Wednesday, April 04, 2012
"If You Don't Get It the First Time"
One of today's missives, is titled "Save the Country." Laura Nyro wrote the song "Save the Children" which also has that lyric in it.
Bob starts by pointing out that 7 of the top 10 people on Twitter are musicians. While I have to say that his premise of "…bankers may have the money but musicians have all the power" is a stretch, at best, I do support his statement that if these musicians have this power, "…it's about time they did something with it." Like Laura Nyro did when she wrote that song.
The real gist of his essay is what has happened to the United States of America that allows strip searching on minor traffic stops? What's worse is that international treaties ban just the kind of intrusion that the Supreme Court just deemed legal in the USA?
He ends the letter by saying where is the musician pointing out these injustices to his/her fans, like Ms. Nyro and countless musicians did in the era of Laura Nyro. "Who do they take their instructions from?" he rails
Well, the snappy and cynically correct comeback answer is probably "The bankers."
Which, in a very roundabout way, brings me to the point of my writing these thoughts today.
First, let me say that I am a long time fan of Bruce Springsteen. We are the same age and grew up in the same part of the Shore. Like him I am a lapsed Catholic who went to Catholic schools and my parental heritage is also Italian/Irish. We both married and divorced women from Portland, Oregon. I've seen him work from the Upstage in Asbury Park to arenas all over the world. He grew up to be a musical icon and I am here writing this blog entry. So you could say I am a fan of the guy.
Bob is a practiced lawyer and he his trained to take both sides of any issue. For a while now, he has been doing that in his comments on music.
I bring this up because I am tired of Bob Lesetz, on one hand, telling musicians "…it's about time they did something with it," it being access to informing their fans. He then, on the other hand, denies Bruce Springsteen his due despite the fact that Springsteen has consistently done that for 40 years.
Darkness, The River, Nebraska, Tom Joad, Born in the USA, The Rising and Wrecking Ball all fall into the category that Lesetz laments.
Bob wants musicians to take control of their art and business. Bruce did exactly that - in 1975.
Bob tells musicians that they don't need the studios anymore, they can record in their bedrooms on Garage Band. Bruce recorded Nebraska on a 4 track tape deck at home in 1982.
Springsteen has toured incessantly since the late 60's, something Lefsetz says is essential for any band. Lefsetz bemoans the fact that the Idol/Voice wannabe's need to spend the 10,000 hours honing their craft. Springsteen hit 10,000 hours before 1970 and moved out of his house because his father said it was home or music. For all our pleasure, he chose music. That is commitment and sacrifice to his art.
So if all the boxes on the Lefsetz plan of action have been checked by Bruce Springsteen, then why the animosity? The fame and money? Well, no one can deny the apparent schism between writing for the common man and being in the 1%. But you can't argue that Springsteen has worked hard to become successful and has worked hard to maintain it.
From Pete Chianca on "Blogness On The Edge of Town: "I don’t see how Springsteen can be declared a fake just because he’s made money; he grew up poor with an often unemployed father, and we all know you are who you are well before you hit your 20s – that’s why people who grew up during the Depression still sit around with the lights off. Your childhood stamps you forever, and in Springsteen’s case it’s provided the thread of his entire career."
So why the utter disdain for a guy who wears his feelings on his artistic sleeve and has always stepped up for the peers of his growing up years, the poor, the homeless, the ignored veterans of America's conflicts and indeed an opposition to the conflicts themselves.
This dislike of Springsteen must come down to just one thing. Lefsetz and his like just don't get it. They don't get the fact that the words and music that Springsteen creates at the crossroads of America's social history over the last 40 years, helps millions of his fans understand and cope, helping them feel like they are not in it alone. Those same fans, now spreading over three generations, go to his live shows, legendary in their length, and leave tired, yet happy and feeling just a little better about life, no matter how briefly.
Unfortunately, when people don't get it they rail against what they don't understand. Which means they fall into the same line of thinking that brings racial tension, social injustice, international tensions and the denial of scientific fact.
I'm not saying Lefsetz is any of the above. I'm just saying that when it comes to Bruce Springsteen, like someone denying global warming, he's never been convinced.
at 12:52 PM