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57. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

As I've written about elsewhere, I came to Bruce's music later in life, but am enough of a fan that I wanted to read the autobiography.

It's about 75% about music - listening to it and making it. Some Amazon reviewers complained about that, but that's what I'm here for.  Like Keef, Bruce realy comes alive when talking about music.

Having said that, his rock and roll anecdotes, while nowhere near as wild as Keef's, are authentically funny in the telling.  (The crossing the toll bridge into New York with $1 worth of pennies story is a particular gem).  His descriptions of how his early musical endeavours sucked are beautifully self-deprecating.   Anyone who's ever been in a less than competent band will relate.

For many years he had very little life outside of music because when you're a bit bipolar and a bit OCD, that's a great way to self-medicate.

He talks about how he was lucky to grow up in an age where there was such a variety of music to inspire him, but I think he was even more fortunate that he grew up in an era when recorded music was nowhere near as good as live quality-wise, so every bar had an in-house band and he was able to make a living (albeit a pretty poor one) as a full-time musician straight out of school and didn't have to waste time at a day job, and got paid to hone his craft.  That's something that's sadly not an option any more.

He comes across as a genuine, caring, hard-working guy who has had good luck but also worked very hard to make his dreams come true.  He's never ungrateful about how things have worked out.  It's long, but totally worth it.

inulro: (Default)
Unfortunately, I first became aware of Bruce Springsteen when "Born in the USA" was everywhere. Even then I knew that it wasn't what all the airheads at school thought it was, but the associations were such that I would run a mile.

Then I was into the New Music and arty punky stuff.

I've always been enough of a music nerd to know that a lot of musicians I respect have the big love for Bruce, and understood on an intellectual level that he's good.

A few years ago there was an episode of Cold Case where all the music was Springsteen and it really got my attention.

Embarrassingly enough, today is the first time I've ever sat down to listen to any of albums in their entirety. I started with Born to Run because I love that song. The whole thing is astonishingly good! That's me busy for the rest of the week.

Edit: Until today, I'd only heard the David Bowie version of It's Hard to be a Saint in the City. I have to concede that the original is superior. (Though the cover is hardly Bowie's finest moment).


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