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‘I Made It All Up’: Bruce Springsteen versus the Cult of Authenticity

nota bene

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From National Review's critic Kyle Smith:

Bruce Springsteen has a confession to make. “I made it all up,” he tells the audience in his new Netflix special Springsteen on Broadway. “Bruce Springsteen” the persona — all gritty working-class authenticity — is a creation. “I’ve never held an honest job in my entire life!” he says. “I’ve never done any hard labor. I’ve never worked 9 to 5. I’ve never worked five days a week. Until right now.”
https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/bruce-springsteen-persona-fake-artistry-sublime/

The review linked above concludes with the opinion that while his persona, modeled on his father, may have been faked, Springsteen's artistry is sublime.
 

Rexedgar

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From National Review's critic Kyle Smith:

Bruce Springsteen has a confession to make. “I made it all up,” he tells the audience in his new Netflix special Springsteen on Broadway. “Bruce Springsteen” the persona — all gritty working-class authenticity — is a creation. “I’ve never held an honest job in my entire life!” he says. “I’ve never done any hard labor. I’ve never worked 9 to 5. I’ve never worked five days a week. Until right now.”
https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/bruce-springsteen-persona-fake-artistry-sublime/

The review linked above concludes with the opinion that while his persona, modeled on his father, may have been faked, Springsteen's artistry is sublime.

He certainly worked hard at least up until 1975’s “Born to Run!” Anyone believing he was paycheck-to-paycheck after that are well..
........Merry Christmas!
 

ecofarm

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I know someone who double dated with him in highschool (he was the other woman's date). He was a greasy lazy bastard then.
 

ttwtt78640

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From National Review's critic Kyle Smith:

Bruce Springsteen has a confession to make. “I made it all up,” he tells the audience in his new Netflix special Springsteen on Broadway. “Bruce Springsteen” the persona — all gritty working-class authenticity — is a creation. “I’ve never held an honest job in my entire life!” he says. “I’ve never done any hard labor. I’ve never worked 9 to 5. I’ve never worked five days a week. Until right now.”
https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/bruce-springsteen-persona-fake-artistry-sublime/

The review linked above concludes with the opinion that while his persona, modeled on his father, may have been faked, Springsteen's artistry is sublime.

It was hilarious that the NJ government once actually considered making "Born To Run" the offical state youth theme song.

The following lyrics:

"Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young"


are hardly a reason for youth to wish to remain in NJ.

How Bruce Springsteen'''s '''Born to Run''' Almost Became the '''Unofficial Theme''' of New Jersey'''s Youth
 

sangha

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From National Review's critic Kyle Smith:

Bruce Springsteen has a confession to make. “I made it all up,” he tells the audience in his new Netflix special Springsteen on Broadway. “Bruce Springsteen” the persona — all gritty working-class authenticity — is a creation. “I’ve never held an honest job in my entire life!” he says. “I’ve never done any hard labor. I’ve never worked 9 to 5. I’ve never worked five days a week. Until right now.”
https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/bruce-springsteen-persona-fake-artistry-sublime/

The review linked above concludes with the opinion that while his persona, modeled on his father, may have been faked, Springsteen's artistry is sublime.

Wow!!! I have to admit that the Mr Smith must be really perceptive and musically knowledgeable music critic to just now realize a man who has been a professional musician his entire life has never worked a M-F 40 hour week.

:lamo
 

haymarket

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From National Review's critic Kyle Smith:

Bruce Springsteen has a confession to make. “I made it all up,” he tells the audience in his new Netflix special Springsteen on Broadway. “Bruce Springsteen” the persona — all gritty working-class authenticity — is a creation. “I’ve never held an honest job in my entire life!” he says. “I’ve never done any hard labor. I’ve never worked 9 to 5. I’ve never worked five days a week. Until right now.”
https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/bruce-springsteen-persona-fake-artistry-sublime/

The review linked above concludes with the opinion that while his persona, modeled on his father, may have been faked, Springsteen's artistry is sublime.

The comments from Bruce in his book and repeated during his Broadway one man show are also known as self deprecating humor.
 

haymarket

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Wow!!! I have to admit that the National Review must be really perceptive to realize a man who has been a professional musician his entire life has never worked a M-F 40 hour week.

:lamo

Before Springsteen made his three to four hour shows the standard for concerts, it was normal to pay big money to see a top name band and only have them play for an hour or maybe ninety minutes. I remember going to early Rolling Stone concerts where that was the norm. In those days the top billed stars would have three to four undercard acts who filled out a three hour show before the big stars took the stage for their sets. Springsteen and the Grateful Dead changed all that. Anybody who has ever seen Bruce do his live arena show with the E Street Band knows he works harder in that four hour time than most factory or warehouse workers do in eight hours. He personifies blue collar hard work.

There is a great story in his book where they are bringing in a new band member in the 70's to play a gig at some Jersey club for an evening. They played for three and a half hours and the guy was emotionally and physically beat. Backstage he started to pack up his gear and one of the other band members informed him that they still had the midnight show to do.
 

<alt>doxygen

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From National Review's critic Kyle Smith:

Bruce Springsteen has a confession to make. “I made it all up,” he tells the audience in his new Netflix special Springsteen on Broadway. “Bruce Springsteen” the persona — all gritty working-class authenticity — is a creation. “I’ve never held an honest job in my entire life!” he says. “I’ve never done any hard labor. I’ve never worked 9 to 5. I’ve never worked five days a week. Until right now.”
https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/bruce-springsteen-persona-fake-artistry-sublime/

The review linked above concludes with the opinion that while his persona, modeled on his father, may have been faked, Springsteen's artistry is sublime.

Did anyone think he was writing everything from personal experience???
 

SenorXm/Sirius

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Did anyone think he was writing everything from personal experience???

I like the politicians who use Born in the USA as a patriotic song. lol... He didn't write that from personal experience but IIRC he did talk to Vietnam Vets before he wrote it... The song is a harsh criticism of the US government's treatment of Vietnam veterans... It could be the most misunderstood song in history.
 

sangha

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It was hilarious that the NJ government once actually considered making "Born To Run" the offical state youth theme song.

The following lyrics:

"Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young"


are hardly a reason for youth to wish to remain in NJ.

How Bruce Springsteen'''s '''Born to Run''' Almost Became the '''Unofficial Theme''' of New Jersey'''s Youth

You may want to read ALL the lyrics. You do not seem to understand the meaning of the song
 

ttwtt78640

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You may want to read ALL the lyrics. You do not seem to understand the meaning of the song

It's about getting out of a hell hole (decaying small town?) with the girl (Wendy?) that you love. Teenage rebellion coupled with geographic relocation to escape life's problems.
 

sangha

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This Mr King sure is an astute critic of music

Suppose that Springsteen was indisputably a fraud. Suppose we learned last year that his real name was Bryce Springfield IV, Duke of Bedford, that he’d grown up riding to hounds, attending Oxford, and receiving a double first in Russian and chemistry. Suppose the closest he had ever come to New Jersey was . . . Jersey. Suppose he’d grown up a right proper English twit.

How would “Born to Run” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” sound then? Would we dismiss him as a charlatan and stop showing up for his concerts? Would this be a career-upending scandal?

I’d say it shouldn’t be. While all of this would be a very interesting development for a biographer, it shouldn’t matter to a critic or a fan. The songs would still be the songs. They’d still be as wistful, poetic, and propulsive as they are.

Yet that isn’t the reaction the critics would take. The critics would pound him. They’d feel betrayed and humiliated. The tone of media coverage would turn from adulation to disgust.

Yeah, right. The same way critics pounded the Rolling Stones when they found out they were not impoverished black sharecroppers, and pounded Bob Dylan when they discovered he was really a rock n roller, and not a folkie
 

nota bene

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So even an innocuous little thread on Springsteen can produce rancorous argument.

:roll:
 

sangha

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So even an innocuous little thread on Springsteen can produce rancorous argument.

:roll:

You misspelled ignorant and I am surprised that someone who claims to have a literary career of any sorts would think such a sophomoric piece of envy disguised as criticism would be deserving of re-posting.

Exactly what was it that made this absurd piece of music criticism appeal to you? The authors not knowing that Springsteen did not work a nine-to-fiver, or his assumption that everyone else was as ignorant as he? Or was it his brilliant observation that a persons persona is not who they really are?
 

Hawkeye10

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You misspelled ignorant and I am surprised that someone who claims to have a literary career of any sorts would think such a sophomoric piece of envy disguised as criticism would be deserving of re-posting.

Exactly what was it that made this absurd piece of music criticism appeal to you? The authors not knowing that Springsteen did not work a nine-to-fiver, or his assumption that everyone else was as ignorant as he? Or was it his brilliant observation that a persons persona is not who they really are?

And that artists sometimes make their life into a piece of art......what a shocking concept.

One might have hoped that Andy Warhol cured that problem.

NOPE!
 

haymarket

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It's about getting out of a hell hole (decaying small town?) with the girl (Wendy?) that you love. Teenage rebellion coupled with geographic relocation to escape life's problems.

Yes, you are correct that on one level that is what BORN TO RUN is about. Those themes are deeply imbedded in rock culture.

But beyond that there is more to it than just escape. Its about the eternal search to find yourself and the one thing you know at age 16 or so is that its not in your folks house of the town you are living in. Its as universal as the old adage about the grass being greener on the other side of the hill. Bruce in BORN TO RUN is trying to get him and Wendy to that other side of the hill.
 
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