Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Springsteen Lyrics Of The Week- "Thunder Road"



"Roy Orbison singing for the lonely"- Thunder Road, Born To Run


Roy Orbison is one of those artists I just never appreciated.  I just thought he was the old timer with the sunglasses and the funny voice who wrote songs for Van Halen to make better.  It wasn't until I heard Springsteen declare his undying support for him, that I finally realized "Hey, maybe I was wrong."

And was I ever wrong.  While I'm still far from a fanatic of Roy Orbison, I've come to appreciate so much more after learning of his influence on Bruce.  He's one of the most legendary voices in rock n' roll, and an influence on practically ever songwriter to come after him.  Bruce had the privilege to play with him in the concert "Roy Orbison and Friends: Black and White", which was a celebration of Orbison's music and one of the best concerts you will ever see.  I highly recommend it.  Bruce also had the honor of inducting him into the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame.  With all fanatics Bruce has, it's so odd to see him humbled by someone else, but that's the only way to describe Bruce's introduction.

"In 1970, I rode for fifteen hours in the back of a U-haul truck to open for Roy Orbison at the Nashville Music Fair. It was a summer night and I was 20 years old, and Orbison came out in dark glasses, a dark suit and he played some dark music. In 1974, just prior to going into the studio to record my album Born To Run, I was looking at Duane Eddy for his guitar sound and I was listening to a collection of Phil Spector's records and Orbison's All-Time Greatest Hits. I'd lay in bed at night with just the lights of my stereo on and I'd hear 'Crying', 'Love Hurts', 'Running Scared', 'Only The Lonely', and and 'It's Over' filling my room. Orbison's voice was unearthly. He had the ability, like all great Rock and Rollers, to sound like he dropped in from another planet and yet get the stuff that was right to the heart of what you were livin' in today, and it was how he opened up your vision. I carry his records with me when I go on tour today, and I'll always remember what he means to me and what he meant to me when I was young and afraid to love. In 1975, when I went into the studio to record, Born To Run, I wanted to make a record with words like Bob Dylan, that sounded like Phil Spector's productions, but most of all I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now, everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison."

- Bruce Springsteen (Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Speech, January 21, 1987