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An open letter to Miley from Bruce Springsteen
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put Born in the U.S.A. or The River down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, let¹s face it, the man rocks.
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By Pete Chianca
Sept. 10, 2013 11:02 a.m.

Microphone, good; sledgehammer, bad.

Microphone, good; sledgehammer, bad.

Dear Miley:

How ya doin’? I just wanted to drop you a note to say hi, ’cause we got a lot in common — for instance, did you know I put out a song called “Wrecking Ball” just like you? Yeah, it came out last year. I didn’t put out a video where I swing stark naked from an actual wrecking ball like you did, but other than that, yeah, it’s real close. Maybe next time!

Fast Tube

Fast Tube by Casper

Anyway, I been around a while, and I thought maybe you’d appreciate some, you know, career advice, since I know it’s tough bein’ in the spotlight and all that. I realize I was in the spotlight for being dubbed “rock ‘n’ roll’s future” and you’re there because you shook your bottom against Alan Thicke’s kid on national television, but it’s the same premise, ya know?

I’m thinking if maybe if someone had told you not to do that butt shaking, or not to keep sticking your tongue out like you were at the otolaryngologist’s office, or, you know, that whole naked wrecking ball thing, you might be in a better position now, career-wise. I realize that horse is out of the barn, but you get my drift. (And I know a thing or two about barns — I have a big one out in Rumson, although Billy Joel is living in it right now. Long story.)

So I’ve had a pretty good career and everything, but there are some things I wish somebody had advised me against along the way. For instance, that video where I danced with Courtney Cox and kept swinging my arms up and down like a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot. Stevie still gives me a hard time about that — sometimes I come out of my dressing room and the whole band is there doing it. Hey guys, give it up, it’s been like 30 years already!

Anyway, what you may not know is that I actually shot a video where I dance like that, but by myself, and wearing suspenders! So my manager Jon Landau told me we better not put that out, and I’m glad he did, because maybe “Born in the U.S.A.” wouldn’t have gone on to sell 13 million copies or whatever it was, and I wouldn’t have been able to buy my daughter a million-dollar horse.

And speaking of my daughter, she’s about your age, and if she ever did any of the things you do in that “Wrecking Ball” video I think my head would explode like the meth lab at the end of “Sinaloa Cowboys.” That’s a song off my “Ghost of Tom Joad” album — you should listen to it sometime. It’s real depressing and kinda slow, but it has some good life lessons on it, like don’t rob a bank to impress some random lady who comes into your shoe store.

So like I was sayin’, I have this expression I like to use, “Nobody wins unless everybody wins.” And when I saw you stickin’ your tongue out on the VMAs and licking that sledgehammer in your video, I thought, these are definitely “nobody wins” moments we’re talking about here. Not you, not me, not your dad Billy Ray, whose head is probably gonna explode any minute now. Besides, licking a sledgehammer — do you have any idea where that thing’s been? There’s probably like pieces of drywall on it and stuff.

Anyway, I remember this one time when I was about your age when I got my draft notice. I came home after I’d been gone for three days and walked in the kitchen, and my mother and father were sitting there, and my dad said: “Where you been?” and I said, “I went to take my physical.” He said, “What happened?” I said, “Well, I didn’t hang naked from a wrecking ball.” And he said: “That’s good.” That’s not exactly how it happened, but I’m trying to make a point here.

So I’ve already gone on for too long, but just to recap: Tongue hanging out, bad; naked on wrecking ball, bad; dancing like a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot, bad; being the future of rock ‘n’ roll, good. So if you take that to heart maybe you can wind up more like that nice Taylor Swift kid, who loves me, and is never naked in public. Also, Landau tells me our lawyers will be contacting you about the whole “Wrecking Ball” name thing.



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