Welcome, October!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” – Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne Of Green Gables.

October quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

This month has always held so much wonder and promise for me.  Most kids look forward to Halloween and I was not any different.  And when I was older I remember getting lost in the beautiful changing colors of the leaves as I walked home from school after sports practice or a club meeting.  And because it would start to get dark early I would also get to see even more pretty vibrant colors in the sky as the sun went down.

sky

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

With each step I took all I could hear was the sound of the fallen leaves as they crunched under my feet.  As I passed by the houses on each block I walked down I could see people inside as they turned their inside lights on while the smell of wood burning fireplaces filled the cool refreshing autumn air that caressed my face.  Every one of my senses was completely enveloped by all the season had to offer.  And I loved every second of it.

btr

(Born To Run cover photo by Eric Meola.)

October was the month I bought Born To Run & became part of Bruce Springsteen’s world.  It was the month I learned to how to decorate for Halloween first with my mother when I was a child  and later on my own.  It was the month I looked forward to the night my dad would bring home a big orange pumpkin & watch him first draw then carve a big smiling face on it.  And the sweet aroma of it warming from the candle he would place inside of it is something I find unbelievably nostalgic as I carry on that tradition in my own home each year.

carved pumpkin

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

October is the month that took me to Vermont for the first time after years of putting it off.   It introduced me to so many wonderful things including green pumpkins, rustic & elegant antiques & junk stores, white gourds & goat’s milk everything.  It remains the best trip of my life.  And I swoon over each one of my cozy sweaters & blankets as I pull them out of their storage containers each year.  The first time I put the heat on in my home & in my car is when I know the month is in full swing & suddenly all is right in my world.

green

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

This glorious month has taken on other meanings over the years, some very good & others incredibly sad.  But no other month of the year brings back the amount of happy memories as this one does.  And no other month holds the same promise for more magic to occur.  Wishing you all the happiest October of your lives!

Stay well.

Happy birthday, Bossman!

Today Bruce Springsteen turns 72 years young. Born September 23, 1949 in Long Branch, NJ and raised in nearby Freehold, the world was introduced to this genius in the making courtesy of his first album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., released in January 1973. The rest, as they say, is rock & roll history,

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Bruce Springsteen poses on the Sunset Strip in front of a billboard for Born To Run in 1975. Photo by Terry O’Neill.

No one else’s music ever reached me the way his has. Since I discovered it when I was only 12 years old, I thought about him like my older brother who moved out before I was old enough to know him but he kept in touch by writing me these incredible poetic letters set to music. They were about life, heartbreak, betrayal, moments that “just don’t come”, mind-numbing thankless blue collar jobs that barely pay the bills and cashing in a few of your dreams when the promise of life skips over them, to name a few.

He also shared the happiness of the friends he met along the way including Crazy Janie & Her Mission Man, Mary who liked to dance when Roy Orbison songs played on the radio, Sandy on the boardwalk on the Fourth of July, the barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain, all the people out in the streets and, of course, The Big Man. My unbelievably gifted brother made quite a life for himself and took me along for the ride. And they remain some of the greatest times of my life.

So happy birthday, you beautiful deep prolific talented man. May you see 100 more. You will have my heart always. And thanks for sharing it all with me.

Bruce

Bruce Springsteen in 1975 from his Born To Run photo shoot by photographer Eric Meola.

Bruce Springsteen: “Drive All Night” (1980, written by Bruce Springsteen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 527

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Aug 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Forty-six years ago today the most important record of my life came out. Born To Run was released on August 25, 1975. As I have written many times before, this album is my heart. Bruce Springsteen’s masterpiece changed the trajectory of my life. I loved music before I heard this record, without question. But I became consumed by it because of BTR.

The musicianship, the poetry, the pageantry of his storytelling, the characters and his cautionary tales about life, loss, betrayal & the inevitable roads life will sometimes take us down all led to a phenomenal place I now know as home. This record brought light to the darkest place I knew, hope to replace despair, joy to remove unimaginable sadness and peace for a shattered heart. There are no words adequate enough to thank someone for all of that. Not to mention how great it was to find another person who loved the magic of the night just as much as I did.

And you’re in love with all the wonder it brings
And every muscle in your body sings
As the highway ignites you work nine to five
And somehow you survive till the night
“.

BTR outake in color

A rare picture in color from the 1975 BTR sessions by photographer Eric Meola. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Night” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 274

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Christmas sled

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

This past weekend my great love Bruce Springsteen was the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live”. He was nothing short of fabulous during his performances of two songs, “Ghosts” &”I’ll See You In My Dreams” from his new album, Letter To You. I must admit I was hoping he was going to do one of his two Christmas songs but alas, it was not to be. So I will share one today.

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” is his most famous holiday track and I adore it, of course. And as a Long Island girl who worships The Boss, I love that he recorded it while he was on tour for my favorite album, Born To Run, at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus on Dec. 12, 1975.

Bruce cw post

The concert poster for the Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band show at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus on Dec. 12, 1975. Credit: Joseph Kivak from an original picture by Eric Meola. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

But his other holiday tune is an R&B Christmas standard first recorded in 1947. It has been a favorite of mine since I heard Otis Redding’s 1967 version while I was discovering his music as a teenager. Springsteen’s cover was included on the 1987 compilation album, A Very Special Christmas, and I have been swooning over it ever since. And it is another gem recorded on Long Island as well. He recorded it at my home base, my teenage stomping grounds, the place I saw my first of many concerts & spent hours watching NY Islanders games at-The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY-on New Year’s Eve 1980. That is just too special for words.

Another symmetry that I love? He & Redding are two of my great musical loves, each recorded only two Christmas songs in their careers and they share one in common. Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley & B.B. King are a few of the other artists who have recorded their own bluesy renditions of this song and all three absolutely shine. But today’s rocking version by The Boss is all his own.

I feel real good tonight
And I got music on the radio
I feel just like I wanna kiss you
Underneath my mistletoe
“.

Bruce

The Big Man Clarence Clemons (L) and The Boss Bruce Springsteen (R) circa 1988. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Merry Christmas Baby” (1980, written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 162

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Bruce quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

I have not yet finished celebrating the recording anniversary of the “Layla” album (see Day 159) only to find an even bigger milestone upon me.  Forty-five years ago today-August 25, 1975-another album that changed my life was released.  Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” is my heart.  It claimed it when I was 12 years old and has never let go.  He was 25 when it came out, and a year younger when he wrote lines like “You’re scared and you’re  thinking we ain’t that young anymore”. from “Thunder Road”.  He explained why in 2005 on VH1’a “Storytellers”:  “These songs were written in 1974, which is only two years after the end of the Vietnam War and nobody was that young anymore”.

On the same show he said this album was “his big invitation to his audience, to himself, to anybody that was interested to a long earthly journey. Hopefully in the company of someone you love, people you love and in search of a home you can feel a part of.”  So glad I went along for the ride. It was like taking the road less traveled and realizing it was the best one after all.  I will love Bruce forever.  He is home to me.

In an interview on BBC Television in 2016, Springsteen said he spent six months writing this album & six months recording it and as it went on it developed into this very big piece of music.  That is putting it mildly.  Today’s song is one of two on the album that does not feature a sax solo by The Big Man.  As much as I love to hear his signature sound, his absence is barely noticeable in this exquisite symphony.  This song is another one of Springsteen’s cinematic masterpieces that is like a six hour mini-series disguised as a six minute song.  It features colorful characters, dark imagery & tells the story of betrayed friendships in an absolutely heartbreaking way.  Every part of the song is a work of art, but if one instrument stands out, it is Roy Bittan’s piano.  His playing is astonishing.  As The Bossman has been for me virtually all of my life.  Swoon.

Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down
You can blame it all on me Terry, it don’t matter to me now
When the breakdown hit at midnight there was nothing left to say
But I hated him and I hated you when you went away“.

BTR 1

One of the pictures taken by Eric Meola during the “Born To Run” photo session in 1975.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen:  “Backstreets” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Christmas Song Countdown #18

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

bruce-2

Courtesy of Pinterest (original source unknown)

Today’s song is by one of my all-time heroes, a man I love, adore and admire and the man I will eventually marry soon if his wife would stop hogging him already.  I mean, she has had over 30 years with him-now she is just being greedy.  I will let her visit the Oscar whenever she wants if that is what she is worried about.

Seriously, how refreshing that a man is so dedicated and protective of his music that he does not mess up that gift with drugs, or by letting some big box store use it in a campaign (that they hope will boost their sales in an effort to get the public to forget how bad they treat their employees, the environment or every small business in the free world) or even let even let the President of the United States get away with using his copyrighted music without his permission.

This year alone he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, he & the E Street Band had the #1 highest-grossing tour for the first half of 2016 according to Forbes Magazine, outdid his own extended show length and broke the record for the longest U.S. concert this year (4 hours, 3 minutes and 43 seconds).

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President Obama presenting Bruce Springsteen with the Medal of Honor last month

               (Original source unknown)

What was the other thing he did this year???

It is on the tip of my tongue…..

Come on, Michele, think……..

Oh, right…..

HE WROTE A BEST SELLING AUTOBIOGRAPHY!!!

bruce-auto

Courtesy:  Simon & Schuster

It debuted in the #1 spot on the NY Times Best Sellers list, was one of their top picks for 2016 and their critic Dwight Garner wrote:  “Mr. Springsteen’s memoir is big, loose, rangy and intensely satisfying. It has not been utterly sanitized for anyone’s protection, and it is closely observed from end to end, especially on subjects like sex, art and social class. The Boss could have phoned this book in. He didn’t.”

Amen.

Garner’s review also included this gem:

“Bruce Springsteen’s song lyrics have injected more drama and mystery into the myths of the American road than any figure since Jack Kerouac.”

Ah, two of my favorite men in one sentence!!!!!

“Both an entertaining account of Springsteen’s marathon race to the top and a reminder that the one thing you can’t run away from is yourself.”Entertainment Weekly

How true.

And the best gift of all, IMHO:  

“He must be conceded a magic with words: He can spin not only a yarn but often an extended analysis, too…. His disclosures here are rich, deep, and useful to help destigmatize mental illness.”Slate

I have written this before, but it bears repeating:  

I love Bruce Springsteen for so many things.  

But for that most of all.

And Jungleland, of course.

bruce-merrychristmasbaby

Courtesy:  Eric Meola

Merry Christmas, Boss Man.  Thank you for everything & congratulations on another incredible year.

Bruce Springsteen:  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

P.S.  An honorable mention to James Taylor’s cover, a jazzy-bluesy-piano-infused version that reminded me of Vince Guaraldi’s style from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

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Courtesy of:  me!!!  Foxboro Stadium, MA.  9/14/16

Happy Birthday Boss Man!!!

Photo courtesy of Eric Meola.

Happy birthday to one of my heroes, Bruce Springsteen.

Before I discovered his music, my world was so dark I forgot what light was like.  Then I bought the “Born To Run” album and heard the words that changed my life:  “What else can we do now except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair.”

Thank you for every note of every song.  What you have given me, let alone the world, is immeasurable.

B-R-U-C-E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo courtesy of americanicons.com.