It was 35 years ago today, and I still remember it like yesterday....
In honor of the first Bruce concert I attended, December 12, 1975, at
C.W.Post College (I was a student there), I am reprinting, without
permission, the article from the Post Pioneer (campus newspaper) about the
As I recall, ticket prices were $4.00 for students, $7.00 for others.
Quite a bargain, I'd say.
I was a fanatic long before this show, as evidenced by the fact that I
already had a scrapbook into which I placed stuff like this...
actually, credit should probably go to my wife (then girlfriend) who clipped
both this and the review from the LI newspaper, Newsday.
The show started almost an hour and a half late, because the ceiling-to-stage distance
was too short for Bruce's normal lighting rig, and this resulted in
a considerable backstage rant from Mike Appel.
I stood on the line in 10 degree weather, along with my girlfriend (now wife)
and her best friend, starting at 1PM, and we weren't even the first on line.
A bottle of Peppermint Schnapps and a pizza I actually had delivered to the
radio station (next door to the Dome at Post) helped keep us warm.
This, as all of you know, was the source concert for the "Santa Claus
is Coming to Town" recording. I find the review interesting, if long
winded, for it's discussion of the "hype", and the typos, such as 'Katy's
Back", which show that the reviewer, at least, had not yet joined the fan
club! Speaking of Kitty's Back, Bruce told a hilarious story that night
about getting stuck on the Long Island Expressway looking for her!
On with the show!
SPRINGSTEEN CAPTIVATES 3,000 IN SEMESTER'S LAST CONCERT
Odds are that no more than a handful of the 3,000 people who
attended Friday night's concert at the Post Dome had ever seen Bruce
Springsteen in concert. Many had no doubt been caught up in recent publicity
shenanigans, billing him as the "new rock sensation", or had glimpsed momentarily
at news stories explaining the "double cover" phenomena on the front
pages of TIME and NEWSWEEK magazine.
The audience, mostly young and anxious, did not come to hear a man
named Springsteen, but rather to see and hear the rock star sensation
that has been hailed by reviewers nationwide as the beginning of a new rock
generation. One Long Island disc jockey said of Springsteen's
appearance last week, "The concert of the year, by the performer of the Decade".
Once one separated oneself from the words of others, it became
apparent that much of the fanfare was indeed true. In short,
Springsteen gave the audience their monies worth. Even an hour long delay at the
start of the show failed to reduce the volume or intensity of the applause
that virtually captivated Springsteen's performance from the moment he was
Considered by many to be the next in a line of rock star
successes, Springsteen has the true distinction of being dubbed an "overnight
success". In August, he appeared at the "Bottom Line", in a performance
which was also broadcast live over WNEW-FM. His name was by no means
well known at the time, and while his performance sold well, few realized
that a few months later Springsteen would be playing to sold out audiences
across the country.
As is expected of all rising young rock starts these days,
Springsteen has a gimmick. It's not flashy sun glasses or bloody baby dolls, but
rather it is his coarse yet vibrant attitude that sets him apart from
In the tradition of Lenny Bruce, Springsteen appeared on stage for
his first number through a mist of colored barroom haze. The spotlight
sheared the darkness from behind, as Springsteen pushed the
michrophone to his mouth and caressed it with the tenderness of a football player
on a blind date.
Dressed in a cut-off short sleeved work shirt, with baggy pants
and a tattered wollen cap, Springsteen appeared to duplicate the unconcerned
grace that his reputation has gathered.
Concluding his opening number, "Thunder Road", his voice seemed
visibly strained. Some thought it was due to a long road trip,
something which no doubt must have affected Springsteen somewhat, if only
physically. But, to the active Springsteen listener, it was simply his
straining style, a style which he plays to the hilt.
"Play one of your own", yelled an admirer, after Springsteen had
ripped through a Bo Diddley number and "Katy's Back". As if to
reciprocate, although it was obviously impossible for him to have
heard the request through the incessant cheers and applause, Springsteen
jumped to his feet and unleashed the popular "She's The One". With Clarence
Clemmons on the saxophone and Maxwell Weinberg on the drums, the
audience rose to its feet in unison. From that moment on, each time the
spotlight shined on Clemmons, the audience responded with enthusiam. But then,
it seemed like the audience never stopped responding with enthusiasm.
The pandamania was not restricted to the audience, either.
Throughout the evening Springsteen popped around stage like a bunny rabbit
seeking refuge from Elmer Fudd. Rarely sitting still, except during his first
encore, a ballad entitled "Sandy. In fact, it appeared that the crowd
considered every number after the first to be an encore, as they
continued to yell for more and more.
As the concert began to lift to an obvious chreshendo Springsteen
did the unexpected, the tabbooed, especially for a new and young
performer. The experts say that new performers shoud hit the audience with some
of their best known works at such a crucial point. Yet, beginning with
the Animals "It's My Life", and Mitch Ryder's "Devil with a Blue Dress",
Springsteen proved the experts wrong, as he kept the audience on the
feet through a medley of old rock classics.
To tempt fate even farther, Springsteen later rolled out the bells
as the familar melody of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" began to pierce
through the Dome. The crowd, figuring it was an Xmas joke, laughed and
prepared themselves fro a quick change into another number. But the change
never came. Springsteen and the E Street Band let loose with a dynamic
interpretation of the classic that stirred everyone, including
Springsteen himself as he danced frantically across the stage. As the shock wore
off, the audience realized that Springsteen had the ability to make even
the unexpected and mundane appear exciting and entertaining.
"Are Ya Loose?" yelled Springsteen as he was called back for yet
another in a continuing string of encores. "Yes" screamed the
audience, as rock's new sensation climaxed the evening with "Sha La La", and Gary
U.S. Bonds' "A Quarter to Three".
"Definately the most dynamic concert I've ever been to," concluded
one of the fans who stood on line since noon that afternoon. "You
better believe it", agreed another, and another, and another, and...