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In Freehold

Steve and I have been on a huge Springsteen kick since his new album Magic was released in early October. Each of us went through a phase of listening to the album nonstop. Then, we were really excited to hear that Bruce had played with Win and Regine from Arcade Fire when he was on tour in Canada - it's not often that you get to see your musical heroes collaborate with one of your new favorite bands. Then, we rocked out with Bruce and the E Street Band (and my mom) at the United Center on October 22. Tunnel of Love, really?! Thunder Road?! Wish they would have played another hour, and that we had another day or two to recover after two nights of Panic in Milwaukee - but otherwise, the show was awesome. I hope that I still have this much energy thirty years from now when I'm Bruce's age!

Clarence, Max and Bruce in Auburn Hills, MI, 11/5/07, from backstreets.com

When Steve hung out with his friends from New Jersey at a wedding in LA last month, they turned him onto an unrecorded Bruce song that he'd never heard, about the town where Bruce was born, called "In Freehold." I sort of tried to track it down when he first mentioned it - I'm firmly convinced that you can find just about anything on the internet if you look long enough - but obviously I didn't make that much of an effort to find this song, because once I did, it was pretty easy to find. This past Friday, I hit the jackpot - I finally found my way to the Bruce site of my dreams. Wow! What a catalog. Not only did it have a few different versions of "In Freehold", but it also had a huge list of live versions of most of Bruce's original songs, plus lots of random cool covers, and it also had a bunch of full shows that I didn't even explore. 

The funny thing is, I would know exactly where to look for a Widespread Panic song that I had never heard before, but since I'm not  nearly as familiar with the Springsteen fan community, I wasn't sure where to go. We were relaxing on the couch with a bottle of wine on Friday night, and we had the best time just downloading interesting-looking Bruce mp3's and then listening to them. Hey, Bruce covered "Run Through the Jungle" and "Ring of Fire"?  But the highlight was listening to "In Freehold" several times - it's a very intimate, personal song, a direct narrative about growing up in this town, but it's also raucous and dirty and hilarious and wonderful. Usually artists construct some kind of a character between themselves and the audience, and their songs are about those characters - often the characters have a lot of the artist in them, but they're still characters in some way - so it's really disarming and touching when you hear a musician just singing about his real life, with all its challenges and setbacks and occasional small triumphs.     

I was born right here on Randolph street in Freehold......
here right behind that big red maple in Freehold....
well I went to school right here....
got laid and had my first beer.......in Freehold

-Bruce Springsteen



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2008 10:12 am (UTC)
Cool page.
thanks much, guy
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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