The Boss has done it again. Truly. He always delivers.
I finally got around to seeing Western Stars—on the flight from DTW to LAX. My friend Lisa, who I had the good fortune to see Bruce on Broadway with a couple of years ago, on St. Patrick’s Day no less, saw it and told me it was good and she was not incorrect. She even drove by his house and barn where it was recorded. Lisa actually went to the same grade school as Bruce—just a few years behind him. Cool story.
There are some very sweet old clips of Bruce in his youth. And him and Patti at the beginning of their relationship.
Western Stars covers a lot of themes, but somehow all connected. Movement. Transience. The desire to be in perpetual motion. But he brings it back around to family and community.
Maybe movement makes us believe we are going forward—but maybe it’s just movement for the sake of not being still. Maybe, he implies, we run as a way to avoid dealing with those deepest fears and most damaged bits of ourselves.
He says ‘everybody’s broken in some way. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Nobody gets away unhurt. We’re always looking for someone whose broken pieces are a good fit for our broken pieces’.
It’s a nice collection to Bruce’s catalogue. His 19th album. He probably has 5x more songs written and in the can, but never formally released.
He’s a man who seems perfectly suited to his craft. He looks amazingly healthy and at peace—even though his words, always, are disarmingly honest about his challenges with depression and his demons.
‘Sometimes you’ve been too beat up, or haven’t healed enough of the fear out of you to know a good things when you’ve found it. So you just gravitate to the pain because it’s what you’re used to. It’s how you recognize yourself. It feels like home. It feels more familiar to you than love, so that’s where you go. You don’t know how to hold on to love; but you know how to hold on to hurt’.
You fall in love with lonely and you wind up that way.
I always loved that open road—no place to be and miles to go. Hello sunshine, won’t you stay.
I always loved my walking shoes—but you can get a little too fond of the blues.
Yup. Speaking my language. He’s my soul brother. Speaking words that I feel but can’t articulate with his clarity.
Travel safe pilgrim.
Western Stars was recorded in his 100 year-old barn on his farm in New York. It’s very beautiful and as he says ‘it’s got soul’. Bruce is never one to be stingy on sharing the stage and no change here—he shares with a 30-piece orchestra and lots of amazing backup players and singers.
The dialogue is very insightful, as is his way. Inward looking. Trying to understand and process the contradictions we all have within us. The contrasts between our better selves and the darker parts that we have to learn to let go. He references, stealthily, Walt Whitman, Malcolm Gladwell, Jimmy Webb and probably lots of others that I missed. The Boss is notoriously well read.
Some terrific songs. A lovely movie. He never does anything half-assed. Superb professionalism in the production and cinematography. And, of course, music and songmanship.
He ends with Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’, which was super fucking cool.
He’s a beautiful dude.
Nice little happy hour meet-up the other night with some of the crew. Was fun. We have not done it for awhile. We had some beers and a lot of laughs and then drove home in a massive snowstorm.
But I was kept company on the drive and then long after I got home with a nice convo with my friend Ashley. Ash is the best. Lovely person who just is always happy and positive and thoughtful. She called just as I was leaving the restaurant from dinner (Fire) and we talked for 90 minutes. Very nice. I needed it.
Bought some new Italian sneakers. Saw these, and well, just had to have them. Be good for the LA trip. I’m looking forward to some damn sunshine.
No other news of note