Bruce Springsteen Great New Album “Western Stars”! Regret! Longing! Redemption…Plus, Bruce “Busks” Copenhagen 1988!

“Western Stars!” Bruce Springsteen Has Stories To Tell…

There have been many different versions of Bruce Springsteen in this long career: the “Born To Run” explosion of creativity early in his career, the incredible popular success of “Born In The USA” and “Dancing In The Dark”, and the stark melancholy of “Nebraska” – big hit songs, marathon concerts and so much more in between…

While Bruce may be from New Jersey, Springsteen’s latest album “Western Stars” has stories to tell from the other side of the country…

Here’s what the music website Pitchfork had to say:

“Bruce Springsteen returns with elegiac and wise songwriting conjuring the golden expanse of the American West; it’s his best studio album in years.”

Here are some of the lyrics to the title track – the story of a Hollywood stunt man at the twilight of his career:

“Once I was shot by John Wayne, yeah, it was towards the end
That one scene’s bought me a thousand drinks
Set me up and I’ll tell it for you, friend
Here’s to the cowboys, and the riders in the whirlwind
Tonight the western stars are shining bright again
And the western stars are shining bright again…”

Here is the music video:

I think that’s a beautiful song: intimate and reflective, but with some orchestration to give the music more life…as Pitchfork’s review notes:

“The voices in Western Stars are old and restless, lost and wandering. On the title track, Bruce Springsteen sings from the perspective of an actor who once worked with John Wayne but now mostly does commercials—credit cards, Viagra. Elsewhere, we meet a stuntman whose body has been destroyed by the job, a lonely widower idling in his old parking spot, and a failed country songwriter wondering if any of the sacrifices he made in his youth were worth it. Sung in a defeated growl, this latter track is among the shortest, starkest things that Springsteen has ever recorded: an acknowledgment of how quickly a song—and life—can pass by.”

Another terrific song is “The Wayfarer” – whose restless spirit can’t stop moving…check out these lyrics:

“I’m a wayfarer, baby
I roam from town to town
When everyone’s asleep and the midnight bells sound
My wheels are hissin’ up the highway
Spinning ’round and ’round
Where are you now? Where are you now?
Where are you now?”

Another terrific song is “Tucson Train” – after time apart, our narrator is heading to the train station to pick up his girlfriend, who arriving on the “Tucson Train”…he recounts all of his bad actions and hopes to make amends…as the song ends:

“I’m waiting down at the station
Just praying to the five-fifteen
I’ll wait all God’s creation
Just to show her a man can change
Now my baby’s coming in on the Tucson train
On the Tucson train
On the Tucson train
Waiting on the five-fifteen
Here she comes…”

Here is the music video:

No big “Born In The USA” anthems, just terrific songs from a master…which leads us to Denmark!

It was the summer of 1988 and Bruce Springsteen was in the Danish capital as part of his “Tunnel of Love” tour. One day he went for a walk near the University of Copenhagen.

He came across “busker” John Magnusson who was performing for spare change…Magnusson also had a spare guitar, and Springsteen ended up on it.

Someone recorded it, I found the story, and had to watch:

Here’s the whole story at “” if you want to read more about it:

I’ve been a longtime fan of Springsteen, and my wife and I saw him perform on Broadway:

That compelling, autobiographical one-man show was filmed for Netflix, and Bruce sat with Director Martin Scorsese to discuss it…you can see that story by clicking here:

Bruce has made many great albums in his career, but perhaps his most haunting is this one:

“The Rising” album told of the horrors of 9/11, and the anger, revenge and the “rising” that followed…a really brilliant album – you can see those music videos here:

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Thanks so much for reading!

Categories: Art, Classic Rock, Director Martin Scorsese, documentary films, Memoirs, Music, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized

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7 replies

  1. Thanks for this John! As a fan since I saw him at the Roxy on the Born to Run tour, I have watched and listened to all his different musical periods, but I think as Bruce nears 70 he is in a new explosion of creativity, between his amazingly personal Broadway and this new album. He is facing aging and mortality in a way that no other artist can, it just feels real, heartfelt and honest. He has touched my heart for years and years, and he continues to be one of the world’s greatest songwriters, and perhaps more importantly, storytellers.

    • I read a review and wished it was E Street Band, and another concerned with the orchestration…both things I loved…the starkness of his “nebraska” album makes it more difficult to listen to –

  2. Love The Boss. Thanks

  3. Have always been a huge “Boss” fan, and love his new album.

  4. Bruce is finally looking ‘craggy’. Makes me feel old! 🙂
    As I have said before, I liked him early on, then never really stayed around for the later stuff. I suppose he ended up as a ‘take it of leave it’ singer for me. But he has got a HUGE fan base, and will continue to perform, I’m sure.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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