Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played in Portland the other night, and I got to take my family to the soundcheck, which was a show unto itself. Starting with an attempt to master Paul Revere & the Raiders’ “Hungry,” (“What other bands are from Portland?” Bruce called out over the p.a.) the front line players stood in a circle near Weinberg’s drums. At one point they debated taking on “Louie, Louie,” (another Revere song, though the Kingsmen, who recorded the tune a few days after the Raiders had the hit), but then rejected both of them. More songs, and when the crowd waiting outside started to roar Bruce called out through the microphone — “I can hear you, but I can’t see you! Where are you?” Which only incited more roars, of course. “You sound like a great crowd!” Even more roars. Even from halfway down the floor you could see his eyes sparkling.
Meanwhile. The BRUCE publicity junket moves to Cleveland on Tuesday, December 4, where the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame will host an onstage interview, conducted by Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president for the hall’s education and public programs. Tickets are free but limited, and all facts and info can be found right here on the Hall of Fame’s website. I’m super-psyched about this one, so if you’re in the area come on out and say hi.
But first, in Portland, Ore. I’m doing a non-BRUCE reading set in my former home borough of Brooklyn, NY for. . .
Sunday, December 2: Defiance: A Benefit to Restore Red Hook, Brooklyn at Disjecta (8371 N Interstate) at 5 pm. It’ll be a huge honor to read along with Karen Karbo, Nancy Rommelmann, Jon Raymond and Courtenay Hameister, and take in musical sets by my good pal Casey Neill and Tim DuRoche & the Kin Trio, who will surely become good pals, too. But wait, there’s more: a raffle for airplane tix to and from NYC, gift certificates to fine local restaurants & pubs; cool prizes (including a signed ‘BRUCE,’ which comes with my hand-picked, very unofficial soundtrack CD) a silent auction and more, more, more.
So that’s that, and there’s more to come so stay tuned.