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Devils and dust - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Devils and dust
As is the tradition, I bought Springsteen’s new record on its first day of sale. While walking out of Borders on the way back to the office, I scratched at the plastic with my teeth until I broke free the jewel case of its burden. I balanced my take-out lunch in one hand and read the back cover. It was a dual disc with his twelve songs on one side, and on the other it had a DVD of four performances and commentary and and and…

I read the song list, saw the third one was titled Reno**, and searched the copy to find out what the asterisks meant. I kept scanning the bleak back cover until I finally found the reason.

**This song contains some adult imagery.

Wait. What? Adult imagery? I was initially outraged that Columbia felt it necessary to muddy his new work with parental warnings. I assume there aren’t many fourteen-year olds in his target audience, but perhaps the caution was aimed more at sensitive adults. The thought riled me; Bruce fans wouldn’t care how pornographic his words were. It was just one more sign of the troubling times in which we live.

The primary reasons I’ve always loved Bruce were his imagery, his language, his stories, and his resolve to create characters that do their best to do the right thing. I focused on the adult part, though, and ripping out the booklet, I stopped walking, with my lunch getting cold, and read the lyrics.

It was the tale of a man who’s lost his love, his only love, and the empty experience he’s now having with a whore. The woeful words knocked me back a few steps—this man’s reach to find something, anything. I wanted to stop their precision. I wished for escape. I could’ve let my lunch drop from my hand, and sat down right there on that sidewalk, just sat there until someone came along with a broom and swept me away.

I made it back to my network’s monolithic compound that dominates the neighborhood, and I shook until I reached my seventh floor office where I closed the door, dutifully ate my dried chicken sandwich, and read those words again.

She poured me another whiskey, said,
“Here’s to the best you ever had.”
We laughed and made a toast.
It wasn’t the best I ever had,
not even close.
19 comments or Leave a comment
bossfan From: bossfan Date: April 27th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
so what did you think of the album?

did you see bruce on storytellers on vh1?

i think the album is great. the imagery was so vivid. i could really feel myself in many of the stories he told or feel the emotion of the stories...

guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 27th, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've only been through it once, and I was relieved it was more tuneful than Tom Joad. Some songs stuck immediately, and I loved watching the DVD with the lyrics. The performances and interview were moving, beautifully shot, and I hung on every frame.

I need to dig deeper into the stories before I see him on the 12th.
bossfan From: bossfan Date: April 27th, 2005 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
i see him on the 10th of may the day before my birthday! yeah for bruce....
my husband bought me tickets for my b-day :)
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 27th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're right! It's what gave me pause.

Springsteen has been so intertwined with my life, always knowing what I need to hear. It happened on The Rising with You're Missing and Paradise. It happened in high school with Backstreets.

I love my Bruce.
creactivity From: creactivity Date: April 27th, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
cricketshay From: cricketshay Date: April 27th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very sad and I know that empty feeling well.
calamityjake From: calamityjake Date: April 27th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
And that's why he's the Boss.
quuf From: quuf Date: April 27th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Odd that adult applies to both "Reno", and (to take one of many examples), "Slap a Ho."

What a country.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 27th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Indeed. We live in very frightening times.
From: avagabond Date: April 27th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
And no one seems to question penile erection dysfunction commercials.
twillhead From: twillhead Date: April 27th, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my God.
From: fuck_isms Date: April 28th, 2005 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Adult imagery could be interpretted a few ways. You could think of it as pictures, but obviously as a song it's not. Do they mean "You should be an adult to imagine the image of this song in your head?" That's pretty damn ridiculous. And yeah, no one young enough to be harmed by the WHORROR of knowing that a fictional character frequents prostitutes is listening to Springsteen anyway.

People are so dumb about art.
perfectlylegal From: perfectlylegal Date: April 28th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those lyrics are great, but I think you should be a songwriter too. I've been reading through your journal and I haven't had an LJ yet that has produced so many emotions from me. Definitely a must read..and I have to add you.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 28th, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much. Given the quality of your journal, I take that as a mighty nice compliment. I added you to my XXX filter so you may enjoy the entry a few back.
notoriousbrb From: notoriousbrb Date: April 28th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
My step father and step brother are both huge fans of The Boss. Fortuntaly for me, I met them at that Oh-So-Ready for something good age of 13. Their musical tastes were perfect for me. When my step dad remarried last summer (finally to someone sane and awesome), my brother sang, "If I Should Fall Behind". Bruce always finds new ways to make me fall in love with life.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 29th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
If I Should Fall Behind was Billy's and my song. Like so many of Bruce's songs, it's about the commitment of love, no matter what. He's a hopeless romantic--recognizing the fun, pain, sacrifice, and the beautiful reward of love.

I paraphrased If I Should Fall Behind on Billy's headstone.
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 1st, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Added.

I've listened to it about ten times now, and I think it's one of his records that isn't immediately apparent. Some of the lyrics are stunning, although I'm pissed he reused a line from one of my favorite songs.

I have to hurry and memorize it before I see him on the 12th.
discreet_chaos From: discreet_chaos Date: May 8th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apparently, Starbucks won't be carrying the album due to the "adult imagery" and I thought you'd like to know.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 8th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good thing I hate coffee. Fuck them, and their pre-fab culture.
19 comments or Leave a comment