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Occupy E Street
Bruce and the gang have just unleashed what is their angriest and most politicised record yet, a scathing attack on the railroading of the American Dream by political and corporate fat cats. Stuart Clark journeys to Paris to meet The Boss who also waxes lyrical about Obama, Catholicism, Joe Strummer, Dylan, being a hopeless music fan and why it’ll take four people to replace Clarence Clemons
Stuart Clark, 20 Mar 2012
“Clarence mentioned him to me a few years ago,” his new gaffer reveals, “and he was on the road with us a bit during the last tour, and he plays very well. He’s also been around the band and understands what it’s about. We were together with Clarence the week he passed away, and there’s a good musical and spiritual connection to Jake. So I’m excited about it.”
Does he think it’ll change the on-stage dynamic?
“I don’t know. It could change a little bit or a lot, you know? The music will still be what it is but it’s a big loss And we lost Danny (Federici, E Street Band organ ‘n’ glockenspiel man) the year before that. You’ve enjoyed these guys just being there for 34 years, but you move on. Life doesn’t wait.”
Explaining why it’ll be Jake + 3 on horns, Bruce laughs: “It takes a village to replace The Big Man. It takes many men! So, we’ll do the best we can.”
Does he still go into the studio with the intention of making the best album in the history of rockdom?
“Yeah,” he nods, “you try to be an honest broker with your fans. If I ask them to listen to it, I have to know it was everything that I had, at least at that moment. That’s why my relationship with my audience remains so vital and so present. You’re always out there shooting for the moon in different ways, that hasn’t really changed. Our intentions on this album were the same as on Born In The USA or Nebraska. My intention is to do what Bob Dylan did for me, which is to kick open the door to your mind and your body and make you want to move and think and experience and get angry and fall in love and reach for something higher than yourself and grovel around in something lower than yourself. That’s your job description, that’s what people are paying you the money for. It’s for something that can’t be bought. That’s the trick and what you’re supposed to deliver. It can only be manifested and shared. That’s when you’re doing a good job.”
Perhaps more so than any other living American musician, Springsteen’s work is informed by his childhood years – the yearning for family, romance and making your mark in a world that has a tendency to swallow people up whole.