Archive for Bruce Springsteen

Friday is Boss’ Day: The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (Live in Rome)

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2013 by 30daysout

ITALY MUSIC.JPG

Sounds like it was a magical night in Rome last night as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “Wrecking Ball”  tour continues to storm its way across Europe. After a roaring version of “Kitty’s Back,” Bruce broke out side 2 of The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle complete with strings. I have included the rarely played gem, “New York City Serenade,” and “Incident on 57th St.” from last night’s set list that also included “Lucky Town,” “Roulette,” and the underrated, “Bobby Jean.”

Backstreets Magazine

“New York City Serenade” (Live in Rome) by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

“Incident on 57th St.” (Live in Rome) by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Cover Me: “Real World” by Georange

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Cover Me with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2013 by 30daysout

I know “Cover Me” is not a very creative title, but I could care less. It’s the best title for this weekly segment that will feature Bruce Springsteen covers performed by unknown artists. I plan to scour the web looking for the best versions of great Boss tunes. There are so many great musicians out there who are never heard and I plan to use this blog to help some of them find an audience.

I know this is shameless, but up first, is me. I am the lead singer of the Houston rock band, Orange Is In. Back in 2010, I did my first ever solo gig at a place called Bohemeo’s in Southeast Houston. It was a small Mexican restaurant/bar that had a great vibe and great owners. On the setlist that night was “Real World,” an excellent love song from Springsteen’s Human Touch album. While the album version is a little over produced, the acoustic version from the 1990 Christic Institute show is beyond amazing. That is the version I tried to capture on that hot July evening.

Feel free to send links to Springsteen covers you would like to see featured in this weekly post. We welcome all comers.

“Real World” by Bruce Springsteen (1990 Christic Institute Show)

A Treasure Trove of Houston – and Texas – Rock History

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Rockin’ Houston is one of the best rock photography web sites ever.

You probably have a favorite place where you have seen many or most of your rock shows – a venue, or even a city. We were lucky to grow up in or near Houston – ever since the 1950s, the city has been a host for the greatest acts in rock history.

For example: when Paul McCartney played in Houston’s Minute Maid Park last week, he did not mention the times he’s played Houston before. It was his sixth visit to the Bayou City – the first was in 1965, at the Sam Houston Coliseum with that other band of his (not Wings). How many cities can say they once hosted the Beatles? So you see, rock fans in Houston consider themselves very privileged indeed.

Now along comes a new web site, RockinHouston.com, that celebrates Houston’s glorious rock history. Consisting of thousands of photographs taken by rock fans and professionals alike, the site brings to life the heyday of places like the Texas Opry House, Liberty Hall, the Houston Music Hall and other local rock meccas. There are shots from the Astrodome, the old Summit (now Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church), even some choice pics from other Texas cities (Sex Pistols at Randy’s Rodeo in San Antonio, 1978? Check.).

One of the many shots you’ll find on RockinHouston.com.

RockinHouston.com was created by Bruce Kessler, who shot photos at virtually every Houston rock concert since the early 1970s. He started as a fan who simply bought a ticket and took photos from his seat, but as he became more proficient he was able to gain closer access from local promoters. Soon Kessler was the official photographer for the Agora Ballroom and later, the house photographer for the Summit. He also went to work as a staff photog for Pace Concerts, which eventually got bought out by SFX then Clear Channel and so on.

Kessler hung up his cameras in 2005 but he eventually was asked to catalog and inventory the archives of fellow Houston photographers Larry Lent, Ray Fetterman and James Townsend, who between them shot many more concerts in the area. Like Kessler, Lent and Townsend started out as fans who eventually earned closer access – Fetterman was at one time a shooter for the now-defunct Houston Post.

All three have since died, and Kessler was asked to inventory Lent’s and Townsend’s files. He was authorized to keep a handful of photos as a token of friendship, and their work also appears on RockinHouston.com.

In a segment titled “Why the Website” Kessler said “Recalling the excitement of sorting through the Townsend and Lent collections and all of the memories that their work brought back, Bruce realized that it would be a shame to let all of the accumulated images and memorabilia go to waste and that it was finally time to share them. Having never exhibited any of his work, this website serves as a massive photo exhibition recalling Houston’s concert history.”

We asked Kessler if he could estimate how many photos he took over the years.  “After months of editing it feels like millions,” he replied, “but I am sure it is just in the tens of thousands … perhaps 30-ish (thousand).” He supposes one could count how many photos he’s uploaded to the site so far, but he adds “I am not even at the halfway point!”

Check out RockinHouston.com when you have a few hours – you won’t want to leave!

Lost Classics!: Di$co Time!

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on November 3, 2012 by 30daysout

Would Gene Simmons and KISS go disco? You bet! (Photo by Keith Leroux for KISSOnline)

A few years ago, while riffling through my closet, I came across my old pea green leisure suit. In one pocket was a ticket stub to a Bee Gees concert, circa 1979 in the Houston Summit. (Yes, that was the one with the guest dancer appearance by one Mr. John Travolta, in town filming Urban Cowboy). Horrified at this perfect polyester time capsule, I bundled it up and gave it as a Christmas white elephant gift at the office party.

I bet there are some pretty famous people who can’t get rid of their disco mistakes so easily. Remember the Beach Boys’ disco cash-in from 1979, “Here Comes The Night”? So do we, unfortunately. How about the Electric Light Orchestra hiding behind an Olivia Newton-John vocal for the horrid “Xanadu” (1980)? Or Paul McCartney’s “Goodnight Tonight” (1979)? Truly frightening.

Unbelieveable, really.

Even artists you wouldn’t expect to do disco, people with a lot artistic integrity, did some booty-shaking tracks back in the day. They may have tried to disguise it, but a disco by another color still smells … well, you know. How about Bruce Springsteen’s “Cover Me” (1984) – a bit late in the game but you can’t deny that driving backbeat. The Eagles doing “One Of These Nights” (1975) might have been a little early in the curve so you can give them the benefit of the doubt, but had it come out a few years later it would be disco. And what about “The Magnificient Seven” by the Clash (1981)? Hmmm.

Then there are the Rolling Stones. How many disco songs did they actually do? Aside from “Miss You” (1978), there’s “Emotional Rescue” (1980) and probably “Beast of Burden” (1978). And the less said about “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” by KISS (1979), the better.

So do you have a leisure suit in the closet? Break it out, dust off your old dance moves and let’s shake some tail on this Saturday night to your favorite rock acts gettin’ down with some disco!

MP3: “One Of These Nights” (live) by the Eagles

MP3: “Cover Me” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “Goodnight Tonight” by Paul McCartney & Wings

MP3: “Here Comes The Night” (1979 version) by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Xanadu” by Olivia Newton-John & the Electric Light Orchestra

MP3: “The Magnificent Seven” by The Clash

MP3: “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (2009 version) by KISS

MP3: “Discotheque” by U2

MP3: “Emotional Rescue” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Shakedown Street” by the Grateful Dead

MP3: “Run Like Hell” by Pink Floyd

And why not?

MP3: “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Rod Stewart

MP3: “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees

Storm Aftermath: Music and Hope

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2012 by 30daysout

Some years ago we took a family vacation to California, and I found myself riding on a streetcar in San Francisco. While the rest of the family clung to the sides as the car rolled up and down the hills, I stood on the back platform and talked with the conductor.

“Where ya from?” he asked. “Houston,” I said. “You got them hurricanes down there?” he asked. “Yeah,” I said. “We got them earthquakes here,” he said. “At least you can see those hurricanes comin’. We don’t get any warning with earthquakes.”

Okay. He wins the natural disaster sweepstakes, I suppose. Whether or not you can see these things coming, and whether or not one lives in a place that gets hurricanes or earthquakes or droughts or blizzards, it’s always tough to see bad things happen to good people.

Yeah, we’ve gotten our fair share of hurricanes where I live. I know what it’s like to have the power out for days, even weeks, and what it’s like to eat the quickly rotting food out of a dead-for-days freezer. My whole family knows what it’s like too, and it ain’t fun.

So I can feel for the folks in New Jersey, New York and other points north who are still trying to survive, and come to terms with their trashed houses and neighborhoods. The best advice I can give ’em? Hang in there. You’re still alive, act like it. And remember the next guy is suffering too, so have a little compassion.

From New Orleans to New Jersey and New York: the great Allen Toussaint with a song he wrote, long before he finally recorded it for a Katrina benefit.

The folks up north are getting their own telethon: “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together,” airs tonight (Nov. 2) at 8 p.m. (EDT) on NBC-Universal stations. The special will air simultaneously on NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, G4, MSNBC, Style, Syfy, The Weather Channel and USA Network.

It will also air on HBO, according to some reports, and other networks may join in before air time. The telethon will be simulcast on Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Radio on SiriusXM and tape delayed for the West Coast. Matt Lauer will host.

“Coming Together” will include performances by Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Sting. Jimmy Fallon and Brian Williams are also scheduled to appear.

Hurricane Sandy: How You Can Help (NBC web site)

The Most Bad-Ass Riff

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2012 by 30daysout

Muddy Waters at the Houston Juneteenth Blues Fest, 1977.

Rock and roll has some killer riffs, mostly played on the electric guitar, and there is no riff more bad-ass than the da-dum-da-DUM riff from songs like Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man.”

Bo had some killer riffs in some of his songs, but the original source seems to be “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man,” by Muddy Waters from 1954. Written by Willie Dixon, it seems to be the first use of this motif that has shown up in blues and rock music ever since. Bo Diddley, a Chess Records label mate of Muddy Waters, cut his “I’m A Man” in 1955 and Muddy actually answered that record with his own “Mannish Boy.”

Remember Muddy singing “Mannish Boy” in The Band/Martin Scorsese film The Last Waltz? That was actually Muddy’s own remake, modeled after his version on the 1977 album Hard Again. The Rolling Stones copped that same song and riff the same year, for their album Love You Live.

Many others have used the same riff, either covering the blues classics of Bo and Muddy, or doing their own originals. “Bad To The Bone” by George Thorogood to the very recent “Early Roman Kings” by Bob Dylan have used this riff.

It’s lasted this long, and shows no sign of ever going away. That is because it’s bad-ass.

MP3: “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” by Muddy Waters

MP3: “I’m A Man” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Mannish Boy” (live) by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Bad To The Bone” by George Thorogood and the Destroyers

MP3: “A Night With the Jersey Devil” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

YouTube: “Early Roman Kings” by Bob Dylan

Video Du Jour: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on June 1, 2012 by 30daysout
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are still goin’ strong, most recently in Europe. They closed this year’s Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands, with a stellar performance of “Spirit in the Night.” The Pinkpop triumph follows on the heels of Bruce and the band’s largest and best shows in Frankfurt and Cologne, and comes prior to their May 30 performance in Berlin for more than 55,000 fans.

BONUS: As a thank you for making the shows in Frankfurt, Cologne and Berlin so memorable, Bruce premiered a performance of Wizz Jones’ “When I Leave Berlin”  to fans in Berlin. Wizz Jones is a British folk musician who wrote and recorded the song in 1973. Here is his website.

Bruce Springsteen official website