Possibly the article most in my wheelhouse, except for the time I reviewed the accommodations at my parents’ house:
Tag Archives | Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen’s take on “Royals” is actually pretty solid, which I didn’t think would be the case when I first saw the headline. As with most debut covers, the highlight is the instant the audience recognizes what song Springsteen’s playing and reacts.
I’m seeing Springsteen for the 40-somethingth time April 12 in Virginia Beach, Va. (still need two tickets though, so if you have any extras, please let me know). I’m hoping we’ll get a cover—or repeat guest appearance—from Williamsburg’s Bruce Hornsby.
I joined the ranks of Carlos Mencia, Weird Al Yankovic, and Ronnie Milsap this week as a guest on Ice Cream Headache—The Podcast. The hosts, Brian and Murdock, “best buds who love indie rock, comedy and TV” are so cool they didn’t even tell me which originally scheduled guest cancelled on them.
Download Ice Cream Headache—The Podcast’s episode 49. “The guys get ready for the holidays and chat with travel/food writer Zach Everson about the art of the written word and why becoming a [Bruce] Springsteen super-fan was initially just an economic decision.”
We spent about 40 minutes in their studio chatting about stalking Pete Townshend (a smart move if you’re his would-be biographer), my getting stalked by Richard Marx (maybe), media theory (be provocative but without being a dick), the death penalty (abolish it), getting checks from Rupert Murdoch (cash them), Eater Louisville (read it), and what Jethro Tull does in concert that’s the apex of live rock and roll (listen to the podcast for that anecdote).
Thanks again to Brian and Murdock!
In the run-up to Bruce Springsteen’s Nov. 3 concert at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center, I’m sharing five of my favorite videos on Louisville.com (having seen Springsteen in concert 50 times, I’m a subject matter expert).
I left off my very favorite live clip though: set to Bo Diddley’s “Diddy Wah Diddy,” this compilation from Fenway Park on Sept. 7, 2003 shows me jumping around like a 13-year-old girl at Justin Bieber concert (1:55, 3:48 and 3:51). But hey: Fenway Park. Second row. Springsteen. [Update Jan. 3, 2015: Sadly the video was removed from YouTube, but it does appear as an Easter egg in the “Live in Barcelona” DVD. Seriously.]
David Remnick in The New Yorker, “Bruce Springsteen at Sixty-Two”—”‘When you are that serious and that creative, and non-trusting on an intimate level, and your art has given you so much, your ability to create something becomes your medicine,’ [Patti Scialfa, Springsteen’s wife a member of the E Street Band] said. ‘It’s the only thing that’s given you that stability, that joy, that self-esteem. And so you are, like, “This part of me no one is going to touch.” When you’re young, that works, because it gets you from A to B. When you get older, when you are trying to have a family and children, it doesn’t work. I think that some artists can be prone to protecting the well that they fetched their inspiration from so well that they are actually protecting malignant parts of themselves, too. You begin to see that something is broken.'” Read more.
Graham Warwick in Aviation Week, “A Twist of the Wrist — How to Drive an X-47B”—”Standing off to one side at last week’s press unveiling of the US Navy’s X-47B unmanned combat aircraft system demonstrator at NAS Patuxent River was a guy with what looked like a Borg cybernetic implant on his arm.” “That guy” = my brother. Read more.
Sam Alipour in ESPN The Magazine, “Will you still medal in the morning?”—”At the 1976 Montreal Games, three-time Olympic diver and four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis, appearing in his first Olympics at age 16, developed a kinship with the boys on the Soviet Union diving team and soon found himself partying in their rooms. ‘Once events were over, our entire diet was caviar, vodka and Russian champagne. It was crazy,’ Louganis says. He was particularly struck by the Russians’ sense of sexual liberation. ‘Culturally, they’re more openly affectionate toward each other, which I just drank up, since I was still discovering who I was. But I had my eyes on one Soviet. I’d curl up in his lap; we’d hug and cuddle. I felt so protected.’ It didn’t progress beyond that, Louganis says. ‘He was hooking up with one of the other male divers on the team’ — not to mention married.” Read more.
Vice President Joe Biden campaigning in Virginia on Aug. 14, 2012, as quoted in The Washington Post:
“Look at their budget and what they’re proposing. Romney wants to let the —he said in the first hundred days, he is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They are going to put y’all back in chains.”
Bruce Springsteen’s “Shackled and Drawn,” from 2012’s Wrecking Ball:
Gambling man rolls the dice, workingman pays the bill
It’s still fat and easy up on banker’s hill
Up on banker’s hill, the party’s going strong
Down here below we’re shackled and drawn
I suspect Biden is drawing criticism for “put y’all back in chains” while Springsteen isn’t for “shackled and drawn” because
- the supposedly appalled are more interested in political gain than improving the lot of the supposedly offended
- Biden’s quote fits an existing narrative about the gaffe-prone VP, and no one loves existing narratives more than the press trying to fill a 24/7 news cycle
- the line isn’t offensive, but just a common analogy
Recently the Internet has featured an abundance of laments about the disappointment that was 2009. I disagree; 2009, you were a good one.
From Kamiah, Idaho (population 1,160) to Guangzhou, China (population 10,045,800), I experienced and wrote about some amazing places this year–and had a blast doing it.
- In January I drove from my new home in Louisville to Las Vegas with my brother and then flew to Washington, DC for Barack Obama’s inauguration.
- For Valentine’s Day, I reviewed 10 engaging spots to pop the question for Budget Travel.
- Traveling to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday with her, I drove through Idaho, one of the most beautiful areas in the United States.
- I discovered one of my new favorite American cities–Nashville, which I visited twice.
- I covered the running—and parties–of Kentucky Derby 135 (and got this hilarious voice message from a Paris Hilton flack in the process).
- I experienced my first music festival–Bonnaroo.
- Trips to Boston; Morgantown, WV; Charlotte, NC; and Washington, DC allowed me to spend time with family and friends, as well as do some exploring.
- My more than 100 articles for Louisville.com provided me with ample opportunities to investigate my new hometown.
- While in New York to officiate a friend’s wedding (yes, you read that right), I finally met in person many travel writers and editors whom I’d known only virtually before.
- I consumed delicious tacos, lattes, and cocktails in Austin, TX.
- I reviewed concerts by two of my favorite performers–Bruce Springsteen and Roger Daltrey.
- After a fantastic trip to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China, sponsored by the Ritz-Carlton, Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air, I wrote about the ethics of press trips for BlackBook.
- And I began contributing to Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, and blogging about lodging for UpTake.
On a personal note, I’ll be closing out 2009 or beginning 2010 with a new daughter–my wife and I are expecting our first child any day now. Look for articles in early 2010 about traveling with an infant: we’ve already made plans to bring her to Milwaukee, Chicago, and San Diego.
Best wishes for a great 2010!
While I’m on the subject of people getting angry about my articles, my review of Bruce Springsteen’s performance at Bonnaroo (scroll down to June 13) angered some fans:
Backstreets Ticket Exchange: Ridiculous Bonaroo review on the Setlists Page (free membership required)
In case you don’t want to sign up, here’s the initial post:
What was that?
Referring to the crowd as “young, stoned, and dirty.” The talk of the Phish fan who lit up a bowl at the end. I’m sure there was an element that looked different than your average Bruce show but to throw out all the stereotypes was pretty sad. You can throw out some different stereotypes for the typical Bruce show for every review but why insult the crowd in your review? What does that have do with the show itself? I didn’t find it funny or entertaining at all. Next time, just have your reviewers stick to the music if you can.
The rest of the 53-post thread is a mix of positive and negative reviews of my review (apparently the word “boobies” draws a lot of ire–who knew?).
The author, of course, stands by his piece: By Springsteen’s lofty standards the show was good, not great (although it was still the best performance I saw at Bonnaroo). Nothing about the music stood out.
Backstreets readers are diehard Springsteen fans. What would make the show special for them was the environment and the audience, not the set list or performance.