Thursday, May 21, 2009
When Harry Met Sally
I spent part of yesterday afternoon with my friend Harry Greenberger. It was spent doing the usual music freak chin-wagging over everything from Jack White and Bob Dylan to Sinead O'Connor. We also both wondered as musicians, why more of us aren't in jail for killing fellow bandmates. Then the conversation shifted to Bruce Springsteen and his current tour. Here's Harry on that.
In this new economy we have here in 2009, where even more than usual, no character ever depicted in a Bruce Springsteen song could possibly afford to see him perform, I managed to see three shows from the current run. On this particular tour Bruce, at a predetermined time in each show, pulls signs colorfully made by fans out of the "Pit" and chooses from among them interesting requests for the band. Recently, that has morphed from obscure E-Street band favorites to covers the band hadn't ever tried, such as London Calling, I Wanna Be Sedated, and Expressway To Your Heart.
In the last of the three shows I attended, this one at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, I sat behind the stage, and during this "request" section of the show, I saw Bruce pull a sign from the crowd; a sign that he showed to the crew in back of the stage, making it so that those of us in the cheap seats ($100 plus service fees) could read it. It said "Like A Rolling Stone," and as a Dylan-worshipping Springsteen fan this seemed like a dream come true. But just as I freed my imagination to consider what Bruce covering Dylan was going to sound like I saw him turn the sign around to reveal that the other side said "Mony Mony," the Tommy James great, but less-exciting cover choice. (among other interesting choices that night, U2's "One" and The Ronettes "Be My Baby.)
Of course, Bruce proceeded to kick the band into "Mony Mony," and I started to realize that if it ever happened, "Rolling Stone" would happen somewhere later on the tour.
A few days later, sure enough, in my old hometown of Pittsburgh, there it was on the setlist.
HOW DOES IT FEEL, PITTSBURGH?
Well, here it is, Burning Wood.
LIKE A ROLLING STONE