THE BOSS REMINDS (Segue of the Day: 1/23/16)

I don’t write much about Bruce Springsteen because, though I like a lot of his music, I’m not close enough to it to say much of anything that hasn’t already been said. But careening around YouTube in the wee hours last night, I found his tributes (at separate shows) to David Bowie and Glenn Frey. Then I started asking myself if anyone else could have really done justice to both. After sleeping on it, I decided the answer was decidedly “no.”

Of the aging rockers on the road who offered tributes that have made it to YouTube so far, Jackson Browne did “Take It Easy” (which he co-wrote) and it’s beautiful. Madonna embarrassed herself on “Rebel, Rebel” but you could tell her heart was in it.

The thing is, it’s hard to imagine either being able to so much as wave a hand at the one who is outside their lane (Bowie in Browne’s case, Frey in Madonna’s), even if they cared to try.

I wouldn’t have bet either Frey or Bowie were exactly in Springsteen’s lane either. And, really, they weren’t. Until he showed, as I suppose he often has, just how wide his lane really is.

I’ll just add that the common narrative has always been that David Bowie fans and Eagles’ fans never had much, if anything, to say to each other.

I wonder if that might just have been  wishful thinking on the part of those who mean us harm and have now come so very close to bringing their dream to pass. Assuming a new David Bowie or a new Glenn Frey were to emerge tomorrow, what chance would there be that some contemporary who wanted to honor their passing forty years down the road would be able to sing their songs to crowds filled with people who knew every word?

Same chance that the future will be at least as good as the present, I suppose.

I’ll stay tuned. But I ain’t holding my breath.


6 thoughts on “THE BOSS REMINDS (Segue of the Day: 1/23/16)

  1. Love this. Bruce >Jackson >Madonna in my vernacular. I am a 40 year Springsteen devotee. His music shaped my life ever since. Can’t believe I spent 17 years without it!

  2. You might not think of yourself as a big Bruce fan, but I think I can speak for most of us when I say that you have described his essence with great beauty. “He showed just how wide his lane really is.”

  3. If you haven’t paid much attention to his post-2000 work, you might want to take a few hours and give it a try. Obviously, it’s not all pure gold, but a surprising amount of it is able to stand proudly, confidently shoulder to shoulder with his 70s stuff. That’s one of my favorite things about Springsteen: he’s continued to grow as an artist and is making music as befits someone of his age. (I have a special soft spot for “Long Time Comin’,” among many others, for just that reason.)

  4. I’ll certainly take that under advisement! I probably need to sit down with Bruce and get re-acquainted on many levels. Whenever I’ve listened heavily it’s been the stretch from E-Street Shuffle through The River, live stuff and the box set of odds and ends. I’m familiar with the eighties and nineties and like plenty of it but it hasn’t grabbed me yet. (Not to say it won’t, I’ve learned never to give up on a great artist). Definitely need to take your advice on the more recent stuff though because I’m definitely weak there. In any case, this is shaping up to be one of those years when Bruce’s music will be all too appropo!

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