An abridged version of this article originally appeared in Air Mail News on October 24, 2020
“What does art do? It contextualizes life….
They (films and music) can make you feel less lonely when you see yourself
or yourselves reflected back at you.”
- Springsteen on TCM, 2019
(If I can ever convince Bruce to lend me the keys to the universe, I’m going to turn this article into a documentary film)
As Richie ‘Whitey’ Ashburn, the former legendary Philadelphia Phillies player and broadcaster used to often say to the late Harry Kalas, his Hall of Fame broadcast partner in the booth, “Hard to believe, Harry” that it’s been 36 years since The Boss pulled “that” Courteney Cox up on stage to dance with him. June 29, 1984 to be exact. At the time, not many knew she was a planted actress just playing another role. Not even Bruce himself was aware Miss Cox was a ‘fake’ fan. None of that mattered. …
Recently, from his Los Angeles home, Executive Producer Michael Tollin addressed a number of questions on the minds of viewers in an exclusive tele-conference Zoom chat with Chicago native and Writer’s Boot Camp founder, Jeff Gordon.
*The Q&A below is a summary from the roughly 90-minute recorded conversation, compiled from notes by Steve Matoren, who joined the invite only session as a Writer’s Boot Camp alum.
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Two days ago Courteney Cox turned 56. While no one’s completely celebrating much of anything these days, two weeks after Cox’s 20th birthday she went Dancing in the Dark with Bruce Springsteen in St. Paul, Minnesota. Cox, along with thousands of others, was in the Twin Cities for an E Street Band concert and the filming of that now, iconic music video moment. The future “Friend” nabbed her breakout performance and The Boss nailed his biggest career hit.
The story behind the song and the video are particularly interesting. After Springsteen finished recording the ‘Born in the USA’ album more than a year prior, manager Jon Landau thought he still needed a verifiable “pop” hit for the record. And sent Bruce back to his New York City hotel room to work it out. Literally feeling like a “gun for hire” Springsteen defiantly banged out ‘Dancing in the Dark.’ As for Cox’s lead role in the future video, she wasn’t even expecting to be pulled up on stage. Cox told Sam Jones in a 2017 ‘Off Camera’ episode that she was terrified of being “the one” to dance with Bruce and hoped one of the other actresses, next to her, would be selected. …
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” ~MLK
Bruce Springsteen released his most powerful rock record, Darkness On The Edge of Town, 42 years ago. The Boss was only 29 years old when he unleashed Darkness upon the world. If you can find a more relevant collection of songs from yesterday, for today, please share it.
Springsteen calls Darkness On The Edge of Town “my samurai” record, “stripped to the frame and ready to rumble.” The album’s raw and mighty with its pounding beats and power chords. The lyrics lay bare the anger, the struggle, the isolation, the despair and the fight for the American soul. …
2nd grade was the best time I ever had in school, even though I learned more from a 3-minute record than I ever learned in school. 2nd grade was the first time I remember “liking” a girl. Everyone got along in my class. Boys played dodgeball at recess. Girls jumped rope. Sometimes, girls and boys would play together. These were Better Days.
There was Wendy and Mary, Janey and Cynthia, Little Steven and Scooter, Mad Dog, Mighty Max and C the ‘Big Man.’ C was like the biggest 8 year-old you ever saw. I had a crush on Puerto Rican Jane. I thought she was the one. We called her ‘Pretty Flamingo.’ No one had the courage to go up to her. She never even looked at us. …
by Steve Matorenfirstname.lastname@example.org
As a writer, I’m nothing, if not a wordsmith.
An illustrious pontificator of language and linguistics.
A selective spewer of the lexicon.
Yes, Mr. President, words matter.
I appreciate word precision, structure and syntax…
The clever charm of a witty pun,
The slick turn of a phrase,
The smart nuance of the double-entendre.
I’m stimulated by limericks, rhymes and haiku’s.
I love alliteration as much as titillation.
Writers enhance communication through hyperbole and diminish it with understated sarcasm. To the writer, word play is a form of foreplay.
I loathe improper placement and sentence composition, except in the case of Yoda. …
Yes. Real, bonafide, red, white and blue, Jersey magic.
I was fortunate to be in attendance at two of The Boss’s surprise appearances in the last couple of weeks. The first occurred on a “hello sunshine” kind of Saturday afternoon in Asbury Park, New Jersey when the Bruce Springsteen, unexpectedly, strolled onto the Paramount Theatre stage during the 2019 Asbury Park Film Festival.
You truly need to be there to experience the kind of electrifying buzz Springsteen creates when he first walks in a room- especially, when it’s an unannounced entrance. …
After 146 consecutive shows on Broadway, Bruce Springsteen went off script. He interrupted his teleprompter driven performance to riff on the immigration crisis along our southern border, spawned by the “inhumane” Trump administration policy to separate children from their parents. It’s not the first time The Boss has spoken out against America’s immoral behavior- and it certainly won’t be the last. Springsteen isn’t just America’s most prominent Rock ‘n Roll voice, he’s also become the country’s moral thunder.
It’s been a tough couple of years for those fighting to preserve long-standing American values and morality- but, these last two weeks have stretched that ideological struggle to its limits. …