Letter to You – On the Old Days and New Springsteen

| October 23, 2020 | 2 Comments

I remember many times when I was waiting for a new album to drop, and I would call the Sound Warehouse located just off the corner of Fry Street and Hickory across from North Texas State University. I would call around noon, or depending on when my DJ and KNTU DJ, Kevin Pontier, started his shift and opened the boxes. Maybe I was waiting for the new Police album, or new REM or some other 33-and-a-third that would bring about my blissful escape from, or access to, some other place. 

Occasionally, there would be new releases that arrived, that had to sit there, in the boxes, until the release date – under penalty of death if sold early. There were even releases so big that Sound Warehouses would open and midnight on the release day, and the lines outside were more than satisfied. Maybe I was waiting for the new Police album, or new REM or some other 33-and-a-third that would bring about my blissful escape from, or entrance to, another place. 

ESCAPE to E Street

Fast forward to last night, and I watched Bruce Springsteen, who I have been a fan of since working security backstage at one of his Cotton Bowl shows (where I was momentarily famous for denying Yannick Noah, wife and tiny baby son Joakim – to the stage) … I think it was the second go-round of “Born in the USA” tour 1985 … I watched Bruce from the comfort of my chair, him in the comfort of his studio garage, in a lengthy interview leading up to the drop at midnight East Coast time. It was an Apple Music event, and featured video from the new movie on the making of the album, “Letter to You,” which from what I heard, is a long look at the shorter end of life and the memories of the stretching past.

Funny (but hardly surprising) that such an introspective record also generates introspection for this listener, as you can see, that goes all the way back to the early 1980’s in my musical education and therefore life. 

I’m not sure what Springsteen’s vitamin regimen is, but he has had a pretty fantastic run of creative output these last few years. But to crank it all up again with the E Street Band? And another movie? At 70-years-old? Do yourself a favor, and watch his Broadway show sometime. Then, if you are still curious, you may as well watch the new movie, “Letter to You,” on Apple TV.

What really gets me is, the revolution from calling up the Sound Warehouse to punching a few buttons on my phone to watch an artist LIVE talking to friends, taking serious questions from fans, rolling through an interview intertwined with songs from the new release – never heard by the public before, with videos never seen before – and that’s normal now (and on my phone!). Truthfully, it is amazing. It’s amazing, and something I could never have imagined while carefully splitting the plastic wrap on those albums, sliding out the sleeve, holding the vinyl by edge, and hearing the record center on the spindle and drop onto the turntable platen. Belt driven bliss.

Do I miss those tactile experiences? Not really, it’s just history. I have always been into musical progress in both sound and recording. When new technology came along, and comes along, I always try to reopen my mind and suck a little taste in through my little ear canal straws. What I really appreciate now is that Bruce Springsteen can use all the modern technology at his disposal – to release a new “album” from a fifty-year-old band. And the sound? Literally, it is vintage Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band.

So now this is my letter to you. 

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Music

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jerry says:

    Yup, been to that Sound Warehouse many times when I lived around the corner on Welch st. Always required a celebratory visit to Crossroads next door. In honor of your memories, I’m listening to Bruce, watching the sunrise over a river somewhere west of 35. Tight lines, muchacho!

  2. shannon says:

    Be sure to watch the movie too! It’s on Apple TV, and bring a box of tissues – for all those emotions connected to the light of that train coming.

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