Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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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.
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