Elvis Costello sits down with “The Boss,” Bruce Springsteen

©Photography by Peter Tobia

Elvis Costello sits down with Bruce Springsteen in this special two-part episode on SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… on the Sundance Channel http://www.sundancechannel.com/home

With his guitar in hand, The Boss opens up about his pre-E Street Band bands, his early and current inspirations, and the resurgence of New Jersey. E Street Band members Nils Lofgren and Roy Bittan sit in for a couple of songs. Part 1 will air again on January 23, Sat. at 11 am.  Part 2 will air again on January 27 at 10 pm.

Observations and thoughts on Costello’s conversation with Bruce Springsteen, Part 1 on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Springsteen talks about “Darkness On the Edge of Town” as a album that was written tougher.  The album was a blend of many things, with some situations which were seen first hand.

The years between the ages of 25-28 are big years with a lot of changes in questioning one’s identity, belonging and what’s the code I want to live by? As a writer I have connected with a few of these things and I ask myself the question, “Who am I going to be? There is a lot of conflict and drama in these questions, but that is one of the reasons that people go to music. We are all conflicted and these are adult issues. We are all desperate men (people).

In any creative endeavor, say such as painting, you have the paint and you have the canvas but if you don’t have that third something you are going to fail. You have to reach down deep to find that third thing; the thing that puts a fingerprint on the imagination and heart. Songwriting is really saying what it is you’re thinking.

Springsteen talked about the song “American Skin (41 Shots).” The struggle and moral conflict and how music is taken very personally. It is a very outspoken song, “We’re baptized in these waters and each other’s blood.”… “You can get killed just for living in your American skin.” He was booed for doing the song and celebrated for doing the song. As he put it, the New Jersey bird was given to him on ocassion.

Music creates an energy. The great bandleaders came out of soul music.  Springsteen talks about Sam and Dave and how their music is rooted in heaven and dirt. “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” was performed as a duet with Costello.

Peter Tobia is a photographer based in Philadelphia.

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