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Bruce Springsteen, Caught After 30 Years: The Man Who Conned Springsteen and The Triads

 

  • Sandra Laville, crime correspondent
  • guardian.co.uk, Friday 29 May 2009 21.55 BST
  •  

    For more than three decades he left a string of casualties from China, through Europe and to America. He was wanted by the FBI, the Inland Revenue, the French police and the Triads. Each time he was on the verge of being discovered he slipped the leash, leaving those he had duped believing – in the words of his most famous victim Bruce Springsteen – that he was born to run.

    Bruce Springsteen arriving at the high court in London in a legal battle against Robert Tringham over the rights of his album Before the Fame. Photograph: Photo News Service/Rex Features

    Bruce Springsteen arriving at the high court in London in a legal battle against Robert Tringham over the rights of his album Before the Fame. Photograph: Photo News Service/Rex Features

    But in a Los Angeles Court the extraordinary criminal career of Nottinghamshire-born Rodney D Tringham finally appeared to be over.

    Joseph Akrotirianakis, assistant US attorney, applied for 64-year-old Tringham to be detained in prison over a massive Ponzi investment fraud which totals more than $14m and could see him jailed for the rest of his life.

    To victims in his native Britain, the news that the authorities had finally caught up with Tringham was met with delight and relief. For decades Tringham had persuaded people to part with millions in property schemes, music ventures and financial deals which never existed.

    Prominent amongst his victims was Springsteen, who travelled to the High Court in London to fight Tringham after the conman released two unauthorised CDs of his music. The rock star was seeking £2m in damages from him, and in 1998 after a two year battle, the court found in his favour. Shortly afterwards, Tringham did a disappearing act.

    “He is a genius really,” said Doug White, who was conned out of £150,000 by Tringham after being persuaded to set up a property company developing land in Florida for luxury waterfront apartments.

    “He finds a market where people want to make money quickly and prices are rising. He offers the quick big deal but provides all the paperwork, the lawyers, the documents to make you feel comfortable about it. Then when you want to find him and ask where your money is, he’s gone.

    “Loads of people went after him, even the Chinese Triads were looking for him at one time and we found out there was an extradition warrant on him in France.”

    White spent six years pursuing Tringham, and eventually employed a private detective who tracked him down to a Manhatten apartment.

    As his agent was about to serve a writ on Tringham he bumped into FBI officers who told the writ server they had the conman under surveillance.

    In 1989 Tringham had been convicted of 13 counts of deception, forgery and fraud – but somehow managed to make all reference to his criminal record disappear.

    Born Rodney on 4 May 1945 in Baslop, Nottinghamshire, he set up home with his family in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, and used the name Robert and other aliases to travel freely in and out of the US, returning to the UK to carry out more cons to fund his lifestyle.

    White eventually got his money back, sueing the UK firm of solicitors who advised Tringham. But while he was pursuing him, Tringham was busy moving from Florida to California to set up a whole new fantasy world.

    From around October 2005, Tringham was setting himself up as a licensed securities dealer, except he was not licensed and did not own the companies he claimed to be running, US documents state.

    Purporting to be the chief executive officer of First National Bancorp (FNB) he spent three years pursuading people to invest millions of dollars to trade in bonds. Investors were given websites to access their accounts, promising 4% or better on each trade.

    But the money the investors saw increasing in their accounts was simply that of other victims being moved around by Tringham to faciliate the con.

    Instead he used the $7m he earned from the scam to buy a luxury home, cars, clothes and fund his glamorous lifestyle in Diamond Bar, a suburb of Los Angeles.

    He did the same with another company Finbar Securities Corp, claiming he was registered by the Securities Exchange Commission, the equivalent to the UK’s Financial Services Authority, and promising returns of 30% a year. In this scam he conned American and European investors out of $6.4m.

    Tringham appeared today in a court in Los Angeles seeking bail as he awaits trial on an 11-count indictment for fraud. Akrotirianakis applied for him to be detained indefinitely.

    Back in the UK one victim – who would not be named – was surprised to hear of Tringham’s name again.

    “There were so many people out to get him I really thought he’d be dead by now,” he said.

    Bruce Springsteen: Closes Out Tour With Hometown Marathon

    Rolling Stone Presents!

    Andy Greene

    After a rousing version of “American Land,” Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s Saturday night show at the Izod Center truly seemed over. By this point the band had played for three consecutive hours, with a mind-blowing set loaded with rarely played fan favorites from his 1970s catalog. It seemed like the end, but as the band returned to their stations for two more songs Springsteen roared: “The turnpike is closed. Nobody goes home!”

    You won’t see many concerts with an “Attorney General Will Call Line,” but a ticketing snafu led to thousands of consumer complaints that eventually lead to many aggrieved fans getting tickets through a special lottery. The incident was even the talk of Congress. People really wanted into this show, and Springsteen did everything he could to make it special. He began deviating from the handwritten set list early on, calling for the Darkness On The Edge of Town gem “Something In The Night,” which was an early emotional highlight.

    During the fan request portion of the evening, he played the Born In The USA track “Cover Me,” a powerful version of “Thunder Road” and the rarely performed “E Street Shuffle.” The latter was one of three songs from his 1973 disc The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle — the others being “Kitty’s Back” and “Incident On 57th Street,” which was a last second switch for the set listed “I’m On Fire.” “This is for Jersey,” Springsteen said before playing what might be a definitive version of the street opera with a beautiful coda by pianist Roy Bittan.

    The tour is ostensibly in support of Springsteen’s new album Working On A Dream, but only three of the 26 songs were from the disc were played. It’s a shame because the two back-up singers he brought in to recreate the album’s rich harmonies are now left with a reduced role. One can assume Springsteen made this call because his catalog addresses the economic meltdown much better than an album about relationships. The hard times are addressed directly with a block of songs mid-show that includes “Johnny 99″ (about a man reduced to crime after losing his job), “Seeds” (about family forced to live in their car) and “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (about the last depression). In the encore they covered the 1854 Stephen Foster tune “Hard Times Come Again No More,” which finally allowed backing singers Curtis King and Cindy Mizelle to cut loose.

    Springsteen tours don’t usually hit highs like this until the end, but the band has essentially been on the road since September of 2007. By this point they are capable of playing anything Springsteen throws at them – from obscure albums tracks to a cover of “Mony Mony,” which closed the show out. The countless fans shut out of these Jersey shows will have another chance in the fall, since Springsteen is doing three nights at Giants Stadium shortly before they implode the place. Said Springteen: “Before they bring the wrecking ball we’ll bring the wrecking crew.”

    Bruce Springsteen, More Springsteen Ticket Woes in NJ

    Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF
    Published: May 28, 2009

    The attorney general of New Jersey has filed charges against three ticket resellers, saying that the companies were offering to sell tickets to coming Bruce Springsteen shows that had not yet gone on sale, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported. The attorney general, Anne Milgram, filed lawsuits on Wednesday in Essex County Superior Court against Select-A-Ticket, Orbitz Worldwide and TicketNetwork. The companies were selling tickets at several hundred dollars above face value to Mr. Springsteen’s concerts on Sept. 30, Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Those tickets are scheduled to go on sale on Monday. In addition, Orbitz was charged with selling tickets to sections of Giants Stadium that do not exist. In February Ticketmaster agreed to change its sales policy when more than 2,000 fans of Mr. Springsteen complained to the New Jersey attorney general’s office that when they attempted to buy tickets from Ticketmaster.com, they were redirected to Ticketsnow.com, a resale site owned by Ticketmaster.

    Bruce Springsteen, A Hard Charger Preaches From a Bully Pulpit

    Published: May 22, 2009

    NY Times; Music Review | Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Reclaiming the Izod Center stage for his encore on Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen paused for what seemed at first like a spontaneous reflection. “We’ve played here at the Meadowlands many, many times,” he said. High above the crowd, directly within his sightline, a banner provided specifics: “56 Sell-Outs.”

    Then, without missing a beat, Mr. Springsteen struck a pitchman’s tone: he and the E Street Band would return to the complex in the fall “to say goodbye to old Giants Stadium.” (Those dates are Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 and 3; tickets will go on sale June 1.) “Before they bring the wrecking ball,” he crowed, “the wrecking crew is coming back!”

    It was a plainly triumphant declaration, if a mildly awkward one, coming as it did before “Hard Times Come Again No More,” the Stephen Foster song that has led off every encore on the E Street Band’s current tour. “There are many, many people truly struggling in these times,” Mr. Springsteen said by way of introduction, even as some in the audience were no doubt still making mental adjustments to their fall concert budgets.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, working the crowd at the Izod Center on Thursday night. This leg of the band’s 2009 tour ends on Saturday night.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, working the crowd at the Izod Center on Thursday night. This leg of the band’s 2009 tour ends on Saturday night.

    But the song, which began in something approaching an a cappella gospel style, got the show back on track. The sober solicitation of its lyrics — “Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,” as one line goes — echoed the evening’s staunchest theme.

    Mr. Springsteen has long been a champion chronicler of the hard-bitten and the luckless, and the self-directed spokesman for an idealized American conscience. Here, when it was time to charge through “Working on a Dream,” the title track from his most recent album, he literally sermonized, adopting a revivalist preacher’s tone.

    “We’re going to build a house!” he barked, soon adding: “We can’t do it by ourselves!”

    Then came a segue into “Seeds,” an old song that found new life on this tour, probably for topical reasons. Its lyrics depict an oilman brought to ruin, but Mr. Springsteen slyly widened his scope.

    “The banker man said, ‘Sorry son, it’s all gone,’ ” he sang, naming a previously unspecified villain. The next song, “Johnny 99,” felt even more resonant, opening on the image of a shuttered auto plant and building up to this pitiful cry: “The bank was holding my mortgage, they’re coming to take my house away.”

    The band worked admirably on these and other tough-minded songs, with a fine, chugging fury. And there was news in that regard: as in some other recent shows, the drum chair was occupied not by Max Weinberg but by his 18-year-old son, Jay.

    The substitution went off without much of a hitch, even if the younger Mr. Weinberg has yet to find the deeper currents of the group. At times he got carried away by his own fills, landing slightly late on a downbeat crash. But his pounding energy was the right sort of fit.

    And, perhaps unintentionally, he helped nudge the band toward a renewed set of priorities: grittiness over glossiness, looseness over exactitude, vitality over just about everything else. Strikingly, as a consequence, there were a few flubbed parts and missed cues.

    But the general impression was arresting and potent, beginning with the example of Mr. Springsteen. He gave his usual force-of-nature performance, barreling through some tunes and savoring others, with strategic pockets of space cleared for crowd singalongs.

    This leg of Mr. Springsteen’s tour ends here on Saturday, before a two-month stretch in Europe and eventually his Meadowlands return. At that point the band will be sending off a structure destined for rubble, a hulk with a glorious history but no future. A character, in other words, right out of a song.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform on Saturday at the Izod Center in E. Rutherford, N.J.; sold out.

    Bruce Springsteen, A boss gig? Bring it on! Kasabian Hope to Seduce Bruce Springsteen’s Fans at Glastonbury

    For swashbuckling Leicester rockers Kasabian, the call came out of the blue, and the offer was one that they simply could not refuse. The group were already gearing themselves up for a busy summer, with a new album, their own headline tour plus a series of stadium shows with Oasis and the Enemy.article-1189322-05203209000005DC-554_468x447

    But the chance to shine as the main support act for Bruce Springsteen’s hotly anticipated appearance on the main stage at Glastonbury was impossible to resist.

    ‘It gives us an unbelievable opportunity,’ says Tom Meighan, the band’s hyperactive frontman. ‘We weren’t going to do any outdoor festivals this year, but playing Glastonbury with Springsteen is something different and we’re going to revel in it. 

    For swashbuckling Leicester rockers Kasabian, the call came out of the blue, and the offer was one that they simply could not refuse. The group were already gearing themselves up for a busy summer, with a new album, their own headline tour plus a series of stadium shows with Oasis and the Enemy.

    But the chance to shine as the main support act for Bruce Springsteen’s hotly anticipated appearance on the main stage at Glastonbury was impossible to resist.

    ‘It gives us an unbelievable opportunity,’ says Tom Meighan, the band’s hyperactive frontman. ‘We weren’t going to do any outdoor festivals this year, but playing Glastonbury with Springsteen is something different and we’re going to revel in it. 

    For swashbuckling Leicester rockers Kasabian, the call came out of the blue, and the offer was one that they simply could not refuse. The group were already gearing themselves up for a busy summer, with a new album, their own headline tour plus a series of stadium shows with Oasis and the Enemy.

    But the chance to shine as the main support act for Bruce Springsteen’s hotly anticipated appearance on the main stage at Glastonbury was impossible to resist.

    ‘It gives us an unbelievable opportunity,’ says Tom Meighan, the band’s hyperactive frontman. ‘We weren’t going to do any outdoor festivals this year, but playing Glastonbury with Springsteen is something different and we’re going to revel in it. 

    Springsteen E Street band‘We’ve got a new audience to hit there. I don’t want to sound silly, but it is going to be a spiritual moment. The energy in the place is going to be electrifying.’

    ‘I’m excited, too,’ adds guitarist Serge Pizzorno. ‘At Glastonbury, you need to get to your place early, so there are going to be a lot of people standing in that field waiting for The Boss. They’ll find themselves watching this strange little band from Leicester. And they’ll be saying “Who are these cool cats? They are really good!” That’s the reaction we’re going for.’

    Some bands might be daunted by the prospect of playing second fiddle at one of the rock happenings of the summer, but Kasabian are no shrinking violets. A supremely confident quartet, they have a swagger that sets them apart from their peers. Over-the-top bragging is second nature to them. And they love a challenge.

    Like their soulmates Oasis, they see rock music as a matter of communal celebration and their live shows are raucous, singalong affairs, with the rabble-rousing Meighan playing the role of cheerleader-in- chief. But, according to the singer himself, their self-belief shouldn’t be mistaken for arrogance.

    ‘If you are going to stand up in front of thousands of people, you need to have that belief,’ he says. ‘When a boxer enters the ring, he doesn’t apologise for himself. It’s the same with us.’

    Chatting over lunch at their Wheeler End rehearsal studio in Buckinghamshire, Meighan and Pizzorno cut rather contrasting figures.

    The pair, both 28, have been dubbed Leicester’s answer to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, although an East Midlands equivalent of Liam and Noel Gallagher is probably a little closer to the mark, with Tom’s tendency to shoot from the hip balanced by the more thoughtful, measured outlook of Serge, who (like Noel in Oasis) is the band’s main songwriter. Any similarities with Oasis are a matter of attitude rather than musical content, however, with Kasabian shunning the Beatles-esque hooks of Britpop for a far more diverse set of rock and dance influences.

    ‘Musically, we’re nothing like Oasis,’ Serge says, ‘and even Noel would admit that. What we share is the same set of values. There’s a realism to what Oasis do and it’s the same with us.

    ‘Liam is a loopy frontman, but he’s also amazing. Tom is the same. I think he’s the greatest frontman of his generation. He is Bowie, Jagger and Freddie Mercury rolled into one. With us, it’s about the euphoria of playing live. When Oasis do a gig, they win over the crowd with their big anthems. We do it by taking our fans on a journey. It’s more about creating and building a mood, the way you might do with great dance music.’

    Having announced themselves with their self-titled debut album in 2004, Kasabian consolidated their reputation with 2006′s million-selling Empire. Now, with their third album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, out next month, they are making their bravest move yet.

    Inspired by Sixties concept albums such as The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper and the Small Faces’ Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake, it is an eclectic affair that blends Pizzorno’s fiery rock riffs with experimental flourishes, Mariachi horns and cinematic moods worthy of Ennio Morricone. The band began recording it early last year, with Serge producing the musical blueprint on a laptop computer in his Leicester bedroom after the band had returned from an exhausting world tour.

    ‘We’d been on the road for four years without a real break and I needed to sit down and take stock,’ says the guitarist. ‘I came up with the album title early on. I thought that giving the record a crazy name would give us the freedom to do whatever we wanted. I spent hours working on the tunes at home with a couple of old synths and a guitar. For me, it’s all about the buzz you get at three in the morning, when you come up with a beat and a great chorus.’

    Having met at Countesthorpe Community College, on the outskirts of Leicester, Tom and Serge started the band – who also feature bassist Chris Edwards and drummer Ian Matthews – in 1999.

    Inspired by the energy of the Britpop era, they gigged locally while making ends meet with a series of day-jobs – Tom working in the now-defunct Dr Martens factory in Leicester before becoming a sheet metal driller.

    ‘Musically, the country was buzzing and we felt that we could do anything,’ Serge recalls. ‘We were naive and childish, but we grafted until we got somewhere. I always believed it was going to happen for us. Even when people didn’t seem too bothered – and there were plenty of them – I knew we’d find a niche.’

    After securing a deal with Sony Music in 2003, the band members left home to live in isolation in a converted farmhouse at nearby Rutland Water. It was, Serge recalls, a chaotic period.

    ‘We wanted somewhere where we could be together to make our first album,’ he says. ‘We existed on super-noodles, toast, pizza and Walker’s crisps. It wasn’t exactly healthy living. But it was an intense period. We were a bunch of ordinary lads from Leicester living in a farmhouse and having a brilliant time.’

    Now, five years on, the band take a more considered approach to the routines of the rock business. As Tom puts it, they ‘pick their battles’ more carefully these days. Their propensity to wreak havoc onstage remains, though. Launching the new album with a gig in London last week, the band took to the stage in the grandest possible manner.

    Picked out by searchlights, they emerged from a fog of dry ice and plugged in their instruments, only for their triumphant opening chords to be cut short when the power failed.

    Even that wasn’t enough to dent Meighan’s comedic swagger. The frontman simply took a slow, theatrical bow, punched the air and walked off. Returning minutes later, he went on to perform with even more abandon than usual.

    ‘We’re a proper rock band,’ he says. ‘Too many groups just churn out pop hits to make money. Not this lot. We’re one of the last groups on the planet with real enthusiasm.’

    Kasabian’s new single, Fire, is out on Columbia on Monday. The album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, follows on June 8. Their UK tour starts tonight at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. They are also playing Glastonbury. For more details, visit kasabian.co.uk.

    Bruce Springsteen, Glastonbury Boss Reveals How The Boss Was Persuaded to Play

    Emily Eavis says she gave The Boss a special document

     

    Glastonbury festival organiser Emily Eavis has revealed that she had to write a special document to persuade Bruce Springsteen to make his first festival appearance at the Somerset bash next month.09128_133038_brucespringsteenPAfestrate_

    Eavis explained that Springsteen‘s agent had never heard of the Worthy Farm event before, so Eavis had to construct a document featuring glowing quotes from past headliners to persuade him to accept the booking.

    “It’s been our mission for quite a long time to get Bruce,” she told BBC 6music. “I thought it was quite unlikely, especially when the agent said, ‘Glaston-what?’

    “We put together a document for him and spoke to his people a lot and they are really up for it. He’s never done a festival before so we didn’t expect him to know much about it. It included quotes from lots of different people, musicians who have played.

    “It’s quite hard to understand why you should play a festival for not much money when you’re being offered quite a lot to go elsewhere.

    “We put together some information and said ‘This is what happens, this is all the money that goes to charity’. Pretty quickly he said: ‘Yes’. It’s amazing.”

    Bruce Springsteen will headline the Pyramid Stage on the Saturday night (June 27) of the festival.

     

    Bruce Springsteen, Giants Stadium Shows; Floor All GA Standing Room Only

    Looking forward to getting a good field seat for Bruce Springsteen’s three upcoming Giants Stadium shows? Forget about it, as the entire field will be general-admission standing.

    If you want to be on the field to see Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium this fall, you'll have to stand for the entire show. Photo by Ron Ring

    If you want to be on the field to see Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium this fall, you'll have to stand for the entire show. Photo by Ron Ring

    According to a post on the Izod Center’s website and the Ticketmaster seating chart, the entire field at Giants Stadium will be general-admission standing for Springsteen’s Sept 30 and Oct. 2-3 shows.

    This is a big change from past Springsteen shows at Giants Stadium. The three shows last summer and the 10 shows in the summer of 2003 had a pretty large general-admission pit toward the front of the stage, but also had thousands of seats on the field.

    The two U2 shows at Giants Stadium in September also have no seats on the field, it’s all standing.

    Since The Rising Tour in 2002, Springsteen has used a general-admission floor. It works well in an arena, with a lottery at 5:15 p.m. or so determining which fans get in the pit and the order they are allowed in.

    A stadium is quite different though.

    In Europe, it is common practice for the entire field (the pitch) to be standing-room only. Some Springsteen fans have lined up a week in advance to get a coveted spot at the front of the stage.

    But it will be the first time the entire field has been general admission for a Springsteen show at Giants Stadium or any other stadium in the United States over the years.

    It will be interesting to see how the Springsteen camp will handle the people with general-admission tickets. They should let fans know their plan before tickets go onsale Monday

    Will there be a pit up front, like the arenas, separating the front section?

    Will admission to the floor be first-come, first-serve where fans may line up for days in advance?

    Will there be some sort of “random” system like U2 has used in the past to determine who gets into the front section?

    Will there be a lottery, as used at the arenas, and if so, will they have enough staff to accomodate thousands of people who may be in the lottery?

    Two shows at Hershey Park Stadium (May 15, 2009 and Aug. 19, 2008) in Hershey, Pa, had a huge general-admission area on the floor (as well as seats) and it was dangerous at times with thousands of fans lining up before and after the lottery. There were 2,300-plus fans in the lottery two weeks ago and it was scary for a time, with a major lack of communication and fans threatening to crash the gates.

    Hopefully the staff at Giants Stadium has enough experience that they will be able to handle whatever is determined for the floor general admission.

    But the fans should know how it’s going to work before they purchase a general-admission ticket on Monday.

    Bruce Springsteen; Garry Tallent: Four Decades Of Bass For The Boss

    By Chris Jisi

     

    There’s something wonderfully instinctive about Garry Tallent’s bass playing behind Bruce Springsteen. Navigating the elaborate set list on the current world tour supporting the Boss’s new album, Magic, Tallent melts seamlessly into eighth-note grooves and spreads soil-thick whole-notes beneath ballads.

    He’s ever-ready to step forward when the clatter of the E Street Band subsides or an important sub-hook needs stating. As drummer Max Weinberg told Guitar Player in 1988, “Garry gets down low and between the notes, which is a very funky place to be.” After 37 years behind Springsteen, the soft-spoken veteran knows everything about one of America’s greatest rock & roll institutions.

    Born in Detroit, Michigan on October 27, 1949, Tallent moved around the South with his parents and six siblings, before the family settled in Neptune City, New Jersey, in 1964. By then Garry had tried flute, clarinet, violin, guitar, tuba, and upright bass, while keeping an ear to early rock & roll. With the British Invasion of self-contained groups underway, bass playing quickly became a commodity in Jersey Shore bands. Garry, who was playing guitar in one local ensemble, borrowed neighbor Southside Johnny Lyon’s Hagstrom bass to join another band. Soon afterward, he bought a Framus Star bass and began relating to the radio rumble of Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, Chas Chandler, Duck Dunn, and James Jamerson.

    Tallent’s true music school, however, was Asbury Park’s legendary Upstage Club, where he teamed with drummer Bobby Williams as the house rhythm section. “It was great on-the-spot training to get up there with an artist you’ve never met and figure out how to entertain for a set,” remembers Garry, who played the club’s Silvertone bass (or a Danelectro he put together while working at the manufacturer’s Neptune City factory). Future bandmates Little Steven Van Zandt, Clarence Clemons, and Danny Federici became regulars at the club. So did Bruce Springsteen, who started a band with Little Steven on bass; when Steven switched to guitar in January 1971, he recommended Tallent. Within a year, Springsteen’s E Street Band was in place for the recording of his debut, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.

    How has the E Street Band changed over the years?
    Musically, everyone has gotten better—more adept at their instruments and more knowledgeable. Personally, I’ve pared down my playing over time. When the band gets together, we all play a certain way that we would never play anywhere else. If I played at a Nashville session the way I do with the E Street Band, I’d never be invited back! It’s just a different, more aggressive way of playing. Still, we hadn’t played together for four years, so on the first day of the Magic sessions it took a minute to get back to that place.

    Have you changed any classic Springsteen bass parts?
    Oh, sure. We have over a hundred songs to draw from. I wouldn’t be able to go back and learn all those bass lines; even if I could, they were just my initial parts in the studio, which often changed a week later when performing them live. There are certain parts that have to be there, but generally I’m playing something different every night. This constant state of evolving is what keeps the band fresh.

    What was it like working with bass-playing producer Brendan O’Brien on the last two Springsteen albums?
    Well, I had the impression that nobody ever really listens to the bass, which gave me a sort of freedom [laughs]. But Brendan has given me notes and ideas; he’s really hands-on. A good example is “Radio Nowhere” [from Magic]: I was playing with my fingers, resulting in more of a Motown feel, and it wasn’t working for him. I suggested a pick, which gave it the edge he was looking for. That’s a decision I never would have thought to make on my own. Brendan has us record basic tracks first, with myself, Max, Roy [Bittan] on piano, and Bruce on acoustic guitar. It really lets us focus on the rhythm section, and has resulted in the best-sounding record we’ve ever made. Before Brendan, we had always recorded as a band, and the focus would immediately go to overdubs and solos. If I messed up but it was decided to be the best take, I was out of luck. I’ve had to learn more mistakes over the years . . . . [Laughs.]

    You sound busier with drummer Vini Lopez on the earlier records than you do on discs with Max.
    We were what I would call wild and innocent then, listening to Cream and the Allman Brothers, and throwing everything at the wall to see what would stick. Vini had a naturally busy, loping style, so I was more active to keep up. Plus, I was a bit of a rebel. Producer John Landau was always trying to get me to lock with the bass drum. Even later in Nashville, Steve Earle would tease me, saying, ‘I love your bass lines—you have no regard for what the kick is doing.’ My approach was always to go along with the kick without being married to it, to find my own part in the song.

    When Max came into the band, we kind of molded him into the drummer we wanted him to be. We gave him records with everyone from Keith Moon to Roger Hawkins, and he absorbed it all. We’ve created our own way of playing together, with a less-is-more focus that’s second nature.

    How do you typically come up with your parts for Bruce’s songs?
    Bruce usually introduces a tune by singing and playing it on guitar, so I have complete freedom to come up with a part. I watch his hands, listen, and react; that’s what adds excitement and freshness to the part. My first inclination is often melodic, but the role of the bass is to bridge the rhythm and melody. I figure that my part is there to make the song more reachable; I’ll do whatever it takes to make it feel good, sit right, and get the listener to respond.

    What are your favorite Bruce tracks?
    As time goes on and I get more distance, I like them all. On the other hand, I’ve always been my own worst critic, so I’m not totally satisfied with any of them. It’s really about the song, not the bass; to me, the better songs had the better bass lines. When pinned, I always name “Point Blank” [from The River]; it’s a very emotional song and it stirred those emotions in me. The bass and Bruce’s voice are the predominant elements of the track, and with a band as big as ours I don’t get to play that role often. I also like “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in New York City” [from The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle]. I’ve been asked about “Hungry Heart”; I kind of heard it as a staccato tuba part when I came up with the bass line. Ultimately, you wind up liking the ones you don’t do as often.

    Let’s talk about your technique.
    I pluck with two alternating fingers, or sometimes just one. I use a pick about ten percent of the time, if the sound is called for. I’ve also been muting the strings since hearing that way back on Eddie Cochran records. I mute with my left hand and with my right palm, if I’m using a pick. And I like to move my plucking hand between the neck and the bridge to get various tones. When I first got into the studio with Bruce and realized how under the microscope everyone’s playing was, I felt I needed some help with my technique—so in the late ’70s I took some lessons with Jerry Jemmott, who had an ad in the Village Voice. He was great; he gave me right-hand warm-ups and exercises to make my playing even and consistent. From there, I practiced with a VU meter, making sure I could keep the needle in a steady range. But I’m no great technician; I never took to slapping or to 5- or 6-string basses. I did get into fretless after hearing Pino Palladino all over the radio in the ’80s.

    What led to your move to Nashville, in 1989?
    The E Street Band had just been put on extended hiatus, and my feeling was that rock & roll was stagnating. It seemed like country was poised to take the creative mantle, so I made the move. My friend [guitarist] Kenny Vaughan taught me the ropes and the rules, and got me going on sessions; one of my first was filling in for [Elton John sideman turned session player] Dee Murray, who had become pretty ill by that point. I learned the Number System and worked my way into demo and master sessions. Nashville is an amazing city, chock full of great musicians; on bass alone, that includes talents as diverse as Michael Rhodes, Joey Spampinato, and the late, great Roy Huskey Jr., all of whom I became close with. I initially told my family we’d give it five years, and we ended up staying for 18.

    How did Nashville tie into your producing career?
    That actually started in New Jersey; I was always fascinated by recording, so I put together a studio in the mid ’80s and began by engineering sessions for bands. Before long, I was working on the arrangements, too, and that led to producing. When I got to Nashville I only produced pet projects that were outside the norm, like rock-edged records by the Delevantes, Kevin Gordon, and Dwayne Jarvis, or Greg Trooper, whose album hit No. 1 on the newly formed Americana chart. I enjoyed being on the other side of the glass and I still do, but it never replaced playing for me.

    What lies ahead?
    The tour with Bruce goes through the summer. We have another album’s worth of material recorded, but no word yet on a release or future tours. Since moving to Montana two years ago I’ve been hired to do some bass tracks via the Internet, although it’s not my favorite way to work. But life is good; I’ve had a blessed career. My lone regret is not having had more serious musical training. I’m trying to do that now, playing more piano and guitar and studying theory. If I had to offer one bit of advice, it would be to take advantage of the many resources out there and learn everything you can about music. It will help you to become the best you can be.

    Other Bass Tallents: Garry’s Personal Pantheon

    James Jamerson “There’s James and then there’s everybody else. When I was doing my track for Allan Slutsky’s Standing in the Shadows of Motown book, he sent me a cassette with a lot of the other guest bassists playing Jamerson lines. I kept it in the car, and my wife, who is not a musician, would drive around totally digging on it—no vocals, just bass! That shows you how engaging his playing was.”

    Jaco Pastorius “Jaco was a musical genius. We became close and hung out a bunch of times. One night we were at the Lone Star in the Village, watching Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry decided he wanted to play guitar, so Jaco went over to the piano and I got on bass and we played for quite a while. It broke my heart when he died; he was such a sweet guy.”

    Rick Danko “In Nashville, I was in a five-piece rhythm section called the Long Players. We would learn a classic album start to finish, and then hire singers and go to a club to perform it one time only. We did over 20 albums, from the Beatles and Stones to Van Morrison and the Who. The biggest surprise was learning Rick Danko’s parts with The Band. I’d always loved him, but I thought of him mainly as a singer. Well, he was a fantastic bassist, from his note choices to where he put them.”

    GEAR

    Basses with the Boss Spector NS-2J custom short-scale (main bass); ’07 Gretsch Thunder Jet; fretless ’65 Guild Starfire; ’60s Guild M-85; e-size unknown 19th-century German upright

    Basses on Magic ’63 Fender Jazz Bass, ’63 Fender Precision Bass with flats, Jerry Jones Longhorn, Brendan O’Brien’s ’64 P-Bass

    Strings Pyramid Gold nickel flats, La Bella 0760M “Jamerson” flatwounds

    Picks Dunlop Jazz 3XL, felt ukulele pick

    Live Shure UHF M4 wireless from each bass into Ashly LX-308B line mixer, then Radial J48 DI to sound system, monitored through Sennheiser wireless in-ear monitors; Hartke HA4000 head and 4200 Professional Series cabinet (used for soundcheck and as monitoring backup to in-ears, but turned off for shows)

    Studio Aguilar DB 680 tube preamp, Demeter SSC-1 Silent Cabinet (1×12), Ampeg B-15S 60-watt combo amp

    Selected Discography

    With Bruce Springsteen (all on Columbia)
    Magic
    The Rising
    Tracks
    Ghost of Tom Joad
    Tunnel of Love
    Live/1975–85
    Born in the U.S.A.
    The River
    Darkness on the Edge of Town
    Born to Run
    The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
    Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J

    With Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul
    Men Without Women, EMI

    With Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
    Messin’ With the Blues, Leroy
    Better Days, Impact

    With Steve Forbert
    Mission of the Crossroad Palms, Giant

    With Ian Hunter
    You’re Never Alone With a Schizophrenic, Razor and Tie

    With Gary U.S. Bonds
    Dedication/On the Line, Gott Discs

    With Emmylou Harris
    Brand New Dance, Reprise

    With Delevantes
    Long About That Time, Rounder

    With Randy Scruggs (and Johnny Cash)
    Crown of Jewels, Warner Bros

    With Steve Earle
    I Feel Alright, Warner Bros

    With Billy Joe Shaver
    The Earth Rolls On, New West

    With Robert Earl Keen Jr.
    A Bigger Piece of the Sky, Sugar Hill

    With Sonny Burgess
    Sonny Burgess, Rounder

    With Paul Burlison
    Train Kept a-Rollin’, Sweetfish

    With Solomon Burke
    Nashville, Shout Factory

    With P.F. Sloan
    Sailover, Hightone

    With Sass Jordan
    Get What You Give, Horizon

    With Jim Lauderdale
    Honey Songs, Yep Roc

    Bruce Springsteen, Complete Set Lists of The 2009 Tour

    March 23, 2009
    Asbury Park, NJ
    Convention Center

    Outlaw Pete
    My Lucky Day
    Night
    Out in the Street
    Working on a Dream
    Johnny 99
    I Ain’t Got No Home
    Good Eye (with Jay Weinberg)
    Radio Nowhere (with Jay Weinberg)
    Candy’s Room (with Jay Weinberg)
    Because the Night (with Jay Weinberg)
    Mary’s Place (with Jay Weinberg)
    The Wrestler
    This Life
    Long Walk Home
    Surprise, Surprise
    Badlands
    No SurrenderHard Times (by Stephen Foster)
    Mustang Sally (w/ John Eddie)
    Thunder Road
    Born to Run (with Jay Weinberg)
    American Land (with Jay Weinberg)
    Seven Nights to Rock
       
    March 24, 2009
    Asbury Park, NJ
    Convention Center

    Badlands
    Outlaw Pete
    My Lucky Day
    No Surrender
    Out in the Street
    Working on a Dream
    Seeds (First since 1996)
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Good Eye
    Darlington County
    Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom of Days
    Lonesome Day (with Jay Weinberg)
    Radio Nowhere (with Jay Weinberg)
    Born to Run (with Jay Weinberg)Hard Times
    Dancing in the Dark
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land of Hope and Dreams
    American Land
    setlist  
    April 1, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    HP Pavilion at San Jose

    Badlands
    Outlaw Pete
    My Lucky Day
    No Surrender
    Out In The Street
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds (first since 1996!)
    Johnny 99
    Ghost of Tom Joad
    Good Eye
    Good Rockin’ Tonight (1947 jump blues)
    Darlington County
    Growin’ Up
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Dancing In The Dark
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    setlist  
    April 3, 2009
    Glendale, AZ
    Jobing.com Arena

    Badlands
    Outlaw Pete
    My Lucky Day
    The Night
    Out In The Street
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Working On The Highway
    Downbound Train
    Because The Night
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Rosalita
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Dancing In The Dark
    setlist  
    April 5, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    Frank Erwin Center

    Badlands
    Outlaw Pete
    My Lucky Day
    Prove It All Night
    Out In The Street
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Youngstown
    Working On The Highway
    Sherry Darling
    She’s The One
    Because The Night
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Jungleland
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    I’m A Rocker
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    setlist  
    April 7, 2009
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    BOK Center

    Badlands
    Outlaw Pete
    Night
    Out In The Street
    Working on A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Youngstown
    I’m On Fire
    Working On The Highway
    I’m Goin’ Down
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Rosalita
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Dancing In The Dark
    setlist  
    April 8, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    Toyota Center

    Badlands
    Outlaw Pete
    No Surrender
    Out In The Street
    Working on A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Ghost of Tom Joad
    Working On The Highway
    Cadillac Ranch
    It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Rosalita
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Dancing In The Dark
    setlist  
    April 10, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Pepsi Center

    Badlands
    The Ties That Bind
    Outlaw Pete
    Out In The Street
    Working on A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Youngstown
    Tougher Than The Rest
    Darlington County
    E Street Shuffle
    Prove It All Night
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Racing In The Streets
    Kingdom of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Tenth Avenue Freez-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    setlist  
    April 15, 2009
    Los Angeles, California
    Sports Arena

    Badlands
    Darkness On The Edge Of Town
    Outlaw Pete
    Out In The Street
    Working on A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    I’m Going Down
    Raise Your Hand
    Spirit In The Night
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Racing In The Streets
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    April 16, 2009
    Los Angeles, California
    Sports Arena

    Badlands
    Candy’s Room
    Outlaw Pete
    No Surrender
    Adam Raised A Cain
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Youngstown
    Raise Your Hand
    Proud Mary
    Growin’ Up
    Hungry Heart
    Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Backstreets
    Bad Luck (with Mike Ness of Social Distortion)
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    setlist  
    April 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    TD Banknorth Garden

    Badlands
    Adam Raised A Cain
    Outlaw Pete
    Out In The Street
    Working on A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide (Z.Z. Top; first time since ’87!)
    I’m Going Down
    Growin’ Up
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    April 22, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    TD Banknorth Garden

    Badlands
    Candy’s Room
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Youngstown
    Raise Your Hand
    I Wanna Be Sedated
    Spirit In The Night
    For You
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    Jungleland
    Kingdom of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    So Young and In Love (with Dropkick Murphys)
    American Land (with Dropkick Murphys)
    Glory Days
    Seven Nights To Rock
    setlist  
    April 24, 2009
    Hartford, Connecticut
    XL Center

    Badlands
    Outlaw Pete
    Jackson Cage
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Radio Nowhere
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Wild Thing
    Rockin’ All Over the World
    E Street Shuffle
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To Run
    Cadillac RanchHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    April 26, 2009
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Philips Arena

    Badlands
    Darkness On The Edge of Town
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Radio Nowhere
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    96 Tears
    Trapped
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Jungleland
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Detroit Medley
    setlist  
    April 28, 2009
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Spectrum

    Badlands
    Out In The Street
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Fire
    Fever
    Mountain Of Love { info }
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    You Can’t Sit Down { info }
    Tenth Avenue Freezeout
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    April 29, 2009
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Spectrum

    Badlands
    The Ties That Bind
    Outlaw Pete
    Spirit In The Night
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Youngstown
    Raise Your Hand
    London Calling
    Red Headed Woman
    Thundercrack
    Hungry Heart
    The Promised Land
    Streets Of Philadelphia
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Kitty’s Back
    setlist  
    May 2, 2009
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Greensboro Coliseum

    Badlands
    Radio Nowhere
    Outlaw Pete
    No Surrender
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Seventh Son
    Hang On Sloopy
    Growin’ Up
    I’m On Fire
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    Human Touch
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To Run
    Cadillac RanchHard Times
    Thunder Road
    10th Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    setlist  
    May 4, 2009
    Hempstead, New York
    Nassau Veterans Mem. Col.

    Badlands
    No Surrender
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Expressway To Your Heart (by the Soul Survivors
    For You
    Rendezvous
    Night
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Jungleland
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Dancing In The Dark
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    May 5, 2009
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    John Paul Jones Arena

    Badlands
    Adam Raised A Cain
    Outlaw Pete
    Candy’s Room
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Roulette
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    You Really Got Me
    Spirit In The Night
    Gypsy Biker
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Detroit Medley
    setlist  
    May 7, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Air Canada Centre

    Badlands
    No Surrender
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    E Street Shuffle
    Prove It All Night
    Louie Louie
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    Racing In The Streets
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    Glory Days
    setlist  
    May 8, 2009
    University Park, Pennsylvania
    Bryce Jordan Center

    Badlands
    Out In The Street
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Ramrod
    My Generation
    Spirit In The Night
    Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    This Life
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Jungleland
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Bobby Jean
    Detroit Medley
    Wooly Bully
    setlist  
    May 11, 2009
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Xcel Energy Center

    Badlands
    Radio Nowhere
    Outlaw Pete
    No Surrender
    Out In The Streets
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Good Lovin’
    Prove It All Night
    The E Street Shuffle
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    I’m On Fire
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Tenth Avenue Freezeout
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Bobby Jean
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    May 12, 2009
    Chicago, Illinois
    United Center

    Badlands
    Spirit In The Night
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Trapped
    Candy’s Room
    Mony Mony
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Jungleland
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Dancing In The Dark
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    May 14, 2009
    Albany, New York
    Times Union Center

    Badlands
    Radio Nowhere
    Outlaw Pete
    No Surrender
    Out In The Streets
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Thunder Road
    Mony Mony
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    Backstreets
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Kitty’s Back
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    <!– setlist –>  
    May 15, 2009
    Hershey, Pennsylvania
    Hersheypark Stadium

    Badlands
    Spirit In The Night
    Outlaw Pete
    Radio Nowhere
    Out In The Street
    Twist & Shout
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Give The Girl A Kiss
    Trapped
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    Backstreets
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    Bobby Jean
    setlist  
    May 18, 2009
    Washington, DC
    Verizon Center

    Badlands
    No Surrender
    Outlaw Pete
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Out In The Street
    Little Latin Lupe Lu
    Hava Nagila
    Blinded By The Light
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Radio Nowhere
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Kitty’s Back
    Land of Hope and Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    May 19, 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Mellon Arena

    Badlands
    Candy’s Room
    Outlaw Pete
    Jackson Cage
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    Youngstown
    Good Lovin’
    Like A Rolling Stone
    Darkness On The Edge Of Town
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    I’m On Fire
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Land of Hope and Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    Mony Mony
    setlist  
    May 21, 2009
    E. Rutherford, New Jersey
    Izod Center

    Badlands
    Adam Raised A Cain
    Outlaw Pete
    Radio Nowhere
    She’s The One
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost Of Tom Joad
    Raise Your Hand
    Growin’ Up
    I’m Going Down
    Prove It All Night
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    The Wrestler
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Thunder Road
    Jungleland
    Land Of Hope And Dreams
    American Land
    Rosalita
    setlist  
    May 23, 2009
    E. Rutherford, New Jersey
    Izod Center

    Badlands
    Spirit In The Night
    Outlaw Pete
    Something In The Night
    Out In The Street
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Good Lovin’
    Cover Me
    The E Street Shuffle
    Thunder Road
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    Incident on 57th Street
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To RunHard Times
    Kitty’s Back
    Land of Hope and Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    Mony Mony
     

    Bruce Springsteen, Izod Center Review 5.23.09

    There was the calm before the storm.  The night was finally here and my wife and I were set to see the second show at the Izod Center.  After one of the most horrifying times trying to buy tickets, I had tickets!  Experiencing the Ticketmaster debacle and getting shut out, I still was able to snag two tickets.  I guess complaining to the Attorney General was finally a good thing!  Some of us got satisfaction, but not all of us.  I guess deep in the back of my mind I was feeling relieved and happy, but there was also the feeling that the two NJ shows were tainted.   I mean, after reading the Newark Star Ledger article breaking down the ticket run down, it is amazing anyone was able to buy tickets.  Of the 19,389 available seats,   only 14,141 or so seats went on sale for each of the two shows.  On February 2nd, the day of the ticket sale, many of us were logged in and were actually in the queue to get our tickets only to get the shaft when we thought we would be seeing where our tickets were.  Instead, we were being told that the website was under regularly scheduled maintenance and then transferred to the now famous Tickets Now site offering as many tickets we would ever want for up to three times the face value of the tickets.   Of the 14,000, I wonder how many of them were already selected for Tickets Now before anyone had a chance to select them on the Ticketmaster website.   (Guess what?  The same thing is happening for the Giants Stadium shows)So having been lucky enough to be selected to get a set of two tickets, I was so happy, yet there was still a hollow feeling of wonderment. I wasn’t really excited about going to the show.  I know, hard to believe, but I was just feeling so-so and not that excited.  I have been doing this blog pretty much every day since last August.  So, when April 1st came about, I somehow lost my spirit for the blog. I just didn’t want to post anymore.  I had then over 100,000 hits to the blog and that is pretty good considering the narrowness of the subject.  There was something about that fateful day in February that caused me to lose interest after 32 years of devotion of the life, times and music of Bruce Springsteen and whatever band he was playing with.  I no longer felt the urgency to post daily.  To find articles on obscure news clippings from around the world, sites like backstreets.com and of course brucespringsteen.net.  No more copying and pasting so that the readers of the blog could find any and all information they needed at one place.   The wind had been taken out of my sail. 

    I had my yearly physical on the Monday before the show.  Two of the nurses at my doctor’s office are big Bruce fans and we were all going to Saturdays show.  One of the took care of me and she was excited and it was fun to talk about Bruce and the band.  Her excitement was infectious.  So I counted down the days till Saturday, but when I woke up that day, there seemed to be something amiss.  I wasn’t excited in the least.  My wife finally came around and asked what were we going to do?  Were we going to tailgate or just have something at home?  Normally, we tailgate when shows are at the Meadowlands.  It was tough now because of all of the building and work they are doing trying to finish Xanadu and of course the new Giants/Jets Football Stadium.  Parking is a bitch, can’t tailgate in the parking garage and it was also a little overcast and chilly. 

    So we finally got in the Pilot and off we went.  We got to the stadium and parked with an exit strategy of getting out of the parking lot fast.  As we were walking towards the foot bridge we had to walk over to get to the Izod Area, who did we bump into, but the nurses from my doctor’s office.  The three of them were sitting there just shooting the breeze as we walked by.  I had just told my wife; don’t you find it interesting that we never run into anyone we know at events like this?  So, after about 20 minutes of sharing Bruce stories, we finally got to the bridge and were shortly ready to get in line.  There was a sign that said, Attorney General Ticket holders here, so we got in line.  When we got to security, they searched my binoculars and found my BOSS Micro recorder and I was pissed.  I was hoping to record the show for posterity sake.  I used to use a small voice recorder, but the Micro BR is so much better.    I have never been caught before and I was pissed.  I almost had to bring it back to my car which would have taken about 30 minutes to do.  They took my expensive rechargeable batteries and I was able to keep the Micro BR.    We got our tickets and bought a bottle of soda and Water.  We had decent seats, row 9 in section 106.  The same section at the nurses, only we didn’t know it till we got our seats.   We sat for about 90 minutes.  The arena seemed a bit dark and gloomy since the Devils left town for their new digs in Newark.  There weren’t any of the Devils Stanley Cup banners hanging from the rafters.  No retired numbers or even the colorful banners depicting the different events that used to call the arena home.  No, the rafters seemed dark and gloomy with about two years of dust.  That all changed when the lights went dark and the band found their way to their positions on the stage.  Then the spot hit Bruce and he counted down Badlands.  The last time I saw him open up with Badlands was never.  He did play it as the second song of the two concerts I attended in Atlanta in September of 1978.  He did open up many of the Darkness shows back then.  But now, it usually finds its way into the middle of most sets and has become an arena rocker.   Back then, when you listened to Badlands from the album, it was kind of a dreary haunting song.  When he toured in support of Darkness, what he usually did was open up with a cover song (Have You Heard the News, Good Rocking Tonight and Rocking All Over the World, to name two of them) then the band would do its bridge and Bruce’s verbal count down, with his Famous Telecaster/Esquire in hand, the band would roar into Badlands. There wasn’t any changing of guitars (There was always a second guitar on a stand in front of his Bassman Amplifiers. When he switched guitars, a roadie would grab the one he left on the stand and it would find its way back before the end of the song. I figured it needed to be re-tuned) no breaks, just all of the excitement that could be generated by Bruce and the E street Band.  It was anything but dreary or haunting like it sister version that appeared on Darkness.  It had become an inspirational song as did many of the songs from Darkness, like The Promised Land,  Candy’s Room, Prove it all Night, Racing in the Streets, Streets of Fire and of course the title song, Darkness on the Edge of Town. These guitar laden songs who stark production gave you feel of a wounded rock star, who put all into his craft only to be cheated by the one person he put his faith in to help him get to the top.  3 years later, with his career in his hands, Darkness is not the album that Bruce may have released if it followed up and released right after Born to Run.  It wasn’t going to be quintessential Rock n’ Roll Classic that Born to Run was.   These dreary songs all shone a light on the post teen characters whose lives were trying to break from the umbrellas of their parents, to break out of the small towns they seemed destined to live their lives following in the footsteps of their families.  In hot rods built by their hands, they were supposed to roar out into the night and as far away as they could drive, trying to reach for the highest stars.  Yet, somehow, things weren’t going as they would have liked and as they faced their fate, Bruce brings in the only thing you can, Hope!  Yes, all of these songs had the message of hope and when you listened to Bruce and the band play these songs live, you know that hope is not only possible, it can happen.  As Bruce would say just before he broke into one of the most awesome introduction guitar solos to any rock song, “You have to’ Prove it All Night, Every Night.”  That has been the mantra for every show that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have ever played.  It is also a road map for anyone who wants to be successful.    Back then, when Bruce would take two to three years to record and release an album, these songs became the songs that carried us through till The River and beyond.  They still evoke a kind of positive passion and haven’t lost any of the edge they had back in 1978, just look at any audience as that song is being played.   The song was a roaring opening to get the crowd and band right into the right groove for what was to follow.  This show is one of the top three Springsteen shows I ever attended.   The second song was also an early staple of his earlier tours, Spirits in the Night was a surprise!  Bruce sang with the same passion he did back in the early days.  This wasn’t one of the songs where he stood glued to his teleprompter as he sang the words on the lines scrolling in front of him.  Matter of fact, he didn’t seem to use the teleprompter which was also a nice change.  He found his way to his mic stand and just slid down and sang as he sat there.   It was always slotted in the third hole and it was the song when Bruce would jump into the audience and find a seat in about the 10th row of the theater, stand on arm rests and sing the last part of the song while returning to the stage. Now, he roams the front of the stage playing to the ardent fans in the GA Pit and the people on the wings and back of the stage.  There is a lot of different things that happen today.  In the early years, Bruce would take time and tell the stories of the conflicts with his dad, the love of his mother who wanted to see him get a college degree and meeting the Big Man during what he describes as tornado like conditions.   He doesn’t tell stories anymore.  Now, it seems that the motivation for many of his songs are political, Socio/Economic dilemmas of today’s America  or the emotional cycles of a man who is nearing 60 years of age.  There isn’t the need to tell stories, now, the songs say it all.  (Of course if you went to the Devils and Dust shows, there was a smattering of some of the stories that used to be as important as the songs.)   After finding his way back to his next guitar, Cowboy Pete was sung in the shadows of the backlit stage.  I thought Outlaw Pete was a strange song when I first heard it.  The song is basically the life of the cowboy who from birth always seemed to be on the wrong side of everything.  The heartfelt story of his life and times kind of loses you by about the second or third verse.  The melody is ok, the chorus us cool, but eh song just goes on and one.  The live version was much more animated and with his black cowboy hat on his head, Bruce finally found his way to the songs finish line, then he quickly jumped into another Darkness gem, ‘Something in the Night!’   Once more, he found the passion that echoes through the song and captures the storyline of the eeriness of coping with the heartache and loneliness of life and finally finding ones way to joy and hope of dawn.   From finding hope, Out in the Street, the love song and arena rocker, that is associated with Badlands, standing alone took center stage and once again, the arena was alive with light and music.  The second of three Working on a Dream songs was next, the title song kept the momentum alive and the band took this song and has turned it into what should be another concert staple for years to come.  Bruce, who has proven he isn’t much of a whistler, let Clarence do the honors and as he always does (Well, he did have trouble with the bagpipes on The Rising tour, the only time I believe he had any trouble delivering) he was spot on.   Clarence has been slowed the past few tours with his bad knees that have had replaced.  He sits on a stool during some of the show and there was this big bad throne off to the side of the stage.  Though The Big man didn’t sit in it once, I am sure if he wanted too he would have been very comfortable.  Speaking of the Big Man, his role has lessened with each release.  As much as Bruce works to get his Sax into as many songs as he can, Clarence is pretty much left to his own devices like shakers, tambourines, maracas and other accessories when not blowing through one of his Sax’s.   As we discuss the Clarence’s knee replacements, Nils seemed to be very limber with his new hips.  He was all over the place once more dancing and jumping around while offering us some slick and crafty guitar riffs and solos.   Nils, joined the band for the Born in the USA tour taking over for Little Steven made the biggest mistake of his music career when he took leave of the E Street Band.  Nils has been able to add a lot of timber to every song of the Springsteen catalog.  His versatility and his command of the fret board added a depth and versatility that had been missing from the live sound of the E Street Band.   As far as musical leaders go, Stevie was great and his straight ahead rock & rhythm and blues style fit nicely into the early years of Bruce and the Band.  He kept the band in line as Bruce would traverse the stage looking for new ways to connect with his fans.  He was the glue that kept the band together night after night.  It was a sad day when he left.  After helping arrange the horn section for Born to Run’s; Tenth Avenue Freezeout, he became one of the most important members of the band as Bruce led the train that grew larger and larger with each passing show.  Though Nils did an admirable job of replacing Stevie but he always seemed to find others ways around the Springsteen catalog that never stepped on Stevie’s groove.  When Stevie came back for Blood Brothers and the re-union tour, unselfishly, Nils again took the high road and played as the third guitar to Bruce and Stevie.   He easily found holes in which his guitar could add to each song.  On a side note, I believe the most important member of the band is Roy Bittan.  A lot of the music Bruce creates is done on the piano.  He relies on his pianist to help mold and craft the melodies that create the foundation of every song.  From there the other parts of the band find their way.  You can hear the jazz influenced playing of Dave Sancious’ piano on the first two albums.  The many different layers of the music seemed to rely on his jazz background.  Much like Herbie Hancock’s influence on Miles Davis in the mid 70’s, Sancious had the same affect on Bruce’s music.  Roy diodn’t miss a beat and took right over when he joined the band.  Roy has a different style of playing and you can see the not so subtle changes in the structure of the songs on Born to Run.  The album is much more straight ahead rock based rooted in the early years of rock N’ roll.  Born to Run pretty much reclaimed rock and roll as its own and has never let go.  Speaking of Bruce playing guitar, prior to Born to Run, Bruce played guitar on every song because he was the only guitarist.  When Stevie joined the band, Bruce still played on most of the show, but he had the freedom to take off a song here and there.  On the Born in the USA and the Tunnel of Love tours he was able to focus more on singing then guitar playing, as Nils filled in pretty well and they had added Patty with her acoustic guitar.  It was on the No Named Band tour where he began to play again on every song.  Seeds, Johnny 99, Ghost of Tom Joad were all great songs of the last part of the set.  On Saturday Night the band was the best it has ever been and with Max back behind the drum kit. There seemed to be even more urgency and energy in their play.  They weren’t leaving anything on the table at this show.  They came to play like it was the last time they would ever play together. And that might be the case.  With his full time duties as the band leader for Conan O’Brien, Max won’t have the luxury of being able to take off and tour with Bruce starting June 1st .  Once Conan takes over The Tonight Show, it looks like Max’s son Jay will be filling in nicely as the new E Street Drummer as his dad keeps his day job.   The band showed is ability to cover and song with Good Lovin’.  It was a great choice for a cover song and what can you say?  The E Street Band  knows how to play any and all kinds of Rock and Roll.  For me what made the night so special was songs like The E Street Shuffle, Incident on 57th Street, Kitty’s Back.  We got to hear Bruce play a spot on lead and rhythm guitar on all of these gems.  Again, not looking at a teleprompter to sing the words or know what tabs to play, he was out front and in total command of every song he and the band played.  The ultimate highlight of the show for me was when the very young girl, maybe 10, twice sang the chorus of Waiting on a Sunny Day.  She was on key and nailed the song.  When she was finished and Bruce had moved back to the center of the stage, the camera stayed on the young girl and she was jumping up and down with excitement.   It was one of the ultimate Springsteen Kodak moments.   The only other one that comes to mind happened in Chapel Hill in 2003.  A female fan with a sign that caught Stevie, Patty and Jon Landau’s eye, she somehow convinced Bruce to give her a guitar so she could play along with the band.  So, she was pulled out of the audience, strapped on a Stratocaster and nailed every one of Bruce’s classic concert movements, she had Bruce down pat.  It was amazing as Bruce stood to the side and watched with glee as she made her way around the stage.   I can go on and on about the concert, but what can you say?  Just when you thought the show was over, Bruce asked the audience if they were challenging him to keep playing, and he did.  After a rocking American Land, Bruce dived straight into Glory Days and closing the night was a arena rocking Mony, Mony.    As the band weaved through the night, the band and audience became one.  At the Izod Center, there was no need for any other backup singers, because the audience had that covered pretty well.  This show and every show on the tour has proven that Bruce Springsteen is as relevant today as he was when he first picked up a guitar. His songs have lasted the test of time and never fail to fulfill on the promise and hope that each and every one offers up.   For the fans, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, not just the best band in the world, they are our friends with whom we have grown up with and we continue to share every moment of every day radiating an aura of one.      

    May 23, 2009
    E. Rutherford, New Jersey
    Izod Center

    Badlands
    Spirit In The Night
    Outlaw Pete
    Something In The Night
    Out In The Street
    Working On A Dream
    Seeds
    Johnny 99
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Good Lovin’
    Cover Me
    The E Street Shuffle
    Thunder Road
    Waiting On A Sunny Day
    The Promised Land
    Incident on 57th Street
    Kingdom Of Days
    Lonesome Day
    The Rising
    Born To Run

    Hard Times
    Kitty’s Back
    Land of Hope and Dreams
    American Land
    Glory Days
    Mony Mony