Darkness on the Edge of Town
It's a very tough call, but Darkness may be my favorite Springsteen album. See him there, looking so damn ready to prove it all night.
Have you ever wondered just whose house he's standing in?
That wallpaper and those blinds might belong to any grandmother in New Jersey. For years, in fact, I was certain that this photo was actually shot in my grandmother's house in Newark. In fact, the image was captured by photographer Frank Stefanko, in Stefanko's Haddonfield home.
I remember heading into the old Tower Records on East 4th, and picking up a copy of Darkness for Erica. She had never listened to Springsteen. Can you believe that? Of course, she was familiar with the big hits, but an album like Darkness was completely foreign to her. I figured this might be my only chance. I'd share with her my love for Springsteen and she could tell me all about Echo Minott, or whoever.
"Bruce Springsteen is hugely influential to a lot of today's younger artists," I must have said.
We were standing near the old bar at Bull McCabe's on St. Marks Place one summer afternoon.
"Yeah, all these hipster kids are ripping him off."
It was somewhere around 2004 and I imagine I was thinking of guys like Conor Oberst and Sufjan Stevens, who were also most likely invisible to Erica.
I didn't want to think about it anymore, so I turned to Richard Hayman.