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Halloween Eve, Asbury Park


A song from Springsteen’s best album seems especially appropriate today:

How can this record be 40 years old? (Any other boomers feel like a decade got lost in there somewhere — that the early 80s were actually 20 years ago, etc?).

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  • With Regan selling out the US to Iran, it seemed they were 20 years long

  • Woodrowfan

    actually, it does seem like an extra decade was shoved in somewhere. I don’t think the ’00s ought to count as a real decade….

  • Is it his best? It seems to me that BtR has more bench strength. “Meeting Across the River”, for example, is a stronger cut than “”New York City Serenade””, and “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” isn’t really worth 4:47. On the other hand, “Rosaleta”, “Kitty’s Back”, and “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” are pretty undeniable. Tough call.

    • Manju

      “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” isn’t really worth 4:47.

      Well, long songs send a signal. They are to rock what “black and white” is to film.

      Make a porno flick even, but do it in B&W, and presto! Instant Erotica. It says, you are serious.

      Or you can do 2 versions and have the best of both worlds. Light My Fire.

  • Barry Freed

    Any other boomers feel like a decade got lost in there somewhere

    Cocaine’s a helluva drug, innit?

    -Barry Freed (Gen X’er)

  • Leeds man

    Ah, quit yer whinin’. The 70s were 10 years ago. Max. And this is the best musical reference to Asbury Park.

  • rea

    Born in ’54, I’m still in my mid-20s . . . except when I’m being 12.

    • DrDick

      Youngster! You are the age of my little sister (I was born in ’52). I personally did not get stuck until my mid-30s (a much better decade than the 20s) and do revert to 13-14 on occasion.

      • rea

        As we get older, time seems to move faster, which is not at all fair.

        • Leeds man

          True, except when I’m doing my cardio. Forty minutes is an eternity.

          And yes, ’54 was the vintage year.

          • DrDick

            Also does not apply when you are grading.

            • Epist

              A-men. Sing it.

    • I have been 18 for the past 40 yrs. And never liked Bruce Springsteen. He is the illusion, or the Broadway version, of rock & roll.

  • “A song from Springsteen’s best album seems especially appropriate today”

    Maybe. I suppose “Tougher than the Rest” might be appropriate.

    Personally, I would have gone with his second-best album and “Atlantic City.”

    • Kurzleg

      Me too.

  • Halloween Jack

    Oh man, Paul, if you’re going to link this song, go for one of the many live versions where Bruce sings the chorus in his upper register; you can really hear the Roy Orbison influence when he does. Here’s a good one. There’s also a very good version on Live 1975-85.

  • Balu

    Nebraska is his best album.

  • Bloix

    Any other boomers feel like a decade got lost in there somewhere

    Have kids, do you?

  • charles pierce

    My god, Vini Lopez was a terrible drummer.

    • I rise to the defense of Vincent “Mad Dog” Lopez. His drumming on those first two albums is terrific– listen to what he’s up to on “For You”. Springsteen’s work has suffered from leaden drumming since he fired Lopez.

      • charles pierce

        I rise in defense of the proposition that the man was barroom sloppy, but his hackwork is mitigated by the fact that both of Bruce’s first two records were the tinniest-sounding productions of a major artist since Shel Talmy got a hold of The Who.

        • Anonymous

          Absolutely true. The production on the first two albums was terrible although the songs were great. And Vini really wasn’t a very good drummer while Max is first class. Without the substitution of Max and Landau as the new producer, Bruce would have never hit the heights of Born To Run and thereafter. That said, it was The Wild, the Innocent that made me a Springsteen fan and I will always remember hearing Rosalita for the first time and becoming an instant convert

          • Richard

            Anonymous was me. A huge Springsteen fan.

          • Ed

            A lot of great songs almost ruined by bad mixing. That said, I suppose his follow up albums are technically better but I prefer Springsteen without too much working-man shtick. But then he never cast much of a spell over this listener. I do have several Springsteen concert bootlegs from back in the day and they are awesome.

            • Richard

              Seeing Bruce live back in the 70’s was amazing. But seeing him live now is almost as amazing.

      • Halloween Jack

        There are legitimate criticisms of Max Weinberg’s drumming that can be made by sane people, theoretically, but “leaden” is not one of them.

        • Perhaps plodding?

          • Halloween Jack

            No. Anyone who can listen to “Candy’s Room” and apply either of those two adjectives in any sort of seriousness is suffering from a severe, if not terminal, case of insane in the membrane.

  • Thlayli

    I was thinking of songs with “Sandy” in them. Pretty much limited to this and Grease.

    Gloria had a better selection.

    I suppose Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” works….

    • Woodrowfan

      of, of course, Neil Young….

  • creature

    I was stationed at Ft. Dix, NJ, and me and a buddy went on a weekend sojourn down the Jersy shore. Bunch of weed, lots of tequila, a little bit of a potpurri of other chemical enhancements, we ended up in a bar, listening to Bruce Springsteen’s band. All the locals there were telling us ‘These guys are great, they’re gonna be big!’ I was not persuaded, having seen just about every act worth seeing (and a helluva lot not worth seeing) in the clubs and halls and arenas of Cleveland (yes, it is the home of rock ‘n’ roll!). A few months later, the album drops, and, a few years later, I’m watching the E Street Band doing a New Year’s Eve party at a sold-out Coliseum (Richfield, OH, since closed and demolished). Yeah, those locals, they were right.

    Too many years? Only if you melt the ’70’s and 80’s together. Kinda like, good news (70’s), bad news (80’s). At least I lived through it, and have the tales to tell and the scars to prove ’em.

  • Any other boomers feel like a decade got lost in there somewhere


    • Marriage and 3 children stopped my mfkin cultural clock.

      You gotta do it, and at this point I’m very glad I did it, but…..damn, looking back it’s like I went down the rabbit hole, y’know?

      Books (other than what I had to read for school)? Movies? (“Mommeeeeee! He put peanut butter in the VCR slot!”)

      Music? Wuzzat?

      Well….Barney sang. After a fashion.

  • hickes01

    More important question, how can Gov’s Mount Christie and Flip-Floppy (Pawlenty) claim to love Bruce? Have they ever listened to the lyrics?


    • Richard

      As detailed in the New Yorker article, Christie has seen Bruce live some 150 times and can sing the complete lyrics to nearly every Bruce song. Somehow able to miss the connection to what the lyrics mean.

  • mch

    Okay, somebody has to do it. Are you a baby boomer, Paul? When were you born? About 1960? When the post-war boom was in the midst of a three-year decline?

    Oh how I hate this boomer lingo! Though I do like your posts, Paul, many of them. Just as old-lefties probably appreciated some of my new-lefty positions, not others. This battle is an old one! Among friends.

  • parsec

    It was the Naughts. With Dubya in charge in felt like they were just cut out and thrown away.

    • parsec

      IT felt like …

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