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Verse Chorus Verse: The E Street Band’s Parallel Universe (A Satire)

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As you read this, preparations are being made for our northward migration to Nashville to see Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.  Despite the fact I've spent far more time glorifying the name of E Street, I've been declared by many as some sort of enemy combatant for the crime of complaining about the setlists at their shows.  I call it objectivity; others have another name for it.  My only source of reason and logic in these troubled times has been my trusty sidekick, 11.  That's when it hit me:  11 and I are my two favorite Muppet characters:  Statler and Waldorf.  Only our moms can tell us apart.

Under the guise of having a little fun, I've taken it all one step further.  If 11 and I are Statler and Waldorf, then Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band are Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem.  We've even assigned some roles and they work surprisingly well:

  • Roy "Dr. Teeth" Bittan
  • Charlie "Rolf" Giardano
  • Little Steven "Janice" Van Zant
  • Garry W. "Floyd" Talent
  • Clarence "Zoot" Clemons
  • Max "Animal" Weinberg

In the E Street Band, Roy Bittan is The Professor, so I'm liking the title of doctor.  Janice has always been a bit spacey and she wears the bandanna.  That has to be Stevie.  Clarence "Zoot" Clemons is obvious, as is Max "Animal" Weinberg.  We're stretching a bit with Charlie Giordano for Rolf and Garry Talent has never been quite as interesting as Floyd, but overall I think we have a winner.  At least Floyd wears boots (Garry's were shinier in St. Louis). 

Better yet, "the kids" love The Muppets and that's become the point of the tour.  Hey kids, don't have any Springsteen on your iPod?  Don't worry.  We're not going to play any of those songs.  We're playing to the kids.  We want them to sing "Waiting On A Sunny Day."  Hell, I'm still waiting for them to do the "Name Game" on stage.  Come on, everybody!  "Clarence, Clarence, bo Barence, Banana Fanna Fo Farence…"  Better yet, let's stick with our Muppet theme and have this little ditty from The Muppet Movie:

Can't live with 'em
Can't live without 'em
There's something irresistable-ish about 'em
We grin and bear it 'cause the nights are long.

I hope that somethin' better comes along.

It's no good complainin' and pointless to holler.
If she's a beauty she'll get under your collar.
She made a monkey out of old King Kong,
I hope that somethin' better comes along.

That's actually a better lyric than "Workin' On A Dream" where the days are long and the nights are longer—and I do hope something better comes along.  In fact, I've been making suggestions for two years now and Bruce has thus far resisted my overtures.  This could all be fixed so easily!  He's said it for years: nobody wins unless everybody wins.  Well, brother, I'm on a losing streak and it's unnecessary.  We can fix this.  Yes we can.  Yes we can!

I hope that something better
I hope that something better
I hope that something better comes along…

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About Josh Hathaway

  • the thing i like about the muppets is that when you go to a muppets show, they only play muppets songs…because that’s what everybody’s there for.

  • 11

    That’s the most sense you have ever made, Mark. I pay my bones to hear Kermit do ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green,’ ‘Rainbow Connection’ and ‘Kiss That Frog,’ which most people think is a Peter Gabriel original. It isn’t.

    I saw someone holding up a ‘Lick It Up’ sign at an Electric Mayhem show in ’78. Kermit pointed to it, but didn’t play it.

  • Have you seen the TV show? They do covers all the time