Springsteen Unplugged in London – We Saw Him Standing There
You’ll probably have heard and read a lot by now about Bruce having the plug pulled on him in London, while he was jamming with Macca. Of course it was stupid and irritating if, like me, you’d been there all day in the mud and the rain and the show, obviously, only had a few minutes to run. But, like a lot of these things, Springsteen and McCartney was more of an “event” than a musical highlight. Of course, it’s good fun to see Bruce and the boys having a high old time doing I Saw Her Standing There and Twist And Shout and, if anyone deserves a high old time, it’s those guys. But, you know what? I don’t care how heretical it is but I don’t really need to hear those songs yet again, whoever’s doing them. It was much more intriguing to hear the self-same Macca jamming in the self-same park with Neil Young on A Day In The Life at the same event a couple of years ago (that year, Bruce was on the following night, so I guess he must have been pissed at that…).
Far more interesting was hearing Tom Morello – and I’m not even much of a fan – with Bruce, celebrating Woody Guthrie’s birthday with The Ghost Of Tom Joad, and playing on so much other stuff that I’d guess Nils and Little Steven might have been getting a bit worried. Or the dream team of Bruce and John Fogerty (who Bruce had earlier introduced as “my hero”) slamming their way through Rockin’ All Over The World (which, irritatingly tends to be thought of as a Status Quo song here in the UK!). Fogerty, returning the compliment in Bruce’s set with The Promised Land, may have seemed unsure of the words but, maybe, that’s because he doesn’t hear it all the time!
The next night, by the way, Paul Simon had guests of his own onstage, including Jimmy Cliff, Hugh Masakela and Jerry Douglas, as well as pretty much everyone who’d played on the Gracelands tour. It was great, even if Simon will never be the showman Bruce is and if I can never, ever love him in the same way as I love Bruce. In all the fuss about his Fabness, though, all the other genuinely exciting musical events got lost somehow.