Aretha Franklin Dies
'Born' DVDs Capture Exuberant E Street Band
When Bruce Springsteen handed over a wealth of unlabeled concert film footage from a 1975 London show to editor Thom Zimny in 2004, neither party knew for sure what was inside. But after a year of paiWhen 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 Nov. 15.
"Slowly but surely, we pieced it together song by song," Zimny said of the footage last night (Nov. 2) during a screening in New York. Zimny 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."
Although footage from several other notable shows during this era (including a stint at New York's Bottom Line) has circulated in bootleg form for years, Zimny says the Hammersmith film "is the best representation of 1975" that exists. The DVD also includes three songs from a 1973 show in Los Angeles, the original film of which was in such bad shape that it required frame-by-frame retouching in Photoshop.
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.
"The whole score is made up of outtakes and demos," Zimny said. "Even the DVD menus have outtakes of them talking in the studio."
Present-day Springsteen is shown listening in wonder to the basic instrumental track that was recorded of "Born To Run," as well as other aborted versions of the song that included a string section and multi-tracked backing vocals.
Noting that the band spent six months hemming and hawing over a final take of the tune, guitarist Steven Van Zandt observes with a laugh, "A song should take three hours, not six months!"
In related news, having already been bumped once due to after-effects from Hurricane Wilma, Springsteen's planned Sunrise, Fla., concert has been moved to Nov. 19 in Hollywood, Fla. The show was originally scheduled for tonight (Nov. 3) at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, then postponed to Sunday, but that plan has been scotched by the city, citing public safety concerns.
Tickets can be exchanged for the newly scheduled show at the point of purchase beginning tomorrow and through 3 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 8). All remaining tickets will go on sale Tuesday at 5 p.m. through Ticketmaster and the venue box office.