I'm hacking into the second (third) draft, which feels really good, not least of all because I get to be away from my laptop. If I want to back up I take digital snaps of the ms and upload them to Flickr. It's a small step from there, I was thinking, to a completely graphic JPEG novel, especially if your favourite author has nice handwriting. Stephanie Meyer could scribble the next one on the backs of envelopes to be scanned and uploaded to eager fans.
Didn't watch the Emmys but was curious that 'Born to Run' fitted so smoothly into the Glee format. The song had previously been given three snaps up by Frankie Goes to Hollywood on Welcome to the Pleasuredome. How contrary and daring, we thought at the time, kind of, at least until the Propaganda album came out which was way better. In retrospect Frankie's cover was not that different to the original, and neither was Jimmy Fallon's magic fingers treatment.
I never got Bruce Springsteen. Why him and not Warren Zevon, was my question. Bruce is held up as old school rock'n'roll by people way more knowledgeable than me. He's said he wanted Born to Run to sound like Phil Spector doing Roy Orbison but the result is so quivering and emotional that it sounds more like Spector doing a girl-group: soaring strings, look-at-me flourishes, trilly* keyboard decorations. It's show biz razmatazz rather than Neil Young's For-God's-Sake-Dad-rock. Or to put it another way, camp. Nothing wrong with that: it just ain't what everyone says is on the label.
I'm also disturbed by the lyrics to the single:
Just wrap your legs round these velvet rimsAnd strap your hands across my engines
- Because the nouns are in the plural. Think about it: how many rims and engines do you have? Not that many, unless you're packing a little something extra.
In the meantime and on an unrelated subject, this is the review of The American that I would like to believe. It chimes with my experience of the novel.
If you would like to watch the terrific 1945 noir Detour you can download it for free here.
* A perfectly cromulent word.
PS. Now listening to Nebraska. Much, much happier.
PPS. The letters and cards are rolling in now. Most votes are for 'Atlantic City' and 'State Trooper.' I'd go with that. Nebraska was the one that changed everyone's mind. When it was released the lo-fi recording seemed deliberately contrary, not unlike the Lindsey Buckingham home-recorded tracks on Tusk. Now the album sounds completely natural - the Cary Grant moment when Bruce, after years of trying, became Bruce.