Monday, March 21, 2005

Springsteen on Rock & Roll and U2

Last night I saw a replay of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and was blown away by Bruce Springsteen's witty, passionate, articulate and moving ten minute speech for U2. Here's a small taste:
Uno, dos, tres, catorce. That translates as one, two, three, fourteen. That is the correct math for a rock and roll band. For in art and love and rock and roll, the whole had better equal much more than the sum of its parts, or else you're just rubbing two sticks together searching for fire. A great rock band searches for the same kind of combustible force that fueled the expansion of the universe after the big bang. You want the earth to shake and spit fire, you want the sky to split apart and for God to pour out. It’s embarrassing to want so much and to expect so much from music, except sometimes it happens: the Sun Sessions, Highway 61, Sgt. Peppers, the Band, Robert Johnson, Exile on Main Street, Born to Run... whoops, I meant to leave that one out... uh... the Sex Pistols, Aretha Franklin, the Clash, James Brown, the power of Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. This is music meant to take on not only the powers that be but on a good day, the universe and God himself, if he was listening. It's man's accountability, and U2 belongs on this list.
If you care about rock & roll music, and you like great writing, go read the whole thing. Scroll down to the 3.14.05 entry.


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