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A Night for the Vietnam Veteran at 40


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On 8/20/2021 at 10:57 AM, lilbud said:

A few months ago I recreated the poster, as well as a square cropped version for a cover. The poster is actually what Paolo used as the header image in his review.

Here they are if anyone wants them. As well as a secondary wallpaper sized image I made for fun.

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Thanks for sharing

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Paolo. Great review my friend. I think your best. Everything “flow”ed, to borrow a phrase from that glorious night. Quoting the dialogue from the Fonda film: genius. 

I’ve never heard a better 81 version of Jole Blon than 8/20. The way Bruce brings it down for the audience sing along and how the band then explodes back into the song is divine and is only one of many examples that night of the other worldly connection being created.  

 

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On 8/20/2021 at 3:00 AM, Paolo's Circus Story said:

REVIEWhttps://cantfindtickets.wordpress.com/2021/08/20/retro-e-street-review-august-20th-1981-los-angeles-ca-los-angeles-memorial-sports-arena-a-night-for-the-vietnam-veteran/

Well, it's August 20th here in the UK, and that means it's the fortieth anniversary of one of Bruce and the Band's greatest shows. I wasn't around when it took place (it happened about 16 years before I was born) and it even took a while for me to learn about it when I thought I knew "everything" as a young Springsteen fan. And from that moment of learning about this night, its reputation and mythos has only seemed to grow. A momentous moment in Bruce's live legacy, I expect in another ten years we'll still be talking about specific song performances and the shame it is that it was never professionally recorded. Until then though, here's to the 40th of August 20th, 1981!

Cool review, I was expecting the worse but you did your homework. Especially likes the cinema reference! Although I have to admit that this show has lost me over the years (except the still thrllling "Ballad of Easy Rider") because I am now truly spoiled by all those quality Archive release

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On 8/20/2021 at 7:22 PM, Paolo's Circus Story said:

I had my concerns about this when posting it last night. What else can people say about a Springsteen concert after 40 years, especially one that we'll never get officially released. 

I think the fact that a lot of us still want to talk about it after 40 years now is a testament to its part in Bruce's legacy. Even the songs that don't hit the spot in the same thematic sense as the likes of "Who'll Stop the Rain?", "The River" and "Ballad of Easy Rider" should be talked about for how enjoyable they are. 

Regardless of the fact I've hoyed a review link in here, I'd be happy to keep this thread active for as long as the mods will let me. 

Nah, don't sweat on it. This topic eventually will get lost and the administrators will archive/close it. And a lot of the old posts from BTX are lost because of their latest major DB crash. No, the Springsteen forums are not a means for prosperity but only for the delusion of the day (isn't it? @Promise61). And your review will attain the status of prosperity because it is stored on your own website, just like the likes of Brucebase, Backstreets News and the Ken Rosen blog :P

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10 hours ago, Rumble said:

Paolo. Great review my friend. I think your best. Everything “flow”ed, to borrow a phrase from that glorious night. Quoting the dialogue from the Fonda film: genius. 

I’ve never heard a better 81 version of Jole Blon than 8/20. The way Bruce brings it down for the audience sing along and how the band then explodes back into the song is divine and is only one of many examples that night of the other worldly connection being created.  

 

Thank you! I have to say I was equally proud of what I wrote and a little anxious about not doing the show justice - more than ever with a Bruce review tbh. To read that it could be my best definitely makes up for the moments of worry, haha! Glad you liked the quoting of Easy Rider too, that was an element I was thinking could be received either way. Funnily enough, I've only watched the film once (after checking my Letterboxd diary) in February last year, and even though the film as a whole didn't hit me, I vividly remember watching that scene and thinking to myself, "I need to mention this if I ever review August 20th, 81!". 

June 5th from Wembley is still the #1 "Jole" for me, but as with every song on this August LA night, the performance is with an extra sense of passion and vigour that's just, well, wow! 

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4 hours ago, el sergio said:

Cool review, I was expecting the worse but you did your homework. Especially likes the cinema reference! Although I have to admit that this show has lost me over the years (except the still thrllling "Ballad of Easy Rider") because I am now truly spoiled by all those quality Archive release

Cheers, glad to read you liked it despite your reservations! As I said above I really didn't want to let myself down with this review so the last several months of planning and writing has been pretty thorough if I say so myself. Always nice to throw a pop culture reference into an unrelated piece of writing - I feel it adds an extra touch of personability - and I'll say I'm in the same boat of prioritising Archive releases over bootlegs (and every other musical artist...) I try my best to make an exception for this one. 

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Forgive me Father for I have sinned, up until this week I had never heard the Vietnam Veterans bootleg. What the hell have I been playing at for all these years?? This is one of, if not THE greatest concerts Bruce and the E Street Band have performed and I didn’t seek it out even though it couldn’t be more iconic. Unforgivable!!

If this was an archive release it would have blown everything else in the series away, it’s off the scale.

Thanks to @doesthisbusstop for the link to the really good quality audience recording and to those like me who haven’t heard it before I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Also thanks to Paulo for his great review which made interesting reading as I was listening.

 

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1 hour ago, Jump back Jack said:

Forgive me Father for I have sinned, up until this week I had never heard the Vietnam Veterans bootleg. What the hell have I been playing at for all these years?? This is one of, if not THE greatest concerts Bruce and the E Street Band have performed and I didn’t seek it out even though it couldn’t be more iconic. Unforgivable!!

If this was an archive release it would have blown everything else in the series away, it’s off the scale.

Thanks to @doesthisbusstop for the link to the really good quality audience recording and to those like me who haven’t heard it before I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Also thanks to Paulo for his great review which made interesting reading as I was listening.

 

Glad you enjoyed listening to the show. But don’t thank me, it was JimCT who uploaded the link in the bootleg collectors thread and I just shared it on this thread as well. 
The sound quality is good enough to appreciate the show and the sublime performance of this legendary concert. 

The official archive releases are great but we have to be thankful that someone in the audience recorded this show. 

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16 hours ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

100%.

It seems that all 8 circulating bootlegs (of which EV2’s is my favourite remaster) were made using the same audience raw recording source. So had that taper not been operating on the night, the rest of us who weren’t there would still be none the wiser about the show 40 years on, apart from reading about it. 

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On 8/20/2021 at 3:00 AM, Paolo's Circus Story said:

REVIEWhttps://cantfindtickets.wordpress.com/2021/08/20/retro-e-street-review-august-20th-1981-los-angeles-ca-los-angeles-memorial-sports-arena-a-night-for-the-vietnam-veteran/

Well, it's August 20th here in the UK, and that means it's the fortieth anniversary of one of Bruce and the Band's greatest shows. I wasn't around when it took place (it happened about 16 years before I was born) and it even took a while for me to learn about it when I thought I knew "everything" as a young Springsteen fan. And from that moment of learning about this night, its reputation and mythos has only seemed to grow. A momentous moment in Bruce's live legacy, I expect in another ten years we'll still be talking about specific song performances and the shame it is that it was never professionally recorded. Until then though, here's to the 40th of August 20th, 1981! 

WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN / PROVE IT ALL NIGHT / THE TIES THAT BIND / DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN / JOHNNY BYE-BYE / INDEPENDENCE DAY / TRAPPED / TWO HEARTS / OUT IN THE STREET / THE PROMISED LAND / THE RIVER / THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND / BADLANDS / THUNDER ROAD / HUNGRY HEART / YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) / CADILLAC RANCH / SHERRY DARLING / JOLÉ BLON / WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY / RACING IN THE STREET / CANDY'S ROOM / RAMROD / ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) / JUNGLELAND / BALLAD OF EASY RIDER / BORN TO RUN / DETROIT MEDLEY / TWIST AND SHOUT

The concert is a benefit for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and the first night of six in Los Angeles. The outstanding 29-song set features passionate versions of many songs, including "The River", "Who'll Stop The Rain", "Prove It All Night", and "Darkness On The Edge Of Town". Also, includes a stunning tour one-off performance of The Byrds' "Ballad Of Easy Rider". Springsteen stops singing during "The River", either due to overwhelming emotion or to shake hands with the veterans seated around the stage - opinion is divided. An outstanding "Detroit Medley" includes snippets of "I Hear A Train", "Land Of 1000 Dances", "Sweet Soul Music", and "Shake". "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" also includes a brief "Sweet Soul Music" during the band introductions. Widely considered one of Springsteen's finest shows, with some justification.

well, i am old enough, to look on this kinds of Mr. Springsteens concerts differently. None of these concerts do show solidarity to those who are the victims, i.e. the Vietnam population.  It is very strange, to hear Mr. Springsteen show this kind of solidarity with the US soldiers, that attacked an innocent country, and killed more than 3 milion people. and, I cite:

"German historian Bernd Greiner mentions the following war crimes reported and/or investigated by the Peers Commission and the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group, among other sources:[41]

Seven massacres officially confirmed by the American side. My Lai (4) and My Khe (4) (collectively the My Lai Massacre) claimed the largest number of victims with 420 and 90 respectively, and in five other places a total of about 100 civilians were executed.

Two further massacres were reported by soldiers who had taken part in them, one north of Đức Pho in Quảng Ngãi Province in the summer of 1968 (14 victims), another in Bình Định Province on 20 July 1969 (25 victims).[citation needed]

Tiger Force, a special operations force, probably murdered hundreds of civilians during a 6 month period in 1967.[42]"

And even if I am aware of, that the poor and black people in USA had to go, well I can see no reason to hail those people and the crimes they committed. And to see and hear Mr. Springsteen, not respecting the "yellow man", but giving their oppressors his regards, is for an old man who lived through all these years, seeing the pictures of the napalmbomed children, as awful as heartbreaking.

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2 hours ago, ulfhpersson said:

well, i am old enough, to look on this kinds of Mr. Springsteens concerts differently. None of these concerts do show solidarity to those who are the victims, i.e. the Vietnam population.  It is very strange, to hear Mr. Springsteen show this kind of solidarity with the US soldiers, that attacked an innocent country, and killed more than 3 milion people. and, I cite:

"German historian Bernd Greiner mentions the following war crimes reported and/or investigated by the Peers Commission and the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group, among other sources:[41]

Seven massacres officially confirmed by the American side. My Lai (4) and My Khe (4) (collectively the My Lai Massacre) claimed the largest number of victims with 420 and 90 respectively, and in five other places a total of about 100 civilians were executed.

Two further massacres were reported by soldiers who had taken part in them, one north of Đức Pho in Quảng Ngãi Province in the summer of 1968 (14 victims), another in Bình Định Province on 20 July 1969 (25 victims).[citation needed]

Tiger Force, a special operations force, probably murdered hundreds of civilians during a 6 month period in 1967.[42]"

And even if I am aware of, that the poor and black people in USA had to go, well I can see no reason to hail those people and the crimes they committed. And to see and hear Mr. Springsteen, not respecting the "yellow man", but giving their oppressors his regards, is for an old man who lived through all these years, seeing the pictures of the napalmbomed children, as awful as heartbreaking.

You make some good historic points that make total sense.

But, Bruce's solidarity ( as far as I see it ) was to offer support to those who were mentally and physically shattered by their experience, and were ignored by the very people that sent them there in the first place.

Years later, many thousands of Vets still need that help.

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8 hours ago, ulfhpersson said:

well, i am old enough, to look on this kinds of Mr. Springsteens concerts differently. None of these concerts do show solidarity to those who are the victims, i.e. the Vietnam population.  It is very strange, to hear Mr. Springsteen show this kind of solidarity with the US soldiers, that attacked an innocent country, and killed more than 3 milion people. and, I cite:

"German historian Bernd Greiner mentions the following war crimes reported and/or investigated by the Peers Commission and the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group, among other sources:[41]

Seven massacres officially confirmed by the American side. My Lai (4) and My Khe (4) (collectively the My Lai Massacre) claimed the largest number of victims with 420 and 90 respectively, and in five other places a total of about 100 civilians were executed.

Two further massacres were reported by soldiers who had taken part in them, one north of Đức Pho in Quảng Ngãi Province in the summer of 1968 (14 victims), another in Bình Định Province on 20 July 1969 (25 victims).[citation needed]

Tiger Force, a special operations force, probably murdered hundreds of civilians during a 6 month period in 1967.[42]"

And even if I am aware of, that the poor and black people in USA had to go, well I can see no reason to hail those people and the crimes they committed. And to see and hear Mr. Springsteen, not respecting the "yellow man", but giving their oppressors his regards, is for an old man who lived through all these years, seeing the pictures of the napalmbomed children, as awful as heartbreaking.

Always good to read an alternative view. Thanks for sharing! 

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9 hours ago, ulfhpersson said:

well, i am old enough, to look on this kinds of Mr. Springsteens concerts differently. None of these concerts do show solidarity to those who are the victims, i.e. the Vietnam population.  It is very strange, to hear Mr. Springsteen show this kind of solidarity with the US soldiers, that attacked an innocent country, and killed more than 3 milion people. and, I cite:

"German historian Bernd Greiner mentions the following war crimes reported and/or investigated by the Peers Commission and the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group, among other sources:[41]

Seven massacres officially confirmed by the American side. My Lai (4) and My Khe (4) (collectively the My Lai Massacre) claimed the largest number of victims with 420 and 90 respectively, and in five other places a total of about 100 civilians were executed.

Two further massacres were reported by soldiers who had taken part in them, one north of Đức Pho in Quảng Ngãi Province in the summer of 1968 (14 victims), another in Bình Định Province on 20 July 1969 (25 victims).[citation needed]

Tiger Force, a special operations force, probably murdered hundreds of civilians during a 6 month period in 1967.[42]"

And even if I am aware of, that the poor and black people in USA had to go, well I can see no reason to hail those people and the crimes they committed. And to see and hear Mr. Springsteen, not respecting the "yellow man", but giving their oppressors his regards, is for an old man who lived through all these years, seeing the pictures of the napalmbomed children, as awful as heartbreaking.

Don't forget most of the US soldiers were just kids drafted and told to go out there and kill. They had no idea where they were going and what horrors they were getting into. Can you imagine being shipped off in your late teens to what was hell on earth, frightening doesn't come close. It was a US politicians war and they let their people down by pursuing it for so many years. It was a terrible time for everybody involved on both sides.

Goodnight Saigon by Billy Joel is a song that conveys the fear and desperation of the Vietnam war for the young soldiers/kids.

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3 hours ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

Always good to read an alternative view. Thanks for sharing! 

The view of the slaughter inflicted by the US, which is just the tip of the iceberg (and the corresponding destruction of the country), expressed by Ulfhpersson, is shared by most of the world. Maybe an alternative view amongst some, but accepted by most as the heinous reality it was/is.

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2 minutes ago, Rumble said:

The view of the slaughter inflicted by the US, which is just the tip of the iceberg (and the corresponding destruction of the country), expressed by Ulfhpersson, is shared by most of the world. Maybe an alternative view amongst some, but accepted by most as the heinous reality it was/is.

Good point. Honestly I said that as it seemed to differ to the rest of the tone within the thread. Personally, I don't want this to drift into a discussion of the war itself.

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2 hours ago, Jump back Jack said:

Don't forget most of the US soldiers were just kids drafted and told to go out there and kill. They had no idea where they were going and what horrors they were getting into. Can you imagine being shipped off in your late teens to what was hell on earth, frightening doesn't come close. It was a US politicians war and they let their people down by pursuing it for so many years. It was a terrible time for everybody involved on both sides.

Goodnight Saigon by Billy Joel is a song that conveys the fear and desperation of the Vietnam war for the young soldiers/kids.

Good points. However, there is no equivalence between what the respective countries did. Only one country invaded. Only one country destroyed the other country.

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1 minute ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

Good point. Honestly I said that as it seemed to differ to the rest of the tone within the thread. Personally, I don't want this to drift into a discussion of the war itself.

All good. It is still a great concert. And your review is still inspiring as ever.

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A little known fact: this Night For The Vietnam Veterans litterally saved the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) from oblivion in 1981.

By 1981, Bob Muller had gotten precisely nowhere. The American government continued its policy of benign neglect toward the Vietnam vets, refusing to acknowledge their special problems. Muller worked unceasingly, and he was effective in getting some media attention for the veterans. The Washington Post wrote thirty-five editorials in favor of Vietnam vets’ rights. Muller was named one of the fifty “future leaders of America” by The New York Times Magazine. Such establishment credentials gave him access to every key figure associated with the war, including all the major policy-makers, and he arranged meetings with everyone from former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird to former Time editor Henry Gruenwald. “They all told me to go away,” he said. Although VVA chapters were proliferating, because it was the only game in town for Vietnam vets, Muller couldn’t raise enough money to create a functioning home office or even put out a regular newsletter.

In all, nearly a quarter of a million dollars was raised by Night For The Vietnam Veterans . “Without Bruce and that evening, we would not have made it,” Muller has said repeatedly since then. “We would have had to close down.” Today they operate with a multimillion-dollar annual budget and has a Congressional charter. It is the only recognized, effective national organization for Vietnam veterans. Muller has also become one of the key figures in attempting to rebuild diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam.

Without a doubt it will not only be the music, but also the VVA (and the miners and all the other charities supported) that will be part of Bruce Springsteen's legacy

VVAVeteran-March-April16lg-e1459171548136.jpg.6c2ed37d503b8782639b9c7a36f92704.jpg

https://vvaveteran.org/36-2/36-2_springsteen.html
https://vva.org/arts-of-war/music/bruce-springsteens-the-wall/

The story behind the Night For The Vietnam Veterans is also very extensively covered by Dave Marsh (him again!) in his Bruce Springsteen Two Hearts, the Story, but I will not bore you with that again ...

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On 8/20/2021 at 12:28 PM, doesthisbusstop said:

 

With thanks to JimCT for uploading..

Here is the EV2 version - 1981-08-20 As Dreams Don't Mean Nothing (Ev2)

https://mega.nz/folder/jlARWYrZ#emU_yrV6QZ3X8KjuZqEV-g

Tnx for the link.

It's definitely the best version available, and a fine upgrade on the version that I've been listening to since forever.

Indisputably, it's Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's finest moment.

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