Sure, the really old geezers will tell you that rock’n’roll passion is all about the early 50s, Bill Haley and all that. And to some extent that’s all true. But after a few years of rockin around the clock it was over for this first period of musical freedom and rebellion.
As the 60s came, music was back to its boring old self, with radiostations and record studios collaborating to make music as “faceless and tensionless” as possible. The big names of rock were not there any more; Elvis in the army. Little Richard scandalized and Chuck Berry in jail.
Along came the Beatles. Liverpools finest. They sang like they meant it. They were the real deal, and they caugh the attention of a generation. One of their listeners was in his forming years. 14 year old Bruce Springsteen sat in his livingroom in Freehold, New Jersey, and saw them on the Ed Sullivan show in ’64. He was hooked.
His mother borrowed 60 dollars and bought him a japanese Kent guitar. The rest is history. Practice day in day out gave him a whirl in local bands, playing high school proms and schools. Long story short; Springsteen found his way to Manhattan (which was a shabby place at the time) and got record deals in 1972. The results are now legendary. Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle came out in 1973.
However, Bruce was not a household name at this moment. He was struggling. Filling 400-seat clubs was not at all something common. He just did not sell as well as he should. Promotional posters were like the one below were hung up on subway stations and bulletin boards.
At this time the record company was beginning to doubt wether the Springsteen-project was ever going to come out profitable, but what he was lacking in studio-apeal, he made up for and more by his extravagant presence and leadership on stage. Springsteen toured and played constantly and gained a steady and increasing following.
As journalist Jon Landau so legendary would claim the following year: ‘I have seen the future of rock’n’roll, and its name is Bruce Springsteen’
This poster is from that era; 1973. Look at the posture. This is rock and roll passion. From the time when Springsteen didn’t make money. Only history.