News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Genie of Fairview Door Company

Meaden & Moore

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


Springsteen's Cleveland Connection
The Boss came to town in 1978
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
The new deluxe edition of "Darkness" features hours of concert footage and outtakes along with lavish packaging and improved sound. But the original vinyl was "good enough" to leave a lasting impression on listeners in 1978.
Courtesy of Columbia Records
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Bruce Springsteen's "Darkness on the Edge of Town" is being reissued this month in a deluxe edition.  The tour that followed the album's release in 1978 made a memorable stop in Cleveland.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:46)



In the post-MTV era, artists spend 3 to 5 years making an album.  In 1978, that was considered commercial suicide.  But Bruce Springsteen had no choice.  After his third LP, "Born to Run," hit big in 1975, Springsteen was forced out of the recording studio by legal problems.  Once resolved, he penned and quickly recorded a batch of tunes about the betrayal and pain he'd bottled up for three years.  The tour that followed, though, is legendary for the intense cocktail of joy and sorrow gushing from the stage over 117 shows.

Springsteen's Darkness Tour ended on New Year's Day, 1979, at the Richfield Coliseum.  But on a hot August 9th night, he had the walls sweating at the much smaller Cleveland Agora during a legendary 3-hour concert broadcast by WMMS.  Then-Program Director John Gorman was looking for a way to celebrate the Buzzard's tenth anniversary when he heard about the tour.  Springsteen's record label was concerned about the momentum lost during 3 years without any product, and wanted Springsteen to do radio broadcasts to help album sales.  Gorman called Columbia Records and pointed out that Bruce was still Boss in Cleveland.

“(GORMAN)…The pitch that we made was, they haven’t forgotten Springsteen here.  We were playing unreleased material, live material, anything we could get our hands on.  Springsteen had become, without a doubt, one of our most popular artists…”

But Columbia needed little convincing due to Cleveland's reputation for enthusiastic crowds.

“(GORMAN)…I guarantee you, we will have the most energetic crowds that will know the words to every song that Bruce plays.  Unlike the audiences on either coast, they don’t sit on their hands.  You know, they’re not too cool for the room, you know, they respond.  And I think the intimacy of the Agora, and having it a live broadcast, and originate from Cleveland, that entire band put so much extra into that concert.  There is something about those days when he would play Cleveland, he just gave you a better show than you would see anywhere else (laughs).  I was fortunate enough to see it and be there…”

Bootleg recordings of the WMMS show are highly prized among Springsteen collectors, as are any tapes from the Darkness tour.  1978 is a good vintage for Brucelegs, and the new "Darkness On the Edge of Town" boxed set is loaded with an entire concert in Houston from that year along with dozens of outtakes.  And the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's exhibit, "The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen," runs through February 27.
 

Listener Comments:

Great story, see and read more behind the scenes details from the Darknesss era here http://www.thelightinDarkness.com


Posted by: james (new york) on November 13, 2010 12:11PM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Crisis looms in filling aviation industry jobs in Ohio and the nation
I listened to this story yesterday morning on the radio and just want to add this comment. My son went to school to train as an air traffic controller, and gra...

Cuyahoga Valley National Park considers fire to fight invasives
I'm for the controlled burn. There are not enough people (myself included) who volunteer for the removal of invasive plant species. Therefore, another solution ...

Remembering Cleveland music impresario Hank LoConti
The picture here is not the original Agora. It is the old WHK studios where the Agora moved into.

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University