Saturday, April 15, 2017


Finally wrapped up listing to Bruce Springsteen's unabridged audio recording of his memoir. 

My Big Four takeaways:

1. Abiding admiration for recognizing, addressing and continuing to stand down a dark-side genetic load that rivals the one-handed Ernest Hemingway, yet probably in a similar, slippery way, feeds THE ART. Singer-songwriter Mickey Newbury, who was dealt a similar, stacked deck, called writing against such interior and potentially lethal darkness, "Feeding the Dragon."

2. Gratitude he didn't go into his politics too deeply, something I dreaded would mount as the (16, count 'em!) CD's entered the backstretch. I'm a sing-and-shut-up kind of audience, for better or worse.

3. It's still deplorable he didn't go to bat for the E Street Band being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with him: The tracks with his signature band are indisputably the ones that got him there, (ego?) convenient HOF rules/technicalities be damned.

4. Semi-related note: Dismay, and some disappointment, he stubbornly pays more lip service to lesser (and mostly solo) works, while in some ways undermining the music recorded with the aforementioned E Street Band that will best endure. (A generation from now, BORN TO RUN and DARKNESS will possibly still be resonating. HUMAN TOUCH? DEVILS & DUST? WRECKING BALL? Those don't reach.) 
But some artists are their own worst critics, and more recent and expanded anniversary re-releases have confirmed Bruce buried better songs/versions at the expense of lesser tracks that made their way onto now classic albums.

(5?) Semi-tied to point #4: MAGIC is another, late-career album that most music fans likely won't discover years down the road, but it does contain one great track I choose to reference in THREE CHORDS & THE TRUTH (published by Betimes Books). In a series defined by time-jumps, I picked Bruce's "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" to name-check in order to anchor the most audacious (and possibly resonant) of all the time jumps in the Hector Lassiter series:

If you've read or listened to The Boss' memoir, your thoughts?

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