August 25, 2015

I wanna know if love is wild, I wanna know if love is real

ceccola springsteen

Forty years ago, Bruce Springsteen released Born To Run. It took me thirty more years or so to discover the album for myself, and I came to love it first through hearing stripped-down versions of the songs that I grew up saturated with as radio hits. When I think about my earliest experiences with songs that I first dismissed, I’m reminded of the wonderful Josh Ritter lyrics: “Radio waves are coming miles and miles, bringing only empty boats / whatever feeling they had when they sailed somehow slipped out between the notes.” Because Springsteen’s songs and videos were everywhere when I was a kid, singing about things I hadn’t felt yet, I dismissed them as someone else’s songs from someone else’s more bombastic narrative and not mine.

And then maybe ten years ago, I accidentally (yup) downloaded this kismet-laced acoustic version of “Born To Run” that for the first time in my life made me stop and really listen, really hear all of the beautiful dusty sadness in the song that I’d always missed. That cracked open his entire oeuvre for me; you can hear the heart of the song so much better when it’s stripped down to its aching ribs.

I don’t care what you think you think about Springsteen;

Born to Run (best. live. version. ever.) – Bruce Springsteen
From Chimes of Freedom EP

Eight years ago as part of a series for WXPN in Philly, I posted one of my favorite (young, hungry) live recordings from Springsteen, the iconic Main Point show from 1975, along with Jon Landau’s equally epic piece of music writing about the show, Growing Young With Rock and Roll, which starts with the lines:

“It’s four in the morning and raining. I’m 27 today, feeling old, listening to my records, and remembering that things were diffferent a decade ago.”

Here is a re-up of that show, from right around the time that Born To Run was being recorded (including an early version of what would become “Thunder Road,” with one of the starkest, prettiest bridges I’ve heard in that song). It’s a show that my friend Bruce Warren of WXPN, who was there, calls “one of [Springsteen's] greatest shows ever,” and I concur.

It’s one of the truest I’ve heard, still.
“Tonight’s busting open and I’m alive.”

Incident on 57th Street
Mountain of Love
Born To Run
Intro to E Street Shuffle
E Street Shuffle
“Wings For Wheels”
(Thunder Road, first performance)
I Want You (Dylan cover)
Spirit In The Night
She’s The One
Growin’ Up
Saint In The City
Kitty’s Back
New York City Serenade
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)
A Love So Fine
For You
Back In The U.S.A. (Chuck Berry cover)


[top photo by the legendary everyman photo hero, Phil Ceccola]

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  • Wow. Just thank you.

    Susan from NJ — August 26, 2015 @ 12:32 am

  • Thanks Heather you are a LEGEND! This is awesome. I thought I was in for a treat just getting the one song from Bruce – then I see you’ve given us a whole gig. Love it!

    Mark Z — August 26, 2015 @ 3:06 am

  • I read your Original Post on the day you posted it 8 years ago!
    *Imagine being 23 years old, like Bruce was, writing “So your scared and your thinking that maybe we ain’t that young anymore!”?????
    THATS the sickness of Bruce!
    Anyways, thanks for posting.

    Kevin — August 31, 2015 @ 12:43 pm

  • Heather—

    Little-known fact about “THIS SHOW” and The Main Point (venue)

    The venue was popular among both musicians and listeners. Clarence Clemons commented in a special Main Point 10th anniversary publication, “The whole band had the flu. Bruce had 103 degree temperature. If it was any other place but the Main Point, any concert or club in the country, we would have cancelled.”

    Kevin — August 31, 2015 @ 1:07 pm

  • Indeed I agree with ya

    “you can hear the heart of the song so much better when it’s stripped down to its aching ribs”

    Rohan — September 12, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

  • On a similar note, if you haven’t already, check out Thunder Road from the live release a few years ago, Hammersmith Odeon ’75. Just Bruce & a piano. Yep.

    Ryan — September 18, 2015 @ 9:21 pm

  • We Know Where We Wanna

    [...] se cube at Costco, knowing that you’ll often go home with having bought the whol [...]

    Icreb Blog — August 25, 2016 @ 3:18 am

  • And the poets down here don’t write nothing at all/ they just stand back and let it all be./ And in the quick of a knife they reach for their moment/ And try to make an honest stand/ But they wind up wounded, not even dead/ Tonight in Jungleland

    Shannon — March 24, 2018 @ 9:03 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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