Bruce’s Remarks before “The Ghost Of Tom Joad”

In response to requests for the text of Bruce’s remarks before he performed "The Ghost of Tom Joad" last night, here is a rough transcript:

I never believed that people come to my shows, or rock shows to be told anything.

But I do believe that they come to be reminded of things. To be reminded of who they are, at their most joyous, at their deepest, when life feels full. It's a good place to get in touch with your heart and your spirit, to be amongst the crowd. And to be reminded of who we are and who we can be collectively. Music does those things pretty well sometimes, particularly these days when some reminding of who we are and who we can be isn't such a bad thing.

That weekend of the March for our Lives, we saw those young people in Washington, and citizens all around the world, remind us of what faith in America and real faith in American democracy looks and feels like. It was just encouraging to see all those people out on the street and all that righteous passion in the service of something good. And to see that passion was alive and well and still there at the center of the beating heart of our country.

It was a good day, and a necessary day because we are seeing things right now on our American borders that are so shockingly and disgracefully inhumane and un-American that it is simply enraging. And we have heard people in high position in the American government blaspheme in the name of God and country that it is a moral thing to assault the children amongst us. May God save our souls.

There's the beautiful quote by Dr. King that says the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. Now, there have been many, many days of recent when you could certainly have an argument over that. But I've lived long enough to see that in action and to put some faith in it. But I've also lived long enough to know that arc doesn't bend on its own. It needs all of us leaning on it, nudging it in the right direction day after day. You gotta keep, keep leaning.

I think it's important to believe in those words, and to carry yourself, and to act accordingly. It's the only way that we keep faith and keep our sanity.

I've played this show 146 nights with basically the same setlist, but tonight calls for something different...

- Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen receives Special Tony Award

Bruce Springsteen was presented with a Special Tony Award last night from Billy Joel "for his ongoing engagement Springsteen on Broadway, a once-in-a-lifetime theater going experience for the Broadway stage, allowing fans an intimate look at a music idol."

Before performing a selection of "My Hometown" from the show, Bruce thanked the Broadway community "for making me feel so welcome on your block. Being a part of the Broadway community has been a great thrill and an honor for me. It's been one of the most exciting things that I've ever experienced." Bruce continued, "I’ve got to thank Patti Scialfa, my beautiful wife and artistic partner, for her love and inspiration every night. I’ve got to thank Jon Landau, George Travis, Barbara Carr, and Jordan Roth for great work of getting our show on stage. And last but not least, our wonderful audiences who’ve made these shows so exciting and fulfilling. Evan, Jesse, Sam, Daddy loves you. And the fans have been wonderful to me this season. Thank you so much. God bless all of you."

Photos by Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP and Radio City Music Hall

The New York Times discusses ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ at The Tony Awards

Ben Brantley and Jesse Green, the chief theater critics for The New York Times, along with Lorne Manly, an arts editor, discussed the 2018 Tony Awards in real time last night on The New York Times. Read excerpts of their conversation, including an analysis of Bruce Springsteen's role on Broadway this season below. See the full conversation at nytimes.com.

Jesse Green, Critic - 10:32 PM ET
Coming up, Bruce Springsteen will perform the “My Hometown” segment of his Broadway show.
And we’ll get the award for best revival of a musical.

Ben Brantley, Critic - 10:32 PM ET
Springsteen for me is the essence and the conscience of this season.
And who would have thought?

Jesse Green - 10:32 PM ET
I certainly didn’t.
I don’t even expect Broadway to have an essence and a conscience.
But this broadcast is telling me something different.

...

Jesse Green - 10:41 PM ET
Springsteen’s excerpt is in its own way as political as anything that’s been said onstage tonight, or this season.

Ben Brantley - 10:42 PM ET
He is the latter-day answer to the Stage Manager in “Our Town,” a master of ceremonies for everyday joys and privations.
Cradle to grave.

Jesse Green - 10:42 PM ET
But however much his show faces despair head on it also explores how to transmute it.
This is the despair part.

Ben Brantley - 10:43 PM ET
And talk about a face that reads monumental on camera.

Jesse Green - 10:43 PM ET
“The smell of moist coffee grounds …”
“United our town … in a common sensory experience.”
That’s what his show did, too.

Ben Brantley - 10:44 PM ET
He has become the great American father figure. Again, who knew?

Ben Brantley - 10:44 PM ET
This is the wisdom you wanted from dad.

Jesse Green - 10:44 PM ET
My dad didn’t wear 10 bracelets, though.

Ben Brantley - 10:44 PM ET
Mine might have during the late sixties.

Jesse Green - 10:45 PM ET
Even the name of his hometown: Freehold!
A two-syllable oxymoron.

Ben Brantley - 10:45 PM ET
I was just thinking the same thing.
O.K., third set of tears. That’s already three more than last year.

Jesse Green - 10:47 PM ET
Only about 30 seconds of singing.

Ben Brantley - 10:47 PM ET
And so resonant. Talk about making every note – and syllable – count.

Lorne Manly - 10:47 PM ET
Is it the same in the show, just 30 seconds of singing for that part?

Jesse Green - 10:48 PM ET
Placing Springsteen in the “11 o'clock number” slot does not now seem like (just) an audience-baiting ploy. It is the revelation of the show’s theme.
“Our Hometown.”
And by show, I mean these Tony Awards, and this season.

Ben Brantley - 10:49 PM ET
Yes, which is what he did for the season as a whole, I think. And the amazing thing is the hope there is in the despair, as you said, Jesse.

Jesse Green - 10:49 PM ET
And to answer your question, Lorne, that scene is longer in the show.
But he speaks about half of it, if not more.
He makes you wait for what you (think you) want.

Madison Square Garden ’09

The final weeks of the Working On A Dream tour saw Springsteen return to NYC for special full-album shows including the first complete performance of The River. The result was a remarkable, in-the-moment experience for band and audience, as rarely played songs like “Crush On You,” “Stolen Car,” “Wreck On The Highway” “Fade Away,” “I Wanna Merry You” and “The Price You Pay” roared back to life, fulfilling fan desires and planting the seeds for 2016’s River revisited tour.

Shop now at live.brucespringsteen.net.

The Album Collection Vol. 2 boxed set out now

Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings has released Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 2, 1987-1996, a limited-edition, numbered boxed set comprised of material recorded and released by Springsteen for Columbia Records during that period. TThe long out-of-print LPs are available remastered for the first time on vinyl. In addition to Springsteen's four studio albums from the era, the boxed set includes a special 12” of 1988’s live EP Chimes of Freedom, Springsteen’s 1993 two-LP MTV Plugged special, and the first-ever vinyl release of the 1996 Blood Brothers EP for a total of 10 discs. All of this material comes in recreations of the original packaging, accompanied by a 60-page book featuring rarely seen photos, memorabilia and original press clippings from the period.

For The Album Collection Vol. 2, remastered albums from acclaimed engineer Bob Ludwig and Springsteen's longtime engineer Toby Scott have been pressed on vinyl for the first time. The albums were transferred from the original analogue masters using the Plangent Process playback system. 1987’s Tunnel of Love and 1992’s Human Touch have also been expanded across two LPs to maximize audio quality.

All four of Bruce Springsteen's studio albums from this period were certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum by the RIAA, with three reaching the Top 5 of the Billboard 200. The Vol. 2 collection follows the 2014 release of Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1, 1973-1984, which included newly remastered editions of the first seven Bruce Springsteen studio albums.

Albums included:

  • Tunnel of Love (1987)* (2 LP)
  • Human Touch (1992)* (2 LP)
  • Lucky Town (1992) (1 LP)
  • In Concert / MTV Plugged (1993) (2 LP)
  • The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995) (1 LP)

* expanded across two LPs to maximize audio quality

12” EPs included:

  • Chimes of Freedom (1988) (1 EP)
  • Blood Brothers (1996)** (1 EP)

** first-ever vinyl release

Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 2, 1987-1996 is available now!