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Bruce
 
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Bruce [Format Kindle]

Peter Ames Carlin
3.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Extrait

Bruce

ONE

THE PLACE I LOVED THE MOST


THE TRUCK COULDN’T HAVE BEEN moving fast. Not down a sleepy residential street like McLean. If it had just turned in from Route 79—known in Freehold, New Jersey, as South Street—it would have been going even more slowly, since no seven-ton truck could round a 90-degree corner at a fast clip. But the truck had the height and breadth to all but fill the side road and sweep the other cars, bikes, and pedestrians to the side until it grumbled past. Assuming the other folks were paying attention to the road ahead.

The five-year-old girl on the tricycle had other things on her mind. She might have been racing her friend to the Lewis Oil gas station on the corner. Or maybe she was simply a child at play, feeling the spring in the air on a late afternoon in April 1927.

Either way, Virginia Springsteen didn’t see the truck coming. If she heard the driver’s panicked honk when she veered into the road, she didn’t have time to react. The driver stomped hard on the brakes, but by then it didn’t matter. He heard, and felt, a terrible thump. Alerted by the screams of the neighbors, the girl’s parents rushed outside and found their little daughter unconscious but still breathing, They rushed her first to the office of Dr. George G. Reynolds, then to Long Branch Hospital, more than thirty minutes east of Freehold. And that’s where Virginia Springsteen died.

The mourning began immediately. Family members, friends, and neighbors streamed to the little house on Randolph Street to comfort the girl’s parents. Fred Springsteen, a twenty-seven-year-old technician at the Freehold Electrical Shop downtown, kept his hands in his pockets and spoke quietly. But his twenty-eight-year-old wife, Alice, could not contain herself. Hair frazzled and eyes veined by grief, she sat helplessly as her body clutched with sobs. She could barely look at Virginia’s toddler brother, Douglas. The boy’s father couldn’t be much help either, given the pall of his own mourning and the overwhelming needs of his distraught wife. So in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy virtually all of the care and feeding of the twenty-month-old boy fell to Alice’s sisters, Anna and Jane. Eventually the others eased back into their ordinary lives. But the approach and passing of summer did nothing to ease Alice’s grief.

She could take no comfort in the clutching arms of her small son. Nearing his second birthday in August the boy grew dirty and scrawny enough to require an intervention. Alice’s sisters came to gather his clothes, crib, and toys and took the toddler to live with his aunt Jane Cashion and her family until his parents were well enough to care for him again. Two to three years passed before Alice and Fred asked to be reunited with their son. He went home soon afterward, but Virginia’s spirit continued to hover in Alice’s vision. When Alice gazed at her son, she always seemed to be seeing something else; the absence of the one thing she had loved the most and lost so heedlessly.

A semblance of family structure restored, the Springsteen home still ran according to its residents’ imprecise sense of reality. No longer employed by the Freehold Electrical Shop, Fred worked at home, sifting through mountains of abandoned electronics in order to repair or build radios he would later sell to the migrant farmworkers camped on the fringe of town. Alice, who never worked, moved according to her internal currents. If she didn’t feel like getting up in the morning, she didn’t. If Doug didn’t want to go to school in the morning, she let him stay in bed. Cleaning and home repair ceased to be priorities. The walls shed curls of paint. The plastered kitchen ceiling fell off in chunks. With a single kerosene burner to heat the entire house, winters inside were Siberian. For Douglas, whose DNA came richly entwined with darker threads, the peeling wallpaper and crumbling windowsills framed his growing sense of life and the world. No matter where he was, no matter what he was doing, he would always be looking out through the fractured windows of 87 Randolph Street.

• • •

Doug Springsteen grew to be a shy but spirited teenager matriculating at Freehold High School. He loved baseball, especially when he was with his first cousin and best friend, Dave “Dim” Cashion, an ace pitcher and first baseman. Cashion was already considered one of the best players to ever emerge from Freehold. Off the diamond, the cousins passed the hours shooting pool at the small game rooms tucked between the stores, barbershops, and news stores clustering Freehold’s central intersection at South and Main Streets. Cashion, who was seven years Doug’s senior, launched his baseball career just after leaving school in 1936. He spent the next five years working his way from the local amateur and semipro leagues all the way into the major league farm system. He got there just in time for World War II to shutter the leagues and redirect him into the US Army.

Raised by parents for whom education amounted to a long distraction from real life, Doug quit his studies at Freehold Regional after his freshman year ended in 1941, taking an entry-level job as a bottom-rung laborer (his official title was creel boy) in Freehold’s thriving Karagheusian rug mill. He kept that job until June 1943, when his eighteenth birthday made him eligible to join the army. Shipped to Europe in the midst of the war, Doug drove an equipment truck. Back in Freehold following the war’s conclusion in 1945, Doug took it easy and lived off the $20 in veteran’s pay he received from the government each month.

As Fred and Alice made clear, academic and professional ambition were not priorities, if only because of their absolute disinterest in achievement—to say nothing of books, culture, or anything that gestured beyond the here-and-now. So if Doug wanted to live in their house and slouch through his life, that suited them perfectly. He was, after all, his parents’ child.

Doug barely made a gesture toward adult life until his cousin Ann Cashion (Dim’s younger sister) came by offering a night out. She had a friend named Adele Zerilli he might like to meet. So how about a double date? Doug shrugged and said sure. A few nights later the foursome were sitting in a cafe together, making polite talk while Doug snuck glances at the bewitchingly talkative dark-haired girl sitting across the table. “I couldn’t get rid of him after that,” Adele says now. “Then he says he wants to marry me. I said, ‘You don’t have a job!’ He said ‘Well, if you marry me, I’ll get a job.’ ” She shakes her head and laughs.

“Oh, God. What I got into after that.”

Married on February 22, 1947, Douglas and Adele Springsteen rented a small apartment in the Jerseyville neighborhood on the eastern edge of Freehold and experienced the postwar boom along with much of America. True to his word, Doug had landed a job on the factory floor of the Ford auto plant in nearby Edison. Adele already had a full-time job as a secretary for a real estate lawyer. A baby was on the way by the start of 1949, and the boy emerged at 10:50 p.m. on the evening of September 23, taking his first breath in Long Branch Hospital (since renamed Monmouth Medical Center), where his father’s sister had breathed her last twenty-two years earlier. He had brown hair and brown eyes, weighed in at 6.6 pounds, and was declared healthy in every respect. His twenty-four-year-old parents named him Bruce Frederick Springsteen and though they had their own home, instructed the nurse to write into the birth certificate that their home address in Freehold was 87 Randolph Street.

When his wife and child were discharged from the hospital a week later, Doug took them to his parents’ house and handed little Bruce to his mother. She held him close, cooing gently at the first new life that had entered their home since the long ago death of Virginia. When Alice peered into his eyes, her own tired face came alight. Almost as if she were seeing the glimmer that had once glowed from inside her own lost daughter. She clutched the boy to herself and for the longest time would not let him go.

She must have loved you to pieces, Bruce heard someone say not long ago. He laughed darkly. “To pieces,” he said, “would be correct.”

• • •

Spending his first months in his parents’ small apartment, Bruce ate, slept, stirred, and cried like every other baby. And yet the blood in his veins carried traces of forebears whose lives describe American history going all the way back to the early seventeenth century, when Casper Springsteen and wife Geertje left Holland to build their future in the New World. Casper didn’t survive very long,1 but a son who had remained in Holland followed in 1652, and Joosten Springsteen launched generations of Springsteens, including a branch that drifted to the farmlands of Monmouth County, New Jersey, at some point in the mid-eighteenth century. After the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, John Springsteen left his farm to serve as a private in the Monmouth County militia, fighting multiple battles during a three-year hitch that ended in 1779. Alexander Springsteen, also of Monmouth County, joined the Union army in 1862, serving as a private with the New Jersey Infantry until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Throughout, and into the twentieth century, the Spr...

Revue de presse

'It is a painstakingly researched book and based on - for the first time - interviews with Springsteen's family and friends as well as the Boss himself. To that extent it is the first authorised account for a decade - Sunday Times

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3.3 étoiles sur 5
3.3 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellente biographie de Bruce Springsteen!! 5 juin 2013
Par Gaëlle TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS VOIX VINE
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Cette biographie de Bruce Springsteen est de grande qualité : Peter Ames Carlin a effectué un travail de recherche assez phénoménal, regroupant beaucoup d'avis, d'interviews de proches de l'artiste (tous les membres du E Street Band - à l'exception de Patti Scialfa mais j'y reviendrai- ont participé), de membres de son équipe, sa grade rapprochée, sa famille. Bruce lui même a accepté de parler à l'auteur, sans que cette bio ne soit pourtant à l'unique gloire du American Hero.
Enfin un ouvrage qui dévoile clairement les zones d'ombre de cet artiste hors normes : une tendance aux accès d'humeur, une sécheresse vis-à-vis de ses musiciens E Streeters, un côté très instable, une tendance dépressive... Rien de très neuf pour qui suit activement la carrière et les différents entretiens accordés par Springsteen, mais c'est la première fois que l'on peut les lire dans une biographie. La célèbre bio de Dave Marsh, Two Hearts, étant elle plus un panégyrique du Boss qu'une vraie étude critique.
L'ouvrage se lit facilement, est très documenté, notamment sur les "jeunes" années de Springsteen. La narration n'est pas toujours chronologique ou linéaire, ce qui apporte un vrai souffle en termes de lecture.
J'ai tout de même quelques regrets, que je partage ici :
1) Je reste un peu sur ma faim en ce qui concerne Doug Springsteen, le père de Bruce.
Lire la suite ›
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Pour fan 7 juin 2013
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Pas de grandes révélations dans cette biographie où l'intimité du "Boss" reste très respectée, où même les souvenirs amers des musiciens et ami-e-s n'éraflent pas la statue. Le texte en devient monotone, comme une succession de critiques musicales, se contentant de raconter les circonstances dans lesquelles les chansons ont été créées, émaillées par le détail des accords, riffs et autres joyeusetés techniques. Je suis fan mais j'ai trouvé le temps long à lire ce livre.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 livre Bruce 30 novembre 2013
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
un petit hic le livre est en anglais langue que je ne comprends pas mais tout est de ma faute j'aurais du mieux regarder mais autrement tout est en ordre
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  255 commentaires
39 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The best Springsteen bio...so far 12 novembre 2012
Par Chicago - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Peter Ames Carlin's biography of Paul McCartney wasn't quite the definitive Macca bio...but it was the best so far. Same thing with this examination of Springsteen's life. It's great, but with an extra push he could have pushed this into a form of transcendence.

Overall, I liked the writing. It's mostly breezy, and even the footnotes are fun. Some of the phrases made me cringe--they weren't quite purple prose, but a long dip into the inkpot--but I found it engaging. (As a consequence, though, the readability of Carlin's art made the clunkers stand out even more.) With close to three decades of Bruce fandom under my belt, I learned a lot about the man, his early years and of course his career. (Example: For the first time, I think, I finally 'got' the Mike Appel lawsuit.) Clearly Carlin researched his topic thoroughly, and his account of the early days of Springsteen's career has a day-to-day immediacy to it that is exhilarating.

My main complaint is that the ending doesn't hold up to the first four hundred pages or so. Events are presented a bit out of order, or then there's a first mention of a person who, it occurs to you, should have been mentioned many chapters before. Much of what is depicted there has the air of 'You already know this, so I'll rush through it.' For all the effort put into illustrating the Boss' early years and first couple of albums, I would have appreciated a similar treatment for (to date) late-Springsteen music--even if it made the bio run another couple hundred of pages (or even into a second volume at a later date).

Do I recommend this book? Sure. As I said, it's the best Boss bio so far. But can it be topped? One day, perhaps. In BRUCE, Carlin, as he did with McCartney, presents his subject as human, driven, mercurial, brilliant and flawed--which is really all one can hope for from a well-done biography.
41 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Most personal biography on Bruce I've read 1 novembre 2012
Par J. Mahon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
In some ways, this biography is a rehash on the biography's by Dave Marsh (Born to Run and Glory Days), but what Marsh didn't give us, this book does, an intimate account of Bruce's early life in New Jersey, to include dealing with a Manic Depressant father, which fueled Bruce's loneliness (but gave us wonderful songs) and some very personal behind the scenes accounts of life on E-Street.

I've been a fan for nearly 40 years and Bruce has kept his personal life very guarded, which is ok with me and I respect that, but the effect of that has been a vision of Bruce constructed only from what his machine gave us.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the details of his early life. I've grown up with Bruce through his stories about his relationship with his father as told on stage and through his songs, but those only paint a picture of a father and son not getting along, as most fathers and sons don't. The fact that Mr. Springsteen suffered from depression (and I would even bet it was PTSD from the traumatic loss of his sister from a horrific accident when they were young) has given me a whole new perspective to what a young Bruce, his Mom and his sisters must have endured. His father wasn't just a stern, hardened man of the era wanting his son to pursue a noble profession, he was a deeply hurt man isolated and unable to connect with his family. This kind of depression went largely undiagnosed in those days and people had to deal with it the best they could, not truly knowing what was wrong. Bruce's way of dealing with it was in words and music. A lot of teenagers are attracted to strapping on a guitar and being in a band just because it made you cool and you got all of the girls. Bruce strapped on that guitar to escape a fate he didn't want anything to do with.

Especially precious were the details about Bruce and his relationship with his paternal grandparents, who basically raised him as a young child. They doted over him obsessively, much to the frustration of his mother. I enjoyed the same relationship with my grandparents so I understood and related to this part of Bruce's life. It made me smile reading it.

The rest of the book of Bruce's rise to stardom I've read before, but what I didn't read about was some of the darker parts of life with Bruce by his band mates. For years, life on E-Street looked like pure Heaven on earth, playing in one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, with one of the greatest rock and roll artist of all time.

All said, this book is perfect for the long time fan because we connect with Bruce on a level not enjoyed, nor understood by the casual fan. The casual fans may enjoy the book, but I don't think will appreciate those intimate details as they are not connected to the songs.
39 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 The promise was broken..... 12 novembre 2012
Par BeauneHead - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I finished this book wanting "less" not "more", as it is really not a biography, but a description of Bruce's lengthy, deserved career, with some access to Bruce and to those who know Bruce. The story is mostly about the childhood and post-adolescent adolescence Bruce experienced, until his life seemingly changed dramatically with his first marriage and subsequent marriage to Patti, his wife, both in the mid-late'80s, when Bruce was still under 40. Other than updated descriptions of his very public tours and musical and lyrical output since he turned 40, in 1989, there is pitifully little insight into Bruce, the husband and father and living proof of the American Dream he seems to live in horse country near where he grew up.

The author's having access to characters in Bruce's life: old girlfriends, his mother and sisters and the E Street Band, who are clearly backing musicians in Bruce's story--and little more--- is a double-edged guitar. It promises great insights, but delivers almost none into Bruce the man, which is what "biography" really should be: "a written account of another person's life." Those sources other than the above, fall into just a few categories: people who claimed to recognize Bruce as genius incarnate immediately, those who work or worked for him, and his old girlfriends and former wife. There is an obvious sense of resentment at how the band has been treated over the years, but the old girlfriends and wife have nothing much to say; the longterm current wife and his kids are totally absent from the discussion. It is almost as if we know nothing about Bruce after he turned 40--23+ years ago. Learning about how Bruce has evolved as a person since that landmark and how he has, hopefully, changed from the "all there is in life is my art" life he seemed to lead before that divider was the allure of reading this "biography". However, I learned little to nothing in that regard and , as I have been a devoted fan and attendee since 1975. Other than tidbits and some details, most of which add nothing of substance., I learned nothing of the the post-40 Bruce.

What this book is a detailed description of Bruce's career and the early evolution and inspiration. Bruce, to me, is above all, a wonderful poet, with a terrific musical gift and a natural--or calculated--ability to entertain. Like most poets, Bruce's best expression is in his own words, through his written verses (which, when put to song are "lyrics"). I wince every time Bruce appears in print or on some talking media and tries to explain himself and his thoughts, as by comparison to his art, these attempts are painful and ponderous. Tnis tome analyzes Bruce's lyrics and music throughout his career, which hardly serves to tell us anything more about Bruce, the person, than being familiar with those lyrics could do.

Bruce has always proclaimed--or did when he was in his pre-40, "private" phase : "know the art, not the artist". Carlin, the author of "Bruce" seems to equate the two, and seemingly assumes that the art equates to the "artist". That's the part I wanted less of. We can all read the poetry and hear the songs. But, very few of us can know the artist, understandably. Though, having some insights into the artistic process of this very gifted artist, might have provided some insights, Carlin's book does nothing to further that goal. The author does not even pretend to portray the artist, himself over the last 23 years, during which Bruce has become a husband and father of three and loaned his name, bravely, to presidential candidates (Bravo to him for sticking his neck out!). Though Carlin did try to incorporate what little, balancing negativity he could glean, those with most of those feelings either work for Bruce or worked for him and no longer do ,but are legally constrained from speaking "until the end of time" or would rather leave things unsaid.

A nice opportunity to provide an informed actual "biography" of Bruce Springsteen has been blown. I am left with wanting a lot less of what is in the book and a lot more about Bruce's artistic process and his actual life as an adult, which is absent from this book. Sad to say, I learned almost nothing from this book that I can remember, which is , for me, the mark of a book that has failed as real "biography"." Instead, we get "a written account" of Bruce's career and artistic output, most of which is already well known and widely available.
44 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Inside look at the magic of Bruce 31 octobre 2012
Par Christe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I had to start re-reading this book on Bruce as soon as I finished. It is an incredibly comprehensive inside look at the man and the artist. The author puts Bruce in a "lifetime" perspective that helps us understand the man from his earliest years through today. Although I have read many pieces on Bruce this one stands out for its insights on his lyrics, his madness for his art, his love of his extended family and his complicated relationships with fellow artists. It is painfully honest at times with Bruce seemingly giving the author incredible access to his most sacred thoughts and places. I have an entirely new perspective on songs I have listened to for as long as I can remember. This is a must read. Thanks for writing it.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The book Bruce fans have been waiting for 8 mai 2013
Par Marty Essen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"Bruce" is an interesting book to review, because even though I have a bunch of complaints, it's still a wonderful book, worthy of five stars.

Let's start with my complaints:

First, this is a long book for a rock and roll biography. As I joked to my wife: I now feel like I know more about Bruce Springsteen's life than I know about her life. This is especially true when it comes to Springsteen's family history. In fact, author Peter A. Carlin devoted so much space to Springsteen's ancestors that I almost became too bored to continue. If genealogy is your thing, chapter one is for you!

Despite the book's length, many of my questions remained unanswered:

1) How and when did the E Street Band get its name? Carlin just brings up the subject as an aside, by stating, "now dubbed the E Street Band."

2) This one is pretty obscure: When I was in school, I was a huge fan of both Bruce Springsteen and Graham Parker. So in 1980, when Springsteen joined Parker on the song "Endless Night," it was the coolest thing I could have imagined at the time. What happened when those two got together seems to be a lost story, and it would have been an interesting addition to the book.

3) There is very little in "Bruce" about the two prominent women in the E Street family, Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell. Carlin mentioned that Patti stayed out of the interview process, but even so, he used plenty of secondary sources for other parts of the book. Why not do the same for Scialfa and Tyrell?

4) Here's the most important subject I would have liked Carlin to address: How does Bruce, now in his sixties, still manage to physically out-perform everyone else in rock and roll? Just stating that he frequents a local gym isn't enough. As anyone who has seen Springsteen perform on a recent tour knows, he's lost very little energy over the years. For me, that qualifies him as a freak of nature. Does Springsteen recover quickly after his performances, or are his mornings like the opening scene in the movie North Dallas Forty?

But enough complaints! Without a minute-by-minute biography (which no one would want to read), some aspects of Springsteen's career will always go uncovered.

Here's what I liked: Other than the first chapter, this was the most interesting and readable biography I have yet encountered. I read much of the book while traveling the county on my own tour (I'm a college speaker), and there were times I was so captivated I'd get disappointed when the flight attendant announced we were landing, and I'd have to turn off my Kindle. And when one of my flights sat on the tarmac for 90 minutes, I was the only contented person on the airplane--deeply engrossed in "Bruce."

Also, having spent much of my life as both a talent manager and an agent, I appreciated that Carlin gave significant coverage to the vital people behind the scenes. Without them, Springsteen wouldn't be enjoying such a long and successful career.

I thank Peter A. Carlin for taking on the herculean task of compiling this book. I can only imagine how many hours he put into both the writing and the research. Even scanning the footnotes was impressive--and often humorous.

If you're a Springsteen fan, you'll love "Bruce!"

Marty Essen author of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents
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