Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Not My Boss

Waking up this morning and reading about all of this Springsteen stuff on ATV doesn't necessarily move me one way or the other as The Boss is not one of my favorites.  However, I did really like the smokin guitar solo he played on "Disorder in the House" from "The Wind," the last album by one of the greatest artists of our time, Warren Zevon.

While you have to respect a guy like Bruce who is a worldwide sensation, you don't have to like him that much (sort of like the effect that Michael Jordan had on Cavs fans). His early albums were really good but after "The River," he could have faded away and been the house band at the Stone Pony for all I cared. I never felt like he really rocked, his later songs didn't speak to me and to a large degree, I like my rock and roll with less introspection and more flat out groove to get your butt shakin and your hands clappin.

Does a sax player really have a place in a rock and roll band post 1961?  Doesn't George Thorogoood sound better without one?  Aren't one or two guitars, bass and drums the cement of real rock and roll?

Keeping with the truly schizophrenic nature of my musical tastes, I have to give Bruce credit for being one of those guys who isn't really a singer but has mastered the ability to be a talker/shouter in the tradition of Lou Reed, Tom Petty, Neil Young and the great Zevon who are all legends to me.  While each of these guys often get into your head with their lyrics, they usually rock hard while doing it and when they mellow out a bit, I still like them.

Finally, a big shout out to Mel.  Her stuff is required reading.  Just as she is enamored with Tom Jones' gold lame', I love Zevon's ode to Elvis Presley called "Porcelain Monkey" from his "Life'll Kill Ya" album: "Hip shakin shoutin in gold lame', that's how he earned his regal sobriquet, then he threw it all away for a porcelain monkey..." 

More Zevon and dissenting views to come.

  • Dave Lifton

    There are some points there, but you lose me by saying that he became more introspective post-River. If there’s a more introspective record than Darkness, I’ve never heard it. It’s all Catholicism and daddy issues, the two defining traits of his childhood as seen by an adult. It just happens to rock a mighty rockin’.

    And I see him as a singer-shouter more in the soul tradition of Wilson Pickett and Levi Stubbs than his fellow white guys you mention.

    But I’m looking forward to reading your takes on Zevon. It will class up this joint after all of Matt’s cock-rock claptrap.

  • Kevin Brennan

    Hi Dave,
    I don’t know that he became more introspective post-River, I just stopped listening and thus didn’t really care too much. I based my comment more on reputation. I will grant you that introspection is not what I think of when I hear songs from “Born in the USA.”

    It’s good to know that there are Zevon fans visiting the site because I’ll be bringing him up often.

    Nice use of rock critic terminology in dissing Matt. He will appreciate that it wasn’t just a “You Suck” comment and was rooted in something he can understand.

  • Dave Lifton

    Downbound Train, Dancing In The Dark, No Surrender, Glory Days, My Hometown. There’s plenty there.

    And I wouldn’t diss Matt, just his taste.

  • Mike Hayward

    I’m sorry, but I’ve thought Bruce was a Dylan wanna be.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Dave, and here I thought we saved all of our insults for each other for use on Twitter and Facebook…Ha.

    You’ll be pleased to know that my new band Cock Rock Claptrap will be in your neck of the woods for a show in mid-May. I’ll leave tickets for ya at the door!

    Kev – Does George Thorogood sound better with songs that aren’t about drinking? Oh yeah, he doesn’t have any!

    Seriously though, good constructive and fair criticism of The Boss. I can respect your opinion….although I’m not going to necessarily agree with it.

    Good stuff – look forward to more!

  • Layla

    I love your blog but you know I completely disagree with your thoughts on Bruce :)

  • Kevin Brennan

    Thanks for reading and not spewing hate back at me! The ATV readers seem to be a much more well-mannered bunch than I am accustomed to.

    Think of me as someone providing a public service because the stance I am taking makes more room for fans like you at Bruce’s next concert.

  • Dan

    Yeah, I could tell you don’t like introspective music from all the JACKSON BROWNE stuff you blog about.

    P. the fuck S. Wasn’t there a threat of a post featuring Browne/Springsteen et al. from about 6 months ago? Did I miss it?

  • kevin

    Hey Dan,
    P the Fuck S squared so that you understand where this came from: , Matt, the proprietor of this site, did not write this post. I am a new writer for this blog and this was my doing.

    What’s with the hostility? It’s only rock and roll, even if we don’t agree on what the best form of that is.

    By the way, Jackson Browne is cooler than the Boss in my book.

  • Dan

    Sorry, I thought Matt wrote this. And, in that light, my comment should be read as teasing, not hostility.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Dan, If you ever read something like this from me, you will know that I’m off my meds. And since I don’t take any meds, that’s a problem.