Story 1978-07-15 Houston, TX

15.07.78 Houston, TX, 'interview breakdown'
Topics discussed include asking Bruce about having no opening acts and what gets played at a show, to which Bruce replies that there are kids who only see you once a year and this is his night and there are songs he wants to hear, Bruce even says that about himself. "When I see someone, 'I hope he plays that'." The Fever comes up and Bruce tells about how it got to Texas and became popular down south but not in the northeast but also admits that it was "a throwaway song." Then, there's a really long pause, which causes Bruce to chime in with, "You guys are full of questions!" and chuckling. Then that woman talks about the frisbees flyin' around at the show the night before in San Antonio with a couple hitting Steve and one hitting Max. Evidently, Bruce didn't notice them getting hit as he said, "What was their reaction, did they have any reaction?"

Next, they discuss Bruce's going out into the audience and Bruce says there's been no problem yet … it's a certain one-on-one thing that happens…and calls the seats in front of the speakers, "suicide seats." They ask about "Growin' Up" with the "God Damn Guitar!" rap being long and if he ever hears anyone say, "Get on with it!" Bruce says, "Figured they fell asleep through half of it - that's why they're so quiet!" Larger venues comes next. Bruce says, it hasn't changed that much [What a difference between his fear and the reality]…the crowd's the same and they come to "see the show" and not be drugged out…though the fan reaction is different in a really nice place, like those with reclining seats…"Man, that's hard to get them up!". Newer, nicer places are harder than the old smaller beat up places…The Roxy was great. They ask about playing bars and Bruce tells a bit about playing with Gary Busey in Calabasas, CA on his night off on July 6. He reveals that the bar held about 70 and was an old Pony Express store…"just go out and do it, have fun."

A major topic follows where they get into what Bruce tries to do at the show with the audience. Bruce says "Lots to play to who you can see, but that's a mistake. There's lots more in the dark…seats go way up there…always conscious of that…just 'cause you can't see them, they're up there." The DJ asks if a big PA doesn't compensate for that? Bruce continues with…it's a mental thing that connects…if 100 rows, there are people in the 100th row…I try to watch what's going on so it's good for all. There's balcony people…there's people all over…when lights go up in a big place and you wave to someone in the last row, you know that they know that you're waving at them…it's funny how direct you can be…wave in a specific direction and zero in…a small amount know you're comin' at them…I have a certain conscious thing to play to who's out there…not just the first five…it makes a difference.

Then, Ed Beauchamp starts to Dave Marsh the interview as he rambles on about lots of topics like the band, 'C' being a cheerleader and not just a sax player, a new kind of R 'n' R, comparisons to Dylan and Chuck Berry, what Darkness is really about, etc. but he never really asks Bruce any questions, thus leaving Bruce only with short, kinda curt responses with Bruce finally dumping this on Ed, "You're doing great, I think you should do this!" Ed does get in one great point about Darkness (his fourth album) is really like it could be a first album for him, as it's totally new. "Worse thing you could have done was to try to follow up Born To Run with the same style…totally different chapter." On the difference between Darkness and Born To Run albums, Bruce says he was going for more of a live sound than a studio with overdubs…wanted less controlled sound…says Something In The Night and Darkness On The Edge Of Town were done live in the studio…Bruce says you hear the live Prove It All Night & the difference is "night & day. Big difference!"…"I guess I could sell out, do a live album or something."
NOTE: Such an odd, even bizarre comment for someone who is renowned for his live performances, yet he feels it's a sell out to release an album with those live performances on it, but, he records every show, just in case.

Beauchamp than describes Darkness as "very intimate, not claustrophobic, lots of open spaces, not hemmed in by despair - always light at tunnel's end - not negative." To which, Bruce mumbles a bit, trying to deal with Ed's big picture there, before he says, "lots of people interpreted it wrong…it's about everyday people who try to hold on to what people try to beat out of you." Bruce says, "Yeah" when Ed says, "It's kids having a hard time. Through the songs, you make people think about their own situations."
NOTE: In later years, Bruce has said somewhat the same thing about his songs.
Next, Ed asks him if the more successful he becomes, will it make it harder to relate to his fans. Bruce gets going here with, "can be distracted by money, cars…from beginning, I played for different stakes…that stuff's the booby prize…settle for that, might as well throw it all away…you win or lose it on the inside…if I don't do what I should do, no matter what I ride home in that night, I know I'm not gonna sleep."

The last big area discussed is women. Ed throws it all at him with "Women always seem to be important - always one in the background…how important are women in your life? You're not chauvinistic in lyrics, treat ladies well but they don't seem to treat you the same…Do women help or distract? Bruce says, "Cuts both ways." Can't tell with some songs - is it a one night stand or she does seem to be treated nicely but is it repaid in kind?…You don't have contempt for women or treat as sex objects [Bruce says, "I don't operate on that level - too romantic to do that."]…lot of romanticism in songs…" Bruce dodges most of all that but then sums it all up nicely with, "Someone asked a similar question, why characters were so (?)…On Darkness On The Edge Of Town it's isolation. On "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", it's one of the first songs where the character ends up by himself. I don't know how it all fits together. I guess it mirrors what I go through myself. It's a drag. With a girlfriend, you go into to make a record & that's the end of that. I'm real hard to be with. Real uncompromising on a lot of things. I'm not at an age where I want to compromise on it yet. I'm in a place where there's one thing that matters to me. Sound very fanatical about it in an almost crazy kind of way. Don't want to surrender to that." Ed says, "That rock 'n' roll," to which Bruce just says, "Yeah" and it's over.

Compiled by : Dave for Brucebase.

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