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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
TALK ABOUT A DREAM THE ESSENTIAL INTERVIEWS OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN REVIEW
   

 

TALK ABOUT A DREAM
THE ESSENTIAL INTERVIEWS OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN


EDITED BY
CHRISTOPHER R. PHILLIPS & LOUIS P. MASUR

 

BLOOMSBURY PRESS AUSTRALIA

2013

 

 

 

 

AN AUSTRALIAN ORIGINAL

 

 

 

Leafing through a book of collected interviews could be a chore in itself, but leafing through a collection of interviews with rock stars is often infuriatingly dull or commonplace (no really, what is your favourite colour?). The art of course is in making it interesting and making the collection greater than the sum of its parts.

 

When the subject matter is right and the scope large enough then you are surely half way there already? What Phillips and Masur have ensured in their treatment of Bruce Springsteen in ‘Talk About a Dream’ is that both the individual snapshots in time stand alone (i.e. the quality in the individual interviews is there); and also that a compelling narrative is created. Aided by a chronological timeline and I’m sure some sense of what they wanted the interviews to say about the man it’s great editing. Sadly it’s an art that through its success will necessarily go largely unnoticed.

 

The best thing about this collection though to fans will be the fact that until Bruce himself nestles back on the rocker, and pens his own memoirs then this is at least in his own words. I’m sure Phillips and Masur spend countless hours on selecting the best of them too.

 

Springsteen is on the whole far less guarded than you might imagine and also as you might imagine becomes more vocal, or rather ‘considered’ in his responses as the years go by. There’s a real sense of what defines him in the interviews and what he holds true. There’s a passion and a belief in what is right, and a real sense of the essential decency of the man. There’s also moments that say more about the interviewers than Bruce - I can’t believe that people can still load that question leveled at many ‘champagne socialists’ of how can you sing about the working man when you’re a millionaire?  

 

In a book that it’s possible to just dip into at random there are some individual gems of interviews, but if you choose to dive in and out as I did at first you lose that feeling of growth and change. Still saying that, Will Pearcy’s interview from 1998; that starts of dealing with influences before taking in the consequences of celebrity; elicits some great responses from a personal point of view. On the other hand Dave Marsh’s interview from 1981 comes across more of an information gathering exercise. Both are interesting but work in completely different ways and add completely different ingredients to the mix. There’s something therefore there from Sprinsteen minutae-collectors and those more interested in knowing the artist a little more intimately.

 

A fascinating book all in all even if you only have a passing interest in the man and his music. An absolute must for fans.


 

By Mark Diggins