Park It Out in Back

It’s widely believed that Bruce Springsteen’s album Nebraska was made up of demos that were deemed good enough for release as is. Not exactly. The songs were recorded by the full E-Street Band, but everybody involved preferred the haunting demo versions Springsteen had recorded himself. So he recut the songs in the same fashion, and that’s the Nebraska album that was released in 1982. But today, at the bootleg site ROIO, you can hear the original demos Springsteen carried around on a cassette in his pocket before the E-Street sessions on Alone at Colts Neck: The Complete Nebraska Session. In addition to all but one of the songs that ended up on Nebraska, the album includes acoustic versions of “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Pink Cadillac.” This “Born in the U.S.A.” is similar to the one that turned up on the Tracks box set in the late 90s. “Pink Cadillac” is transformed from bombastic party record to a sly blues number you really ought to hear.

Elsewhere around the blogs today:

My Hmphs explains where Styx jumped the shark. You can probably guess before you click it—I certainly did, because if you followed the career of Styx, the point is obvious. I can recall only a couple of times in history where an album was so bad it actually left me not just disappointed, but angry, and that’s one of them.

Debris Slide salutes Tommy James on his birthday, with a list of the man’s accomplishments by age, and provides the most bizarre/interesting trivia nugget you’ll read all day. Meanwhile, AM, Then FM dials the radio back 40 years.

Radio programming note: Sunday night from 7 to midnight, Chicago radio legend Dick Biondi celebrates 50 years since his first broadcast on WLS. He’s currently on WLS-FM and streaming online, but the best news about the special broadcast the station is putting together is that it will be simulcast on the Big 89, which is the way the show ought to be heard. Also from the history of WLS: Biondi’s got 50 years, but one jock’s dream came true with a single show there.

Noted on Facebook: a new page The Mrs. will be interested in called WGN Radio: Fire Kevin Metheny. He’s the program director who is presiding over the ongoing destruction of the station’s 80-year legacy. As of this morning, the page has 63 fans, one of whom is Kevin Metheny. Also: If you use Facebook, you have probably heard about the latest infringements on your privacy—there’s going to be much more sharing of personal information without your permission. Gawker provides a quick guide to protecting yourself as much as possible.

And one more thing: You can now follow me on Twitter, and I wish you would, because it’s kind of lonely out there so far. I think one of the reasons I have been reluctant to embrace Twitter is that verb—“to tweet.” I don’t care what you’re saying,  no matter how profound or significant you think it is—to say you’re tweeting it makes it seem trivial and unimportant, which makes Twitter perfect for dick jokes and whatever’s on Sarah Palin’s mind. But I’m trying to get over that prejudice, and I do find Twitter tempting for launching random bon mots into the void. (You can see my Twitter feed in the right-hand column of this page, near the bottom.) So help a brother out: If you can suggest some interesting people and things for me to follow, tweet them my way.

Coming Monday: the final installment of one-hit wonders who peaked at Number 94 on the Hot 100.

3 thoughts on “Park It Out in Back

  1. Thanks for the link. I’m wondering if the Hubert Humphrey tidbit or the Whitey Ford item is the more bizarre one. (I got both of those details from Tommy’s own Web site, BTW.)

  2. Yah Shure

    Ken Levine’s blog is always a good read, but his WLS story had me flat-out laughing all the way through. I’m surprised the other jock allowed him to live!

  3. Thanks for the shout-out! I’ve been on Twitter for about a year and still find it difficult speak up with my small voice. I’ll get on and send you a list of some of the less annoying accounts that I find helpful.

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