Showing posts with label Ryan Van Winkle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ryan Van Winkle. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Springsteen connection

Reading this blog post about Ryan Van Winkle last week, I was interested to see that he's clearly a Bruce Springsteen fan (if you follow the links, you'll see he's also a huge fan of the late, great Warren Zevon).

Just a day or two earlier, I'd noticed that Birmingham poet Joel Lane also has a mild Springsteen fixation. In his (excellent) latest collection, The Autumn Myth, there's a poem that references him, and his previous book of poetry was even called Trouble In The Heartland, which all those Bruce fans out there will recognise as a line from his song Badlands.

Two things intrigue me. One is that, not so long ago, admitting to liking New Jersey's favourite son was very definitely a totally uncool thing to do. Maybe it still is, but in that case it's nice to see these two poets caring not a fig for cultural fashion.

Secondly, both seem to centre their references on Springsteen's 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town (of course, that's based on a very limited reading of both). It was a stripped-down, raw-edged record, in which the romance of the early albums was largely abandoned in favour of gritty realism. Perhaps it's the economic climate we're living in that makes it a touchstone again - perhaps it's just coincidence.

Anyway, I'm happy to admit to being a long-time Springsteen fan, although I do think his output has been extremely uneven over the years. Darkness... would probably be my second-favourite of his albums - my number one would be his (largely uncharacteristic) second album, The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle, which above all sounds like a band having a lot of fun.