googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: A Record Changed My Life

A Record Changed My Life

     Clarence Clemons died the other day. Following organist and accordionist Danny Federici that is a sizable chunk of the E Street Band gone forever. I was relatively late coming to the Bruce Springsteen party as having publications such as Time and Newsweek declare him the “Next Big Thing” on each of their covers on the same week was not the ringing endorsement it was meant to be. Rolling Stone maybe, but Time and Newsweek were the voice of authority to my parents and the PR push caused a major backlash. I didn’t remember it at the time but I already had developed a relatability to Springsteen. I was a college student at San Diego State in 1973 and was delivering pizzas when Springsteen’s4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) was on the radio. I found his name amusing as it was very un-rock & roll but I related to the song as I lived walking distance from Belmont Park, a seaside amusement park, and was lonely and somewhat adrift as many college students living away from home for the first time feel. I would sing along doing a pretty fair Springsteen impression in my car sticking of old pizza.
    A couple of years later in 1977 I was living with a roommate that had a record collection of 4000 albums. With this collection set up in our living room on shelves made of wooden planks on cinder blocks four levels high, our front room looked like a college radio station. He listened to music like a DJ as well. He’d sit in a chair in front of the turntable that was placed on the middle of the top shelf, pull out an album and play one song, usually the hit. Then he’d put that album away and play another, one song at a time. I, on the other hand, like the experience of hearing an entire album from start to finish. Also, I’m too lazy to change a record that often. I finally decided to give this Bruce Springsteen guy a chance as the backlash had died down by then, in fact, Springsteen seemed to have disappeared. So I laid back on the couch with the cover of Born To Run which had the lyrics printed on it and listened to the entire album as I read along.
    I know it’s a huge cliché to say a record changed your life but when listening to a piece of music inspires you to put the old band back together and directly leads to all of this today (see www.rocknrollrehab.com) then it may be cliché but it’s true. The fact that 1977 resembles 2011 in the massive unemployment and I had nothing better to do, wasn’t getting any younger and if you can’t do what you should be doing (work) then you might as well do what you want to do, also contributed to this rather radical change of direction.
    Now when the people who inspired you, not just when you’re young, but when times are hard, are starting to die of natural causes and not just accidents or over doses, it seems more important to do what’s important to you. That is if you can’t do what you should be doing (work) anyway.


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