Tagged: Bruce Springsteen

Happy Bruce Day!

September 23rd, 2016 Permalink

Happy Birthday Bruce! I just read “Vanity Fair’s” article on Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, “Born to Run”, and he talks about how he has a major let – down after his concerts are over. It’s comforting to know he feels the pain too.  I remember after one of his concerts with a friend I said, “What? [...]

Happy Birthday Bruce!

I just read “Vanity Fair’s” article on Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, “Born to Run”, and he talks about how he has a major let – down after his concerts are over. It’s comforting to know he feels the pain too.  I remember after one of his concerts with a friend I said, “What? We’re just supposed to leave now and go back to our normal, boring lives?”

I took this photo last April for Backstreets Magazine during Bruce Springsteen’s ”The River”  tour in Milwaukee.  It was an extra special shoot because my brother Steve was also at the concert and he had seats right behind the stage.  While I was standing on the platform with the other photographers, we saw each other and I snapped a photo of him with my sister-in-law, Debbie.  At that moment I was so happy we got to share another Springsteen concert experience.  We’re all looking a little older, but that same energy is there.

After begging to see The Police at age 13 and Tears for Fears at 15,  I was finally allowed to go to my first concert at 16.   On August 9, 1985,  I went to see Bruce at Soldier Field with Steve and a friend.  It was general admission, so we had to wait most of the day outside of the stadium.  We sat on the sidewalk in the heat for hours until they opened the doors, and when the moment came, all I remember is my brother yelling, “Run!”

We tore through people and fought our way to the front part of the field (not front row but we were closer than mid -field).   After 4 hours of amazingness and the dark, electric drive home, I took a bath, the water turned black, and I realized great things are worth waiting for.  Even if you have to leave them.

Atlantic City

July 24th, 2016 Permalink

“Everything dies baby, that’s a fact, but everything that dies someday comes back.”  Bruce Springsteen’s lyric from his song “Atlantic City” came to mind when I found this old photo of my grandfather’s brother Phil strolling along the boardwalk in Atlantic City – dressed to kill.  He signed it for my grandfather, “To Rog, Phil”. [...]

“Everything dies baby, that’s a fact, but everything that dies someday comes back.”  Bruce Springsteen’s lyric from his song “Atlantic City” came to mind when I found this old photo of my grandfather’s brother Phil strolling along the boardwalk in Atlantic City – dressed to kill.  He signed it for my grandfather, “To Rog, Phil”.  I don’t think I’d want some of the backward attitudes and beliefs to return, but can some of the class, clothes, and music come back?    What a dapper man (even the little girl in the picture is turning around to look at him) and what a great photo to remember the New Jersey Tennants.

All that Glitters

November 2nd, 2011 Permalink

I heard one of my favorite Bruce Springteen songs on the radio yesterday and it still gives me chills – “The Ghost of Tom Joad”  with guest Tom Morello.  The video can be seen here and even though I’m not a big screeching guitar fan, the guitar solo at the end is insanely incredible.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-c6GphpAeY&ob=av3e [...]

I heard one of my favorite Bruce Springteen songs on the radio yesterday and it still gives me chills – “The Ghost of Tom Joad”  with guest Tom Morello.  The video can be seen here and even though I’m not a big screeching guitar fan, the guitar solo at the end is insanely incredible.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-c6GphpAeY&ob=av3e

A couple of years ago the photo editor at the Sun Times News Group asked me if I wanted to go shoot a rock star.  I emphatically said “Yes!  Who?”  He said “Tom Morello”  and I was like “Who’s that”?  I had heard of Rage Against the Machine but I did not know of Morello’s fame.  I was glad because it made me less nervous about the assignment.  He was in town promoting SEIU union workers and finishing up one of his tours as a solo artist.  I was to photograph him at the home of a daycare in Bellwood, Ill.  He was going to come and help feed the kids snacks, and help with the general needs of the daycare.

Even though he showed up with a small entourage it was actually a refreshing PR situation.  No ribbon cuttings or fake handshakes, just Tom and crew helping out.  I was just about ready to leave and I thought “No, just stay a few more minutes, you never know what will happen”.  About 2 minutes later he announces that he’s going to the backyard to play for the kids.  I just remember thinking “Wow, I’m shooting a rock star tuning his guitar in the backyard surrounded by kids toys – so glad I stayed.”   As if that weren’t great enough he says, “Oh, here comes my friend Ben Harper, he’s going to join me,”  and Ben Harper walks around the corner.  They proceeded to play a little concert for the kids while sitting on toys.

Mr. Morello was incredibly nice and genuine and even though I know I am to remain calm and dispassionate, it was just a  tad hard.

When telling this story, another  photographer once told me that I was too distracted by “the shiny object”.  Actually it wasn’t the rock star that was so great, but it was shooting someone out of the “rock star element” that made it so exciting for me.    Secondly,  it doesn’t matter if I’m photographing a teacher, a kid or an office worker,  it’s all shiny to me.

Only 3 Songs

July 14th, 2011 Permalink

In November 2009 I had my dream assignment.  I randomly contacted a then stranger, Alan Chitlik about his work with  Backstreets Magazine shooting my favorite musician, Bruce Springsteen.  Before I knew it, I was on the phone with editor Chris Phillips and he was asking me to shoot the Detroit show.  I absolutely couldn’t believe [...]

In November 2009 I had my dream assignment.  I randomly contacted a then stranger, Alan Chitlik about his work with  Backstreets Magazine shooting my favorite musician, Bruce Springsteen.  Before I knew it, I was on the phone with editor Chris Phillips and he was asking me to shoot the Detroit show.  I absolutely couldn’t believe it and within 24 hours I was driving from Chicago to Michigan to shoot “The Boss”.

Unfortunately, photographers usually do not have free reign like they did in the 70′s.  Instead of running around the front and jumping on stage, photographers have to go near the sound board and they are only allowed to shoot a certain number of songs before they are led away.  We were only allowed to shoot 3 songs.  I was lucky enough to get a free front section pass after I finished my work, but I had to lock my cameras away.

I shared a small podium with some local Detroit papers and when Bruce hit the stage with the E-Street Band I fired away.  I’ve always liked Clarence Clemons, but I was concentrating on the main man for most of my time.  After hearing Clarence passed away, I searched for photos of him.  When I was learning photography an editor told me,  “If you shoot someone famous, always get as much as you can, because when they die, you have something valuable on your hands.”

To my disappointment I only had one or two shots of Clarence.   Whether financial or emotional, why is it that when someone dies they suddenly become more “valuable”?   Like a photographer we begin to think of all of the moments with them that we missed or didn’t appreciate. I think this is especially true of people who are not front and center like Bruce.  Clarence was a big man, and even though his saxophone was key in most of the songs I love, my eyes would always wander back to Bruce, leaving Clarence in the background.

Luckily, in life we have more than 3 songs to appreciate someone.  And sometimes it’s hard to remember.

Independence Day

May 4th, 2011 Permalink

One of the main reasons I have always loved Bruce Springsteen is that he had a conflict between romanticizing/loving home and needing to leave it behind.  I left home and moved to Chicago about 15 years ago, but I have always needed to keep it near.  My parents and many of the neighbors I grew [...]

One of the main reasons I have always loved Bruce Springsteen is that he had a conflict between romanticizing/loving home and needing to leave it behind.  I left home and moved to Chicago about 15 years ago, but I have always needed to keep it near.  My parents and many of the neighbors I grew up with have remained in my old neighborhood in Northwest Indiana.  Nick was one of them.  He and his wife Linda live across the street from my parents and their daughter Julie was one of my best childhood friends.

Nick was like a Springsteen song to me. He was a hard working man who was employed at Inland Steel – a tough guy who cried like a baby when his only son left to join the military.  My parents were teachers in an area of Indiana where most of my friend’s parents worked in the mills.  Nick personified some of  Springsteen’s songs when I saw him get up everyday and go to work in a dangerous place in order to raise his 3 children.  He built the home you see in the picture, collected his retirement and bought a few old cars to fix up.

When I come home for holidays, I watch him work tirelessly in his yard, and I see his pride and love for what he built with his own hands.  He doesn’t need anything else – he doesn’t need fancy vacations, 4 star restaurants, or a more exclusive, desirable address.  I envy him sometimes.

Today while I was getting ready to leave for my new, more desirable address thinking about how I could almost just stay in my old neighborhood, live next door to my parents and be happy, I saw Nick outside.  He said,  “What are you doing Suz, why are you going?  I guess it’s just your generation and I don’t get it.”

Sometimes I don’t either.