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Brothers Under The Bridges ('83)


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During the Tom Joad tour he played that song live. 
and I agree it’s a great song what must be played more often live

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I read in some old interview that Bruce didn't like the song because he was fed up with his songs about cars and girls. I think it is a great song, one of my "fun songs" favourites. He should play that song instead of "Ramroad" or a cover like "Seven Nights to rock".

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Sometimes it is said this song was not on BUSA because too similar to No Surrender.

(Edit: And let's be fair, no question which of the two is the (far) superior song).

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In an Interview from the German Rolling Stone there's an interesting statement from Bruce about the two 'Brothers under the bridge(s)":

Q: You wrote two songs named 'Brothers under the bridge(s)". One is from '83 (about teenagers), one from '95 (about Vietnam-vets). Is there aconnection, regarding contents?

A: The first is from the BITUSA period, and it's a song about growing up. When I was 14, I admired those boys and the close friendship that connected them. I wanted to belong to them back then. The end of the last verse indicates that changes were ahead of them. While working on 'Tom Joad" 15 years later, I remembered that title. I lived in California, and in the St. Gabriel Mountains, east of LA, there lived a group of Vietnam Vets. I wanted to write a song about them.They found the city so brutal that they simply left it entirely to live in the mountains where they couldn't be reached.

The connection is, that many of the boys that I admired in 1964 when I was 14, had to go to Vietnam later. In the first song I sang about 'marching feet come and gone'. That really happened. I met them again in the St. Gabriel Mountains in some fashion.

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I really like the song and would love for him to play it live a time or two, since I think that, as with "Be True," it would greatly benefit from being slowed down quite a bit—the studio version has tons of energy, sure, but to my ears it sounds skittery and frenetic, rather than simply powerful and driving. The Tunnel of Love Express version of "Be True" proved that sometimes taking a few BPM off can lend weight and therefore impact. I think the same would hold true here. (Provided they don't slow it down too much, of course.) 

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1 hour ago, Scott Peterson said:

The Tunnel of Love Express version of "Be True" proved that sometimes taking a few BPM off can lend weight and therefore impact. I think the same would hold true here. (Provided they don't slow it down too much, of course.) 

I would say the same for "The Promised Land".  It has benefited from its slower tempos in live performances from 1999 onward.

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As far as TRACKS goes, this is one of the few songs recorded in 1983 that even begins to approach the best of the '82 material.

There was a fantastic analysis of the song many, many moons ago (I think on BTX, but I can't be sure) that delved into the echoes of Vietnam haunting the lyrics.  It was quite moving and I wish that I had copied and pasted it somewhere in one of my various Springsteen-related Word documents.

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9 hours ago, el sergio said:

In an Interview from the German Rolling Stone there's an interesting statement from Bruce about the two 'Brothers under the bridge(s)":

Q: You wrote two songs named 'Brothers under the bridge(s)". One is from '83 (about teenagers), one from '95 (about Vietnam-vets). Is there aconnection, regarding contents?

A: The first is from the BITUSA period, and it's a song about growing up. When I was 14, I admired those boys and the close friendship that connected them. I wanted to belong to them back then. The end of the last verse indicates that changes were ahead of them. While working on 'Tom Joad" 15 years later, I remembered that title. I lived in California, and in the St. Gabriel Mountains, east of LA, there lived a group of Vietnam Vets. I wanted to write a song about them.They found the city so brutal that they simply left it entirely to live in the mountains where they couldn't be reached.

The connection is, that many of the boys that I admired in 1964 when I was 14, had to go to Vietnam later. In the first song I sang about 'marching feet come and gone'. That really happened. I met them again in the St. Gabriel Mountains in some fashion.

Thanks for sharing this.    I've always wondered why he gave the same title to 2 very different songs. 

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