Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Classic -- Darkness on the Edge of Town

Darkness on the Edge of Town

Okay so my hockey team lost today (the Flyers) then the Phillies also were defeated...but I take solace in this. I just watched the HBO documentary "The Promise: the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town". What an awesome and inspiring hour of television. So if you are NOT a Springsteen fan...please stop reading now...

I made a list of my top 25 albums a couple of years ago and Darkness on the Edge of Town was number 1. Here is what I wrote back then...

My Personal Number One

No 1. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town (vinyl – cassette – CD)
– This album is dark and I spent countless hours of my youth, adolescence and adulthood life listening over and over. Songs about letting go, busting out and yearning for more just hit to close to home at various points in my life – “Something in Night”, “Streets of Fire”, “Racing in the Street”, “Candy’s Room”, “The Promised Land” all classic Springsteen.

It's an album that I owned as a true vinyl a cassette tape and as a CD. I wasted countless hours of my youth, adolescence and even my adulthood years listening to it. It's a very dark album. Many of the songs are about coming of age, the struggles we go through and wanting to break out for "something more"'s an awesome collection of songs.

I can't tell you how many nights me and my buddies wasted listening to that album...over and over...and how many beers we drank but it was many...and it's funny there was always one rule - NO SINGING during the playing of Darkness. It was like we just wanted to listen to the words...what was being said...if you got caught singing you were punched and were told to "shut up". Not many albums had that effect on me, but to me Darkness was like a piece of art for me and for my friends. Listening to it, as silly and ridiculous as it sounds gave me inspiration. I just knew deep down inside that I was going to break away from where I grew up and get out...and I did.

I can still recall some of the deep and meaningful conversations that were discussed and the locations while listening to that album. Hearing those songs always brings me back to a time and place from long ago. A time when things were simpler and less complex yet more confusing if that makes any sense. Even now those songs ring true for's sort of like an old friend who you haven't spoke to in years and when you see each other time hasn't missed a beat. What sucks is I have some old friends that I do miss...they don't read this blog...they won't ever know...and I won't call them, but I have to believe that when they hear those songs...they have the same feelings...
Of all the songs on the album..."Something in the Night" was always my personal favorite...

Something in the Night

I'm riding down Kingsley,
figuring I'll get a drink
Turn the radio up loud,
so I don't have to think,
I take her to the floor,
looking for a moment when the world seems right,
And I tear into the guts,
of something in the night.

You're born with nothing,
and better off that way,
Soon as you've got something they send
someone to try and take it away,
You can ride this road 'till dawn,
without another human being in sight,
Just kids wasted on
something in the night.

Nothing is forgotten or forgiven,
when it's your last time around,
I got stuff running 'round my head
That I just can't live down.

When we found the things we loved,
They were crushed and dying in the dirt.
We tried to pick up the pieces,
And get away without getting hurt,
But they caught us at the state line,
And burned our cars in one last fight,
And left us running burned and blind,
Chasing something in the night.


  1. Bill, we share your experience with Springsteen's darkest and perhaps best album. For our own preview of what's to come, we contacted Dick Wingate, who was intimately involved in the launch and marketing of the album and tour. He offers an insider's view of what the Darkness era meant to Bruce and the band, while painting an often-humorous behind-the-scenes account of some of the tour's highlights...check out the book The Light in Darkness, which one fan said, "… would make a great companion piece to the commemorative Darkness box set…"

  2. Thoughtful post, Bill. As you know, this month I also wrote about a song very special to me. I believe music can be inspiring. A song can evoke memories and feelings and also (conversely) new experiences can make you think of songs that are dear to you. We entertained some good friends at the farm this weekend. It was a beautiful weekend and it was great catching up with them. It brought back a lot of good memories while we were making new ones. I find it interesting how so many people can mark different points in their life by what their favorite song or album was at that time.

    Springsteen is a true classic. I haven’t listened to Darkness in a long time, but this just may inspire me to go back to it :).


  3. Hi--I check in occasionally, and will make a point of giving this album a whirl. Not a huge Springsteen fan, but mostly b/c I'm not really familiar with a lot of the earlier stuff. He's a talented guy for certain.

    Not sure what to make of your unsettling dream. Could it be borne out of guilt on your part, for surviving? I know that is common, and I've experienced it myself when I lost friends my age and had to face their families... I'm sure it was disturbing to you, and I hope you are spared that sort of experience again. Wonder, too, if it comes from the "coming out" of time spent with someone else... I was really glad to hear the joy of living in your post when you explained what's been happening. Regardless of what occurs from here on out, it reminds you that you are still capable of happy adult companionship.


Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)

In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.

I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.

This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...