Friday, 13 July 2012

"Where can I begin?"

I have always liked Bruce Springsteen. Growing up in the 80s, certain facts were immutable:

- Margaret Thatcher was Bad
- Paul Simon was Good
- Bruce Springsteen.

These were simple facts inherited from my dad when I was small. (Troublingly, after I recently told him I'd finally got Born In The USA on vinyl, he opined that "Bruce Springsteen is good, but a lot of his stuff sounds the same." I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE A GROWN-UP FATHER/DAUGHTER MUSICAL BONDING MOMENT. Upsetting. If this trend continues he'll tell me he doesn't like Jeff Buckley after all, or that Graceland isn't the greatest record ever made in the history of people making records.) (Also, no it doesn't. It's all different. Every song has its own beating heart. And it's all brilliant.)

But my love for the great man, America's last old-time hero, the best thing to come out of New Joizey, and yes, that tired old nickname, The Boss, has reached new and epidemic levels in the last month. It reached its climax this week as I frantically decided, somewhat bloody late, that I needed to go to his Hyde Park show this Saturday, and my life would be over if I could not get a ticket. Much Gumtree-grazing, 30 emails, one costly ticket scam, two calls to the police, £200-ish down and one glazed, happy look later, I have a ticket. I HAVE A TICKET. I only hope it's legit (it looks it.)

In anticipation and enjoyment of this lovely, lovely fact, I have been drowning myself in his back catalogue for weeks now. Today I discovered Magic.

My little bruv put I'll Work For Your Love on a compilation for me a few yrs ago, but only yesterday did I finally hear the record it came from. Oh GOD. Oh god. It's so wonderful. I didn't know he could do this with his voice. He sings like Richard Hawley! Oh god. Girls In Their Summer Clothes is as graceful as anything he's ever written or performed (and I really liked Secret Garden). You'll Be Coming Down is as beautifully brutal as The Cars' Who's Gonna Drive You Home, which I always thought was a stunning but really unkind song. I love how flooded this album is - I'm a sucker for glorious technicolour, movie-moment, hero-gets-the-girl/hero-swandives-to-his-death-heroically production, the kind that hauls shameless tears down your face.

And I'll Work For Your Love - that crashing, comforting 'this is how life's meant to play out' piano cascade and the chorus's graceful, egoless declaration of intent - it's so Bruce, it's almost a fucking cliche, except that he's so wonderfully good at being him that it's just meta-Bruce - like looking down a corridor of eternal mirrors. If mirrors had arms like rocket launchers, a Fonz-like manner and a really cute arse.

And just because I have no decorum, let's take a moment to celebrate the glorious spectacle that has been Bruce over the years.

Teehee. Mirrors.

I would be happy to find this in my Christmas stocking. That's probably not a euphemism. (He is only 5'9, after all. He'd probably fit.)

Name one other person who can wear medallions like this and get away with it. Other than Mr T.

Still hot. Still got it.

The ultimate bromance. R.I.P. Clarence Clemons.

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