It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since I was basically dragged out to see Bruce Springsteen on the Born To Run tour back in 1975.
Of course I had heard the album.
I worked in a record store, and there was essentially no escaping Born To Run that year.
It was everywhere. Rolling Stone was boldly proclaiming this guy as "the future of rock and roll". Similarly bold pronouncements could be found in cover stories for both Time and Newsweek. The hype was absolutely enormous. And it was everywhere.
Personally, I thought the album was decent enough.
Basically equal parts Dylan; Phil Spector; and Roy Orbison, the influences we're the right ones, and Born To Run had a cool "thoughtful street poet" sort of vibe to it...even if the cinematic scope of some of the songwriting was a bit, well "dramatic".
But a free ticket to see "the future of rock and roll" was still a no-brainer.
30 years (and some 31 Springsteen concerts I have seen since that life changing night in 1975) later, and I am still thanking my friend Jerry Fritzmann (God rest his soul) for that ticket.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's performance that night not only did live up to all of the hype (no small task), it actually surpassed it. Not since I saw the Beatles on TV as a seven year old boy did a single rock and roll performance leave such a lasting impact on me.
Springsteen actually DID become the "rock and roll future" Rolling Stone had so boldly predicted, although it would be several years later before the public would fully catch up to the fact.
The highlight of last year's 30 year Born To Run commemorative boxed set was the remarkable DVD of a complete 1975 show from London's Hammersmith Odeon.
That same show has now been released as a 2 CD set, marking the first official release of a complete performance on CD from that pivotal period...where the E Street Band really cut it's teeth as a world class live band.
Springsteen himself has remarked often in interviews that he was not fond of the performance that night. He has since revised that perspective (on the liner notes of the BTR box).