Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Like A Shot Straight Through The Heart

I write a lot. I spend a small portion of every day writing. One could hope that repetition leads to honing and sharpening of a particular skill but I remain less than confident of that fact. Irrespective of the amount of "Practice! Practice! Practice!" I put in, I remain unable to see Carnegie Hall from where I live.

My handicap is not one that is shared by everyone who writes a lot apparently. Today is the day on which the rather enormous box set "The Promise" is being released by a New Jersey musician who has managed to cobble together a little bit of a career for himself with his original compositions. There are many treasures to be unearthed in this collection - I assure you - and for Springsteenphiles such as my brother Bill is and such as I am (this abbreviated list of names is intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive), the unearthing process shall be a labor of love. In this brave new world of music, the previously unreleased audio tracks (22 in all) have been available for a free on-line listen from sources as diverse as NPR (although they apparently did not fire Juan Carlos Williams over his reported, "Springsteen? Are you f***king kidding me?" comment in response to NPR's free stream), Rolling Stone and Spinner for the past several weeks.

Having immersed myself in all of the free Springsteen I could get my ears on these past few weeks I was reminded just how good he is at expressing himself - but not merely for himself. The gift lies in his ability to speak not only in the voice of one but in a voice that is both portable and transportable. A voice available to save the ass of a wretch such as me. A voice available to me to say that which I otherwise would screw up attempting to say on my own.

Too many times to count I screw things up in my day-to-day. And being my father's son most of my mistakes and miscues are registered on the home front and not in the work place. I can at times raise ineptitude to dizzying, almost stratospheric heights. And far too often it takes me far too long to (a) recognize the problem; and (b) do what should be done to rectify it. Eventually, I muddle through to the solution on my own irrespective of how long it takes to get there.

Every once in a while however a little divine guidance appears above the horizon line. One of the songs that did not make the "cut" for inclusion on Darkness on the Edge of Town back in the day is one of the songs that absolutely leaped through the speakers to me the first time I heard it. You can read in any of a number of sources Springsteen discussing his fear - which manifested itself into a reluctance - to write love songs on his first several records. He simply did not do it. However, by the time the calendar page flipped from the 1970's to the 1980's he had developed a knack for it and as of this point in his career has written too many exceptional songs about love, romance and relationships between actual grown-ups to catalog here. But buried among the nuggets on this collection is a remarkable little piece of music - less than three minutes from start to finish - that reveals the existence of a gift long before he took it public.

I dare you....No wait. I double dog dare you (if we are going to play the game then let us play for keeps; right) to think of the woman or man in your life who you love the most, listen to "Save My Love" and not know before the last words from the first verse have been sung that you are listening to someone describe exactly how you feel.....in words and in sentiment that you wish you possessed yourself. I know that I cannot.

Hold me in your arms and our doubts won't break us.
If we open up our hearts, love won't forsake us.
Let's let the music take us and carry us home.

Home. That place where one's heart resides.....

and a pretty damn fine place to be.

-AK

1 comment:

evan: said...

Listened to the rebroadcast of Bruce Sprinsteen/ Ed Norton interview. Great stuff!.