Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Bringing Bruce Springsteen to Winnipeg: An Idea that’s Born To Run.

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will know almost instantly that I have three over-riding passions in life. I am crazy for our local sporting scene, being a huge supporter of the Winnipeg Jets and a Winnipeg Blue Bomber season ticket holder. I crow endlessly about Winnipeg food and the mavericks that slave day in and day out to feed this fickle city.  But one thing trumps both of those my love of live music and the ongoing spectacle that is Rock and Roll.

In fact the very reason that I began writing this blog is due to a trip Darlene and I won to New York City 4 years ago. We were lucky enough to win an all expenses paid vacation to see two nights of concerts honoring the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Two stellar nights of shows spanning the entirety of rock and roll as we know it.  One man was part of both nights, a singular rock and roller with gravel in his voice, hammer and anvil guitar style and Arlo Guthry in his soul.  I’m talking about the one and only Bruce Springsteen.

Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello Belt out The Ghost of Tom Joad. (Photo Credit - Rolling Stone)

Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello Belt out The Ghost of Tom Joad. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concerts.  (Photo Credit – Rolling Stone)

As a devotee of rock and roll, I’ve seen more acts than most people will see in a lifetime, but I’ve never seen anything the likes of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. As concert time approaches random cheers and whistles grow into a single unified voice “BRUUUUUUUUUUCE” the people exclaim! Even now into his 60’s Springsteen is powerfully built yet charismatic and kind, like a favorite uncle who sits you on his knee to tell you a story. He commands not only his band but also the audience with a gentle iron fist. From the first second he strides on stage you know why he’s called “The Boss”.

Bruce Springsteen Working Hard as Always (Photo Credit Brooklyn Vegan.com)

Bruce Springsteen Working Hard as Always (Photo Credit Brooklyn Vegan.com)

Last week I was approached by Diane Geddes who is heading up the Springsteen2Winnipeg campaign, a drive of like-minded people who are rallying to bring Bruce and the E-Street Band to our city on the prairies. She asked me to add my voice to the growing number of Springsteen fans to spread the word Winnipeg Loves the Boss. How could I possibly say no?

There will be the naysayers among the crowd who say that Winnipeg is too small, too flat, too boring to have a hope in hell’s chance of attracting The Boss. These of course are the same people who said the Winnipeg Jet’s would never ever be back and that the Blue Bombers would never get a new stadium. I like to call those people WRONG! Just sitting here writing in my basement I can think of tons of reasons why Bruce would love to visit Winnipeg and why I think he would get just as much out of a visit as the fans. In fact I think I have enough for a top ten list!

Top Ten Reasons Bruce should bring the E-Street Band to Winnipeg.

10. Winnipeg is a blue-collar town. We work hard for our money, suit and tie is not the dress of the day. Bruce is an outspoken supporter of the working class.

9. Winnipeg is a Rock and Roll town. Radio stations like 92 CITI FM have been around for 35 years and show no sign of slowing down.

8. Howard Mandshein the Godfather of Winnipeg rock radio would lose his mind… Seriously!

7. Winnipeg is really just a collection of small towns.  People know their neighbors and friendliness is a way of life.  Our license plates say “Friendly Manitoba” for a reason.

6. Winnipeg has great food. From a plateful of North End Perogies to a Steak Dinner at 529 Wellington Winnipeg will feed you well.

5. Little Steven can shop for some new headscarves in the Exchange District. Stars from all over the world love shopping for trinkets at Ragpickers.

4. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is opening next year. Because Bruce’s Rock and Roll has a conscience, always has always will.

3. Investors Group Field is a great place to feel the love. Rock Royalty and Bruce’s buddy Paul McCartney just played to a packed house here.

2. Our Summer evenings last forever. In the Summertime the sun doesn’t set till almost 11:00!

1. Winnipeg Loves Bruce and the E-Street Band. From humble beginnings the Springsteen2Winnipeg movement is growing and growing.

Bruce wows the crowd. (Photo Credit - American Songwriter.com)

Bruce wows the crowd. (Photo Credit – American Songwriter.com)

We need everyone to jump on board here and make noise, tell your friends, tell your family, hell tell your dog and cat. Kevin Donnelly is listening, The E-Street band’s management is listening and Bruce Springsteen is listening. The time to act is NOW! Be vocal, be active and be proud to live in Winnipeg. Together we can bring the E-Street Band to Winnipeg, if only we believe!

To join the cause visit Springsteen2Winnipeg.ca

Here’s a little Snippet from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert that I was lucky enough to have been to.  Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello with the Ghost of Tom Joad.

The Ghost of Tom Joad

I know it’s hard out there now, people living of soup crackers and ketchup packages.  I’ve been there too, day to day. Wondering if I wouldn’t put a knife to my throat cause I didn’t have gas in the tank or a hope for a place to sleep.

It’s hard for all the working folk out there that have been abandoned. I happen to work for one of those mega corps.  I don’t build bombers or death planes. But the guys that pay my rent do.

It’s hard for me, one that’s been in your shoes.  To just sit and do nothing, I give what I can. But that’s local.

For the rest of you please enjoy. Bruce and Tom.

Sunday Journal – June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day Everyone.

First things first, let me add my voice to the growing throng who are pissed off as all hell at what happened in Vancouver this week.  To my mind it was a perfect storm of emotion and alcohol fuelled mayhem that only needed a spark to explode.  I believe that at the heart of the Vancouver riot there was a core element that was not there to celebrate game 7.

Vancouver Riot

Who in their right mind shows up to a street party with a baseball bat or Molotov cocktail? This was not a riot based on the win or the loss of a hockey game in my opinion. This was a deliberate act by a core group of hateful people who were determined to twist the drunken emotion of a hopeful crowd into a violent orgy of hate.  Mission accomplished.  I hope you were stupid enough to get your picture taken by one of the hundreds of cameras present at the event.

Water Polo player caught red handed.

May you feel the hot breath of your new butch cellmate on the nape of your neck as he introduces you to life in jail! Bitch.

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The Ghost of Osborne Street

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the man I used to call Jesus, years in fact.  When I first moved to Winnipeg in the early 1990’s he was already a fixture on the Osborne Village sidewalks.  He was always dressed for the cold it seemed, ratty old blue parka, beat up winter boots and a heavy beard.

He was always dirty of course, living on the margins of society for so long.  His hair was normally pretty wild and natty.  But for some strange reason I found him to be the most agreeable person on the street those days.  Most panhandlers back then were pretty aggressive.  They would get in your face demanding a smoke or some of the hard-earned change in your pocket.  All the while wearing ratty clothes but somehow the new sneakers gave them away.  They may have experimented with the lifestyle but they sure were not living it the way he did.

Living on the streets for a night or two I think most people could imagine, but this man lived day in and day out on and around Osborne Village for as long as anyone I spoke to could remember.  Rumours abounded that he had a family once, that he had a job, a nice house and a car.  All of those things that society uses to judge us a success or a failure.  Now he just survived.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…Finale

Looking at the playbill after Jeff Beck had left the stage I noticed that we only had two more headliners to go,  Metallica and U2.

With appropriate heavy metal bluster Metallica took the stage with ear-splitting prowess.  Originally the organizers of the event wanted Led Zeppelin to carry the hard rock part of the show and were pretty much turned down flat by the remaining members of the group.  Thus it came to be that metal’s chosen heirs came to New York representing  every thing that embodies teenage angst and rebellion.

Opening with For Whom the Bell Tolls, the heavy drumbeat thumping into my chest with some force. Then into One and Turn the Page, before bringing out New York Native Lou Reed.

By their own admission Metallica does not play well with others, and did not automatically grasp the “Jam” concept for the show.  However when they learned whom they were to be teamed up with it all made sense, claimed lead singer Lars Ulrich.  It was their job to become the backing band for their Rock and Roll Elders.

Lou Reed emerged onto the stage in a Deja Vu invoking cheer of “LOOOOO”, thinking back to the “BOOOO’s” that greeted Bruce Springsteen the night before.  He appeared totally at ease with Metallica and the crowd as he lead  off with Sweet JaneWhite Heat/White Light followed in a similar rocked up fashion.

Lou Reed leads Metallica

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New York, New York… East Village and Alphabet City

Hey everyone!  Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and a great break before the New Year.

Waking up to the greeting of a ringing phone was not the way I had wanted to start the morning after a marathon concert.  But our tab had to be paid, the sponsoring radio station 92.1 citi fm,  needed an interview for the morning show back home.   After Darlene gave a brief sleepy account of the night before, exclaiming that Bruce Springsteen was the highlight of the evening.  We got our tired bodies ready for another hurried day on the streets of New York.

As the day before, we shunned the hotel “Hot Breakfast” in favor of  bagel sandwiches from the corner shop.  Gaining familiarity with the streets we confidently picked our subway stop and headed south into Soho, bound for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex.  This stop on our trip almost got scratched due to time constraints but I am very glad that we managed to fit it in.  If you are a fan of New York based rock and roll do check it out before it closes early in the new year.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Night One..Part 2

After Simon and Garfunkel finished taking the audience on a whirlwind trip back in time another short break was required to prepare for the next act.

Stevie Wonder, was led to his electric piano to a welcoming applause, the house lights dimmed and his backing band filed in behind. Everyone was ready for a rocking ride on the soul train.  Stevie assumed his standard pose behind the keys rocking rhythmically, apparently to himself.  Something had gone terribly wrong the man had no sound!  Time Passed as techs raced around the stage checking cables.  Stevie, visibly agitated, began tapping his mike listening for any hint of sound.

After what seemed like an eternity, Stevie’s Piano came to life.  He smiled as he brought the mike to his face.  “Aw Shit, Stuff Happens” he pronounced, his backing band still without power.  So being the true showman that he is, he starts in to Blowing in the Wind with what little back up he has.

Stevie Wonder with No Sound

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