de hoop Springsteen tegen te komen. Ze hadden beet in de Holiday Inn, waar ze Bruce de lift in zagen stappen. Ze stelden zich voor als de Brookpark boys en een van hen, Scott, bood Bruce zijn sandwich aan. De volgende kwam Schmuck, ook al had hij geen kaartje, ook naar de zaal. Hij moest en zou de show meemaken. Het lukt hem, het koste hem al zijn spaargeld (zestig dollar) maar hij kocht een kaartje van iemand en kon met zijn vrienden de show meemaken. Deze show, in de Agora Theatre in Cleveland op 9 augustus in 1978, werd een memorabele, en al helemaal voor de Brookpark-jongens. Voor 'Factory' zei Bruce: 'Deze is voor Scott en de jongens van Brookpark. Ik heb jullie gisteravond ontmoet, nadat jullie hadden rondgereden omdat jullie me wilden ontmoeten.'
Een ander bijzonder verhaal is het dat van een jonge wannabe-fotograaf, Mark Neuling. Hij had foto's gemaakt van Springsteen die hij graag wilde laten zien aan de ouders van Springsteen, die naast een vriendin van hem woonden. Op een avond trok hij de stoute schoenen aan en ging met zijn vriendin op bezoek bij de Springsteens. Hij liet zijn foto's zien en vader Springsteen liet Nueling een hoek van de woonkamer zien die volstond met foto's, gouden platen en plakboeken van fans over hun zoon. Het leek een soort altaar. Bij het weggaan, zei vader Springsteen tegen Neuling: 'Misschien moet je fotograaf van beroep worden.' En Neuling werd fotograaf.
In het boek staat ook een transcriptie van het interview dat Springsteen gaf aan dj Dave Herman. In Los Angeles waren diverse gigantische billboards te zien, reclame voor Darkness on the Edge of Town. Bruce, samen met Clarence, Garry en een paar roadies spoten een van de billboards onder met 'Prove it All Night' en 'E Street'. De reden? Bruce tegen Herman: 'Die billboards waren het lelijkste wat ik ooit heb gezien.'
Het waren vooral de shows in die periode die het album naar een hoger niveau brachten. En dat blijkt uit de verhalen over de shows.
De auteur van het Bruce Springsteen boek For You, Lawrence Kirsch, werkt aan een nieuwe uitgave van het boek. Deze zal zich focussen op de periode rond het album Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
Het boek gaat The Light In Darkness heten. Het concentreert zich dus op het Darkness On The Edge Of Town periode. De plaat is door de fans altijd als meesterwerk bestempeld. Het boek zal vooral verhalen en concertfoto's uit deze periode bevatten.Fans van over de hele wereld mogen een bijdrage leveren aan het boek met ingezonden materiaal.
I februar hadde jeg en liten sak angående oppfølgeren til boken "For You", som ble utgitt for noen år tilbake. Oppfølgeren vil ta for seg historier og beretninger rundt albumet "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", som ble utgitt i 1978. Mannen bak bøkene, Lawrence Kirsch, ønsker historier fra Springsteen fans fra denne epoken.
Sjekk siden som er opprettet i forbindelse med prosjektet: The Light in Darkness.
After publishing "For You," the wonderful collection of fan stories and photographs spanning Bruce Springsteen's career, Montreal author Lawrence Kirsch once again has thrown open the door and invited fans to share perspectives for a new book exclusively devoted to Darkness on the Edge of Town and the subsequent 1978 tour.
"The Light in Darkness" -- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band put on a show for the ages Sunday night at the Bradley Center. Though I've been accused by some (you know who you are) of over-covering that event, I feel it's my duty -- given that it may be a long time before Bruce heads this way again -- to recommend this book by Lawrence Kirsch. The 208-page tome chronicles Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town tour, which included a stop in Milwaukee, in exquisite detail. Kirsch lets the fans and the incredible photos tell the story. If you're not a Bruce fan, you probably won't get it. But, it may help you understand why the man's fan base is so fervent and fans treat shows like religious events.
The Kindle will give new life to books like The Light in Darkness, my friend Lawrence Kirsch's new fan-sourced, photo-filled tribute to Bruce Springsteen, the follow-up to his best-selling--and now unavailable--For You. For as good as the Kindle may be with words, it can't capture the thrill of looking at crisp, sharp, emotional photos of a band, a landmark, a child, a puppy or a historical event.
As publishers flock to the electronica of the Kindle, passionateentrepreneurs like Lawrence will find--and fill--a tangible, tactile gap inthe marketplace.
Kitap Kanada'da yayimlandi. 2007'de dünyanin her yerindeki Bruce Springsteen dinleyicilerinden topladigi 30 yila yayilan hikaye, ani ve fotograflar arasindan yaptigi bir seçkiyi 'For You' adiyla yayimlayan Lawrence Kirsch, geçen yil sonu benzer format ve konseptte ikinci bir Bruce Springsteen kitabi çikardi. Ama bu ikinci kitap Springsteen'in kariyerinde özgül bir yere odaklaniyor. Müzisyenin 1978 yilinda yaptigi 'Darkness on the Edge of Town Sehrin Kenarindaki Karanlik' albümüne.
Bu albüm Springsteen'in bir sarki yazari, bir yazar olarak içindeki karanliga baktigi, 'Amerikan Rüyasi'na karsi gelisen, gelistirdigi karamsarligini sakinmaksizin ortaya koydugu bir isidir ki, bir yaniyla da eglence endüstrisine yaslanan rock sahnesinde daha birkaç yil önce zirveye çikmis genç bir söhret için hayli riskli bir tesebbüs olarak kabul edilir, edilmisti o senelerde.
Bugün hala içinden birçok sarkinin konserlerde hep bir agizdan söylendigi bu albüm ve onun hemen ardindan baslayan turneye iliskin yazilar, yine Springsteen dinleyicilerinin gönderdigi hikayeler, izlenimler yer aliyor iste 'The Light in Darkness Karanliktaki Isik' adini tasiyan bu ikinci kitapta da.
Ahmet Tulgar Istanbul, Turkey
I found the website quite by accident. I had been searching for some food related article and came upon the name "Pantsios", referencing Catherine (a chef in San Francisco) and Anastasia (a photographer in Cleveland). This was a very familiar name from my childhood growing up in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago in the '50s and '60s. There were images associated with Anastasia... and in these images Bruce appeared.
That brought me to your site and the book. Springsteen has been a cherished companion since 1974 when a bunch of young folks from the suburbs of Chicago spent most of a summer in a rented house down the Jersey shore. We were wild and innocent, and that is what we listened to as well. The nights spent in that house listening to The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle and Greetings from Asbury Park hold some of the best memories from my youth. Listening with me was someone who I would eventually marry, after taking different paths and going through (and coming out of) a dark and painful time (you know -- the light after the Darkness time). We were 23 and 21 then, and for all these years of our lives, Springsteen has provided the music. And if you haven't noticed, we are all getting old now together!
That was my serendipitous path to your book and the reason that I need it. I wish I had known about your previous book, as I would have needed that too!
Laurie Meyer Homewood, IL
I was looking at a review of the new CD, The Promise, when I came across a link to reviews of your book. Reading those reviews I loved that you had brought together the views of folk like myself who have been Springsteen fans for decades....even though I was in a different continent, penniless and could not make the Darkness tour...so I had to buy it to recreate that experience! I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on The Light inDarkness...
Cheers, David Bovaird Scotland
Much is being made of the forthcoming release of Bruce Springsteen’s The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story, and rightfully so. The collection, which includes 21 previously-unreleased tracks, a documentary film, and a remastered version of Springteen’s classic 1978 release, has received rave reviews prior to its November 16 arrival.
And while the set will fill a hole in the collections of Springsteen’s fans and open the disc and the sessions that led to the creation of the album to a new generation of music fans, those looking for an even more in-depth analysis of the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town and the legendary tour which followed its release need look no further than The Light In Darkness, a beautiful book edited by Lawrence Kirsch.
The coffee table book is filled with hundreds of photos, posters, ticket stubs, and other illustrations from the era, as well as an exhaustive collection of reviews of numerous shows from that tour. Interspersed through the book are recollections from many collaborators about the ways in which the album and tour impacted them. Kirsch, who curated previously For You, a collection of stories about the way in which Springsteen has affected the lives of his fans through the years, returns with an even stronger collection which benefits from the focus on a singular album.
Darkness on the Edge of Town marked a turning point in the career of Bruce Springsteen. After the release of Born to Run and the worldwide sensation it became, Springsteen became embroiled with his management and the release of Darkness did not come until 1978. During that time, it was unclear when Springsteen’s legal troubles would clear and when he would be permitted to release a new disc.
The Light in Darkness tells the story of the making of the disc, using the various tour stops as jumping off points for stories too numerous to repeat in a single review – you’ll have to buy the book. Some might wonder whether a book so largely populated with stories about various shows on the same tour would become redundant; however, for several reasons, it does not.
First, so many of the shows had unique back stories that ensured that the book doesn’t become a collection of set lists. Second, the use of different contributors prevents the stories from being stale as they might become had they been told by a single person.
Those who were fans in 1978 will enjoy the stories as much as will Springsteen fans who were not even born during this seminal period. The book includes an analysis of the lost songs of the Darkness and a book-closing appreciation of the album that crystallizes the essence of the album.
Springsteen fans will find The Light In Darkness to be a terrific complement to the forthcoming Promise set and the book stands on its own as a powerful memento of a time when albums were more than a collection of disparate singles, but rather, were the compilation and culmination of a journey fully-realized.
Like those raucous 1978 performances, Lawrence Kirsch’s book, The Light in Darkness took me for an unforgettable joyride through a most significant time of my youth. And like that 1978 tour, it runs the gamut of emotions and really seems to breathe with the kind of unique heart and spirit and energy reminiscent of Bruce and the band at that time. At times deep with analysis I never would’ve thought about at the time, at times dark, joyful, silly, soulful, exciting and maybe a little hokey, I was thoroughly entertained and deeply moved by many of the detailed remembrances articulated by other fans. Personally, Darkness on the Edge of Town helped me to shape, give direction to and articulate the kind of person I wanted to be. It stood for something, and to this day provides the same type of inspiration and reminder. The book does a nice job of capturing this very special "coming of age" period, through a fairly broad lens. Oh, and the photos are stupendous! Though I grew up in Cleveland and still have the cassette tape(s) I recorded off of WMMS when the Agora show aired, I had never seen one photograph from that historic concert, until now! Well done!
Lee Wolfe, Tampa Bay, Florida
I got your book exactly a week ago. There is not a single day ever since I didn't read one of those great fan stories or viewed the phenomenal photos. Your book is a great gift to all Bruce maniacs! In my opinion the best Springsteen-book ever published! (besides all the great Backstreets magazines.) I can relate to all of those stories even though I was just 8 years old at that time. Therefore it's a blessing for me to finally get an official concert DVD from 1978. My favorite photos are the ones where he jumps in the air (page 40, 120, 189). You can really feel the power of Bruce's live performance through those photos.
A few minutes ago, I watched the video "The Promise, live in studio" on the Backstreets website. That threw me immediately back to the concert in Berlin in 2002. I couldn't believe it when Bruce sat down at the piano and started playing "The Promise" followed by "Incident on 57th street"! It's really a shame that this song didn't make it on the Darkness on The Edge of Town album. Best Regards & thanks for the phenomenal book!
Pascal Dysli Schpfen, Switzerland
I just wanted to let you know the book arrived safely yesterday. I got home from work and saw the parcel on the coffee table - the little Canadian flag logo told me what was inside. The 'Do Not Disturb' sign went up on the study door, and my family didn't see me for the rest of the evening. This is a wonderful book, Lawrence - thank you! (anything else in the pipeline?)
Kevin Smith, West Yorkshire, UK
Un libro su Bruce Springsteen, “The Light in Darkness” presenta il punto di vista dei fan del Boss su “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
Con Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen e la E Street Band presero una posizione precisa proprio quando tutto era in discussione,” scrive Vike Savoth nella prefazione di “The Light in Darkness”. “Erano pronti a pagare il prezzo di un violento ingresso nell’oblio del rock and roll prendendo le distanze dal sound e dal look che aveva dato loro popolarità e fortuna”.
Con oltre 200 fotografie e 100 racconti originali raccontati dai leggendari fan di Springsteen “The Light in The Darkness” è il punto di vista dei seguaci del Boss sul suo quarto album.
Spesso trascurato rispetto agli altri classici di Springsteen “Darkness on the Edge of Town” contiene un sound più crudo ed arrabbiato rispetto alle opere precedenti. Uscito al termine di un’aspra battaglia legale durata tre anni con il primo manager di Springsteen molti fans e la critica hanno fatto fatica ad apprezzarne le sonorità.
“Ho dovuto ascoltare quell’album intensamente, più e più volte per scoprire dove l’avrei incontrato, o in realtà dove lui stava incontrando me” scrive Suzanne Scala. “questo era quando ascoltare un album significava sdraiarsi sul pavimento, testa tra le casse, far cadere la testina sul disco ancora e ancora per ascoltare e riascoltare quella canzone”
Nonostante tutto non ci volle molto tempo perché l’album prendesse il suo posto nel cuore dei fans più accaniti. Molti di essi ancora oggi lo definiscono come il loro album preferito e continuano a trovare rifugio all’interno dei suoi testi ermetici.
“La canzone Darkness on the Edge of Town mi parla direttamente“, dice l’editore del libro, Lawrence Kirsch. “Si, l’umore è più scuro che nei precedenti album, ma non senza speranza. Darkness on the Edge of Town è puro ed energico Rock and Roll ed è uno dei più bei lavori che Springsteen abbia mai concepito”.
Nonostante i toni più scuri del disco il tour che ne seguì fu uno dei più energici della carriera di Springsteen. Con più di 200 foto “The Light in The Darkness” mostra Bruce ai suoi apici mentre corre sul palco, salta dal pianoforte e guada le folle dei fans. Con il tour del 1978 Springsteen iniziò la tradizione dei suoi concerti epici da più di tre ore. All’epoca fu una novità così rivoluzionaria che molti, pensando che lo show fosse terminato, lasciavano il concerto durante l’intervallo.
Nonostante il Boss abbia appena compiuto 60 ancora oggi mantiene la tradizione di allora con concerti epici che non trovano uguali in qualsiasi altro artista.
“Lui era come un fulmine attraverso le tenebre, e la band era il tuono” scrive Ron Wells. “Non ho mai visto nessun altro musicista così pieno di energia e gioia. Era in missione. Non era solo un concerto per lui; era libertà e gioia fatta persona.
Narrando alcuni dei suoi show più famosi, come l’Agora di Cleveland, il Roxy di L.A. ed il Winterland Ballroom di San Francisco, “The Light in Darkness” riporta sotto i riflettori alcuni concerti epici suonati in piccoli club.
“Il libro regalerà ai lettori almeno una piccola prospettiva di quello che abbiamo vissuto nel ‘78” dice Kirsch. “La connessione ed il legame creato tra il musicista e la sua audience durante questo tour ha definito il nuovo punto di riferimento per tutti gli album ed i tour che sarebbero seguiti”.
A distanza di 30 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.
Il Libro: Limited Collector’s Edition 208 pagine, Grande formato 9.25” x 12”, completamente a colori, stampato su carta EuroArt Silk 200m, contiene più di 200 fotografie riprodotte direttamente dai negativi e dalle diapositive originali. Il libro può essere acquistato esclusivamente a questo indirizzo: www.thelightindarkness.com/order