Thursday, 27 October 2016
BORN TO RUN (THE BOOK)
It's not great - not the blast that Keith Richards' 'Life' is or the new thing that Dylan's 'Chronicles' is - but it is interesting, often funny, often touching. The first couple of books, which take us up to the Tunnel of Love album, are more or less compulsive reading. Once domesticity and depression kick in, Springsteen gets very earnest. The whole thing is of course full of 'honor', 'service', pledging' and, naturally, 'soul', and tremendously Bruce-ish, but what works well in the artifice of a song lyric becomes perhaps a little overwrought in prose. Still, there are some great stories, well told, and one can just about forgive the earnestness because he is trying so damn hard. That sounds a bit condescending, but it is hard not occasionally to hear the faint sound of women fans uttering "ah, bless" to themselves from time to time. Other than the rock and roll stories, he is acute on being a band leader, on how bands work. And there is no false modesty. He is aware of his status, and aware that he is the onely begetter of the E Street Band. At the same time he is never less than generous to all those who have helped him. An engaging book, weighed down a little by the author's seriousness of intent. It is of course that very quality that has made him the best live act on the planet, the mover of now ageing men and women, the Boss.