I haven’t been able to get into Sirius radio since the first show, and I’ve only heard bits here and there on FB later, but here is a transcript of the whole thing yesterday. Makes me very happy to read it. Now I’ll go look for the others.
FROM HIS HOME TO YOURS, S01 E04
"Live every day as if you're going to live forever"
In the fourth volume of From His Home to Yours, Bruce Springsteen spared no time addressing a major loss since his last broadcast: "Let's start the day by allowing me to introduce to you Little Richard Penniman."
Little Richard's death had gone unremarked online by the Boss until today's wonderful tribute, when he stacked up three tracks at the top of the show for a salute to...
The purest rock 'n' roll voice of all time. And it belongs to the Georgia Peach, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Little Richard, who we lost in early May. He was one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll and its preeminent vocal genius. And there he profoundly explained, in my opinion, why and how he does what he does.
Now Richard came out of Macon, GA, to take the nation, the world, and your body and soul by storm. His art was filled with absurdity, dead seriousness, great humor, and sex, sex, sex. He is one of a handful of men who changed the face of world culture: he crossed racial boundaries, he challenged gender norms, and he had the time of his life.... the High Priest of rock 'n' roll. A wop bop a loo bop, a wop bam boom. Rest in peace, Richard.
A nice transition from one Little to another — Richard to Steven — took us "Out of the Darkness" into another timely and moving set of songs with Springsteen at the wheels of steel.
Once again, Bruce displayed his talent for calling up music that fits the moment perfectly, whether a song — like Warren Zevon's "Don't Let Us Get Sick" — a song title, or even just one line. "The waiting is the hardest part," anyone? He also singled out "I have no use for the truth" in Tom Waits' "Lie to Me," and a "timeless line" from Courtney Barnett: "I wanna go out but I wanna stay home."
"Perfect for the times," Bruce said, "and my ambivalent life story."
He summed up the current dating scene with a Future Bible Heroes title, "Kiss Me Only With Your Eyes."
Dating. How's that going for all you singles out there? How is Love in the Time of Corona? I am old, and I simply can't imagine it. I mean, it's got to be happening... but… but how? I mean, is testing going on? I guess there's virtual dating, why wouldn't there be? I don't know how satisfying that can be — no physical contact, yikes! No sex, I would imagine...
I guess there's always sexting, naked selfies... they say naked selfies are 'the new seduction.' I read an article that said this is the golden age of naked selfies! Hell, I may take a few myself when this show is over. Why not? Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Pairing Future Bible Heroes with a "fantastic masterpiece" from Magnetic Fields, Bruce praised their common denominator Stephin Merritt — a surprise but well-deserved rave:
If you do not have in your record collection 69 Love Songs, I suggest you purchase it pronto, and get ready for one of the most enjoyable evenings of your life.... Stephin is one of our best American composers and songwriters, and if you haven't gotten into his music, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Another two-fer: Craig Finn with "Tangletown," from his solo album We All Want the Same Things, followed later by his frontman duties in The Hold Steady. "Do you feel stuck between stations?" asked Bruce — "I do!"
Pairing Joe Ely and Shane MacGowan (with The Pogues), Springsteen connected those dots by recalling an "unforgettable" dinner out the three once shared in Dublin. (There's a picture for you — or the start of a joke.)
Shane's voice is nearly indeciperable in a loud restaurant, but I was such an admirer, and I love him, and I was happy to just sit across from him. And all I know is, with the exception of Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry... I'm not so sure about the rest of us, but I know that they'll be singing Shane MacGowan's songs 100 years from now.
With the widest-ranging selection of music yet, this fourth installment included Mozart next to Zevon, and Marlene Dietrich next to the Aqua Velvets. But the DJ still made room for Bob.
If you had any doubt that Bob Dylan is the father of Springsteen's country, an episode of From His Home to Yours still has not gone by without at least one Dylan tune. This time we had the etheral show-closing cover of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Antony and the Johnsons, as well as Dylan's own 2015 recording of "Some Enchanted Evening," from Shadows in the Night.
I don't know how many of you followed Bob on his deep journey into the great American songbook, but not only was the choice of material wonderful and enlightening, he showed himself to be a superlative interpretive singer. It's a trip well, well worth taking.
Musically, Springsteen himself showed up first on the new Dion track, "Hymn to Him" which features contributions from both Bruce and Patti. "A beautiful devotional," Bruce called it, "a lovely prayer."
But the big Boss moment came next with a "This Train" trifecta. A fantastic trio of songs capped by Bruce's own "Land of Hope and Dreams" was led out of the station with two of its lyrical precursors, Big Bill Broonzy's "This Train" and Rank and File's "The Conductor Wore Black." Springsteen, like many folks in lockdown, proud to show his roots.
Of course, From His Home to Yours isn't just about Springsteen's ability as a playlist curator — that's only part of what's so compelling and uplifting about each episode. It has also become our regular check-on with Springsteen himself during lockdown, his thoughts about the times, the news, the isolation, the future.
In today's episode he referred to these "hard times" as "testing — they reveal character. They can bring out your generousness or your selfishness, your kindness or your cruelty, your love or your fear — just take a look at our 'man at the top.' Hard times do that."
So how does Bruce cope?
I take a daily drive, because driving has always relaxed me, and it gets me out of Patti's hair for a while. I drive all my old routes, through all my old towns, day after day. I see all the shops shuttered, what folks there are on the street in masks, my favorite hangouts closed — takeout only, god bless 'em. I drive out to Manasquan Inlet, my old man's stomping grounds, to sit and watch the boats for a while. But they closed all the parking places, and the boardwalk's closed. So I find a side street, and I sit, roll down the window, feel the ocean breeze and read the newspaper for a while.
Thirty million workers joining the jobless ranks over the last two months. That is... frightening, and heartbreaking. A day doesn't go by when I don't count my lucky stars, when I don't know how profoundly fortunate I am.
So after an hour, I fold my newspaper, I start the car, and I head home. And on my way, on 79, I pass the ShopRite that I opened with the Castiles! During its midnight madness opening in 1965! We played out in front of the supermarket! And it was the only time during this day that I saw a parking lot filled with cars, and it almost brought me to tears.
The stories he shares can be as optimistic as they are wistful — longing for the return of daily routines and rituals like an incantation might being it all to pass, with faith that we'll get there somehow:
When this is over — and I do have faith that it's gonna be over — I want to do the simple things again. That's what I've been missing. I want to get an ice cream cone at the Jersey Freeze! To be able to walk inside, step up to the counter, and say, "Soft vanilla dipped in chocolate, please." I want to get a pizza with my pal, the ex-mayor of Freehold, and all my old friends down at Federici's.
I want to take in the boardwalk on a quiet weekday night in Point Pleasant. Lose some of my money at all those wheels of chance. Hang at the beach until about five-thirty or six, when the evening cool just begins to drift in and that sun is low and warm on your skin. That is my favorite time of day. Then I may head in to Red Bank and stop at Jack's record store — stay strong, Jack! We're lucky to have a record store in Red Bank! That's for sure. Then maybe find a place to sit outside and have a drink, just surrounded by folks without a worry, just going about their business. Never has the mundane seemed so longingly attractive.
But appealing as all that may sound, Springsteen is circumspect — in no uncertain terms — about rushing things at the expense of lives:
Now the protestors we see in some of our state capitals trying to get the country to open up or cut back on some of the mitigation concern me. I worry for them, first of all. Up to this point, that mitigation has been our only defense against the deadly virus.
I know folks need to get back to work, need to get their bills paid, they need to feed their families… but the country should be reopened in a cautious, safe, and responsible manner. Not carelessly, in a gesture that will cost tens of thousands of lives — prodded on by a president going against his own government mandate in advising citizens to "liberate Michigan" and "liberate Virginia." Frankly, that is the wrong language right now. And it pissed me off. It's just weak and irresponsbile. It's the gesture of a man willing to roll the dice and put the lives of those who put him into office — and their children, and their elderly friends and families — at risk. For perhaps nothing more than an election year ploy. It's cowardly.
With so much uncertainty in these troubled times, and the struggle of sitting still when we want to move, Bruce shared some advice from his late Aunt Ida:
The toughest thing about the lockdown is the feeling of not knowing what the future holds. The feeling of your whole life being placed on hold. Time seeming to move quickly but slowly. Empty and unused time, I don't care for — especially at 70. I'm counting my days.
And my friends, I've got things to do that involve me and you.
My son is 25, and he's worried about the time that's ticking out of his life. I feel like Muhammed Ali, who was at is prime — well, I'm in my late prime — but who was at his prime, and the years he could have spent boxing were taken away from him.
So I try to heed my deceased Aunt Ida's advice: she always said, "Just live every day as if you're gonna live forever." I like that. "Live every day as if you're gonna live forever."
I think she meant, greet each day on its own terms. As an opportunity for life's possibilities. Breathe it in. Let the world open up before you, and prepare yourself to accept it in its entirety, on its own terms, with a vengeance. Well, I'm ready and I hope you are too. But right now, the waiting... is the hardest part.
"Things to do that involve me and you." That's the kind of thought that keeps us going, too, and we pray that this train doesn't get stuck between stations.
1 Roy Acuff - "Turn Your Radio On"
2 Little Richard - "Born on the Bayou" (intro)
3 Little Richard - "Tutti Frutti"
4 Little Richard - "Do the Jerk (Get Down With It)"
5 Little Steven - "Out of the Darkness"
6 Glen Campbell - "Times Like These"
7 Future Bible Heroes - "Kiss Me Only With Your Eyes"
8 Magnetic Fields - "Andrew in Drag"
9 Courtney Barnett - "Nobody Really Cares if You Go to the Party"
10 Tom Waits - "Lie to Me"
11 The Aqua Velvets - "Return to Paia"
12 Marlene Dietrich - "Das Lied Ist Aus (Don't Ask Me Why)"
13 Bob Dylan - "Some Enchanted Evening"
14 Craig Finn - "Tangletown"
15 Joe Ely - "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown"
16 The Pogues - "A Rainy Night in Soho"
17 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - "The Waiting"
18 The Hold Steady - "Stuck Between Stations"
19 Dion (with Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen) - "Hymn to Him"
20 Big Bill Broonzy - "This Train"
21 Rank and File - "The Conductor Wore Black"
22 Bruce Springsteen - "Land of Hope and Dreams"
23 Warren Zevon - "Don't Let Us Get Sick"
24 Pforzheim Motet Choir - Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618"
25 Antony and the Johnsons - "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
You can listen to From His Home to Yours Volume 4 on demand and via rebroadcasts on E Street Radio — Springsteen's fourth "channel takeover" will be airing numerous times in the coming week, with all parts getting the encore treatment on Memorial Day. Free streaming for SiriusXM and E Street Radio is available through May 31.