Thursday Thunder Road
“And I walk over and I say, ‘I want to sit in…'”
Clarence Clemons chats about the first time he met Bruce.(via Fuckyeahtheboss)
I am jealous that musicians get to have that connection. Painting, drawing, printmaking, artmaking… any of that lot is always solitary, but sometimes it’s downright lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I like it that way. I work better alone, and I really dig hitting a rhythm and going down the rabbit hole. I have tried collaboration, and besides illustrating for some fabulous writers, it has never worked. There wasn’t any fighting or bickering or anything of that nature, the art was just, well, bad. I guess I just haven’t found my Clarence or my Bruce.
For more Boss action, here are some bands I love that I think wouldn’t exist (or they’d be ripping off Depeche Mode… who knows?) if it weren’t for Bruce.
- The Gaslight Anthem. The first time I heard these guys, I said, “Oh! It’s like cute little punker Bruce Springsteens! Adorable!” Bruce has even played with them! And like Papa Bruce, there are reoccurring themes of women and cars, cars and women, open roads, youthful angst, and cars and women. And they’ve got a new album coming out, which probably means you’ll get a chance to see them live soon… Here’s a video of them covering “I’m On Fire” in Germany. The audience sings along. I am sucker for s**t like this.
- The Weight. Oh hey, it’s a buncha beardy dudes in tight pants from Brooklyn who probably smell like meat sandwiches, stale cigarettes, and hair conditioner. The music is good. All-American rock with no irony. Real love. Go HERE to listen.
- The Arcade Fire. Not a big fan. Let it also be known, I’m not a hater. But I always think Arcade Fire are at their best when they’re trying to be someone else (see: Bowie on “Rebellion: Lies”, The Cure “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) ” ) The second album, Neon Bible goes full on Boss. “(Antichrist Television Blues)” and “Keep the Car Running” are textbook Born in the USA era Bruce. Though I’m still not a fan of them, I still think they did right by the Boss. Anyway, here is Bruce and the Arcade Fire doing “State Trooper”.
- John Cougar Mellencamp. I’ve heard the Bruce similarities thrown at JCM as an insult. Mostly, that JCM is like a 10th generation copy of Bruce. I can see a little grain of truth in that because I think that most times Mr. Cougar-Mell’s lyrics aren’t quite as insightful and I’ve never seen JCM have the sort of urgent anger with injustice that Bruce does. However, John brings that swaggering, cute, everyman to life just as well as Bruce. Especially on 1987’s Scarecrow which rides on the same bus line as Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born. Spend a little time with it, I think you might be surprised. Look at how timely JCM’s video for “Rain On the Scarecrow” is even today. Maybe even more timely. The more things change, the more they stay the same?
- Others of note: The Walkmen (more on them later), Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi. Those who have tried and failed: The Killers, Kings of Leon.