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Don't bash the Boss

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That's the message I hear from fans again and again, whenever I dare to criticize their man. As if Saint Springsteen is somehow above criticism.

No, he didn't lip sync during his performance, like Jennifer Hudson did. (Yo-Yo Ma and his cohorts faked it at the inauguration, too -- though all of them DID perform their respective pieces once.) But, hey, Bruce DID sell out to Walmart -- and then quickly admit it was a mistake, so as to cut off the bad publicity -- so doesn't that even the score?

In any event, here is some more feedback on the man, the myth, the legend and his Super Bowl performance.

Hi. Are you & Greg Kot living together & writing each others columns? Are you both just as clueless as the other? Do you have some agenda against Springsteen? I have never seen such idiocy in music reviews by supposed "big city" newspapers. No wonder papers are going out of business!


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Are you jealous of the Boss?

Your article was way off base and I think you should actually catch a show before you belittle Bruce Springsteen and his band.

That was one of the best I have seen as a half time shows I have seen in ages; let us not forget the previous five super bowls fiasco's...barely a roar from the stands...those shows were for the lucky folks that got to stand in front of the stage....Bruce brought down the house; the stadium; the city of Tampa; and the television viewers....TRY AGAIN MY FRIEND!!!

Tracey Ball

North Side Irish

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Jim, yeah the Boss is getting old but I do dig his new song "Working On A Dream", it's got a basic grove but it rocks. Anyhow, in case you didn't know, I'm not 100% percent sure but I read or heard that the reason Steven Van Zandt wears the "Do-Rag" is that he supposedly was involved in an auto accident which left the top of his head badly burned. Consequently, he has to chosed to wear the "Do-rag" to hide his scar. Additionally, as I said it's only what I've read or heard, however, if you get a chance look into it, because it may be true and this way you don't run the risk of being considered insensitive when you write and print your column. Anyhow, I gotta split and btw, Steven Van Zandt's show on Wxrt is really cool, you should give it a listen if you haven't already.

Peace, Benito Herrera

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Jim, What's wrong with an artist playing old hits? Also, didn't Jennifer Hudson lip sync the national anthem?

"struggling to choke back a tear before powering through a bravura performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" this isn't so great if she lip synched.

Many plays are revivals, operas and symphonies for the most part are decades old, so what is wrong with rock musicians playing old hits? You seem to have a special disdain for them. There are, as you are very aware off, plenty of new artists to listen to, I believe Fleetwood Mac is coming to town to do a greatest hits show. If they are just going through the motions to collect a check, then by all means rip them. Don't get me wrong, I like your work, but I disagree with you on these matters

Greg Cameron, Hanover Pk.

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Hudson out shines Springsteen????

I disagree with your article today on the entertainment at can you even use Hudson in the same story with the Boss..First of all,Springsteen would never LIP -SYNC!!!! as Hudson did!! No one individual will EVER do ,what Springsteen has done ,to the Music world since 1975.. I feel bad what happened to her family,but 10 years from now..she will be forgotten..20 years from now..we will still be hearing Springsteen music on the radio.

Best wishes, Dave Andrews

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Jim, Apparently you don't understand what it means to be a true Springsteen fan. When the Boss asks "is there anybody alive out there?" he is merely asking if everyone is ready to go and ready to start rocking. I wasn't alive when Born to Run was released in 75' or when Born in the USA was released in 84' but I still enjoy his music very much and thought that the halftime show was amazing. I know you are entitled to your opinion but in this I think you are wrong.

Sincerely, A Springsteen Fan, Cullen

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And I quote you..."Jennifer Hudson poured her feelings into a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Yeah, and as reported by John Willaims, this morning, as it turned out; a taped rendition! You owe Bruce an apology. At least he sang live, unlike Ms. Hudson.


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Jim, It's tough being a Jim Derogatis fan AND a longtime Bruce Springsteen fan. Jon Landau must've slighted Lester Bangs sometime in the 70's and now you are taking up some retribution or something!! LOL

Listen, you are right about the Stones putting out albums as excuses to tour, then playing a new song or two with most of the set filled with oldies. They are also usually performed in a rushed, tossed off manner and it's the same set every night. You can't put this same label on Springsteen. His shows (with or without the band) always feature 90% of his new record and selections from his albums. Many times he doesn't include that many hits, much to the chagrin of casual fans looking for nostalgia. You know this to be true as I have read ALL of your Springsteen live reviews in which you usually criticize him for playing too much from his current album and not enough Rosalita, etc.. Also, as someone who attends multiple nights in one city, the set list is changed up quite a bit, especially later in a tour. It ain't the latter day Stones or The Eagles. You shouldn't label it as such. It's just not factually correct.

I guarantee you will hear a LOT of new music at the upcoming Chicago show and judging from your WOAD review that will not make you happy. You may be right about this new record. I'm underwhelmed after two listens. However, I give him credit for not resting on his laurels. Right now I feel it is an unsuccessful attempt at a pop record, unlike the previous release Magic in which he nailed it.

As far as the Super Bowl, it's a cheesy gig I'd rather not see him play. I'm not a mindless sheep of a fan, but since I've yet to see a corporate banner hanging off the stage at a Bruce Springsteen show nor a Born To Run Nike commercial, I can let it go. As far as the performance, 10th Avenue is a classic as is Born to Run and well suited for this oversized setting. Kudos for getting a new song in there and the frat rock of Glory Days (a descendant of Louie Louie in my book and not played in awhile by Springsteen) fit in perfectly with the occasion. That halftime slot is supposed to be a mindless 12 minute party so all the camera mugging is also appropriate and it was just plain fun. He was working hard up there, almost too hard.

I feel that when it comes to Bruce Springsteen, you already have the review written in your head. I hope Darkness On the Edge of Town gets remastered and reissued soon. It's my favorite Springsteen record and the one that changed my life. It was that powerful. I'd love to hear you give an honest assessment of it. I'm also curious to know if you feel this performer has contributed anything to rock music at all.

Anyway, like you always say - rock criticism is about engaging one another. I simply believe you've got it wrong on this particular performer. By the way, love Sound Opinions!!

Take care, Steve

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Ok DeRogatis all I know is no body takes you serious , news papers are loosing money because of crappy journalism. I have looked at a story from you time to time. I especially like reading your concert reviews,if it is a concert where I was in attendance, Its like you made it up. O but if its Michael Jackson or Justen Timbersuck, You are holding they member in you mouth as you type. no body likes you.
Just ask Robert Kelly ,who by the way sucks also.

Springsteen hasn't been The Boss & hasn't rocked much for 20 years. His 21st century solo albums have been as boring as the keyboard charts filling them & as cheesy as his comedy with getting more heavy Little Steven. Most of his good stuff is part of an oldies act & we still give him a listen. He no longer lives his ideals. Surprise? He's a rich entertainer. Nothing more should be expected of him.

I am huge Springsteen fan, but I could not agree with Jim's comments on his Super Bowl performance any more. And Jim, Although I do not agree with you and Greg all the time, you guys are the best rock critics/journalists out there. I find it funny how these responses lambaste you for your subjective opinion, but then inject their own as if it is objective. Keep keeping it real.

DeRogatis helped author a book he titled "Kill your Idols." Need I say more? This is a man (boy) who is prone to idolization and its accomplice, infantile rage. By his own admission, he is not to be taken seriously. Springsteen indeed peaked many years ago, but DeRogatis never bought any of the Springsteen magic. But that doesn't mean he's hipper than most. It means that he's something of a conspiracy theorist.

Springsteen has a huge international fan base, despite very little radio airplay and few hits (Cuts from the album Born in the USA the exception to the rule.) He has the respect of most music critics. He has the intelligentsia, who continue to crank out books and host seminars studying his music. Most importantly, perhaps, he is considered a giant by his peers, and continues to influence many new bands (Hold Steady, Arcade Fire, and many others).

But DeRogatis will have nothing of it. I bet he's a Republican, and doesn't believe in global warming either.

I didn't pick up the new Springsteen, sounds overdone in my opinion. I did love Magic though.

Jim I can see your points on some of this stuff, but I do think Bruce has at least 6 5 star albums, as well as 4 4 star albums. His contributions to music are still relevant though... specifically with Magic (though it took him too long to grow balls about Bush) and The Rising.

The Walmart thing I don't get, and never will. Music stores are dying, top acts should be helping them out... if you don't have a music store in your podunk town, then Springsteen should have the option to sell it at Walmart.

I don't know, I didn't watch the Super Bowl... why would I? The Bears weren't playing.

As far as all this corporate crap, that's all sporting events are. Watch a play, then commercial. Play, commercial. repeat. I'm sick of seeing beer signs everywhere too... but those are displayed everywhere... Bud Light stage at Lolla is a personal favorite.

Just admit Springsteen isn't all Bad... that's all I'm asking.

As for you and Greg, I think you offer great insight and opinion on your show, and I love it, so whoever doesn't like it they don't have to listen.


I can sometimes appreciate Springsteen's romantic take on the world. Especially in this world of irony-as-king.

but I'm not a fan. Maybe it's 'cause I've never worked in a steel mill or driven a '57 Chevy off of the Jersey boardwalk into the ocean.

I was saddened by the portentously dull excuse for rock music in Bruce's performance, particularly when he screamed "I'm goin' to Disneyland!" I half expected him to pass out cans of Pepsi to the band and sing "Baby we were born to gulp." Either that or pulling a wal-mart cashier out of the crowd and up onto the stage while playing dancing in the Dark!

Dude, you and Kot were right all along. Bruce was cheesy and off-key, and the halftime performance made me want to change the channel to the Puppy Bowl. Would it be too much to ask to have a band that isn't running on fumes do the Superbowl halftime? Plenty of us non-Baby Boomers are watching. I'm not a fan of Coldplay, for instance, but they would be great for a Super Bowl halftime.

I am dreading the inevitable announcement that the Eagles or Bob Seger or both are next year's halftime entertainment.

"Yo-Yo Ma Does it too, and Springsteen's music was canned, so...." LMAO--and so ladies and gentlemen, we have splayed before us the latest manifestation of Dero's elemental need to be smarter than everyone else--lip syncing a "live" performance is ok in Dero's book because everyone does it! Of course, he couldn't just take his lumps and admit he was duped by Hudson and NBC (I believe his words Monday, before the lip sync reveal, were Hudson "powered her way through a bravura performance"), because that would require admiting he was wrong about something. So there you have it music fans, a critic of live music who doesn't have a problem with lip syncing. Way to go Dero--thanks for displaying your intellectual dishonesty for all to see.

I hate all these Super Bowl halftime shows.

Can't they just have Marching Bands?

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on February 3, 2009 9:31 AM.

Super Bowl Sounds: Springsteen and Jennifer Hudson was the previous entry in this blog.

Attention all superior Springsteen superfans: The Boss was faking it, too is the next entry in this blog.

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