Weekly Download Vol. III No. 20

Land of Hope and Dreams by The Boss

Last Thursday, at the Harvard Square theatre, I saw my rock’n’roll past flash before my eyes. And I saw something else: I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time.

– Jon Landau – The Real Paper (1974)

The first time I saw Bruce he was opening up for Jethro Tull, before he had a record deal. I went to see Bruce because I was singing in that area with different bands and I wanted to get in a good rock band and he had the best rock band.

– Patti Scialfa

He’s been influenced a lot by the Band, his arrangements tend to take on a Van Morrison tinge every now and then, and he sort of catarrh-mumbles his ditties in a disgruntled mushmouth sorta like Robbie Robertson on Quaaludes with Dylan barfing down his neck. It’s a tuff combination, but it’s only the beginning.

– Lester Bangs – Rolling Stone  (1973)

My favorite Bruce Springsteen tale is one he used to tell before singing Growing Up. It was about going to see God. His father had told him to become a lawyer. His mother had told him to write books. And they had both told him to get rid of that “god-damned guitar” — that, of course, was what they always called his guitar — not Fender or Gibson. Bruce went to see the priest. He asked what he should do. The priest said the question was too big. He needed to go ask God.

– Joe Posnanski

America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts; it rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen.  And in helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about.

– Ronald Reagan (1984)

The reason I’m running for president is because I can’t be Bruce Springsteen

– Barack Obama (2008)

When Bruce Springsteen sings on his new album, that’s not ‘fun’, that’s fucking triumph, man.

– Pete Townshend

I just always kind of equated the whole thing with Jimmy Buffett.


He’s so good, you really want to hit him now and again. He’d come to rehearsal and he’d write five songs in a day, and he’d do that all the time, whenever he felt like it.

– Steven Van Zandt

I’d heard The Bruce Springsteen Band was nearby at a club called The Student Prince. A rainy, windy night it was, and when I opened the door the whole thing flew off its hinges and blew away down the street. The band were on-stage, but staring at me framed in the doorway. And maybe that did make Bruce a little nervous because I just said, “I want to play with your band,” and he said, “Sure, you do anything you want.”

– Clarence Clemons

How big was the Big Man?  Too fucking big to die.  And that’s just the facts.  You can put it on his grave stone, you can tattoo it over your heart. Accept it… it’s the New World. Clarence doesn’t leave the E Street Band when he dies.  He leaves when we die.

– Liner Notes from Wrecking Ball

He hated success and loved it, and hated himself for loving it.

– Joe Posnanski

He’s older and wiser but he never strays from his basic values. He cares as much, more, about the losers than the winners. He’s so unlike everything you think a real successful rock star would be.

– Roy Bittan

Funny how a melody sounds like a memory

– Springsteen by Eric Church

All the songs sounded exactly the same to me.

– Wife, following 2010 Springsteen concert

I couldn’t believe how happy his music made me and how good it was. He’s a gift, and I didn’t know. I mean, I knew ‘Born in the USA’ and ‘Glory Days,’ but I didn’t know that he covered so much ground, and there was something in his music that touched what I was going through, the process of falling back in love with my America.

– The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers

WD: “Have you guys already sold out of the new Springsteen album?”

Guestroom clerk: “No man, it’s in the back. You’re first person to ask about it.”

– 7:45 p.m. yesterday

In an era when pop hits can be as ephemeral as a deleted MP3 file, Mr. Springsteen has spent much of his career laboring to write durable songs about American dreams, from “Born to Run” to “Promised Land.”

-Jon Parles

Springsteen’s enemy here, as always, is cynicism.

 – Steven Hyden –  (2012) review of Wrecking Ball for The A.V. Club

And for going on 40 years now, that’s Bruce’s job– to remind us of what brings people together when everything around us seems hellbent on proving the opposite. Too hokey? Probably. But the true power of a song like “Land of Hope and Dreams” lies in its ability to overcome self-consciousness and cynicism, a feat that’s tougher to achieve now than ever. Hard times come and go– why spew anger when exultance is in your grasp?

– Ryan Dombal – (2012) review of Wrecking Ball for Pitchfork

And I’m destroying everything that wouldn’t make me more like Bruce Springsteen

The Battle of Hampton Roads by Titus Andronicus

Whenever I see Bruce Springsteen do anything, he empties the tank. Every time. And the beautiful thing about this man is he empties that tank for his family, he empties that tank for his art, he empties that tank for his audience, and he empties it for his country. And we, on the receiving end of that beautiful gift, are ourselves rejuvenated, if not, redeemed.

– Jon Stewart


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6 Responses to Weekly Download Vol. III No. 20

  1. Travis Watkins says:

    “Public expression of my hatred for Springsteen has proven tantamount to cheering at the ‘Don’t Pass’ line, but so what? Best rocker in America? Shucks, he’s not even the best rocker in Jersey. Two and a half words: John Bon Jovi. Van Zandt worked for ‘the Boss’ of Jersey alright, but it wasn’t Springsteen. Sheesh, what a gimmick…”

    -Steven Quincy Urkel

  2. Spike says:

    I felt sure I was gonna see this one… “When you’re playing music with Bruce or Neil, it’s all about being in the moment. You don’t have a chance to think that, ‘this is really cool.’ There’ll be time for that later. You gotta make the play. If Bruce throws you the ball, you gotta catch it, because Bruce is gonna hit ya in the numbers.” Eddie Vedder on performing with Bruce Springsteen.

    • TMatt says:

      Nice! I was looking for that one. I had sense of it. That is, I remember Ed saying something about it, but I couldn’t quite put it together. I should have Googled better. Great addition.

      • GSL says:

        that quote was on my facebook feed from my PJ page. If you would only join the masses, Eddie would post quotes on your “wall” too.

        Nice post, makes mine about Wreckz N Effects seem woefully inadequate…

  3. mattneric says:

    Wow, very cool. Love all the quotes. Check out our review of “Wrecking Ball” if you like 🙂


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