(September 23, 2021) “I spent most of my life as a musician measuring the distance between the American Dream and American reality,” Bruce Springsteen told at a rally for presidential candidate Barack Obama on November 2, 2008.
The Boss had come a long way from music journalist Jon Landau seeing him and the E Street Band opening up for Bonnie Raitt at Harvard Square Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1974. Overwhelmed by what he heard, Landau wrote, “I saw my rock and roll past flash before my eyes. I saw something else: I saw rock and roll’s future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”
“Tonight,” his column began, “there is someone I can write of the way I used to write, without reservations of any kind. Of Springsteen’s recent concert in Harvard Square, he wrote: “On a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time. When his two hour set ended I could only think, can anyone really be this good, can anyone say this much to me, can rock and roll speak with this kind of power and glory? And then I felt the sores on my thighs where I had been pounding my hands in time for the entire concert and knew that the answer was Yes.
Springsteen does it all. He is a rock’n’roll punk, a Latin street poet, a ballet dancer, an actor, a joker, bar band leader, rhythm guitar player, extraordinary singer, and a truly great rock’n’roll composer. He leads a band like he has been doing it forever. I racked my brains but simply can’t think of a white artist who does so many things so superbly. There is no one I would rather watch on a stage today.”
On September 23, 2021, the Boss turned 72. Happy birthday.
Nota Bene: “Back in 1979, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performed benefit concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden for Musicians United for Safe Energy. Three songs they played were included in the 1980 documentary No Nukes,” says Pitchfork.” Now, additional footage of the band’s performances are getting released in a new concert film and album, The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts. The movie was edited by frequent Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny from the original 16mm film, along with remixed audio from Bob Clearmountain.”