Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen/ Born To Run (Book Review)

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Born To Run was a Christmas Gift from my daughter Lauren! 

I am nowhere near a Springsteen Diehard. But I have always liked Bruce’s music as he always came across as a Hard Working Blue Collar Rock Guy. Listen to Downbound Train from 1984’s Born In The USA album for a reference point in the lyrics of the song as Bruce sings about losing your job/losing the girl and hearing that whistle whine on the Downbound Train! Many of his songs are just about Life and for that I can totally can relate to Bruce as he writes about any one of us…

So when it was announced that he was putting out his own memoir I was intrigued right off the hop! When Bruce was mega popular especially in 1984-85 I was 17 going on 18 and you had to hand it to the guy as he kept his nose clean. Sure there he was in the Tabloids at one point(more on that later) but he wasn’t ever the Meathead who was drunk driving or starting brawls he was just Bruce!

This 528 page read(outside of that cool throwback front cover pic of Bruce the pics are at the back of the book)) is right from Bruce’s own mouth. As you read it has not been smooth sailing for Bruce as he admits freely how is and was dealing with depression and medication to help through which started when he was teased in school with name “Blinky” due to a fluttering  eyelid. His depression lasted right up before the release of Born In The USA album as him told his lifelong manager Jon Landu about what was going on.

His father was a heavy drinker and Bruce never felt appreciated by him as he just wanted acceptance from his Dad. So in regards to the book Bruce is human but a lot of us see it as  since he’s played hundreds of shows(pushing anywhere from 3-4 hour performances)sold millions of records,graced a ton of magazine covers. You would think all is well right? Well wrong….Bruce is Human! Perhaps his 1992 album Human Survival had more to do than just being a simple name of an album.

Born To Run deals a lot with relationships especially with members of his E Street Band. You read on what went down between Bruce and Miami Steve on why Steve left during the recording of Born In The USA. Bruce describes in full why he canned the E Street Band after the Tunnel of Love Tour back in 1988. How he has dealt with the passing of two key components of his E Street band. ( Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons or ‘C’ as Bruce calls him). Bruce discusses when he was plastered in the Tabloids when he married and divorced Julianne Phillips due to his involvement with an E Street member Patti Scialfa. 

Bruce always kept a lid on it for the most part! Private is Private! So you gotta hand it to him. Bruce though pulls no punches that he is indeed running the show in regards to the E Street’s. His moniker “The Boss” is not mentioned once in the 500 plus pages. He’s not a big fan of that so-called nick name as well from what I gather.

A great story is when Bruce describes Jake Clemons (Clarence’s Nephew) audition and the Young Jake shows up unrehearsed! Let’s just say ‘Don’t ever do that!” Haha…I am of course putting it mildly. 

I could go on of course with many stories from this book.

As I had mentioned at the start of this review I am not the biggest Springsteen Fanboy out there(If you’re wondering Tunnel of Love is my favourite Bruce album) but it was a Fantastic read as this Book was stuffed with ton’s of fact’s. It’s like Bruce is talking to you.

Get This…..

 

 

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Muc’s All Time Top 20 Albums..

So a few weeks back I tossed out to some folks via FaceCrack to throw down what they would consider their favourite Top 20 Albums.

Some of my Peep’s got right into it( I thank you all who participated) and submitted their picks which I laid down a few rules being that you could not duplicate artists and not to include Live Albums!

Some people are just plain old Rule Breakers  and one of them is Muc  (I have known for close to 36 years! ) Ha! But I was glad he submitted his Top 20 and most of the stuff I have heard but there are a few submitted I had never heard!

With  Muc’s Top 20 I thought I would talk about all his Top 20 albums with just one or two sentences explaining them to you all……(Muc’s Top 20 is pictured below)

Muc….grow back that Mullet Dude……

Lets Do This…

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AC/DC’s “BACK IN BLACK’ – Yup with titles like Given The Dog A Bone,Shake A Leg and the greatest song ever written about Hookers(What You Do For Money Honey) we all learned life lessons from Jonno,Angus and the rest of the DC’ers!

RUSH’s “MOVING PICTURES”-What happens when you get three virtuosos(Lee/Lifeson and Peart) locked up at Le Studio in Quebec back in 1981? A bona fide all time great piece of Kinda Prog Rock that is relentless in the chops of the musicians and the songs just explode and  after one spin of Moving Pictures we all became Air Drummers thanks to Mr Peart!

BLACK SABBATH’s ” HEAVEN AND HELL- 1980 ushers in Ronnie James Dio as the new Sabbath vocalist and Iommi/Butler and Ward shift gears and deliver a  rock solid masterpiece! Neon Knights  leads off the charge and if you want your Sabbath Sludged like how it was with Ozzy you came to the wrong house…..

JUDAS PRIEST’s “Unleashed In The East- What a rule breaker that Muc fellow is. Unleashed is live so I can forgive him as this is Priest on fire before they became Turbo Lovers. Unleashed is when Priest   sang songs about Genocide and toss in a Green Manaleshi With The Two Pronged Crown while we’re at it!

THE KILLER’s ” SAM’S TOWN”-Don’t know too much about these guys but I will say that the tune When We Were Young is a great piece of written rock. Muc moves into the present time pretty much with this one…

KISS “ALIVE 2”- I will say that Kiss Alive 2( not counting the actual studio portion of it)  is the second best Kiss studio album next to the first Kiss Alive album! Money Bags  Simmons and Stanley along with Piss Tanks Criss and Frehley deliver a Sonic Juggernaut to our young minds back than and delivered of course the marketing with Alive 2 which included that real cool Live Pic in the gatefold along with booklet and  washable Tatoo’s??

MATTHEW GOOD “White Light Rock N Roll Review”-Too be honest I only own a couple of Good albums but the guy still makes it to Tbay now and then to play and still puts out albums so Kudos to him for that!

PEARL JAM “10”-When I think of 1992 ,this album  is at the top of that heap as it did lend a helping hand( along with Nirvana and others) to demolish Bret Michael’s into the foothills of his L.A Mansion crying into his Bandanna! Mr Vedder! I thank you for that!

THE CLASH “LONDON CALLING”- Even though Muc was full-out 100% Hard Rocker you can see that by  some of his picks he could listen outside the musical box and give The Clash credit as they were one of the first bands I knew of to deliver a double studio album. Train In Vain is still a real good track…..

HONEYMOON SUITE “BIG PRIZE”- Surprised to see this one here! These guys were the deal here in Canada back in 1986 and thanks to the production of the late Bruce Fairbairn, Honeymoon delivered a blistering set of Rock Tracks that even featured  Mike Ladano’s Homeboy Ian Anderson(Jethro Tull) playing some cranked up flute on All Along You Knew!

FOO FIGHTER”s “THE COLOUR AND SHAPE” – Dave Grohl  before he became Mr Everywhere  delivered a real good album and had a good knack(no pun,keep reading) for writing real cool big rock riffs that even an Old Geezer like me could relate too! Case in point,Monkey Wrench and Hey Johnny Park…

DEF LEPPARD “On Through The Night”- Yes! Classic Lepp and when Muc bought this back in 1981 I purchased at the same time Iron Maiden’s Killer’s! On Through The Night is Lepp going for the throat with nothing to lose and no signs of pouring any kind of sugar at all!

THE KNACK “Get The Knack”-Muc I think mentioned that this is his all time favourite album! Fair enough as it was jammed pack  with simple rock and real catchy tunes and a song about Sharona!

CHEAP TRICK “DREAM POLICE”- This album landed in my Top 20 as well. It’s a Sonic Boom of Epic Proportions in song structure and string selection along with Rick Nielsen’s quirkiness with a singer in Robin Zander who could belt it out made this a win win..

FLEETWOOD MAC “RUMOURS”- How many copies did this sell? 20 mill and counting? Who knows but man I think Mick Fleetwood has the coolest Skullet ever! Well Kim Mitchell pre 1990 had a good Skullet as well….

THE TRAGICALLY HIP ” FULLY COMPLETELY”-You can’t really go wrong in my estimation with the first 4 Hip albums! This is a dud free album and man The Wherewithal is an absolute blast of genius!

IRON MAIDEN “PIECE OF MIND” –Atta Boy ! Maiden deliver a Bombastic Slab O  Metal that just blew us all away! Dickinson soars vocally while the rest of the Maiden’s lay down the British Metal Law Musically! Epic comes to  mind!

SEVEN MARY THREE “DIS/LOCATION- Can’t really comment here but if Muc says so ……well its his Top 20 ….

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN “BORN TO RUN”- I can see this one here as Muc always dug the Boss! The title track sez it all doesn’t it??

SEX PISTOLS “NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS”- Ha!Muc being different but fair enough.Amazing how much a game changer this was for many people yet it sold peanuts but every rock fan knows of its existence! Bizarre….

Well there you have it my friends!

 

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band(Born In The USA Live)

Bruuuuuuuuuce! There are many Springsteen diehards out there! Aaron being the music fan that he is sent me a ton of Bruce and I thank Ya kind sir for that. One album that  does not need any introduction is the Born In The USA album.

1984 and Born In The USA sold mega units.(30 Million,Yep you read that right)  We all know the deal but here is the Born In The USA album played live in 2013 front to back so let’s check this one out kids! I love live albums the KMA love Bruce well I know for sure Aaron does so here it goes ….

Bruce was Born To Run…..and so was The KMA!

BORN IN THE USA- we all know this song right! Do i really need to discuss it? Naaa but maybe! 1984 what a great year for albums and music and one of them was this monster by Bruce and company and well his company is the E Street Band with Little Stevie,Clarence Clemons(RIP) Roy Bittan,Max Weinberg,Danny Federici(RIP),Nils Lofgren and Gary Tallent of course the live version of the band is different in 2015 than it was in 1984 obviously with a few people passing on but Bruce throws it down and when he sings he sometimes sounds like he straining his vocals and it was always Impressive with the length of shows this guy played nightly(3 hrs plus) that he was never shut down for any vocal trouble! So having rambled all that Bruce in 2013 sounds pretty much like Bruce 29 years earlier. That to me is the highest compliment I can pay to any lead singer in any format. Another Bruce as in Dickinson from Iron Maiden is another one,many others not so kind and I ain’t saying who!

COVER ME- Bruce crashes down after Born In The USA  has ended and does his trademark 1-2-3-4 count in and were into Cover Me! Some pretty cool riffing on guitar and man no one ever talks of his gutiar playing and Bruce can jolt down some pretty cool nifty thrifty leads as I mean he wrote the tunes so,why the hell not! Cover Me is a great Rock track especially the little breakdown in the middle section when Bruce sings ‘where the wild wind blows!’ Like the quick shift of the tempo and some real good soloing!

DARLINGTON COUNTY-a Stonesy riff starts off this track and I really love the cowbell. Just a feel good Honkey Tonkey style tune. C’mon load up the pickup and let’s head to Darlington County! Toss in a side order of some “Sha la la sha la la”while your at it!

WORKING ON THE HIGHWAY-Max plays some real cool drums and is joined by some quick strumming acoustic! The band joins in almost sounds like it would have fit in from the 50s this tune! Rock A Billy!

DOWNBOUND TRAIN-Yeah man this next to Brilliant Disguise is my fav Springsteen track! Bruce like many of his tracks is great at storytelling and in this case it’s some poor schmuck named Joe whose woman told him she had to go! I mean Joe lost his job down at the shipyards and has to work the carwash now  people, that fuckin sucks! Bruce delivers this tune with real passion and I gotta say his lyrics, the music it all fits! And when you here that whistle whine  …..come to think of it two years later that Jovi character also from New Jersey took the basis of this tune and cashed cowed a tune called Living On A Prayer! You think I’m on drugs? Listen to them back to back(just the lyrics the story,not the music) and just remember Bruce was on the Downbound Train in 1984. Jon,Richie,Tico,David and the great A.J Such stole Framptons Talk Box,borrowed Bruce’s idea kinda and JOVI bought there own Money Truck after Living On A Prayer blew up the charts! Watch the vid ……

I’M ON FIRE-ha ha this video to this tune was great! Bruce the mechanic and has the lady whose legs you only see in the video sez can Ya fixie my car by tomoorow am! Ha! Bruce fixes the car and cruises in it! On Fire has a chill vibe courtesy of Max on the drums! Throw down some “woo ahoo’s! ”

NO SURRENDER-Bruce keeps the show moving 1234… We’re off and No Surrender has some real cool Pickin at the beginning and the chorus tells us No Surrender! Ok ok ok…listen to this song lyrically and listen to Blood On Blood by Bon Jovi! Ha …..Jon Bon Springsteen was just  itching to be taken seriously as a song writer so ,well you be the judge! Like the middle Na Na Na’s when Bruce and Little Steven rock it vocally! Love the power chops ending of this and another 1234 Bruce intro to…

BOBBY JEAN-some nice sax opens this tune courtesy of Jake Clemons and this is a mid tempo track no frills but the song ends with once again some real cool sax! Max Weinberg drives this song with his drums so it’s doesn’t get sappy!

I’M GOIN DOWN-Bruce plays a real cool riff at the beginning! It’s just the  Boss!  Love this tune it’s another bar room Bruce rocker and once the song kicks in its simple yet so friggin catchy and sometimes that’s all it takes! Another real cool sax solo! Bruce his voice,his guitar and his band are still steaming full throttle! The band smashes it’s up at he end and right into….

GLORY DAYS-this is a great drinking  tune man! Bruce talks of bumping into buddy having a few drinks and talking about those days! Ahem Glory Days! Love the beat laid down by the E Streeters on this tune! The percusion is awesome on this track and its Bruce picking up his Tele strumming and jamming in the local water hole until the owner kills the power! Stevie and Bruce shout out a bunch of Allrights and Oh Yeahs! Crank the vid and crank back  a beer with it!

DANCING IN THE DARK-man this video went bonkers when it was released in 84! 2015 Bruce plays it perfect I mean how could he not? People love this tune and I like the driving bass in it. Garry throws down some simple straight ahead Bassing but it works! Jake and his sax Rock this tune along…This live version is a little extended of course it’s live…..even the synth line it still stands the test of time as it hasn’t drivin me bonkers like some 80s stuff does….

MY HOMETOWN-yeah man this is Bruce’s Hometown! This tune wraps up the whole USA album played from front to back,quiet  drums,everything’s relaxed even with crowd participation singing Your Hometown! Nice chill ending to a real good rock record!

IN CONCLUSION- love that Bruce played the whole album front to back! Bruce and the E Streeters rock this album up and pretty much stick to what they know. Bottom line it’s a great live Album!

Cool Lil Numbers….Bruce Springsteen/Brilliant Disguise

Power pop classic is what Brilliant Disguise is. Bruce in the 80s was everywhere I mean you would have have had to been living under a rock not to know all the hits that came from Born In The USA! (Downbound Train a non single is a personal fav) but like everything going around on him at the time Bruce ducks out into his home studio cranks out The Tunnel Of Love album with various E Street characters and when the tour was done Bruce pink slipped em all! Brilliant Disguise!

This song when it was released on Oct 3 1987 (5 days before my 20th Birthday) became  a instant fav of mine! It’s Bruce kinda bummed out going on about self doubt I suppose and the whole song verses/chorus etc it’s just plain out classic! Bruce is strumming acoustic and its just simple with drums and keys. That’s it!

Now for me I always regard the sonics of the tune through the grooves of vinyl/cd back than. Tunnel Of Love though I bought on cassette but man when i seen the vid of Bruce chilling in a kitchen strumming his guitar eyeballing the screen as he sings I was hooked! Videos never sold me on buying music as I was a music buying junkie I had the albums before the videos were made (for the most part) but the video made me buy the cassette ??  but man this coulda been Bruce in anyone of our kitchens back than! Imagine that…”hey Bruce whadda want in your coffee?” Me and Tbone have talked about this video how simple yet effective it was as everyone back than was doing million $ videos ! Kudos to Bruce for just stripping it back….

Great song delivered with a Arena Rock Chill Vibe on this Sunday March 1 2015! (Thank You Mr Springsteen!)

Special Thanks to Aaron At  The KMA for sending me all things sonically Bruce!