Tag Archives: High Hopes

The Modernization of Bruce Springsteen

An artist who was once at one with the times tries (again) to reinvent himself

By Michael Goldberg.

Bruce Springsteen was once a myth, a myth we all could pretend was real. He was a myth the way Bob Dylan was a myth, is a myth.

During the Sixties it stopped being OK to be an entertainer. Musicians got onstage wearing the same jeans and t-shirts they wore around the house. It was cool to keep it real. But it turned out that the jeans and t-shirts were as much a costume as Elvis’ crazy stage garb.

So when Bruce Springsteen showed up in the early ‘70s with his leather jacket, his jeans and his motorcycle boots singing about the Jersey shore – one of the ‘New Dylan’s’ that were appearing with frequency — we wanted to believe it was real.

And I did believe it.

I didn’t think of Springsteen as a writer creating a persona, a cast of characters and a story that was ultimately spread across seven albums. I thought he was the guy singing stories from his crazy youth: ‘Rosalita’ and ‘Mary Queen of Arkansas’ and ‘Blinded By The Light’ and ‘Thunder Road’ and ‘Born To Run’ and all the others. Sure he was writing in an almost embarrassingly derivative style that owed everything to Dylan’s mid-60s surrealistic word games, but Springsteen pulled it off. And by 1973 the real Dylan seemed to be losing his luster anyway. (And soon enough Springsteen settled into his own voice and sound.)

I found a version of myself in Springsteen’s songs. When he sang in ‘Thunder Road,’ “It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win,” I knew that was me. Fuck yeah, I was going to become a successful writer, write for the New York magazines, leave all the chumps I’d put up with in high school and college behind.

Sure I was working as a copy boy at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1975, but that was gonna change. That was temporary, a way to pay the bills until I broke into the writing business.

In the late fall of 1975, two months after the release of Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen toured the west coast. There were five of us loaded into Karen’s car the night of October 29, 1975, Our destination was the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento, the state capital, a two-hour drive north east of San Francisco. Two hours? We didn’t care. I mean this was our chance to see Bruce Springsteen!

In the car were me, my girlfriend Leslie, my best friend Dave, Dave’s girlfriend Karen and another friend, Dana, who co-led a band with Dave. Springsteen was also playing at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, but that show was sold out, and anyway, there was something romantic, Springsteenesque even, about driving two hours in the early evening to Sacramento, a town seeming stuck in the past. The Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, after all, had been built in 1926, and it looked it. It was like time-traveling when you passed through the front doors – it’s one of those grand old theaters.

For the rest of this column, head to Addicted To Noise.

Video: Bruce Springsteen Rocks Perth, Australia — Part 2

Yesterday I posted some great clips from Bruce Springsteen’s three shows in Perth, Australia.

Since then more clips have gone online — some of these are incredible quality, both audio and video — and you can check them out below:

“Born To Run” & “Dancing In The Dark” – Perth Arena, Feb. 5, 2014:

“The River” – Perth Arena, Feb. 5, 2014:

“American Skin (41 Shots)” – Perth Arena, Feb. 5, 2014:

“Shout” – Perth Arena, Feb. 5, 2014:

“Girls in Their Summer Clothes” – Perth Arena, Feb. 7, 2014:

“Atlantic City” – Perth Arena, Feb. 7, 2014:

“Thunder Road” – Perth Arena, Feb. 7, 2014:

“Out In The Street” – Perth Arena, Feb. 7, 2014:

“Rosalita” – Perth Arena, Feb. 7, 2014:

“High Hopes” – Perth Arena, Feb. 7, 2014:

“The Ghost of Tom Joad” & “Land of Hope and Dreams” – Perth Arena, Feb. 8, 2014:

“Dancing In The Dark” – Perth Arena, Feb. 8, 2014:

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

Video: Check out Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Just Like Fire Would’

Photo via Bruce Springsteen’s Facebook page.

New video for “Just Like Fire Would” off High Hopes.

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

Listen: Stream Bruce Springsteen’s New ‘High Hopes’ Album Now

Finally, the new Bruce Springsteen album, High Hopes, is here. If you dig it, buy it January 14, 2014.

High Hopes is out 1/14 via Columbia.

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

Listen: Springsteen Talks About New Album Plus Stream “High Hopes” Single

New Springsteen album, High Hopes, will be released January 14, 2014.

The album mixes covers, originals and new versions of older songs. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello appears on eight tracks. It was produced by Brendan O’Brien and Ron Aniello.

Here’s more info off Springsteen’s website:

High Hopes finds Bruce in a number of different musical settings, and includes the members of the E Street Band as well as guitarist Tom Morello and many additional players. Recorded in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Australia and New York City, High Hopes marks Bruce’s 18th studio album and includes his own liner notes that detail the album’s evolution, viewable now at brucespringsteen.net.

Morello joined Bruce and the E Street Band on tour in Australia in March 2013 (sitting in for Steve Van Zandt), and became, as Bruce says, “my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level.” Besides his guitar playing on the album, Morello also duets with Bruce on ”The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2011, and Danny Federici, who passed away in 2008, also appear on several songs of what Springsteen calls “some of our best unreleased material from the past decade.”

Here’s the “High Hopes” video:

High Hopes tracklisting:

1. High Hopes (Tim Scott McConnell) – featuring Tom Morello
2. Harry’s Place * – featuring Tom Morello
3. American Skin (41 Shots) – featuring Tom Morello
4. Just Like Fire Would (Chris J. Bailey) – featuring Tom Morello
5. Down In The Hole *
6. Heaven’s Wall ** – featuring Tom Morello
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game * – featuring Tom Morello
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad – duet with Tom Morello
11. The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream (Martin Rev and Alan Vega) – featuring Tom Morello
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen except as noted

Album produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen

*Produced by Brendan O’Brien

**Produced by Brendan O’Brien, co-produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen

Here are Springsteen’s liner notes:

I was working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade when Tom Morello (sitting in for Steve during the Australian leg of our tour) suggested we ought to add “High Hopes” to our live set. I had cut “High Hopes”, a song by Tim Scott McConnell of the LA based Havalinas, in the 90′s. We worked it up in our Aussie rehearsals and Tom then proceeded to burn the house down with it. We re-cut it mid tour at Studios 301 in Sydney along with “Just Like Fire Would”, a song from one of my favorite early Australian punk bands, The Saints (check out “I’m Stranded”). Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level. Thanks for the inspiration Tom.

Some of these songs, “American Skin” and “Ghost of Tom Joad”, you’ll be familiar with from our live versions. I felt they were among the best of my writing and deserved a proper studio recording. “The Wall” is something I’d played on stage a few times and remains very close to my heart. The title and idea were Joe Grushecky’s, then the song appeared after Patti and I made a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. It was inspired by my memories of Walter Cichon. Walter was one of the great early Jersey Shore rockers, who along with his brother Ray (one of my early guitar mentors) led the “Motifs”. The Motifs were a local rock band who were always a head above everybody else. Raw, sexy and rebellious, they were the heroes you aspired to be. But these were heroes you could touch, speak to, and go to with your musical inquiries. Cool, but always accessible, they were an inspiration to me, and many young working musicians in 1960′s central New Jersey. Though my character in “The Wall” is a Marine, Walter was actually in the Army, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry. He was the first person I ever stood in the presence of who was filled with the mystique of the true rock star. Walter went missing in action in Vietnam in March 1968. He still performs somewhat regularly in my mind, the way he stood, dressed, held the tambourine, the casual cool, the freeness. The man who by his attitude, his walk said “you can defy all this, all of what’s here, all of what you’ve been taught, taught to fear, to love and you’ll still be alright.” His was a terrible loss to us, his loved ones and the local music scene. I still miss him.

This is music I always felt needed to be released. From the gangsters of “Harry’s Place”, the ill-prepared roomies on “Frankie Fell In Love” (shades of Steve and I bumming together in our Asbury Park apartment) the travelers in the wasteland of “Hunter Of Invisible Game,” to the soldier and his visiting friend in “The Wall”, I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing. Hope you enjoy it.

A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post

New Bruce Springsteen Album Coming in 2014

Cover of Springsteen’s new single, “High Hopes.”

The new Bruce Springsteen single, “High Hopes,” will be released next Monday, November 25, 2013. It’s a fairly recent recording, possibly made in Australia while Springsteen and the E Street Band were touring Australia earlier this year. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello Tom Morello plays wah-wah guitar on the track and there’s a horn section.

Springsteen and the band augmented by Morello performed “High Hopes” while touring Australia in March.

During an interview in June Springsteen said that he and the band and Morello went into the studio in Australia.

“We did a couple of things that I wanted to put down,” Springsteen told Rolling Stone. “Being with Tommy was exciting.”

Billboard reports that a new Springsteen album “could be out as early as January — a quick follow-up to 2012’s chart-topping Wrecking Ball.

Here’s Springsteen and the E Street Band and Tom Morello performing “High Hopes” on stage.

Here’s the new single:

Listen: Unreleased Bruce Springsteen Demo, “Homestead,” Plus New Single on the Way

New Springsteen single due Nov. 25.

According to Sony’s website for Bruce Springsteen, a new Springsteen single, “High Hopes,” will be released on November 25.

Listen to it at the bottom of this post.

The song was written by Tom Scott McConnell who wrote it in 1987 andrecorded it in 1990 with his band the Havalinas. Springsteen originally released his version in 1995 on the Blood Brothers EP. No oe has yet confirmed if this is that recording, or a new one.

Meanwhile, the demo of “Homestead,” was written by Bruce Springsteen and Joe Grushecky when Springsteen produced Grushecky’s 1995 album,  American Babylon.

Talking about the song during an interview, Grushecky said, “I thought the words were great, and I didn’t have a good ending, and I didn’t think the music I had matched up well with the lyrics. So I just gave it casually to Bruce and said, ‘If you can think of something, be my guest.’ And a few days later, he called me back and said he had some music he really liked to it, and we should go and record it. And of course I was thrilled.”


Live version of “High Hopes”: