by Robert Wilkinson
Today we give a giant birthday shout out to these three legendary greats!
First,"the Boss." Bruce Springsteen (September 23, 1949) is one of the brightest lights if the huge musical Libra tribe that includes such greats as John Lennon, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Justin Hayward, Jackson Browne, and John Mellencamp. Bruce's tunes grab people all over the world, whether as social conscience or just great music. Today we have lots of great live performance videos!
I've been hip to Mister Bruce Springsteen and his music since the early 70s and “Greetings from Asbury Park,” and he puts on one of the most electrifying live shows anyone could even want to see! For your consideration, a happy birthday assemblage of some great performances.
From the beginning of his career, "Spirit in the Night" - Live in Los Angeles with the E Street Band, 1973.
A more recent version from Sacramento, 2008 of "Spirit In The Night."
Another major hit from his first album, later made a hit again by Manfred Mann and the Earth Band, "Blinded By The Light"
A great acoustic performance of "Blinded By The Light" from Oct 15, 2005 in Madison, Wisconsin.
A GREAT must see alternate version! "Blinded By The Light" A total groove out!
An early one! From 1978, live in Phoenix, Bruce and the E Street Band doing one of his first and greatest, letting the world know he was a musical force majeure! “Rosalita” (let it buffer so it doesn’t stop and start)
An October 2009 performance from the Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA of "Rosalita,"
THE song that woke a lot of the world up! A great performance of "Born To Run" from The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA, on October 25, 1976.
Another great performance of "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, AZ, July 8th 1978. (Let it buffer for awhile or it'll stop several times in the performance.)
Here are two more great performances of "Born to Run," this one from Landover,MD, from November 24th 1980, and this one at Madison Square Garden, New York, from the All Star Benefit for the Homeless Children on December 13, 1987.
From the same album, here's a great performance of "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" at the Capital Center, Largo, MD, on the 24th of November 1980.
Here's "Prove It All Night," another great turn from his early days.
From the same era, Bruce and the E Street Band doing the ever incredible "Thunder Road" from the 1979 No Nukes concert. Here's another magnificent performance of "Thunder Road" from 1976 (when he made the covers of Time AND Newsweek on the same week!)
Another of my favorites! This song gave me two of the best lines I’ve ever passed on to another human being! “Poor man wants to be rich, rich man wants to be king, and the king ain’t satisfied until he rules everything,” and “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.”
This is pure gold from the Barcelona 2002 concert. If you want to catch a glimpse of what it’s like at a Bruuuuuuuce concert, check out the crowd!!
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – “Badlands” From the same show, the song that’s a declaration of hope and determination to take our destiny into our own hands! “Promised Land”
("Badlands" and "Promised Land" were the same two he did with Jackson Browne in Central Park at the 1982 Freeze Now! Concert after the march from the UN. A million people clocked in, making it the largest antinuke protest ever. I was a “peacekeeper” assigned to a section near the stage. When he broke into “Badlands,” a million people roared and stomped their feet and shook the Earth in a once in a lifetime experience!)
This one’s electrifying! From Bergen, Norway, in 2009, Intro & "Badlands"
Lest you think Barcelona has anything on the Brits, the crowd goes wild at Glastonbury in June 2009 as for the Boss cranks out a fantastic performance of “Badlands.” And from the same gig, “Thunder Road” When the crowd roars out the lyrics throughout the entire song, it’s some kind of statement!
Live in NYC in 2001, the awesome “Jungleland”
From the next chapter in his career, the awesome "No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band in Washington DC, 11th October 2004.
Here's Bruce doing "I'm Goin' Down" live in Camp Nou, Barcelona, 20th July 2008.
As long time fans know, Bruce has deep feelings about our country and all that's right and wrong about it. Here he is doing the legendary Woody Guthrie song once proposed as the "true" national anthem for the US, "This Land is your Land" live at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA on September 30, 1985. I also found Bruce and another American icon and champion of the working class, Pete Seeger, doing "This Land is Your Land" at Obama's Inaugural fete.
A while back I did a post on "Chimes of Freedom," one of the most remarkable songs ever written by America’s bard, Bob Dylan. Here is an amazingly powerful performance by the Boss of this paen to freedom in East Germany in 1988 before the fall of the Berlin Wall! “Chimes of Freedom in East Berlin”
From the same tour, here’s Bruce in Copenhagen in 1988 offering us "Chimes of Freedom."
At some point, please take a moment to reread my post linked above, since I posted the lyrics, and after all, the Chimes of Freedom are flashing for all of us.
As a bonus, here's the original 7 minute studio version by Bob Dylan of "Chimes of Freedom"
Bruce once said, "blind faith in your leaders will get you killed." I found an unbelievable video of Bruce Springsteen doing "War" in 1985 at the LA Colliseum, and posted it, along with the lyrics, back in 2007 during a global protest of the Iraq war. Since that video has been cut short for some reason, I found the entire performance which I linked below.
I saw him perform this way back when, and it still grabs me by the throat. This is a message for everyone who needs to remember that in fact, "blind faith in anything will get you killed." For your eye opening enjoyment, here's the entire performance of the musical juggernaut, "WAR"
Here's another great performance which you should check out! Bruce performing "War!" live, along with the man who originally did it, Edwin Starr! And from “the Rising” tour, yet another performance of the ever-amazing and powerful "War!"
Here are a few more great tunes written by others, done by Bruce:
"Who'll Stop The Rain" live in Stockholm 2009.
From the same concert, we move back into three of my favorite songs written by the Boss:
Here's more of his hits,
"Dancing in the dark" from Barcelona 2002
"Glory Days" from Dave Letterman's last night on NBC.
Here's Youngstown done live in Youngstown.
The song he says Patti Smith "stole" from him, in that she definitely made it a major hit on her own before Bruce's version, the awesome "Because the Night" from a 2007 European performance.
Here's his rocking version of the Gary U.S. Bonds mega-hit "A Quarter To Three" in Sevilla.
I found a few clips of Bruce with various friends doing other people's songs. These are some great performances, so check them out!
First, U2 & Bruce Springsteen live at the 2009 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame doing "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."
Here’s another great live video by these two doing this song at Madison Square Garden! Bono waxes philosophical about rock and roll, and what he says.... Bruce Springsteen and U2 performing “I still haven’t found what I’m Looking For”
Speaking of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, here’s Bruce and Axl Rose at the 1994 ceremony inducting John Lennon as a solo artist performing John’s song "Come Together."
Here’s an awesome performance by Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen doing "It's my life."
We close this Happy Birthday celebration with a full on, entire concert video from August 1978 in Landover, Maryland. This one is a young man at his peak during his Saturn Return! For your enjoyment,
For our first encore, we’ll fast forward 7 years to another full show, with a different set list than he was playing in 1978! For your enjoyment, from Paris in June 1985, an entire 3 hour show. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Live in Paris
For our second encore, Bruce joins Neil Young in 2004 doing one of my favorite tunes of all time, "All Along The Watchtower" in Minneapolis. Dylan wrote it, Hendrix did the definitive version, and Springsteen keeps it alive!
Thanks for being the voice of the working people all these years. I was once told that very few good things come from New Jersey, and that you were definitely one of them (along with Jon Stewart and a few more!) You've proved that true over the years. Thanks for the incredible tunes over the past 40 years! May you have many more as you rock on into your 60s!
As I mentioned earlier, a very happy birthday goes out to two more great legends also born on this day, the awesome Ray Charles (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004). Ray took a variety of styles and took them over the top in his very unique way. Ray Charles was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century across many different genres of music. From Wikipedia:
He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business...”
For your enjoyment, Mister Ray Charles! I found some videos of Ray Charles that span his career from 1963-1999.
A great b/w live performance of "You don't know me."
here is an electrifying performance by Ray Charles of "Let the Good Times Roll!" Wow!
For another great dance tune, from what looks to be the same show, Ray ripping out "What'd I Say"
Another live video of an early hit! "I Got A Woman"
Here's Ray in 1999 doing Leon Russell's masterpiece, "A Song For You."
We'll close this brief birthday tribute to the Amazing Ray with a clip called "The Giants Of Rock 'N' Roll" done live in Rome in 1989 featuring Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, James Brown, Fats Domino, and more! Enjoy this 8:49 of pure gold!!
A big happy also goes out to the 'Trane Himself, the legendary John Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967). He pioneered several forms of jazz, was one of the most significant saxophonists in jazz history, and worked with the greatest of the greatest. He was so revered that he was actually canonized as a saint by the African Orthodox Church! Since I can't do an entire birthday tribute this year due to time constraints, here are a few videos I found of the Sax Master!
John Coltrane performing live in Belgium in 1965 playing "Naima."
From 1961, a great live performance of 'Trane with his quintet (Eric Dolphy on flute, Elvin Jones on drums, McCoy Tyner on piano and Jimmy Garrison on bass) doing "My Favorite Things"
Here's a live video from April 1959 of Miles Davis & John Coltrane performing "So What" From Miles Davis' album, "Kind Of Blue."
For your enjoyment, a 9+ minute live audio-only clip from 1958 of 'Trane and Miles at the Newport Jazz Festival doing "Bye Bye Blackbird"
Here’s a great 8+ minute video clip of ‘Trane and the great Wes Montgomery doing the Thelonious Monk jazz standard, “Round Midnight”
A live performance of "On Green Dolphin Street"
From Germany in 1960, a rare video clip of ‘Trane with Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb performing “Hackensack”
Here’s the John Coltrane Quartet in a rare 1965 video from France performing what is said to be the only live video of “A Love Supreme” and “Ascension” (it’s a 2+ minute promotional video for a 6 DVD set of that performance)
Since we just had the Equinox yesterday, I figure this one’s perfect for today! From 1960’s “Coltrane Sound” album, John Coltrane with McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Steve Davis on bass performing “Equinox”
The 11 minute studio version of the incredible "Blue train."
If you want to hear the entire one hour 1957 studio album, here’s John Coltrane’s “Blue Train”
Here’s the entire 38 minute studio album from 1960, the first with all compositions written by JC. “Giant Steps”
Here’s the entire 1 hour 15 studio album from 1962! “John Coltrane Plays the Blues”
Here’s the entire 40+ minute studio album from 1966! “Meditations”
We'll close this birthday celebration with his 1958 11 minute studio version of "Stardust"For our encore, a full one hour 36 minute “Jazz Icons” television clip! John Coltrane Live 1960, 1961, 1965
All three of these guys were/are awesome, and set the standard for the ages. There’s a lot more of their music over at you tube, so if you’re inclined, check out anything and everything these major league talents ever did. They definitely influenced music across several genres for decades, and are still among the most loved and respected in their styles.
Copyright © 2013 Robert Wilkinson