Selling Out, Maybe Not Such A Bad Thing

Had the opportunity to see Bruce Springsteen last Thursday. I give that dude a lot of credit, he just freaking rocks his brains out for 3 hours and he barely scrapes the surface of his greatest hits. I love the old poetic, rambling, jam session Springsteen songs, but even when he plays dorky songs like “Dancing In The Dark”, Bruce totally sells out and you reluctantly find yourself totally feeling it.

I respect Bruce Springsteen, he pours so much into his music you’d be dead if you weren’t feeling it. But a couple of times, I felt like I was cheating on Bob Dylan. Watching Springsteen crowd surf, do laps around the crowd, pull a girl out of the crowd onto the stage to have her sing along with him, sliding across the stage on his knees, and pouring every ounce of his being into three hours of music, you just have to respect his effort. But Dylan doesn’t care if you like it at all, his songs were too long for radio, his voice sucked, he didn’t dance, he had folk followers, but pissed them off by going electric. He got religious. I went to a Dylan concert once and he didn’t say a word to the audience all night, he had the crowd in a total frenzy, seeking some sort of acknowledgement and he just grinned, bowed, and left the stage. Bob Dylan just keeps putting music out and I’m nearly certain that he doesn’t care whether or not people like it and he’s certainly not going to do something crazy to convince you to enjoy it. The only reason I am comparing Bruce and Bob is because they both came from the Woody Guthrie lineage, they are both phenomenal, but it is fascinating to think about how they each built their success.

I guess you get these kinds of people everywhere, Ted Williams fought in the war, batted .400, and was inducted in the baseball Hall of Fame, but never made any attempt to really connect with fans or be admired. Woody Allen is obviously not trying to come out with a blockbuster or to appeal to the masses. The Edman does his thing, etc.

I guess the whole point of this is, if you’re going to be a jerk, it is helpful to be really good at what you do. Another point is, you probably get a pass on doing something less than great, if you’re at least selling out and trying hard. My last point is, Bob Dylan really is an amazing performer, you should really download the following songs and give them a shot, nobody can come close to it:

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Don’t Think Twice Its All Right
Farewell, Angelina
Blind Willie McTell
Visions Of Johanna
Shelter From The Storm
Idiot Wind
Simple Twist of Fate
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Not Dark Yet
Mississippi (from bootleg series)
I Shall Be Released
Standing In The Doorway

2 thoughts on “Selling Out, Maybe Not Such A Bad Thing

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