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Excerpt from Stevens upcoming Autobiography


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3 hours ago, Gretsch Country Gentleman said:

What does that even mean? How has Bruce deceived anyone?  Did you watch the I'm On Fire video, and think he was an actual mechanic?

The synthesis above in the thread doesn’t do Steve’s point justice. In the book, his argument is much more elaborate (and remarkable, IMHO). He basically claims that every singer is an actor when it comes to stage persona. He maintains that Bruce found his true stage persona with the Darkness album, going as far as claiming that Darkness is Bruce’s real first album (not that Steve likes it more than the previous three, btw). But he’s not claiming that Bruce is fake for that. The point is the actor-singer connection, and Bruce finding his own stage character with the fourth album.

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46 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

SPOILER ALERT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was very surprised to read that all of the band were cocaine users during the lawsuit period. All except Bruce.

They were?  Lawsuit period?  I'm having a brain fart, details please.

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SPOILER ALERT REVISITED.

 

So, Bruce was trying to master Nebraska while Steve was finishing the Gary Bonds album. Wtf.  Steven clearly has Dedication confused with On The Line.

Maybe it's the coke.

 

 

 

 

16331076084368362939117950868714.jpg

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2 hours ago, Promise61 said:

SPOILER ALERT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was very surprised to read that all of the band were cocaine users during the lawsuit period. All except Bruce.

Yes, that was pretty surprising. However, I’ve never bought the story of Max suddenly losing his tempo-skills during the early River Sessions and being on the verge of getting replaced just because of that. Some sort of addiction might explain a lot in this context. After all, even Guns n’ Roses had to replace founding member Steven Adler because his drug addition had made his drumming unreliable.

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35 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

SPOILER ALERT REVISITED.

 

So, Bruce was trying to master Nebraska while Steve was finishing the Gary Bonds album. Wtf.  Steven clearly has Dedication confused with On The Line.

Maybe it's the coke.

 

 

 

 

16331076084368362939117950868714.jpg

Well, he also claimed they played Italy during the European leg of The River tour.

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12 hours ago, Frank said:

The synthesis above in the thread doesn’t do Steve’s point justice. In the book, his argument is much more elaborate (and remarkable, IMHO). He basically claims that every singer is an actor when it comes to stage persona. He maintains that Bruce found his true stage persona with the Darkness album, going as far as claiming that Darkness is Bruce’s real first album (not that Steve likes it more than the previous three, btw). But he’s not claiming that Bruce is fake for that. The point is the actor-singer connection, and Bruce finding his own stage character with the fourth album.

Point taken. I kind of understand what Stevie is saying, although I'm not sure I entirely agree that Bruce changed his persona overnight for Darkness, and stayed with the same thing ever since.   I guess maybe that was when the storytelling thing started?  In terms of his clothes and presentation on stage, he's reinvented himself for BITUSA, TOL, HT/LT, Joad(!!), and then again post-reunion.

But my main issue was people trying to twist this into a whole "Bruce is a fraud" gotcha moment.  

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6 hours ago, Gretsch Country Gentleman said:

 

But my main issue was people trying to twist this into a whole "Bruce is a fraud" gotcha moment.  

Indeed, I quoted your reply because it was the latest on the subject, but my comment was meant to address that issue.

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So, I’ve just finished listening to the audio-book. Despite Steve sounding a bit too full of himself for my taste, I have to say that the book is pretty interesting and clever. Steve doesn’t waste any chance to (over)hype the importance of his work/activism/contributions/achievements, but when it comes to music, he’s definitely captivating.

I would recommend the book (well, maybe after skipping the prologue), but to properly enjoy it, one should try their best to remove the elephant in the room (Bruce), and read it as Little Steven, the eighties minor rockstar later tuned tv actor’s, story. (The problem is that none of the latter would not exist without the “elephant”). Do not read it to know as if it were a Bruce or the E Street Band centred book. 

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It may be the difference between reading the printed book and hearing it read, but my take on Steve's book appears to be rather different.

It read to me as someone providing his perspective on his life and noting his lack of success, with wry humour and rueful resignation, rather than boosting himself. Time and again he notes that no-one saw or heard or paid any attention to what he worked on, but he kept going, doing what seemed worthwhile to him, because that's his mentality. 

Interestingly, he notes that he could have used a manager throughout. 

Concerning errors, he does advise anyone getting into The Business to keep a diary, noting "This book is only the 10% I still remember!" (p 150).

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3 hours ago, JoleBlonAlba said:

It may be the difference between reading the printed book and hearing it read, but my take on Steve's book appears to be rather different.

It read to me as someone providing his perspective on his life and noting his lack of success, with wry humour and rueful resignation, rather than boosting himself. Time and again he notes that no-one saw or heard or paid any attention to what he worked on, but he kept going, doing what seemed worthwhile to him, because that's his mentality. 

Interestingly, he notes that he could have used a manager throughout. 

Concerning errors, he does advise anyone getting into The Business to keep a diary, noting "This book is only the 10% I still remember!" (p 150).

Well, I see what you mean, but it is the content rather than the reading that gives me this impression. I would even say Steve’s funny tone often helps give him a pass in this respect.

It is true that Steve often points out how nobody heard (AKA bought) such and such project, but he also never questions why they eventually didn’t. And for sure, it wasn’t for lack of business connections. Nor he reflects on why he was allowed to release these projects or to star in such and such film in the first place for the matter. You cannot simply will fame and success into existence, and you don’t get to work with Scorsese, De Niro, Bob Dylan or Paul MacCartney by simply playing clubs in Asbury Park. When he wonders why he only has a hundredth of Bruce’s audience at his most recent shows (and most of them out of pure curiosity) he fails to realise that he has always had an audience just because of Bruce’s appeal. 

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well we wanted revelations so i guess Steve has delivered 

im lookimg forward to reading it

disappointed if there are obveouse errors but fare point he can't remenber everything ...still the internet is your freind Mr Van Zant

perhaps C had the right idea after all

i also feel kinda sorry for him if he feels his talents were somehow overlooked by the majority, but that's just life* 

he has still managed to pack a lot of worthwhile endevours into his career 

but Bruce is like the sun, and without the sun there are no planets 

if Pluto was just a hunk of rock hurtling through space, and not orbiting our own star who would even  know of its existence, let alone feel affection and loyality towards it 

im not necessarily compairing Steve to Pluto, but Pluto did go off on its own for a while and loose its planetary status

 

* the worst memor i ever read was the follow up to Angela's ashes - it waa so full of self pity, i, the reader just became alienated from the author, im hoping Steve's is nothing like that

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The "None but the Brave" podcasts with Steve discuss this "Sliding Doors" moment. Suppose after the BITUSA recording sessions Steve DOESN'T leave the ESB, but tours instead. Then maybe he doesn't do his DoS music. He certainly doesn't devote the time and energy to the "Free Mandela" effort and the boycott of RSA. Neils doesn't join the band - what a change in his life! Patti doesn't join the band! Without that, do Bruce and Patti still get together, or more likely not? Just a "Wow!" moment.

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18 minutes ago, JimCT said:

Patti doesn't join the band!

Why not? Nils would not have replaced Steve, but Patti could still have joined.

I think -from memory- Bruce was already thinking about adding a back up singer before Steve left (also remember there were already back up singers in his pre-E Street bands).

Or maybe she would not have joined-a 'what if' indeed.

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i think the inital cheating on his first wife aside, Patti has been such a wonderful and good and important element in his life

what might have become of Bruce, without Patti 

(im not going to think about it)

they were just destined to be together

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9 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

if Pluto was just a hunk of rock hurtling through space, and not orbiting our own star who would even  know of its existence, let alone feel affection and loyality towards it 

im not necessarily compairing Steve to Pluto, but Pluto did go off on its own for a while and loose its planetary status

ab1OUif.gif

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22 hours ago, Frank said:

 he fails to realise that he has always had an audience just because of Bruce’s appeal. 

Ch 47 of "Born to Run", 'Buona Fortuna, Fratello Mio' gives Bruce's 2 and a half page summary of SVZ's decision to leave.

For those who don't have the book to hand:

p319-20: "Steve had given himself completely to his role at my side and had long been an ambivalent front man. ... Since we were young, I'd watched Steve masterfully front his own bands. That evening, he said it just wasn't completely "him", and a big and wonderful part of Steve's personality (and my good fortune) was his vision of himself in a premier but supportive role as my musical lieutenant.

"But now, Steve's move to the center mike would be complicated further by those very years he's spent at my side in the E Street Band. It's hard for an audience to accept you in a new role, to hear you without the veil of the established popular image that comes with being a part of a successful group. I understood Steve's position. He wanted more influence in our work. But I'd gently played him and Jon off each other for a purpose. It was why they were both there. I wanted the tension of two complementarily conflicting points of view. ... But this, along with the intentional gray area I kept the band in, created a purgatory I was happy with ... I said that despite where we were headed, I was still the best friend he had, we were still each other's great friends, and I hoped we would not let that go. We didn't."

This is the Unrequited Infatuation at the core: Steven being more devoted to Bruce and his career than to his own prospects.

It seems unfair to me to equate the lack of being heard/seen/noticed with lack of sales alone. One project launched on the very day of 9/11 so, as he notes, unsurprisingly, it went nowhere. He didn't have a manager or agent to rely upon to promote his work, and there are amusing mentions of how efforts to get management or an agent failed to work out. Equally, his eclectic musical styles on each album were never going to endear him to the business part of the Music Business.

Throughout the book SVZ notes that he didn't want to be a front man and have all attention on him, he wanted to be a member of a band. That's why he worked with Bruce and Southside and was happy for each of them to be the named front-man.

SVZ's friendly, out-going nature helped him to make and/or maintain many useful business connections himself; that'll be part of why Iovine recorded Southside's first album at night as a favour!

When it was still early days for Bruce, building a reputation based on live performances with the E Street Band, SVZ's work with Southside and the Jukes was building in the same way. SVZ put Bruce's work first but that was an act of faith and encouragement since there were no guarantees of music business success then, especially given the enforced recording hiatus between "Born to Run" and "Darkness". Hindsight may suggest that SVZ only got lucky thanks to Bruce but, as friends, each helped the other when things didn't look too promising. The book provides examples of SVZ making a positive difference to Bruce's prospects. 

I must say that I go to see SVZ live because I really like his work - the 'Men Without Women' Disciples of Soul show I saw in the early 1980s was astonishingly good (a tour de force, energetic and loud!) and the 'Summer of Sorcery' one I saw was equal to it. He got and gets extraordinary band members and contributors to work with him: that isn't an accident or mere 'greatness by association with Bruce': SVZ is good at his craft in his own right.

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53 minutes ago, JoleBlonAlba said:

Ch 47 of "Born to Run", 'Buona Fortuna, Fratello Mio' gives Bruce's 2 and a half page summary of SVZ's decision to leave.

For those who don't have the book to hand:

p319-20: "Steve had given himself completely to his role at my side and had long been an ambivalent front man. ... Since we were young, I'd watched Steve masterfully front his own bands. That evening, he said it just wasn't completely "him", and a big and wonderful part of Steve's personality (and my good fortune) was his vision of himself in a premier but supportive role as my musical lieutenant.

"But now, Steve's move to the center mike would be complicated further by those very years he's spent at my side in the E Street Band. It's hard for an audience to accept you in a new role, to hear you without the veil of the established popular image that comes with being a part of a successful group. I understood Steve's position. He wanted more influence in our work. But I'd gently played him and Jon off each other for a purpose. It was why they were both there. I wanted the tension of two complementarily conflicting points of view. ... But this, along with the intentional gray area I kept the band in, created a purgatory I was happy with ... I said that despite where we were headed, I was still the best friend he had, we were still each other's great friends, and I hoped we would not let that go. We didn't."

This is the Unrequited Infatuation at the core: Steven being more devoted to Bruce and his career than to his own prospects.

It seems unfair to me to equate the lack of being heard/seen/noticed with lack of sales alone. One project launched on the very day of 9/11 so, as he notes, unsurprisingly, it went nowhere. He didn't have a manager or agent to rely upon to promote his work, and there are amusing mentions of how efforts to get management or an agent failed to work out. Equally, his eclectic musical styles on each album were never going to endear him to the business part of the Music Business.

Throughout the book SVZ notes that he didn't want to be a front man and have all attention on him, he wanted to be a member of a band. That's why he worked with Bruce and Southside and was happy for each of them to be the named front-man.

SVZ's friendly, out-going nature helped him to make and/or maintain many useful business connections himself; that'll be part of why Iovine recorded Southside's first album at night as a favour!

When it was still early days for Bruce, building a reputation based on live performances with the E Street Band, SVZ's work with Southside and the Jukes was building in the same way. SVZ put Bruce's work first but that was an act of faith and encouragement since there were no guarantees of music business success then, especially given the enforced recording hiatus between "Born to Run" and "Darkness". Hindsight may suggest that SVZ only got lucky thanks to Bruce but, as friends, each helped the other when things didn't look too promising. The book provides examples of SVZ making a positive difference to Bruce's prospects. 

I must say that I go to see SVZ live because I really like his work - the 'Men Without Women' Disciples of Soul show I saw in the early 1980s was astonishingly good (a tour de force, energetic and loud!) and the 'Summer of Sorcery' one I saw was equal to it. He got and gets extraordinary band members and contributors to work with him: that isn't an accident or mere 'greatness by association with Bruce': SVZ is good at his craft in his own right.

Great post. Thanks.

 

I too go to watch Steven and Southside live because their records are great and their shows are great, too. Not because of their Springsteen connections.  I despair at the cockwombles that turn up these shows wearing Springsteen t shirts.

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3 hours ago, JoleBlonAlba said:

Ch 47 of "Born to Run", 'Buona Fortuna, Fratello Mio' gives Bruce's 2 and a half page summary of SVZ's decision to leave.

For those who don't have the book to hand:

p319-20: "Steve had given himself completely to his role at my side and had long been an ambivalent front man. ... Since we were young, I'd watched Steve masterfully front his own bands. That evening, he said it just wasn't completely "him", and a big and wonderful part of Steve's personality (and my good fortune) was his vision of himself in a premier but supportive role as my musical lieutenant.

"But now, Steve's move to the center mike would be complicated further by those very years he's spent at my side in the E Street Band. It's hard for an audience to accept you in a new role, to hear you without the veil of the established popular image that comes with being a part of a successful group. I understood Steve's position. He wanted more influence in our work. But I'd gently played him and Jon off each other for a purpose. It was why they were both there. I wanted the tension of two complementarily conflicting points of view. ... But this, along with the intentional gray area I kept the band in, created a purgatory I was happy with ... I said that despite where we were headed, I was still the best friend he had, we were still each other's great friends, and I hoped we would not let that go. We didn't."

This is the Unrequited Infatuation at the core: Steven being more devoted to Bruce and his career than to his own prospects.

It seems unfair to me to equate the lack of being heard/seen/noticed with lack of sales alone. One project launched on the very day of 9/11 so, as he notes, unsurprisingly, it went nowhere. He didn't have a manager or agent to rely upon to promote his work, and there are amusing mentions of how efforts to get management or an agent failed to work out. Equally, his eclectic musical styles on each album were never going to endear him to the business part of the Music Business.

Throughout the book SVZ notes that he didn't want to be a front man and have all attention on him, he wanted to be a member of a band. That's why he worked with Bruce and Southside and was happy for each of them to be the named front-man.

SVZ's friendly, out-going nature helped him to make and/or maintain many useful business connections himself; that'll be part of why Iovine recorded Southside's first album at night as a favour!

When it was still early days for Bruce, building a reputation based on live performances with the E Street Band, SVZ's work with Southside and the Jukes was building in the same way. SVZ put Bruce's work first but that was an act of faith and encouragement since there were no guarantees of music business success then, especially given the enforced recording hiatus between "Born to Run" and "Darkness". Hindsight may suggest that SVZ only got lucky thanks to Bruce but, as friends, each helped the other when things didn't look too promising. The book provides examples of SVZ making a positive difference to Bruce's prospects. 

I must say that I go to see SVZ live because I really like his work - the 'Men Without Women' Disciples of Soul show I saw in the early 1980s was astonishingly good (a tour de force, energetic and loud!) and the 'Summer of Sorcery' one I saw was equal to it. He got and gets extraordinary band members and contributors to work with him: that isn't an accident or mere 'greatness by association with Bruce': SVZ is good at his craft in his own right.

Well, as I said I understand your point, and by no means I'm trying to downplay Steve's talent, but the reality is that Bruce being signed in the first place was already a miracle. That is well established by both Bruce and Steve's autobiographies. And in order to get signed, the miraculously signed Jersey rocker had to "fool" his label into thinking he was something radically different, a new (and acoustic) Dylan. Nobody in the recording business gave a damn if he fronted a white hot live act. So it's not that Steve (or Johnny Lyon) could have followed Bruce's trajectory just by fronting local bar bands. Steve himself wrote he had basically given up to a career back in 1972 after being kicked out of the Greetings recording band. It was Bruce hitting big with Born to Run that eventually got Steve Popovich interested in what was happening in Jersey, hence Southside, the Stone Pony scene etc. In Bruce's own words (from Springsteen on Broadway) "It's a grave, there was no Jersey, Jersey Shore, Jersey almighty shit, I invented that. Before me, Jersey was J-zerk-a-stan, J-zerk-a-stan, one of the little -stan things that nobody knows a fucking thing about".

Like it or not, it was later being in that fake new Dylan's band that propelled Steve from J-zerk-a-stan to landing a multi-album EMI contract, and having them mixed by Bob Clearmountain (who already used to mix people like the Rolling Stones at that time, BTW). It was not because of his friendly, outgoing nature. The same is for picking up the phone and calling this and this media executive, or for advising on who should be nominated for the Rock 'n roll Hall of fame. 

I agree with you that Steve has made some remarkable albums, Men Without Women is outstanding and Voice of America is pretty solid. But let's be honest: the former is a long time coming E Street album recorded and mixed in a top notch studio. Not the classic debut album. And it was downhill since then. Freedom (no compromise) is weaker than its predecessors and Revolution is honestly crap. As a consequence, Born Again Savage (which is pretty strong, IMHO) was even axed by his label and released independently only five years later once Steve had re-joint the Springsteen camp. Steve may claim he committed career-suicide by going political, but the reality is the music business - even at its peak - was never been big enough for a Little Steven (Springsteen-free) kind of artist as he wanted to present himself. His fame went down as soon as Springteen's massive popularly declined with Tunnel of Love. And as I said, he would have hardly been allowed to record if it wasn't for the Springsteen connection. Just read what Steve writes about recording the first Southside albums (and the royalties he's still waiting to collect).  

 

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