Tag: Bruce Springsteen

MOVIE REVIEW | ***TOM WEEK*** Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “How could I be entertained by a movie called Eddie and the Cruisers if Eddie was boring?”

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“Eddie, you’re wrong! You’re wrong! Now listen to me, I love you! I’ve known longer than anyone else! But you’re wrong!”

Eddie and the Cruisers doesn’t include a single actor I could give two shits about.  Eddie and the Cruisers wasn’t written or directed by anyone I could give two shits about.  Eddie and the Cruisers doesn’t have a reputation as a critical hit or cult favourite.  But for some reason, Eddie and the Cruisers has been a movie I’ve been meaning to watch for years.  Mainly because I remember seeing ads for it on telly when I was a kid and asking my mum to tape it for me.  The next day, she claimed to have forgotten to tape it.  That means one of two things.  Either she genuinely forgot to tape it.  Or, she did tape, but watched it at the same time, saw tits and decided her 10 year old son didn’t need to see it.  Whatever happened back in the late 80s or early 90s to stop me from seeing it, I finally saw Eddie and the Cruisers.

It’s the 60s, and Eddie and the Cruisers have a number one hit.  But cut to present day early 80s, and we learn that front man Eddie Wilson (Michael Pena) supposedly died in a car accident back then.  Since the body was never recovered, 80s journalist Maggie (Ellen Barkin) decides to track down the other members of the band, and play on the “is Eddie really dead?” angle.   So now it’s time for a Citizen Cane style story as different people share different memories of Eddie and the band, from their own perspective. (more…)

MUSIC REVFIEW | Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995)

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When I wrote about the Henry Fonda starring, John Ford directed The Grapes of Wrath, I said it was surprising, “how relevant it is three quarters of a century later. We’re still only a few years out from the last Global Financial Crisis and the issue of cheap labour and migrant workers is getting plenty of attention as the U.S ramps up to their next election. Is that a sign of how timeless John Steinbeck’s story was, or of how little has changed in the years since?” Well, it turns out that the world according to Bruce Springsteen was going through something similar 20 years ago as well, inspiring the Boss to invoke Wrath’s central character for the lead off, title track, of The Ghost of Tom Joad.

An acoustic guitar, a mouth organ and Springsteen’s weary voice do more on this song to ask questions about the state of the world than any rabble rousing, anger spewing protest song. And I have nothing against rabble rousing, anger spewing protest songs, I just appreciated Springsteen’s more subtle approach to getting his message across. The Great Depression had John Steinback asking the tough questions about how to fix America through his Tom Joad Character. I guess in 1995, Springsteen decided it was his turn. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA (1984)

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When I wrote about Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 debut, I said it, “doesn’t really sound like the Bruce Springsteen who’s been a mega star my entire life.”  And that it was, “a lot more concerned with melody and overall lighter touch.”  Well, ten years and six albums later, he had become a legit star, but now it was time for his true ascension into the stratosphere.  It was time to become the mega star he has been my entire life, with Born in the U.S.A.

The difference between this and his 1973 effort is in your face from the first notes of the opening, title track.  An irresistibly infectious synth hook, and a drum sound so over produced that I’d believe it if someone told me Max Weinberg had been replaced by a Casio, this is commercial rock at its most commercial.  So commercial in fact, the obvious anti war sentiment of Born in the U.S.A the song, has been ignored by dummies for the last three decades, adopting at is one of the most used patriotic anthems of flag waving right wingers. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Pet Shop Boys – Electric (2013)


The Pet Shop Boys have a lot to answer for.  Their 80s chart topping hits can take a lot of the credit for bringing electronic music into the mainstream.  And while that revolutionary sound stopped being evolutionary very soon after, there’s a lot to be said for a band who recognises their strengths and works to them.  Electric is the Pet Shop Boys embracing the new, while building on the old at the same time.  Neil Tennant has one of the most unique and recognisable voices in pop, and it’s that unique recognisability that gives the Pet Shop Boys a sense of sameness, both good and bad.