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Verse Chorus Verse: The Springsteen Guaranteeds

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Welcome to the series within a series.  We're going to be talking Springsteen for the next week.  You have been warned.  Yesterday, I unveiled the Top 20 songs I've not yet heard that I'm hoping to hear on my trip to Missouri to see two E Street Band shows.  Leading up to the shows I thought we'd talk about a couple of those songs and why I like them and want to hear them.  I also told you Bruce has announced he's playing Born To Run in St. Louis and Born in the U.S.A. in Kansas City.  I bring that up because going in, I know that I will hear hear three songs on my Top 20 list and I thought we'd begin the discussion today with the guarantees.

Because St. Louis is first, let's start with BTR.  I've heard five of the eight songs from this, my favorite Springsteen album.  Of the three I haven't heard, "Backstreets" and "Night" both rate as Top 20 "must hear" moments. 

If you don't understand why "Backstreets" is one that must be heard, you either haven't heard the song or you just don't get Bruce.  I hate putting it that way because while I know my taste in music is beyond reproach, I don't like being an elitist about it.  I don't horde music and hope that no one discovers it.  I think all of you should be listening to what I am. 

I know BruceFan and Bruce purists may argue whether or not "Backstreets" is the quintessential Springsteen, but the themes of this song and the musical and vocal presentation of it are at the core of what defines his work.  I'm not the gatekeeper of Camp Springsteen and there is no litmus test but it's difficult to fathom being a fan without having a reverence for "Backstreets." 

I like "Night," but I confess part of the reason it got on the Top 20 when it did months ago was because I hoped one day I'd hear all eight songs from Born to Run.  I never expected Bruce would serve that one up to me not once but twice.  It's a fine, fine song and adds to my enjoyment of the album but is nowhere near my favorite song on the disc.  I am looking forward to hearing it live, though. 

Moving on to Kansas City, we've got "Born in the U.S.A."  We'll discuss this more in coming days but this album is not my favorite chapter in Springsteen's career.  The title track, though, is an iconic song and might be the first Springsteen song I remember hearing.  I put this one on my list when I first conceived it with the hope of hearing it with the full band just once.  There's a vitality and energy to this and I have to imagine it gets even more intense in concert.  If nothing else, I want to hear Mighty Max Weinberg fire off those drum fills at the end.

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About Josh Hathaway

  • wow, i didn’t know you hadn’t heard “Night”. love that song and it’s really kills live. that was part of what was so great about the mansfield show….because they opened with it. thermonuclear!!

  • Josh Hathaway

    No, that’s one of three from BTR I’ve yet to get. Looking forward to that one. I’ll get it twice before the year’s out.

  • i’ve never heard Meeting Across The River, so you’re ahead of me there. i’ve heard everything else.

    dang, in hartford they did Night->She’s The One. killer.

  • Josh Hathaway

    I’ve never heard “Meeting,” either. That’s one of three from BTR I’ve never heard. It’s my least favorite song on that disc, so it’s not one I’m especially eager for other than completing the album and hearing the entire album in sequence… twice.

  • at least you can plan a bathroom break

  • Josh Hathaway

    Nahhh, this is the Waiting On A Sunny Day tour. I can stick it out through “Meeting” and “Jungleland” and hang a piss during “WOASD.”

  • I feel like I accidentally wandered into BTX…


  • Josh Hathaway

    No kidding. A man can’t even talk about songs he likes without getting taken out at the knees. 😉 A less stubborn man would stop writing about Springsteen. That ain’t me.

  • BruceFan lives on BC now Lisa. You didn’t get the memo on that?

    “I Wanna Marry You” was played last night in Philly. Could “The Price You Pay” be ready to come out of the closet after nearly 30 years?


  • Oh, and since I’m been deemed the local expert on piss-break songs (just ask those Roger Daltrey fans), I agree with Josh’s suggestion there of “Sunny Day” or the dreaded “Marys Place,” should that one be brought back out (always a possibility).

    The good news is with the latter you should also be able to sneak a smoke.


  • taking a break of any kind during a Springsteen show is plain ridiculous.

  • Sometimes the law of beverages catches up to you Mark. Have you been talking to those Daltrey fans?


  • heh. no, i just don’t like missing anything. it’s actually something i do for all shows, not just Bruce.

  • There’s gotta be a Rockologist column on best piss break songs at a concert in me somewhere…


  • yeah, me & the Daltry fans are lookin’ forward to it.

    the Bruce tune would be “Tougher Than The Rest”. 😉

  • Could “The Price You Pay” be ready to come out of the closet after nearly 30 years?

    A better question is ‘could you be ready to come out of the closet after nearly 30 years, Glen?’

    btw, Daryl said there is no wrong time to go to the bathroom during the show since Bruce’s facial grimaces look like he’s taking a dump in his pants the whole time.

  • I get those same grimmaces myself whenever I think of Daryl. Be sure to say hello for me the next time you see him at one of those L.A. bars I hear you enjoy so much Bicho.


  • Price You Pay opens in Philly tonight. Damn!

  • If I saw that, I probably wouldn’t need a bathroom. Id’a pissed myself.

  • 11

    I have an aisle seat in Nashville. I am taking a piss break during ‘Sunny Day’ whether I need it or not, and I am going to dedicate it to each and everyone of you. 🙂