Dr. J's Blog

Rock and Roll History, News & Views

Springsteen Pt. 7 - The Rising

by Gary Johnson

The new songs that Bruce Springsteen was writing in 1995 were set in his adopted home of California, and the music was minimal and the melodies uncomplicated. He felt that the austere rhythms and arrangements defined how the characters in the songs were and how they expressed themselves. The title of his new album, "The Ghost of Tom Joad", was taken from one of the main characters in John Ford's film adaptation of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. It was the story of the Joad's, an Oklahoma family, who, during the Great Depression in the 1930's, lose their farm and become migrant workers who journey to California looking for work and opportunity for the family members.

Read more: Springsteen Pt. 7 - The Rising

Springsteen Pt. 6 - The Ties That Bind

by Gary Johnson

Bruce Springsteen felt that trying to keep the kind of success he had with "Born In The USA" for his next studio album would have been a losing game, and that trying to depend on a large audience could distort what he did and who he was. His plan was to produce a more reflective work and reintroduce himself to his fans as a songwriter. To this end, he set up his recording equipment at his New Jersey home and started writing about something he'd never written about in depth before; the relationships of men and women.

Read more: Springsteen Pt. 6 - The Ties That Bind

Springsteen Pt. 5 - Born In The USA

by Gary Johnson

During the year-long River Tour, Bruce Springsteen had become very interested in America's history; a subject that he said bored him in school. He read several acclaimed books on the topic that seemed to hold some of the essential pieces to a question he was posing in some of his songs; what does it mean to be an American?

Read more: Springsteen Pt. 5 - Born In The USA