Monday, May 14, 2007


Brian and Bruce and Six Degrees (or less) of Separation

In a very cool surprise at Brian's show in New Jersey on Saturday night in Red Bank, New Jersey's favorite son, Bruce Springsteen, joined Brian and his band in a few encores that electrified the crowd. At first glance you probably wouldn't expect to see Bruce there, but you can connect the Rock 'n Roll dots to see why it makes sense.

Springsteen is a student of Rock 'n Roll, so he's gotta like the Beach Boys and he certainly has got to be aware that Brian is the guy that wrote it all down. Plus, I'm sure he got a charge out of playing with Brian - that has got to be a cool thing for someone so aware of Rock ' n Roll. History.

Springsteen used to play "When I Grow Up To Be A Man" at his concerts and it would be just him and his acoustic guitar. And like any great artist, he would take the song and make it his own. Unlike the Beach Boys version, which sounded fun and upbeat, The Boss turned it into a lament about the possibility and sadness of not living up to one's expectations. It gave the song an entirely different perspective - it put the lyrics front and center and revealed them to be not only simple - but actually very deep. When I spoke with Mike Love last month for the podcast series, I told him that Springsteen sang this in concert and he was very flattered - he had no idea.

In a recent interview with Pete Fornatele, Pete compared Brian to Bruce in terms of being brave with their music. Brian quickly distanced himself from Bruce by saying "Bruce is a Rock Star and I'm a Pop Star!" Apples and oranges I suppose. One more footnote about Brian and Bruce: I remember reading an interview with Brian from 1985 and the writer said Brian was singing "Cover Me" from Springsteen's recent "Born In The USA" album.

OK, so how does Brian in concert relate to The Warmth of the Sun CD. Well, interestingly, his set list contains a number of songs from the CD including "The Little Girl I Once Knew," "Then I Kisssed Her," "Hawaii," "Catch A Wave" and "Sail On Sailor."

photo by Rich Lynch/ from this story -
Now [i]this[/i] is a show that I would like to have attended... two of my favourites together on stage; two of the most sincere artists ever playing and singing together... I hope that someone, somewhere, had a recording device at hand and preserved it in sound and film for posterity. The word 'bootleg' misses the mark entirely here. It would be one for the ages.
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