It’s a very special Happy Birthday Bruce! edition.
When asked for his opinion of Bruce Springsteen in 1997, Joe Strummer sent the following fax to documentary producer Mark Hagen and managed to echo the sentiments of millions of The Boss’s fans. The film in question, ‘Bruce Springsteen: A Secret History’, was broadcast in 1998 on British television. Springsteen returned the compliment during a gig in 2008, declaring Strummer “one of the greatest rockers of all time” before launching into a rendition of I Fought the Law.
Transcript follows. Image courtesy of the Guardian.
ATTN: MARK HAGEN
Dear Mark – here’s my contribution
BRUCE IS GREAT... IF YOU DONT AGREE WITH THAT YOU'RE A PRETENTIOUS MARTIAN FROM VENUS. BRUCE LOOKS GREAT... LIKE HE'S ABOUT TO CRAWL UNDERNEATH THE CHORDS WITH A SPANNER & SOCK THE STARTER MOTOR ONE TIME SO THAT A ENGINE STARTS UP - HUMMING & READY TO TAKE US ON A GOLDEN RIDE WAY OUT SOMEWHERE IN THE YONDER... BRUCE IS GREAT... BECAUSE HE'LL NEVER LAY DOWN & BE CONQUERED BY HIS PROBLEMS HE'S ALLWAYS READY TO BUST OUT the SHACK & HIT THE TRACK... HIS MUSIC IS GREAT ON A DARK & RAINY MORNING IN ENGLAND, JUST WHEN YOU NEED SOME SPIRIT & SOME PROOF THAT THE BIG WIDE WORLD EXISTS, THE D.J. PUTS ON “RACING IN THE STREETS” & LIFE SEEMS WORTH LIVING AGAIN... LIFE SEEMS TO BE IN CINEMASCOPE AGAIN. BRUCE IS NOT ON AN EGO TRIP... BRUCE IS ACTUALLY INTO THE MUSIC... WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE THIS... A LOT OF RECORDS TODAY ARE MADE BY PEOPLE JUST TO FEED THEIR FAME. BRUCE IS GREAT... THERE AINT NO WHINGING WHINING OR COMPLAINING.. THERE'S ONLY GREAT MUSIC, LYRICS & AN OCEAN OF TALENT. ME? I LOVE SPRINGSTEEN!!!
(Signed, ‘Joe Strummer’)
I just love that: “On a dark & rainy morning in England, just when you need some spirit & some proof that the big wide world exists, the D.J. puts on ‘Racing in the Streets’ & life seems worth living again ...” Yes. Yes it does.
So, without further ado, here’s the man of the hour with his own version of “London Calling”:
From Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, London Calling – Live in Hyde Park DVD (2010).
Now turn ’em both up!