B R U C E !!!!!!


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B R U C E !!!!!!#0
Posted: 8/6/03 at 10:57am
I recently read a post to a thread about Broadway’s GOLDEN AGE..

Which referred to the music of Bruce Springsteen in the following way:

"And I’d rather take one good, well-crafted, intelligent and adult Sondheim song over the entire repertory of monotonous, instantly forgettable and adolescent drivel by Springsteen and his kind--as will posterity"

Bruce Springsteen, in my humble opinion, is the Schubert of his generation.

For those Broadway-philes who never reach “out of the box” so to speak and have no idea who Schubert was, as he never wrote the score to a Gwen Verdon show, Franz Peter Schubert (1797 - 182B R U C E !!!!!! was a very great songwriter whose music has touched and moved generations and is still being performed today.

Schubert's music was written to "speak" to anyone from the aristocracy to the working man.

(I don't know many construction workers who plotz over "The Miller's Son"..)

Bruce Springsteen has written consistently intelligent, moving and often times, beautiful music..

His talent as a lyricist is extraordinary.

Take for an example these words from his song; “The River”;

"Then I got Mary pregnant
and man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday
I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse
and the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles, no walk down the aisle
No flowers, no wedding dress"

Unlike Sondheim, Springsteen is not writing to “impress”, to show how clever he can be…

(“Oh look at the diatonic scale I just threw in” .... or .....”Oh, Look at how many different ways I can use “career” in a sentence”)

Springsteen is writing to tell a story in as simple a way as possible ...in a way that anyone could understand.

Schubert did the very same thing.

Take “Wreck on the Highway” for example:

"An ambulance finally came and took him to Riverside
I watched as they drove him away
And I thought of a girlfriend or a young wife
And a state trooper knocking in the middle of the night
To say your baby died in a wreck on the highway

Sometimes I sit up in the darkness
And I watch my baby as she sleeps
Then I climb in bed and I hold her tight
I just lay there awake in the middle of the night
Thinking 'bout the wreck on the highway"

…….and may I bring up a rather interesting point, Miss. Bernadette Peters, whom most people on this board seem to consider the ultimate Broadway star and go gaga over anything she does no matter how miscast, used to perform Bruce Springsteen's, ” Wreck on the Highway”, quite often in her concerts during the early 80’s…

I mean if his music is good enough for Bernie...well then it must be good enough for everybody else ..right...

Sondheim writes for a select few.

Springsteen writes for everyone.



Updated On: 8/6/03 at 10:57 AM
Slash
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re: B R U C E !!!!!!#1
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:04am
Voiceanth, you truly amaze me. Everyday you give more definition to the word "tool."
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re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#2
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:08am
"Tool" is great band.."Lateralus" is a freakin helluva an album!
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JohnPopa
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re: B R U C E !!!!!!#3
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:11am
Voiceanth, correct me if I'm wrong, but you SEEM to be implying that people can love and respect theater while, simultaneously, liking, respecting and admiring OTHER THINGS (even *gasp* NEW things.) Surely you must realize this flies in the face of everything we've been taught, as theater fans. :)

As Bruce said, and any theater person should appreciate, 'show a little faith, there's magic in the night.'

Philip Quast also does some Springsteen material in his cabaret shows. His versions of 'I'm On Fire' and 'The River' are on his live CD.
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TEACHEROFTHEATER
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re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#4
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:11am
i spent many years as a Bruce groupie long before Born in the USA... he is one of the most amazing live performers I have ever seen.
"MAY YOUR LIFE BE AS BRIGHT AS BROADWAY AT NIGHT"
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re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#5
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:14am
Poppa..Teacher....

Omigod, you guys, does that like mean you don't think, I'm like a Tool?

That's like, bitchin!

LOL!
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popcultureboy
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re: B R U C E !!!!!!#6
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:18am
So Voiceanth your very tenuous reason for posting a thread about someone whose had nothing to do with Broadway, ever is that Bernadette Peters once sang his one of his songs in concert in the 80's? I mean, this is a Broadway discussion board after all.

Do you even like theatre at all?
Nothing precious, plain to see, don't make a fuss over me. Not loud, not soft, but somewhere inbetween. Say sorry, just let it be the word you mean.
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re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#7
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:25am
Popcultureboy:

Read the top of my post..it explains why I wrote about Bruce...

and I LOVE the THEATRE...

(my first show as a 9 year old was the original cast of "Annie")

I also love Opera, Leider, hip-hop, soul, rock, most pop, doo-wop, jazz..

although jazz-fusion and metal I don't like...don't know why...


Updated On: 8/6/03 at 11:25 AM
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popcultureboy
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re: B R U C E !!!!!!#8
Posted: 8/6/03 at 11:36am
Ok, I'm a skimmer so I missed that part of your post. And while I wouldn't call him monotonous, I wouldn't say he was the Schubert of his generation either.

Nothing precious, plain to see, don't make a fuss over me. Not loud, not soft, but somewhere inbetween. Say sorry, just let it be the word you mean.
FindingNamo
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re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#9
Posted: 8/6/03 at 12:10pm
Nowhere in your essay do you actually describe what makes Springsteen the Schubert of his generation.

The digs at Sondheim and Peters don't make your essay any stronger, either. Please demonstrate how you know that Sondheim is "trying to impress," and even more importantly, please clearly illustrate how you know that Springsteen is not.

If these suggestions aren't clear to you, please see me after class.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#10
Posted: 8/6/03 at 12:39pm


FindingNamo:

I most certainly do explain how Springsteen is the Schubert of his generation...

Schubert wrote songs that in their day were considered the equivalent of "pop" songs today...

They were written to appeal to everyone...everyone meaning a broad base of people.

Springsteen wrote the same way…he just wanted to tell a tale.... anyone who knows anything about him knows he didn’t sit with his guitar and write using a rhyming dictionary….

He didn’t sit there going

“Oh lets see..what rhymes with messy…let me look it up…I know..”

That's the sorrowful précis.
It's very messy…

Who the hell use Précis in a normal conversation..????

It’s there for you to say “Oh, isn’t Sondheim clever”…

Springsteen tries to tell a story in as simple a way as possible…and most of the time does it in a melodically gorgeous way…see his song “Secret Garden”…

Plain and simple, the man just sold out 10 nights at Giant Stadium.... hundreds of thousands of tickets sold in a one day..

Are all those people fools? I think not!

Could Sondheim...could anyone on Broadway right now be able to say the sold out ONE NIGHT in a 50,000-seat stadium...

He appeals to people that don't feel the need to use précis in a conversation….

It comes down to appeal..... something, somewhere went wrong with Broadway and it's ability to make masses of people relate to it...

..and I think there are a number of "Broadway" lovers who LIKE that fact. Like they’re in their own little cult...like they are different from those people at a Springsteen concert...

..Dare I even say, makes them feel superior to those folks at a Springsteen concert.

...As opposed to limited..... Which they are...
sharon1
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re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#11
Posted: 8/6/03 at 12:47pm
I love Bruce. I love theatre. You can do both quite easily I think. You are correct. Phillip Quast does Springsteen and so does Michael Ball. These are theater guys doing rock 'n roll. They know good music and perform it when they get the chance. Hooray for them. Hooray for Bruce. Good songwriting is good songwriting. No matter who is putting the pen to paper.
FindingNamo
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re: re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#12
Posted: 8/6/03 at 1:36pm
It seems as if you are saying that Bruce is dumbed down enough that he has mass appeal. That maybe he is not the lowest common denomenator, but that he is a common denomenator.

Sort of like Jay Leno to Sondheim's Letterman. Or Charlie Rose.

You also seem to be implying that the ability to sell out stadia, like Metallica does, is somehow a sign of "keeping it real authenticity" and not the result of behind-the-scenes calculation, a different form of cleverness but just the other side of the coin from Sondheim's. He puts it in the music, others put it in the marketing.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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re: re: re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#13
Posted: 8/6/03 at 1:46pm
FindingNamo:

Huh?

I compared him to Schubert!

One of the greatest composers of all time.

Did you get that I thought Schubert was dumbed down too?

As for Marketing, OY! The man has avoided it most of his life ..

He did'nt make a music video till 1985..

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re: re: re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#14
Posted: 8/6/03 at 1:56pm
Springsteen has been an outlaw creator his entire career, battling with the marketing people, putting out non-commercial records like 'Nebraska' (which is completely acoustic blues)and 'The Ghost of Tom Joad' (the latter of which won a Grammy for Best FOLK Album.) It's a cliche but it's true: he didn't come to the mainstream, the mainstream came to him (and remember this is the same cat that stopped Ronald Reagan from trying to use his 'Born in the USA' as a campaign slogan and who has never sold a song to a commercial or for advertising.)

Every creator has a denominator of fans. Sondheim's not TRYING to alienate people, he just writes what he writes and it's not something everyone is into. Which is cool. It's what makes being an artist great. The fact that Bruce is able to be criticially and musically acclaimed as well as being one of the most popular rock writers in history is a marvel as well. He truly gets to be both artist AND megastar.

And he got there his way, by doing the music he wanted and by playing and playing and playing so as many people as possible had a chance to get into his music and hear his stories. There was no grand marketing scheme behind Bruce Springsteen and there's certainly nothing 'dumbed down' about his work. It's marvelously layered and stylish rock/blues/folk music.

His band is bigger than some Broadway orchestras, for Pete's sake!
sharon1
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I think you two have hit on the common denominator. People think theatre-people are snobs. Theatre-people think everyone else is beneath them. Not true on both points. But perception is everything. Schubert is a great composer. Springsteen is a great composer. Sondheim is a great composer. Not everyone likes them all. All have contributed to the music consciousness. That is what makes them great. Hooray again.
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re: B R U C E !!!!!!#16
Posted: 8/6/03 at 2:07pm
Normal everyday people may not use a word like précis, but why wouldn't worldly, sophisticated Phyllis Stone use it? You'll notice Sondheim didn't put that into the mouth of plain-Jane Phoenix housewife Sally Durant Plummer, or sad sack travelling salesman Buddy Plummer. If Sondheim wrote such a character-specific lyric solely to impress, well, he sure as hell impressed me.
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re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#17
Posted: 8/6/03 at 2:25pm
I waited literally years to see Bruce live and in concert. It was well worth it. Been to many since. I waited some time for my first Broadway Musical. Been to many since. Well worth it.
I think there are more people like me than is popularly thought. We just love good music. Be it Springsteen, Sondheim, or Schubert.
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re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#18
Posted: 8/6/03 at 2:39pm
I think that’s what bothered me and made me post my "rant" or "essay"...

The quote about Springsteen, a respected, multiple Grammy winner, being adolescent monotonous, instantly forgettable and adolescent drivel...

The snobbism and the ignorance that usually is behind an uninformed remark like that…that burns me….and I have seen and heard it numerous times in the Broadway community…

I may have knocked Sondheim but I attended the original cast of “Sunday in the Park with George” and “Into The Woods’ …and listened to everyone of the cast albums…

Some I like, most I don’t..

I highly doubt the poster who knocked Springsteen has even listened to more than one song of his…..if that.

How do you gather an informed opinion from that…

You.. See, I think there is this attitude that we are all supposed to "respect" a Broadway composer yet treat a Pop/Rock composer, never mind performer, like so much garbage.
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re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#19
Posted: 8/6/03 at 3:14pm
Thus my post about perception. I really have to say that there is not a composer/songwriter that I do not respect in some fashion. I mean, my gawd, if I could compose a song of any kind would I be sitting here writing on my computer. I think not. All these people have a talent that is to be respected whether it is rock 'n roll, musical theatre, opera, ballet or whatever. But of course that is my somewhat biased opinion
FindingNamo
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re: re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#20
Posted: 8/6/03 at 4:12pm
I know it's really important for people to buy into an entire image with certain artists, even if the image is the image of not having an image. It's as entirely fabricated as anything Christina Aguilera's handlers create for her: "I know, be trampy now to signify you're a grown up and in control!"

Jon Landau, Springsteen's manager, is the svengali behind the image. He has been the architect and he has done his job beautifully, especially if he has managed to convince you that it is all just off-the-cuff casual "authenticity." And that's exactly what it is, "authenticity."

Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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re: re: re: re: re: re: B R U C E !!!!!!#21
Posted: 8/6/03 at 4:23pm
Yes, Namo, I've read 'Mansion on the Hill.'
FindingNamo
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Well, that's good. Then you know there was in fact a grand marketing scheme.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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B R U C E !!!!!!#23
Posted: 8/6/03 at 7:50pm
Something I don’t understand is why people have to choose between this and that. Can’t people have more then one interest? How boring if so.

Having other interests, be they other kinds of music, books, cooking or whatever just make for a well rounded person. How could you even understand what a play was about if you have no other frame of reference?

D
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re: B R U C E !!!!!!#24
Posted: 8/6/03 at 7:57pm
Bruce doesn't write for everyone anymore. His latest: nothing but pure bleeding-heart liberal garbage. Springsteen is okay by me before "We Are The World," circa 1985.

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