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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Born to Rerun
We're living in the era of excess. Everything of any consequence seems destined to be rereleased and frequently more than once. Modest Mouse has already put together new versions of their past two albums, for goodness sakes. But there are some revised-and-expanded reissues that I will not hesitate to buy the minute they become available. And tops on that list is the thirtieth anniversary box-set edition of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, complete with a DVD documentary and the film of a 1975 London concert that sounds amazing:
The full theatricality of Mr. Springsteen's songwriting for "Born to Run" comes through in the Hammersmith Odeon concert DVD. The show was filmed and recorded in 24-track sound. Mr. Springsteen had almost forgotten about it until he started looking through his archives recently. "I was told, 'He's going to be sending over some footage,' " Mr. Zimny said. "It was 16 cans, unlabeled, from 1975." The films were silent, separated from the recording, so Mr. Zimny had to do some lip-reading to connect images to songs.

Onstage, Mr. Springsteen wears a floppy knit cap that gets nearly as much of a workout as he does; band members have wide-brimmed hats and loud suits with bell-bottom pants. They tear through the songs: "Born to Run" has probably never been played as fast before or since, while "She's the One" starts with Mr. Springsteen's lone harmonica and builds its Bo Diddley beat into a syncopated jackhammer. And if Mr. Springsteen was nervous - he had spent the afternoon rampaging through the theater getting rid of promotional fliers that seemed like too much hype - it barely shows as he struts and clowns and emotes and sweats. "We were seeking that spotlight out, we were trying to do something that would be noticed," he says in the documentary. "You wanted something that was explosive." He was just a Jersey guy, ready to take on the world.
That barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain just inched a little closer to me. If I extend my hand, I might even be able to touch her ankle.

Mode: poperatic
Muse: Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run

12 comments or Leave a comment
yourbestfiend From: yourbestfiend Date: November 15th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

and this is just from memory:

"the Rat pulls into town, rolls up his pants,
together they take a stab at romance and disappear
down Flamingo Lane....
Now the maximum lawmen run down Flamingo,
chasin' the Rat, and the barefoot girl,
and the kids round here look just like shadows,
always quiet, holdin' hands - "

don't even get me started on Bruce & the E Street gang, and REALLY don't get me started on "Born To Run," because we will be here. All. Day.

sisterblister83 From: sisterblister83 Date: November 15th, 2005 10:05 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
all i can say is.. brucie bedsprings.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 15th, 2005 10:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Tee-hee! (Great mix I burned for KDD, BTW.)
From: batdina Date: November 15th, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
only yesterday I told my 11th graders that they were permitted to use Springsteen's lyrics in our upcoming poetry unit. think that means I can buy this set and charge the school for it?
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: November 15th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
This is interesting. I'm not doubting the poetic quality of many of Springsteen's lyrics. I'm wondering what other muscician's lyrics you would deem appropriate for a poetry unit. Just curious.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 15th, 2005 10:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Ironically, I used Springsteen's lyrics from Born to Run in an eleventh-grade English course!
yourbestfiend From: yourbestfiend Date: November 15th, 2005 11:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I think I did too...! and if I ever teach an Intro to Lit or writing class again, I'd definitely use his lyrics as examples of poetry - along with Dylan (natch), Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen (to answer Kim's query).
From: batdina Date: November 16th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I default to Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, actually. I leave Hunter/Garcia out, not because I don't like Hunter's words, but because I can't deal with what kids do with them. IOW, that part's about me.

Then again, I am also stuck with American writers for this particular class. If they demanded Joni Mitchell, I'd probably let them though. Ditto Leonard Cohen.

Anyone you'd recommend I take a look at?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 15th, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Totally. . . ;-:
From: catfishvegas Date: November 16th, 2005 01:15 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's not Born to Run, but I wrote an entire college paper comparing theme and imagery in Springsteen's The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle album to the carpe diem of the Cavalier poets.
My favorite parallel: Springsteen's "Together we're gonna go out tonight and make that highway run" from Rosalita and Marvell's "Thus, though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run" from To His Coy Mistress.
The album is full of the same imagery, and it extends to Born to Run.
masoo From: masoo Date: November 16th, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
So, what did you think of it? What did you want to experience first? (It was the London concert for me ... don't tell my students, who think I had something of vital importance yesterday, but I cancelled my office hours just so I could get home an hour earlier and start watching.)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 16th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I haven't had the time to even look at it, sadly. Things get easier tomorrow. I'll start with the live show, as you recommended. I'm teaching a documentary class, so that portion of the reissue is of special interest. But we've also talked about concert films as documentaries.
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