Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: bruce springsteen (page 1 of 3)

Springsteen On Broadway, Act II

CURTAIN RISES on a STAGE SET that looks like a STAGE SET. ADULT BRUCE (Lin Manuel Miranda) and the E Street Band (The Rest of the Cast of Hamilton) are playing. There is a small AUDIENCE on stage dancing to the groovy rock and roll tunes.

BRUCE
Find me some blue jeans and a bandana
Roll up my sleeves, count off 1, 2, 3, 4.
No more New Jersey; now it’s the big time
The world spread its legs, and I said “sure.”

Suddenly, Springsteen is rocking besides you
Don’t need no doobie; we’re not that kind of band
Suddenly, Springsteen is here to provide tunes
Sing Hallelujah: Now we’re a brand.

In the audience, COURTNEY COX (Adele) stands and begins singing.

COURTNEY
I need a band with too many people
Maybe a black guy, an uggo or two.
Don’t want no funk or no syncopation
Just straight up and down from the drummer, a Jew.

Suddenly, Springsteen is rocking beside me
Singing ’bout cars and his shitty dad
Suddenly, Springsteen is playing arenas
Sing Hallelujah: Springsteen’s a brand.

BRUCE
Now I’ll play something
That’s off of
Nebraska

COURTNEY
I just remembered
I must use the can.

BRUCE
And now here’s a story
It lasts for an hour.

COURTNEY
Can’t you play Backstreets?
That shit is my jam.

BRUCE
Suddenly, Springsteen.

E STREET BAND
Suddenly Sprrrrrrrriiiiiiiingsteen.

BRUCE
Is playing Pete Seeger.
Suddenly, Springsteen
Is firing his baaaaaaand.

E STREET BAND
What?

BRUCE
Suuuuuuuuuuddenly Springst–

E STREET BAND
No, don’t continue singing. What was the last thing you said?

GARRY W. TALLENT
WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO, MAN?

GARRY W. TALLENT (Nathan Lane) strikes BRUCE with his bass guitar, killing him.

The music STOPS.

COURTNEY COX ascends to the stage.

COURTNEY
Suddenly, Garry has murdered Bruce Springsteen
He caved his head in right up on the stage
A crime born of passion; you really can’t blame him
Everyone knows Garry’s made of rage.

E STREET BAND
Made of RAAAAAAAAAAGE

GARRY W. TALLENT begins DESECRATING the newly-dead corpse in SEXUAL WAYS, then extends his hand to COURTNEY COX. They DANCE WHITELY.

BLACKOUT.

Springsteen On Broadway, Scene ii

The stage is DARK. TEEN BRUCE (Jaden Smith) is illuminated by a single spotlight CENTER STAGE. A NARRATOR (Chris Christie) can be heard.

NARRATOR
Once upon a time
In a state made of gardens
There lay a small town
At the edge of the shore.

BRUCE
I wish…

NARRATOR
There lived a young boy.

BRUCE
More than anything…

The SPOTLIGHT picks out another young man: LITTLE MIAMI STEVE (James Cordon).

LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
I wish…

NARRATOR
And another young boy.

LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
More than anything in the world…

The SPOTLIGHT picks out an enormous black man: YOUNG CLARENCE CLEMONS (Titus Burgess).

CLARENCE
I wish…

NARRATOR
And an enormous black man.

CLARENCE
More than anything in the world…

BRUCE
I could get some chicks, man.
I gotta make a dick plan.
I need to stick it somewhere, but there’s nowhere to be FOUUUUUUUUND.

LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
I wanna get some poon, bro.
My boner’s to the moon, yo.
A little piece of nice-nice makes the world keep spinning ROUUUUUUUND

CLARENCE
I would take some mouth action
All I need is wet traction
O, Lord, my balls are getting full; they’re halfway to the GROUUUUUUND

ALL
His balls are to the GROOUUUUND!

The boys meet CENTER STAGE and horse about.

NARRATOR
Every mom and daddy know
That teenage boys are ’bout to blow
In olden times, they’d go on quests
Or join the army; head out west.

But Jersey boys beat different drums
When pressure mounts and problem comes
And life has left you bruised and sore
New Jersey boys…

BRUCE
Go down the shore!
And to the beach!
Go down the shore!
Girls are in reach!

LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
Go down the shore!
Laugh at the rubes!
Go down the shore!
We’ll see some boobs!

CLARENCE
Go down the shore!
My car has got gas!
Go down the shore!
We’re gonna eat ass!

SCENE CHANGE while film of the three boys in a PINK CADILLAC is projected on the back wall.

EXT. JERSEY SHORE – NIGHT

BOARDWALK SET. Games and funnel cake stands.

BRUCE
I hope we get lucky!

LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
I hope we get laid.

CLARENCE
And wouldn’t it be nice
If we also got paid?

FRANK SINATRA (RuPaul) descends from the rafters bathed in the light like Christ.

FRANK
Now, listen HEEEEEERE you rooty-toots
You weanna SEEEEEEE girls in their birthday suits?
Just take these gifts
That I offer
Soon her pants
Will be off her.

A GUITAR, a SAXOPHONE, and a BANDANA appear.

BRUCE
All right, a guitar.

LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
Are you sure that’s for you?

CLARENCE
The bandana’s for you, Steve
And for, well, you-know-who.

LITTLE MIAMI STEVE turns around to reveal he has a SEMI-ABSORBED TWIN ON THE BACK OF HIS SKULL. Its name is LITTLE LITTLE MIAMI STEVE (Jared Leto).

LITTLE LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
Brother!
Don’t hide me!
No, brother!
Stand beside me!

FRANK SINATRA
This just got weird.

LITTLE LITTLE MIAMI STEVE
Sing me the song about Momma.
Sing of our happy warm home.

FRANK SINATRA
Seriously, what the fuck is happening?

The BATMOBILE enters. Door opens. From within, we can hear SNORES emanating.

FRANK SINATRA
Nope, fuck this.

SINTRA EXITS

Blackout.

Springsteen On Broadway

ASBURY PARK BOARDWALK, 1964 – DAY

The CURTAIN RISES on an abstract set. At stage left is MADAME MARIE’S. In the center is a LOWER-MIDDLE CLASS HOME. At stage right is a STREET SIGN pointing offstage that reads THUNDER ROAD. Where the sun should be is a GIANT EXXON SIGN THAT BRINGS THIS FAIR CITY LIGHT.

From the home, YOUNG BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (played by ONE OF THE KIDS FROM STRANGER THINGS) enters. He is wearing RED sneakers, BLUE jeans, and a WHITE tee-shirt

BRUCE
What was I born for?
Why should I bother?
With these Jersey struggles,
And my Jersey father?

Was I born to lose?
Or work at the mill?
Should I join the army
Like my Uncle Bill?

Show me my purpose, Lord!
The rules of the game!
And tell me why I have
So Jewish a name!

A KID with a stickball bat runs up to BRUCE.

KID
Hey, Bruce, join the team;
It helps to get girls, see.

BRUCE
Stickball’s not a thing
That we do here in Jersey.

A MILLENNIAL staring at her phone enters.

MILLENNIAL
Come make memes with me, Bruce
We’ll be viral hits!

BRUCE
It’s 1964.
Who’s writing this shit?

GORT the robot enters.

GORT
Klaatu barada nikto.

BRUCE
Could someone explain what is happening here?
We started off well, but I truly do fear
That the song has gone off–

GORT
KLAATU BARADA NIKTO, YOU DENIM-WEARING MOTHERFUCKER.

GORT chokes BRUCE to death.

[Blackout.]

And Everybody’s Wrecked On Main Street

And I said, “Hey kid, you think that’s oil? Man, that ain’t oil, that’s blood”
I wonder what he was thinking when he hit that storm, or was he just lost in the flood?

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Be A Different Song

Enthusiasts, I was vague in my wording, which is a sin. Language was stolen for us by Prometheus and eleven of his wacky buddies from a Las Vegas casino; for this, they were chained to boulders for eternity and eagles randomly came by to eat their nipples. That you didn’t know when the eagles were coming back was the worst torture: if eagle-time were always noon, then at least you could steal yourself for the de-nippling.

What are you talking about?

Gods and legends. Like always.

Someone should eat your nipples.

Go away, I’m talking to the Enthusiasts.

They should have their nipples eaten, too.

Why?

They know what they did.

Regardless, I’m actually interacting with the nice people for once instead of ignoring emails and making fun of the Comment Section.

How so?

I asked them to name the BEST EVAR song whose title was a woman’s name.

Sexist.

I was going to ask about the BEST EVAR man’s name song.

Suuuuuuure you were.

Swear.

Uh-huh

Anyway, millions of Enthusiasts wrote in with their picks, but like I said at first: I was unspecific in my request. What’s the point of Rock Nerd lists and bullshit unless it’s picky and arbitrary? There’s no fun in arguing about something as nebulous as “Best Song,” but “Best Song by a Band with a Really Short Drummer?” That’s a serious Rock Nerd party right there, my friend.

So: we reduce the entrant pool by upping the requirements. We look for not just the Best Song containing a Woman’s Name in the Title, but Best Song in which the Woman’s Name is the Whole Title.

This means My Sharona is out (not that anyone voted for it) and so is Polk Salad Annie and Ruby, Don’t you Take your Love to Town. Sheena is a Punk Rocker is also, sadly, disqualified.

But The Ramones still make the list:

An underappreciated classic from their most-appreciated album. Of note: Joey managing to rhyme “Ramona” with “come over,” and declaring that the titular Ramona was, in fact, a spy for the BBI. What is the BBI, you ask? Excellent question. You should ask Joey.

Also of note: the intralyrical band member shout-out. This is an extraordinarily rare Rock Move, but when performed well, it wows the judges. Examples can be found at the end of Surrender by Cheap Trick and in the bridge of Girls, Girls, Girls by the Crue.

Next up is something by the Allman Brothers:

Nah, I’m fucking with you. This is what Hakim Bey would call a TAFZ (Temporary Allman-Free Zone).

What is it with you and the Allmans?

If they wanted me to like them, then they shouldn’t have talked so much shit about the Dead.

You pick a side and stick with it, huh?

I’m loyal.

Talk about Dolly Parton.

If you don’t like Dolly Parton, then you’re wrong.

Anything else?

Nope.

You’re the greatest undiscovered literary talent in America.

Why, thank you.

Just continue.

BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!

The keen-eyed will notice that this song’s title is actually Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), and therefore not eligible. The keen-eyed should remember what I like to do to people’s eyes in the stories I write. Bruce gets a pass because he is Bruce.

Could’ve gone with Rosalita.

Rosalita doesn’t have the line about Madame Marie in it. Therefore, Sandy is better than Rosalita.

SLAP!

Did you just slap me? How is that even possible?

Don’t worry about it.

Ow.

Go on with your list and know that I’m watching you, buster.

Ow.

Bunch of you chose Gloria, but you all chose the wrong one and should be ashamed of yourselves. I advise you begin drinking heavily. Sure, Rock Nerds are supposed to worship Van Morrison and Patti Smith, but I like brunettes with unruly eyebrows and growly voices in spangled jumpsuits. Plus, the synth riff is killer.

I’ve posted this before; I don’t care: I’ll post it every day until I die. Little Richard on all the cocaine in the entire world.

Jesus, my gums are getting numb watching him.

If you rub your dick on the screen, you’ll be able to fuck all night.

SLAP

Why!?

You’re vulgar.

Violent is worse than vulgar!

Also more persuasive. Stop being coarse.

Here’s something wholesome:

Shortly after this performance Buddy Holly’s plane would be shot from the sky by a rocket launcher-wielding Don MacLean.

And there’s Lorelei by the Pogues, and Angie by the Stones and Victoria and Lola by The Kinks and that one from Rod Stewart that was kind of about him being molested. The Band did Ophelia AND Caledonia AND Evangeline, because it’s more fun to write about people with interesting names; Beatles had Michelle and Eleanor Rigby and Elvis Costello wrote Alison and Veronica.

But I like this one:

HE LOVES BERNADETTE SO MUCH.

Dude.

It’s an exciting tune. I got aroused.

Sexually?

Yes.

SLAP

You had to know that was coming.

I think I’m into it now.

Ew.

And Levi Stubbs was Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, so this wins.

EXCEPT:

Yup, it’s the love ballad sung by a grown man in a kitty suit.

Listen to it! It’s one of the prettier rock ballads ever written, plus no member of KISS besides Peter Criss appears on the track, which makes it by default better than the songs the band members played on.

Okay, I’m done.

That’s how you wrap it up for the nice people?

Yeah, fuck ’em.

Okay, yeah.

As I Went Walking That Ribbon Of Highway

It’s still true, if you’re ready to fight.

We’re Havin’ A Party

Only party of Trump’s I’d attend is a swinging party.

That Tilt-A-Whirl Down On The South Beach Drag

Didja hear the cops finally busted Madame Marie,
For tellin’ fortunes better than they do?

Go sit at your desk for the rest of your life; you can’t beat that line.

Me, neither. Let’s keep trying, though.

The Great American Sincerity-Off

All right, Enthusiasts, it is voting time. Not the presidential election, no: this is a contest between two thoroughly unpleasant candidates that, if there were a God, wouldn’t be the only choices available.

Waaaaait a minute.

See what I did?

Satire, nice.

Thank you. As I was saying: cast your vote, Enthusiasts. You know of TotD’s psychopathic loathing of the Sincere Acoustic Cover, and in this contest you must choose between the very definition of an SAC, and a new wrinkle thereof.

First up is Obadiah Parker, and he is so very sincere, and his guitar is so very acoustic. All the boxes are checked off: sugary pop hit with silly lyrics sung meaningfully through a beard. It is the definition of a modern major SAC. Watch as much as your eyes can stomach:

Now, most SAC are white guys performing blacks guys’ songs; the whole genre started with deadpan renditions of rap songs done folk-style that weren’t uncomfortably close to being racist at all, not at all. Our challenger, though, flips the script: instead of a gently-talented white guy ruining an awesome black guy’s tune, it’s a gently-talented black guy ruining an awesome white guy’s tune.

John Legend plays the piano and croons politely; he’s the black Michael BublĂ©, kinda. He has a wife who, according to Buzzfeed, enjoys slaying and clapping back. His last name is Stephens, so he also might be the black Billy Idol. (Stevie Wonder’s real last name is Wonder; don’t go putting other people’s foolishness on Stevie.)

John is also playing the piano instead of the guitar in this cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark, which further differentiates his SAC from the rest of the pack. I’ve used the audio-only clip of him because the videos were of him with his band doing the number, and I felt it was unfair to compare a guy in a coffee shop with a guitar to a dude in a theater with half-an-orchestra. There are rules that have to be followed. (Apparently.)

The real election of 2016, Enthusiasts: no matter who wins, we all snooze.

Chapter Titles In The New Bruce Springsteen Autobiography (Without Research)

  • “Blue jeans or black jeans: a debate.”
  • “All my best drummers are Jewish.”
  • “It’s good to be The Boss, part 1: Banging Courtney Cox before James Woods got a hold of her.”
  • “A dump of Sting-related anecdotes.”
  • “Terrible secrets I’ve heard about Jon Bon Jovi.”
  • “In which a rearrangement of locale, most beneficial and salubrious to all involved, is embarked upon, and the aforementioned conglomeration of minstrels, wastrels, and roadies is fortified, in fullness, by a newly-arrived male stranger of prodigious mass and bold health.”
  • “Stories about my father.”
  • “More stories about my father.”
  • “Further stories about my father.”
  • “Breakthroughs I made with my therapist (concerning my father).”
  • “My mom, and how she was treated by my father.”
  • “It’s good to be The Boss, part two: Joyce Hyser from Just One of the Guys before Warren Beatty got a hold of her.”
  • “The Ballad of Ernest ‘Boom’ Carter.”
  • “Steen, not Stein: How to explain you’re not Jewish without coming across wrong.”
  • “How to train up a band.”
  • “How to yell at a road crew.”
  • “How to avoid Warren Zevon’s calls.”
  • “Remember all those ‘rivals’ I’ve had, and all the ‘next Springsteens’ there’ve been? Let’s discuss those folks.”
  • “The Heineken years.”
  • “Cruel observations about famous people I am friendly with.”
  • “The time I joined KISS.”
  • “Because ‘speedball’ scans better than ‘fastball’ and if you don’t like it, you can write your own top-ten single.”
  • “I have never had an actual conversation with Roy Bittan.”
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