November 9, 2007

"Can I listen to it?"

Bruce and Julianne“Good morning, honey” Julianne says with a smile clearly realizing that her husband has been up all night working again. “How is the new album coming along?”

“It’s done.” Bruce softly rubs his eyes while trying to feel around for his cup of coffee. “I finished it about two hours ago.”

“Where was the band?” Julianne is starting to get concerned.

“They’re not on the album. Well, maybe I will have them do some fills and some light work, but this is not an E Street Band album.” Bruce has his back to Julianne as he looks out into the yard of his beautiful new home in Rumson, NJ.

“Can I listen to it?” Julianne asks, “I would love to be the first person to hear it!”



That is probably how it went. A simple conversation somewhere in the middle of a multi-million dollar mansion. A beautiful Hollywood actress and her rock and roll icon husband.

Every time I listen to the “Tunnel of Love” album I cannot help but think about what that experience must have been like for Julianne Phillips.

I know that she must have known the marriage was not going well at that point, but how did she react when she heard some of these lyrics: Did she call the divorce attorney immediately after the first listen? Did Bruce try to hide the album from her out of fear about how she would react?

I actually start to feel bad for her when the following verse comes up in “One Step Up”:

“It's the same thing night on night
Who's wrong baby who's right
Another fight and I slam the door on
Another battle in our dirty little war
When I look at myself I don't see
The man I wanted to be
Somewhere along the line I slipped off track
I'm caught movin' one step up and two steps back”

The tour to support the album also had some of its own adventures. Bruce started a love affair with his back-up singer - Patti Scialfa - which eventually led to a marriage and three children. There is an infamous picture of a married Bruce Springsteen on the balcony of an Italian hotel with his back-up singer.

Last month I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Madison Square Garden. He performed “Tougher Than the Rest” as a lovely duet with his wife Patti. The irony of that selection is palpable. As the first verse of the song begins my thoughts once again drifted to Julianne Phillips.

“Well It's Saturday night
you're all dressed up in blue
I been watching you awhile
maybe you been watching me too
So somebody ran out
left somebody's heart in a mess
Well if you're looking for love
honey I'm tougher than the rest”

3 comments:

LenBarker said...

Glad to see you join the party! Strong post; it's well written and informative. I hope that you'll post reviews of other artists, too.

Jahidi Hoya said...

I will do a better job of posting my thoughts. I am familiar with all of the albums posted to date, but I do not have a level of knowledge that would get me to post something.

I am glad you found the post "well written and informative". This is truly one of my favorite albums ever recorded. I was so tempted to go into an explanation as to why each song was a masterpiece, but in the end I could not get past thinking about Julianne.

By the way, I should note that I have no feelings for that woman at all. In fact, I think she was in it for the fame and never actually loved Bruce. It does not change the fact that I cannot believe what she must have thought that first time she heard the album.

In any event, I hope to be around here more often. The Don Henley side of things has me thinking...

venerableseed said...

I'm still interested in why every song is a masterpiece, actually.