Monday, December 17, 2018

Springsteen exposes himself (Ava and C.I.)

"You keep telling us to do more music so you better review the special," a NETFLIX exec told us.

And we thought Jim could be annoying trying to give us assignments.

Bruce Springsteen.

The wait is over... Springsteen On Broadway is available now! 🎥 🎶

A NETFLIX special with Bruce Springsteen might be worth watching.  But this really isn't a NETFLIX special, is it?  It's a taping of Bruce's  Broadway show.  Which is really just the audio version of his book BORN TO RUN.

He's a Tony winner now -- how proud for the rocker.  He's Liza with a thudding D minor.

The work's been done.

That's the first thing to note when you see him.  The hair plugs help.  As does the dye job.  He's no longer flirting with sporting his own graying hair -- except at the temples.  Interestingly enough, back in 1980, he was mocking Ronald Reagan for dying his hair -- and Ronald was the same age then that Bruce is now.

He's been freshened up, as well.  Not extremely so but his face has been stretched a bit.  Joan Rivers having plastic surgery?  You expect that.  Mr. Roots Rocker?  Not so much.

But then you wouldn't expect Mr. Roots Rocker to try so hard to Twinkle-Twinkle which is, sadly, what he does.

Long before the audience laughs, Bruce lets them know how special he is -- or, at least, how special he thinks he is.

When he rambles into a long story in a concert, there's at least the pretense that he's making it up as he goes along, that he's speaking directly to you in the audience.  So it's probably going to hurt his image a lot when fans watch this special -- this scripted performance that he performed night after night, week after week exactly the same -- and grasp just what a fraud he is.

And he is a fraud.

Does he have breath control?  His performance of "My Hometown" -- where he doesn't just play the song faster (on the piano) but frequently rushes the vocal melody -- leaves us wondering.

Bruce's exes have long complained that he was a self-centered, overgrown boy.  He proves them right here.  At 69, he still has Daddy issues and that's not just sad, it's pathetic.

"What about the music?  You're barely noting the music!"

What's to note?  Songs are performed.  In a light weight manner, he goes through the motions, sounding completely divorced from the material he's supposed to be performing.

"My Father's House" is a haunting track on NEBRASKA (yes, we know his music and have all the albums up through THE RISING).  He's too busy playing entertainer to shade the song.  It's like a really bad cover version.  The worst, though, has to be "Born In The USA."  He destroys everything starting with the melody.  He thinks he's giving a powerhouse, dramatic, semi-spoken performance.  It's the sort of camp that you thought died in the sixties -- and, after seeing it, you'll wish it had died in the sixties.  Anthony Newley, at his most bombastic, couldn't have performed the song worse.

He yacks a lot.  Even more than in concert (remember, this was a Broadway performance).  And it's really irritating.  More so than in concert where you've got a band backing him.

Noting Elvis' TV appearance on Ed Sullivan in 1956.  "And suddenly a new world existed, the one below your belt."  Pause and tilts head.  "And," tapping his chest, "above your heart."

He speaks of how it lets you get women and -- wait.  Yeah, he's still under the impression that he is the norm.  Women don't really exist as people.  There's the idealized Mom that so many exes have complained about.  That's about it.

Strange that he thought "The Wish" wasn't worthy of an album (it finally showed up on TRACKS) but it's one of the few songs he performs in the special.  He sits at the piano for that one and you probably will end up wishing he hadn't.  He's not proficient the way Billy Joel or Carole King is and he lacks the fire of Laura Nyro.

It's that way with all the songs he performs (we counted 15).  There's no fire.  There's no passion.  There's no sense of purpose.

Not even when he drags wife Patti Scialfa out on stage.  She wakes you up a little when she sings with him on "Tougher Than The Rest" and "Brilliant Disguise."  He's really not a solo act.  We thought he'd learned that lesson already, back when his albums sales drooped as he walked away from The E Street Band.

If he doesn't grasp it, he should study his performance of "Thunder Road" because it's awful.  It's all indicated acting and stop and starts.  About the time he starts quivering on "anywhere," you wonder if he's not trying to become the new Sammy Davis Jr.?  If so, we hate to break it to him, he's more like the new Joey Bishop.

"Broadway critics loved him!"

Well . . . they're Broadway critics.  They're not rock critics.  We think, for example, if he'd pull that bulls**t he does in "Thunder Road" (the lazy chords played after "Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk"), he'd be boo-ed in an arena.  This light weight show was nothing to praise.

And it underscored all that was wrong with Bruce,  He really does think he is the center of the universe and he really does not grasp that the world has changed.  That's obvious when he's babbling on about Daddy and insisting, "all we know about manhood is what we have learned from our fathers."  Even when Springsteen was a kid, every child he knew did not have a father.  But he's so vain and self-involved, he never notices.  Today?  Today, it's even more true.  It's embarrassing to watch Bruce try to pass off his naval gazing as wisdom.

"The revolution had been televised!"  he thunders at one point, early in the special, making clear that he really is pathetic when it comes to politics.  His rush to the center started back when his stardom exploded and he's about as left as the US State Dept.

He spends forever and a day on Vietnam.  But it's not to offer anything of value.  He read Ron Kovic's book BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY.  Somehow Bruce doesn't grasp that Ron is anti-war and wrote an anti-war book.

Excuse us, Bruce grasps that.  And used to be able to speak about that.  But that was long ago and today's he just a ho -- he keeps his mind on the money while keeping his eyes on the wall, as Tina Turner might sing it.

He goes into how he didn't want to go to Vietnam -- never why he didn't want to go and he never questions the war itself.  He talks about failing his draft physical (with less honesty than he usually offers -- at least he doesn't drag Daddy into this tale, the way he usually does).

This is Bruce on Vietnam, it was wrong because 'our boys' died, "Simply sacrificed to save face by the powers that be who already knew, they knew it was a lost cause."

Guess they don't buy many of his CDs in Vietnam?

If they do, they shouldn't.

More Vietnamese died than Americans in that illegal war.  No one should have died in that illegal war, no one.  Amnesty International better grasp how provincial Bruce has become before they next try to recruit him for shows.  He's hideous.

Why does the Iraq War continue?  Because whores like Bruce think they're brave by saying "our boys died."  When you zoom in on only one subsection of humanity, you justify war, you justify racism.

That's what they gave a Tony to, that's what the wealthy applauded.  The wealthy -- Springsteen's fans who spend hundreds to see him on tour couldn't afford the tickets to his Broadway show.  Bruce made millions off the show.  Greed, that's what he's about.

Maybe it's what he was always about?

Up until 1986, he tended to hint at Socialism in interviews.  Maybe that was just an act -- the way he confesses in his special that his whole musical life has been a con.  It's a shocking admission, sort of like what Hillary Clinton said when she was speaking to Wall Street.  Maybe appearing before the hugely wealthy makes the Bruces and the Hillarys, desperate to fit in, confess a little more than they would normally?

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