' ' Cinema Romantico: A Digression: Bruce Springsteen, Up Close & Personal

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Digression: Bruce Springsteen, Up Close & Personal

This past weekend I was in Cleveland for my friend John's bachelor party (debauchery: accounted for) and being a noted Springsteen-fanatic this necessitated an excursion to the nearby Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for the mammoth exhibit titled: From Asbury Park To The Promised Land, The Life And Music Of Bruce Springsteen. To simply call it amazing would be a grotesque understatment but I also don't mean to torture you with one of my epochal, rambling posts. So it's list-making time!

The Top Ten Best Parts Of The Bruce Springsteen Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Exhibit:

10. The Oscar he won for "Streets of Philadelphia".

9. Family photos of a super young Bruce and his sister Virginia on what appeared to be the Jersey Shore. I have no idea why but, man, those tore me up.

8. The actual recording tapes containing his audition for Columbia Records.

7. A little message book opened to a page listing - amongst other things - the seven digit phone number for Clarence Clemons. ("Man, I better write down that Clarence guy's number so I can give him a call.")

6. The saxophone Clarence used for the "Jungleland" solo. Holy....

5. The various incarnations of handwritten lyrics for "Born to Run". It was really cool to see the song taking its shape right in front of you. Plus, a couple pages also contained phone numbers for women. (Oh, Kim and Delores, who were you and where are you now?)

4. The late Danny Federici's glockenspiel (literally held together by duct tape). When we got back in the car afterwards (and I'm not making this up) "Born to Run" came on the radio which meant that we were hearing the glockenspiel we'd just seen.

3. The 1960 Chevy Bruce bought after "Born to Run". I touched the door handle. No, you weren't supposed to touch (or photograph) anything. I didn't care and it was worth the risk because now I have a touched a door handle Bruce Springsteen has touched. And I really, really don't care how that makes me sound.

2. The four track he recorded "Nebraska" on. This is to say it was the four track Bruce Springsteen took into his bedroom on January 3, 1982 and proceeded to RECORD FREAKING "NEBRASKA" ON. You now have my permission to pass out.

And far and away....

1. The keyboard he used to record "Tunnel of Love". Thus, I was standing before the keyboard used to record my favorite Bruce album which means I was standing before the keyboard used to record my favorite album by ANYONE which means I was standing before the keyboard that made those remarkable, heartbreaking notes played during the second verse of "Brilliant Disguise" (which I have pretended to play innumerable times on my car's dashboard) and created the "wedding bells" on "Walk Like A Man" and that helped make the song I want played at my wedding. It was one of the five most beautiful things I've ever seen. Honestly. The spot from where Alice Munro jumped in "Last of the Mohicans", Eric Crouch's 95 yard touchdown run against Missouri, Lady Gaga's Saturday Night Live performance of "Paparazzi", the look the girl who sat next to me at ADP who I was completely infatuated with gave me the morning I returned after taking the previous day off as she said "You can't miss any more days" and the keyboard Bruce Springsteen used to record "Tunnel of Love". That's the list.

Standing before it I alternately almost sobbed and fainted, and I'm pretty sure I did have a couple heat flashes.

(Postscript: I have only one gripe. Why the f--- is The E Street Band not in the Hall Of Fame yet? There are oversights and then there is massive, needless idiocy.)

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