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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
While Monsieur de Caunes still has several hundred things he’d like to ask him – “35 years passionately following Bruce’s path, he’s become the soundtrack to my life” – it’s time for the interviewer’s microphone to be turned over to us hacks. First up is an enquiry from the Guardian’s man in Paris vis-à-vis whether he’ll be gigging again this year in support of Barack Obama.
“I got into that sort of by accident,” Bruce says referring to the mass ‘Vote For Obama’ rallies of four years ago. “The Bush years were so horrific that you couldn’t just sit around. I never campaigned previously for politics before John Kerry. At that point it was such a blatant disaster occurring at the top of the government that you felt if you had any cachet whatsoever you had to cash it in. So I campaigned for Kerry and Obama. I’m not a professional campaigner – I don’t pick a guy every four years and say, ‘I’ll go for him.’ I prefer to stay on the sidelines. As an artist you’re supposed to be the canary in the coalmine. You’re better off with a certain distance between you and power.”
What’s Bruce’s nearing the end of term report on the Pres?
“I think he did a lot of good things – he kept General Motors alive, which was incredibly important to Detroit, Michigan. He got the healthcare law passed, though I wish there had been a public option and that it didn’t leave citizens the victims of the insurance companies. He killed Osama bin Laden, which I think was extremely important. He brought some sanity to the top level of government. He’s more friendly to corporations than I thought he would be, and there aren’t as many middle-class or working-class voices heard in the administration as I thought there would be. I would have liked to see more active job creation sooner than it came, and I’d like to have seen some of these foreclosures stopped or somehow mitigated. The banks have had some kind of a settlement, a partial settlement, but really, there’s a lot of people it’s not going to assist. I still support the president, but there are plenty of things — I thought Guantanamo would have been closed by now. On the other hand, we’re out of Iraq, and hopefully we’ll be out of Afghanistan soon.”