Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Light In Darkness

There are so many books out there about the Boss. Among them are several written by 'non-professional' writers. There is this one about the Darkness On The Edge Of Town era, aptly titled The Light In Darkness, that has been out for more than two years now, though it took me this long before I finally purchased it. It is truly one of a kind. It is a labor of love, made by a true fan, for the true fan. It doubles as excellent companion pieces to the famed 2010 Darkness boxset and more recently the photobook, Streets Of Fire, but it won't be complete without a few bootlegs (Passaic, Cleveland, Winterland, Palladium). The book contains loads of stories about how non-fans turned into fans, how casual fans turned into fanatics and die-hards, with particular focus of course, on how the Darkness album and the supporting live shows (not necessarily from '78) have forever changed their lives.

The lucky ones who were able to catch Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in their 'prime' (despite the fact their best days aren't even over yet!) rave about how important and life-affirming the '78 shows were. I enjoy reading those little anecdotes about fans driving many miles across states to multiple gigs, blasting up the stereo as they went. Also entertaining are those stories about trying to score tickets for the gigs; life was so different back then. One particular favorite of mine is a perspective piece written by the screenwriter of A History Of Violence, one of my all-time favorite modern American films. He draws similar parallels between his story and his characters to the songs from the album, and it all makes perfect sense. Finally, plastered all throughout the book are the plenty of good looking high-quality photographs of Bruce and the band in action onstage, most of them which can't be found on the internet or any other print publication. It may not be perfectly edited, but this is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about the music. We're living those Badlands all the time.