Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen

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Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen

by Robert Wiersema

GREYSTONE BOOKS LTD | September 2, 2011 | Trade Paperback |

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A frank, funny, and inventive blend of biography, music criticism, and memoir told in thirteen tracks.

As he enters his sixties, Bruce Springsteen remains a paragon of all that is cool in the world of rock. He''s a genuine voice of the people, the bastard child of Woody Guthrie and James Brown, and an elder statesman who has inspired generations of bands. He''s won twenty Grammy Awards, an Oscar, two Golden Globes, and is a member of two Halls of Fame.

There are dozens of books about Springsteen. What''s left to say? Nothing objective, perhaps. But when it comes to music, objectivity is highly overrated. Robert Wiersema has been a Springsteen fan since he was a teenager, following tours to see multiple shows in a row, watching set lists develop in real time via the Internet, ordering bootlegs from shady vendors in Italy. His attachment is deeper than fandom, though: he''s grown up with Springsteen''s songs as the soundtrack to his life, beginning with his youth in rural British Columbia and continuing on through dreams of escape, falling in love, and becoming a father.

Walk Like a Man is the liner notes for a mix tape, a blend of biography, music criticism, and memoir. Like the best mix tapes, it balances joy and sorrow, laughter seasoning the dark-night-of-the-soul questions that haunt us all. Wiersema''s book is the story of a man becoming a man (despite getting a little lost along the way), and of Springsteen''s songs and life that have accompanied him on his journey.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 208 Pages, 5.12 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: September 2, 2011

Publisher: GREYSTONE BOOKS LTD

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1553658450

ISBN - 13: 9781553658450

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– More About This Product –

Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen

Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen

by Robert Wiersema

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 208 Pages, 5.12 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: September 2, 2011

Publisher: GREYSTONE BOOKS LTD

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1553658450

ISBN - 13: 9781553658450

Read from the Book

10. Brilliant Disguise On April 4, 2005, Bruce Springsteen took the stage of the Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, for a performance unlike any he had ever given. As part of VH1''s "Storytellers" series, he appeared on a bare stage, with only his songbook, a harmonica, a piano and a guitar. Springsteen had performed solo and acoustic previously - for the Ghost of Tom Joad tour, for example, which took him around the world. And he had done an audience question-and-answer period before, at the two concerts he performed in support of Double Take magazine in Somerville, Massachussetts, in early 2003. But the "Storytellers" performance was different by design. It wasn''t just a concert, it was an inquiry into process, inspiration, and creation. As the series title suggests, it was to be an evening''s worth of stories, and Springsteen delivered. Over the course of almost two hours, he dissected eight songs spanning his career, discussing his songwriting process and laying bare both his craft and his soul. As he takes the stage, Springsteen is clearly uncomfortable. He cops to the strangeness of discussing his creative process by describing it as "an iffy proposition," then continues, "Talking about music is like talking about sex. Can you describe it? Are you supposed to?" His opening comments on "Devils and Dust" are stilted and clearly scripted. As the show progresses, however, he seems to find his groove, and he makes some stunning disclosures. Most significant among th
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Table of Contents

Introduction Side One: Growin'' Up 1. Rosalita (Come out Tonight) 2. My Hometown 3. It''s Hard to Be a Saint in the City 4. Badlands 5. Born to Run 6. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) 7. Thundercrack Side Two: Human Touch 8. Tunnel of Love 9. Living Proof 10. Brilliant Disguise 11. The Rising 12. Dancing in the Dark 13. Jesus Was an Only Son Bonus Track: Atlantic City - The Hold Steady

From the Publisher

A frank, funny, and inventive blend of biography, music criticism, and memoir told in thirteen tracks.

As he enters his sixties, Bruce Springsteen remains a paragon of all that is cool in the world of rock. He''s a genuine voice of the people, the bastard child of Woody Guthrie and James Brown, and an elder statesman who has inspired generations of bands. He''s won twenty Grammy Awards, an Oscar, two Golden Globes, and is a member of two Halls of Fame.

There are dozens of books about Springsteen. What''s left to say? Nothing objective, perhaps. But when it comes to music, objectivity is highly overrated. Robert Wiersema has been a Springsteen fan since he was a teenager, following tours to see multiple shows in a row, watching set lists develop in real time via the Internet, ordering bootlegs from shady vendors in Italy. His attachment is deeper than fandom, though: he''s grown up with Springsteen''s songs as the soundtrack to his life, beginning with his youth in rural British Columbia and continuing on through dreams of escape, falling in love, and becoming a father.

Walk Like a Man is the liner notes for a mix tape, a blend of biography, music criticism, and memoir. Like the best mix tapes, it balances joy and sorrow, laughter seasoning the dark-night-of-the-soul questions that haunt us all. Wiersema''s book is the story of a man becoming a man (despite getting a little lost along the way), and of Springsteen''s songs and life that have accompanied him on his journey.

About the Author

Robert J. Wiersema is an independent bookseller, a reviewer who contributes regularly to several national newspapers, and the best-selling author of two novels: Before I Wake and Bedtime Story. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Editorial Reviews

"Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen succeeds on multiple levels both as music writing and as a reflective story of how to navigate manhood...Wiersema did not write Walk Like a Man for teens but by focusing so much of it on his years growing up in rural British Columbia, it is a title that speaks to all of us of the powerlessness of youth and the longing for more that also permeates much of Springsteen's music. The author could not be more removed from the singer's experience (BC is about as far as it gets from New Jersey without crossing an ocean) and yet Wiersema easily shows how Springsteen's music resonated with every aspect of his young adulthood. The trick to the writing is that he not only makes the comparisons between the two of them believable, he makes you realize just how much you might have in common with both men as well." --Bookslut   "[Walk Like a Man is] a fun read, and a strong reminder of why Springsteen is as popular as he is. Wiersema is particularly good at charting the highs and lows (he is not so gobsmacked as to not be able to see that there are lows), and putting the various aspects of Springsteen's career into a wider context." -- Globe and Mail   "The book is the story of a man becoming a man (despite getting a little lost along the way), and of the music that accompanied him on his journey." -- Toronto Quarterly   "What Wiersema has really created is his own brilliant disguise. Springsteen's songs didn'
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