Friday, January 09, 2015

Where The Change Is

When I was a kid, I had never heard anything as powerful as the busting rock sound of Springsteen. The first record I ever purchased, with my own allowance dollars, was Born In The USA. There is something that connects me to Bruce - something that I can never deny or avoid. With an American mother, I related to the simple chord, blues-rock progressions of every Bruce tune that was straight up and hit-based. 

Another interesting fact that enters into the stew of this equation is the fact that Bruce and I share the same day of birth - September 23. I found that out at young age through the help of Entertainment Tonight - before internet was even a blip on the radar of possibility. 

The first thing Bruce showed me was melody. You don't need to kill a song with complexities. It can be easy - it really can. As Benmont Tench said in the Tom Petty documentary, "Don't bore us - get to the chorus".

Born In The USA is a study in music. It is a warning sign for prog-rock lovers and technical junkies, and a flag to fly for any aspiring songwriter. The verses and intros bring the listener in, but the chorus brings everything home and makes any awkwardness blast apart. The chorus is the finisher - the final touch of crescendo. You can hear it in Glory Days, Dancing In The Dark, Born In The USA, and many more. 

Bruce is a study of musical exasperation. He doesn't stop. He keeps going. He never gives up. The man, in his 69 years of life, can still play three plus hour concerts. Anyone who talks shit about Springsteen doesn't understand the nuts and bolts of music - the real heart and guts of a song comes alive in the words and riffs of this Jersey born blue collar rocker. There are many who try to channel him - but there is only one of him - and I'm thankful for that.

While so many change, Bruce stays the same.

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