Today, "Five Questions" are put to Lawrence Kirsch, the publisher of two Bruce Springsteen books, For You, and The Light in Darkness. These unique books feature stories and photos collected from hundreds of the Springsteen fans and are instant collector's items, as they are produced in extremely limited quantities.
Both of your books, For You and The Light In Darkness, depend on the Springsteen community to help tell the story, both in content and through their photography. Other than Deadheads, I can’t think of another fan-base that could come through so completely; what do you think makes the connection between Bruce and his fans so singular, so special…?
To me, if you are a committed Bruce Springsteen fan, the answer is obvious. Bruce does not erect a wall between himself and his fans. Not as a performer, witness how he invites fans on to the stage with him, to sing, dance and play guitar, or the implicit trust he has in them to body surf him from the stage to through the General Admission area and back, or as a private citizen of the world, always making himself available for charity fund raisers, surprising and serenading newly engaged couples on the NJ boardwalk and always finding time to sign autographs. Bruce Springsteen is one of us — he doesn’t have to prove it all night, he lives it.
Some musicians are just “better” monochromatic; Elvis, The Clash and certainly Bruce. Why do you think that is?
“Monochromatic colour schemes are derived from a single base hue and extended using its shades, tones and tints. Tints are achieved by adding white and shades and tones are achieved by adding a darker colour, gray or black.”
Darkness on the Edge of Town focuses on the darkness of Bruce’s two plus years in exile from recording. He learned the hard way, and gained a certain level of maturity in doing so. He massages the darkness to give it tone and light, his despair is not without hope. The texture he added to his lyrics only further enhances the support of his overall theme, his original sentiment to create a cohesive message throughout the journey of Darkness. His songs and stories are best received in the dark of the night, on stage where black meets gray, and gray meets black.
The Light in Darkness focuses on the watershed Darkness on the Edge of Town tour. What do you think that moment, which in my opinion comes through clearly in these photographs, meant for Bruce Springsteen?
A will to survive. Bruce knew if Darkness on the Edge of Town didn’t ring true with his fans, he would have a hard time existing in the cut-throat music business. Bitter, mad, and deceived, he was fighting for his creative livelihood, Bruce created an album that was 180 degrees different than Born to Run. Safe to say, after Born To Run’s huge success, (popularity wise, if not commercial), the record company and his fans were expecting more of the same, BTR Part 2.
What we received, was totally different. A man who had matured, who was ready for vengeance, and ready to put it all on the line. He showed us of all of that on the Darkness tour, and more, much more.
Why “fan” stories, rather than a traditional narrative?
Because there are hundreds of thousands of fans with their compelling stories to tell. I find this much more interesting than reading one point of view. Bruce’s passion touches fans worldwide, and I am interested in hearing how those fans in different countries are affected by his musical genius.
Has Bruce’s success compromised his connection to his audience? Would books like For You and The Light In Darkness be possible on his current tours?
On the contrary, there are more books being written as I write this, more stories and mobile phone photos to print. I personally care to focus on the Springsteen years of 1974-1978 and have several manuscripts that I am currently reviewing. If any fans have either original Springsteen photographs and or memorabilia from this time period, please contact me directly at: info@theLightinDarkness.com
With less than 35 copies left, now is the time to order The Light in Darkness, and to sweeten the offer, we are offering savings on shipping anywhere in the world. If you have ever considered buying this book, now is the time. With the holidays coming, it is the perfect gift for the Springsteen fan in your life. Order your copy here.
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