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I’ll pass on the Bruce Juice

October 1, 2017

Springsteen’s on Broadway debut I’ve been reading the interviews and I find him, well-meaning, earnest, perceptive–and incredibly BORING! I’m always drawn to his early anthemic work (First four albums) before he became infected with Woody-Gurthritus. I grew up in Freehold, even went to his high school, and ate the same food, walked the same streets. In spite of his politics and clarion call Bruce Freehold voted for Trump (That’s a question I’d like to see a reporter ask him: Why did your hometown vote Trump?). But as an artist, he later became a singer doing emotional autopsies of the lost without going after what defeated them. Instead of giving us a chorus to summon up a spirit to overcome adversity in his later albums, he was lyrically sulking, morose, and self-consciously literate (I guess it would harder for him to write about his daughter’s dressage horsemanship.) Yikes, the painful Seeger sessions, the satuated dreariness of Magic, the funereal The Rising. And to be fair there was a solo middle period that had some stuff–but would have been better with the East Street Band. And when I see him on stage now, granted his up there in age, but he mainly talks through the songs and the audience sings! ( He’s obviously saving his voice for every other songs or a big finish, which is fine by me.) And Mr. Blue Collar selling shirts for forty bucks but balancing it out by positioning a non-profit group statrioned at the exits and asking the crowd to donate (but that’s still nice, yeah.)

Hey, I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. Hey, the early Bruce did his job. The later one was more of a sedative–and sorry, there’s too much out there to overcome pain, whereas he dwelled in it. The time he seems to awaken is doing classic frat-rock early sixties stuff–yeah, fun and movement awakens dreams by making you realize you’re alive. His tone, and his music–well, twilight’s only one part of the day, and if I have to chose one–I’ll take the dawn.

Maybe all this is based in the deep-seated bitterness and pain I experienced by having to listen to his song “Outlaw Pete.” And I only heard it once, and it still hurts! Maybe he should write a song so I can recover from that tune and pursue a more productive life.

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