When Bruce Springsteen handed over a wealth of unlabeled concert film footage from a 1975 show at London's Hammersmith Odeon to editor Thom Zimny in 2004, neither party knew for sure what was inside.When Bruce Springsteen handed over a wealth of unlabeled concert film footage from a 1975 show at London's Hammersmith Odeon to editor Thom Zimny in 2004, neither party knew for sure what was inside. But after a year of painstaking restoration, the full show will be seen for the first time on Columbia's 30th anniversary edition of Springsteen's classic album "Born To Run," due this week.
"Slowly but surely, we pieced it together song by song," Zimny says of the footage. He spent months synching up silent film from a four-camera shoot with the 24-track audiotapes from the concert, the E Street Band's first on English soil.
"This was a young band that just finished a new album," Zimny said. "The energy comes across in the film. 'Born To Run' is not an anthem yet -- it's in the middle of the set." Indeed, dressed in colorful suits and hats, Springsteen and company are beyond exuberant on stage, storming through favorites like "Rosalita," "It's Hard To Be a Saint in the City" and "She's the One."
Described by Springsteen as an album intended to capture the feeling of "one endless summer night," "Born To Run" also features a revealing documentary about its genesis, including newly shot footage of Springsteen explaining the songs at the piano interspersed with recollections from current and former E Street Band members.
Present-day Springsteen is shown listening in wonder to the basic instrumental track that was recorded of the title song, as well as other aborted versions that included a string section and multi-tracked backing vocals. "The whole score is made up of outtakes and demos," Zimny says. "Even the DVD menus have outtakes of them talking in the studio."