When I was a teenager there was a documentary on BBC2 called Rock N Roll Heroes. It was hosted by Jeff Bridges in a corny fashion and started a trend (at least amongst my friends) for saying “Rock N Roll Phew” in imitation of Jeff Bridges cheesy commentary. It also started my obsession with Bruce Springsteen.
When Bruce Springsteen came on screen singing Rosalita. When he jumped into the audience surrounded by screaming fans. When he looked at the camera as if to say “isn’t this great.” I was hooked.
Learning acoustic guitar had led me to Bob Dylan. I had already started listening to soul music and I loved the energy of punk bands like The Clash.
Springsteen had all of these things wrapped in one package.
Plus he was as cool as Al Pacino in Serpico.
I bought Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Born To Run and I stayed in on New Years in order to see Bruce Springsteen on The Old Grey Whistle Test New Years Eve Special. This was way before Youtube.
Bruce Springsteen was my obsession.
No one at school was into him. In the mad rush of post punk the music press rarely wrote about him. I can only recall hearing him on the radio once during these teenage years.
In fact it was sometime before I realised that he had made The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle and Greetings From Astbury Park two albums which I had to order from Bradley’s Records on Chapel Walk in Sheffield.
I had tickets to see him on his 1980 tour and saw him at Roundhay Park in Leeds. Springsteen at Bramall Lane was a revelation at a time when I had totally lost interest in him then after seeing him without the E Street Band in the 90’s I thought my love affair was dead.
Last year I saw the Boss at Old Trafford. In the past twenty years I have barely listened to Springsteen’s music but he blew me away. It was everything great rock music should be…life affirming, uplifting entertainment .At 60 years old he has the energy and enthusiasm of a man half his age and he carries with him an outstanding back catalogue which he picks from, seemingly , at random. He is not tied to a greatest hits set and is not an “oldies” act. His music lives and breathes.
Summer 2009 saw Springsteen doing a performance at Glastonbury which divided the audience but probably won over a new generation of new fans. Watching at home the relentless energy and enthusiasm jumped through the TV set.This was a man in love with the power of rock n roll and if, as the critic from the Guardian claimed, it was like watching a guy singing songs from a musical about a car mechanic I felt sorry for those cynical non-believers.
Without doubt loving Springsteen’s music requires you to cast aside all cynicism and become a believer. Trying to convert one of the guys in the LMM office with a You Tube clip of Rosalita I saw a power packed rock n roll ballet with Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen performing a street cool piece of theatre…he just saw some blokes running around on stage to a soundtrack of old fashioned Meatloaf style AOR.
Back in March 2009 I went along to the Diamond in Sutton In Ashfield to see Glory Days The Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band. I went with reservations but left having seen a band playing with the spirit and love of the E Street Band and with a frontman who had the voice, the guitar sound and the look of Bruce Springsteen . More importantly , for me ,he seemed to love being on stage in the same way that Bruce loves being on stage. He had the same look in his eyes that Bruce had in that 1970’s Rosalita video when he looked at the camera as if to say “Isn’t this great.”
As an entertainment agent it’s that look that we have searched for in the eyes of every act who has worked for LMM.
”Isn’t it great” to be allowed the privilege of getting up on stage in front of an audience.
LMM do not currently work with Glory Days and we have no affiliation with The Diamond which appears to be an independent venue….it’s obviously run by someone with a deep love of live music and classic rock. We wish both of them the best. Thanks for a great night out.
On Dec 19 2009 I went with a whole bunch of neighbours and friends to see Glory Days at the Boardwalk in Sheffield This great little venue, where the Clash played their first show (supporting the Sex Pistols back when it was The Black Swan) and members of The Arctic Monkeys worked behind the bar, was packed to the gills with true believers.
It was Glory Days last ever show with the current line up after fifteen years of playing as a Springsteen tribute. It turned out to be a memorable evening with the band putting in a three hour Springsteen-esque performance featuring loads of fan favourites, audience participation and suspension of belief. My neighbours who travel throughout the world to see the real Springsteen where there and bumping into people they had met in Seville, Miami or New Jersey at Bruce Springsteen shows. None of them left disappointed last night. It was a great gig.
Good luck to the Glory Days boys in whatever they get up to you made a lot of people happy last night….but I suspect we also made you guys happy with our sheer enthusiasm for the Bosses music and your playing.
By the way if you’re wondering what the fuss is about with Springsteen check out his performance at the 2009 Superbowl.
Bruce Springsteen (and Glory Days Tribute Band)-We Salute You.