Let’s Take A Moment Day 458

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?

June 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.

When I saw the “No Nukes” movie I discovered one of Bruce Springsteen’s favorite songs because he did a cover of it for the concert. The original version was a #1 song for two weeks in the summer of 1961 by singer Gary U.S. Bonds. He was born Gary Anderson on June 6, 1939 in Florida and began singing in church as a child. When he was about 20 years old he signed with Legrand Records and worked closely with producer Frank Guida. He co-wrote today’s song with two other people & Bonds provided the vocal arrangement.

He had two other hits in the early 1960’s-“New Orleans” and “School Is Out”-before his career plateaued as a result of the British Invasion. But Springsteen & his best friend/guitarist Steven Van Zandt remained huge fans and got the chance to work with Bonds in 1980. The following year his album Dedication was released & revived his career.

It contained the Top 20 hit, “This Little Girl”, a song Springsteen wrote to be included on The River album, but he decided Bonds would be a better fit for the track. The Boss wrote two other songs for the album, Van Zandt contributed one as well and the rest of The E Street Band performed all the music for the project. And all that happened because Springsteen heard today’s song when he was 11 years old & it stayed with him for the rest of his life. I can totally relate.

I never had it so good
Yeah and I know you never could
Until you get hip with that jive
And take a band like the Church Street Five
“.

Bonds 1960

Dedication

Top: Gary U.S. Bonds circa 1960. Bottom: His 1981 album, Dedication. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Gary U.S. Bonds: “Quarter To Three” (1961, written by Gary Anderson, Gene Barge, Frank J. Guida and Joseph F. Royster.

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 215

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(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.

On a typically hot humid Long Island summer day in July 1980, I was sitting in a wonderfully cool air conditioned movie theatre waiting with bated breath for a movie to start. There were only two other people in the multiplex that day-a young couple a few rows behind me. The film we were all there to see was the “No Nukes” documentary from the concerts held at Madison Square Garden in September 1979. I will not bore you with the details as to why I was not allowed to go to see one of the shows in person with three of my cousins (hint-they were boys and I was not, as my father sternly reminded me) but suffice it to say I had been waiting close to a year for this moment.

I sat through nearly every other performance and enjoyed many of them (Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor, The Doobie Brothers) but I was desperate to see the love of my life, Bruce Springsteen. Finally a picture of the marque with his name came on the screen and suddenly there he was backstage. First he was with Jackson Browne then with The E Street Band walking to the stage for their performance as the crowd cheered “Bruce!”. In the next scene the band was in front of the audience and then that beautiful man, Springsteen himself, walked up to the microphone. And the camera stayed on him and that microphone for the entire song. Swoon.

“This is new. It’s about my brother-in-law and sister”, he told the crowd. Then he started playing the harmonica until he introduced us to the characters in the first verse.

I come from down in the valley where mister when you’re young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school when she was just seventeen
We’d drive out of this valley down to where the fields were green
“.

We’d go down to the river and into the river we’d dive
Oh down to the river we’d ride
“.

The guy sitting with his girlfriend a couple of rows behind me shouted “turn it up!” and the volume increased as The Boss continued telling us the true story of the couple in the song.

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

We went down to the river and into the river we’d dive
Oh down to the river we’d ride…
“.

More consequences followed as the couples’ downward spiral continued.

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been no work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important, well mister they vanished right into the air
I just act like I don’t remember, Mary acts like she don’t care
“.

Then a memory of better days………and how quickly they ended.

But I remember us riding in my brother’s car, her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake and pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now them memories come back to haunt me, they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse
“.

That sends me down to the river, though I know the river is dry
Oh down to the river tonight
Down to the river, my baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride…
.

Tears were rolling down my face as the last line from the final verse just played over and over in my head.

Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse“.

What is worse than a dream that does not come true?

I don’t think anyone tells the stories of those haunted by broken dreams better than Springsteen does. The movie concert was the first time I ever saw him sing on a stage and I still remember every second of that performance. Today’s hauntingly beautiful song is the title track from his only double album-which was released 40 years ago today-October 17, 1980. I have written this before and will continue until I take my last breath: Bruce Springsteen’s music saved me like no one else’s. I owe him everything and “it’s a debt no honest man can pay”. Swoon.

Bruce No Nukes

The_River_(Bruce_Springsteen)_(Front_Cover)

Top: A movie still from the “No Nukes” concert film of Bruce Springsteen during his performance of “The River”. Bottom: “The River” album front cover. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: “The River” (From the 1980 film, “No Nukes”, as performed at the concert of the same name in September 1979. 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.

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #3*****

*****Blogger’s Note:  Sorry for the delay, Vixens.  Computer/technical/life difficulties prevented me from finishing the countdown last month.  I will finish it over the next three days and then we will resume our regularly scheduled programming!!!  Thanks for your patience!!!*****

___________________________________________________________________________________

How do I love Bruce Springsteen?  Let me count the ways.  I can’t-there are just too many.  He is one of my heroes,  not just in music but in life.  I hope I get the chance to thank him in person one day for everything he has given me.

One of those things is the #3 song on the countdown, “If I Should Fall Behind“, from his 1992 album, Lucky Town.  This song is one of the most honest accounts of “what this world can do” to people in a relationship they spent so many years building, but with a little foresight and a lot of commitment, maybe they can side step the landmines if they remember they are in it together:

“We swore we’d travel darlin’ side by side
We’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps fall so differently
But I’ll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
And I’ll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me”

When he performs this song in concert, it is such a special moment with him and his different band mates taking a turn with the lyrics.  But Springsteen and his guitar remain the steady constant presence on the stage throughout the entire song.   Very comforting.

One of the things I cherish most about the Boss is that he never, even in his younger days, painted a sappy picture of love and romance.  There was always the element of truth that even love was not always enough.  For instance, in the song “I Want To Marry You” (from The River album), he sang:  “To say I’d make your dreams come true would be wrong, but maybe darlin’ I could help them along.”  Pure poetry, utter truth.

Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999 by U2’s Bono.

Enjoy!!!