Monday, February 16, 2015

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me: Just Think -- If I'd Had a More Highly Developed Appetite for Careerist Hustling, I Could Have Been as Rich as Jon Landau

A friend found this at a flea market in Raleigh, North Carolina last weekend and graciously shared it with me. Click on the photo and behold the quote at the bottom right.

It's a framed 2'X3' poster, which leads me to believe it must have been provided to stores by Columbia Records back in the day; I may have seen a smaller version of it in Billboard, but my memory is vague at this point. The quote itself is from my review of The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, which ran in The Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review some time in early 1974.

In any event, I had more or less forgotten about the thing, and when the photo showed up in my e-mail you could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather.

[h/t Dennis Lockard]


Anonymous said...

You were always meant to be the manager of Tonio K. You two are on the same wavelength. Except of course when it comes to the god thing.

Capt. Al

Mark said...

That ad brings me back. And it makes me think. Are there no emerging artists today that can, by sound, lyrics and cultural force, shape a storytelling path by way of popular music? And does celebrity immediately block that path today? And whose words and names mean anything today to alert listeners to such artists?

Elliott Murphy, who has lived in Paris for the past 20 years or so, and who started up roughly at the same time as Springsteen, and who knows Bruce well, tells the following story to thank his fans on the rare occasions when he comes to New York to perform. And I’m paraphrasing here, by the way.

"Back when Bruce and I were starting out, we made a deal. Bruce would play the arenas, and I would play the small clubs. And when Bruce comes to Paris, he would invite me to play with him. And I think things have worked out fine for both of us."

Anonymous said...

Steve: I collect this kind of stuff, so here's a little background. This is the Bruce in the clouds poster issued by Columbia Records. It's worth between 200 to 400 bucks, if original, and was printed circa Summer 1974. Landau's quote refers to a Harvard Square concert in May, 1974 where Bruce opened for Bonnie Raitt. There are bootlegs of the early show.

Interestingly, Landau, in his review of Bruce's sophomore effort, believed the production on the LP was too thin. Given the results he achieved with Back in the USA, Landau's critique is kinda laughable. Anyway, "I saw rock and roll future" flattery will get you everywhere. Producer, manager, idol-maker Landau molded Bruce into his own Springenstein monster and lived out his own failed attempts at being a rock 'n' roller through the "Boss". While Darkness had great production, I'd say it had more to do with Jimmy Iovine and Chuck Plotkin than Landau.

Regardless, there is also a super rare Columbia promo poster for the Greetings album. But the poster also features the Aerosmith debut. I think those albums had the same release date. Both bands played Max's a bit. Perhaps you saw Bruce circa 1972-1973 at that venue or Kenny's Castaways.

I actually had the clouds poster framed but gave it away when I became disillusioned with Bruce. Besides, it wasn't very pleasing to the eye. Still have promo store display standee's for Born To Run (tennis shoes hanging from neck of guitar) and Darkness in original shipping cartons. Plus a REAL Roxy poster from 1975 which hangs in our game room.

Vickie Rock

steve simels said...

I did a phone interview with Max Weinberg -- late 80s or early 90s -- over something to do with his book on rock drummers.

In any case, the first thing he said to me was that he and the band loved that quote of mine, and that the poster had been hanging on the wall in some club they played mid 74. In Boston, if memory serves.

Needless to say, I was extremely pleased to hear it.

steve simels said...

I should add that I saw Bruce with Bob Marley and the Wailers at Maxs.

Here's the story.

Anonymous said...

Steve: I don't understand the link you provided above. Where's the story? Looking forward to your review of said show.

Here are some visual aids regarding those shows:

Vickie Rock

steve simels said...

Vickie -- dunno why the B&N link isn't working, but I posted the piece at PowerPop a while back. Here 'tis, and hope you enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Steve: Very nice piece. Especially the bit about getting left in the back of the room with Bruce's friends and requesting Route 66 ... Won't you get hip to my tip: When you make that California trip. Get your kicks on Route 66 .... Kingman, Barstow, SSssan Bernardino....

Vickie Rock - Got my blue dress on :-)

Elroy said...

Steve, any chance you can point us to the Stereo Review of Wild/Innocent?

steve simels said...

Elroy--I'll try and find it.

Dennis Lockard said...

I have the review and can dig it out later when i have a bit more time. I think I still remember some of his words (other than what is on the poster). He describes the 2nd album as as "staggering" advance from "Greetings," and that side 2 is positively "epochal" and "that's its been giving me goosebumps for weeks."

I won't say his review changed my life as much as the album did, but it certainly was gratifying to know that somehow who I held in high esteem thought as highly of it as I did.

John Werner said...

I've searched for old Stereo Reviews on line mostly for Steve's reviews. I've come up empty. If anyone can direct me to an archive it would be great (

I read SR as a kid and was overjoyed when Steve started writing. Joel Vance handled a lot of the stuff prior to Steve and I could tell Vance was much older and Steve spoke to my young ears so much more. Anyway, even prior to being able to regularly read Rolling Stone, Mr. Vance was the first rock reviewer that introduced me to R&R journalism. I mean I was so young I couldn't keep subversive mags like Creem and Rolling Stone lying around my bedroom, but Stereo Review was safe and sound. Steve made it a lot more real and to this day he's my favorite music critic.

Gardner said...

According to this special collections website (itself quite interesting), the review ran in the January, 1974 issue:

I have a very respectable Simels collection but danged if I can find this one. The quest continues. (Full disclosure: I am married to a librarian, so I've got a ringer in my corner.)