Last week I started a weekly social diary at Firefly-Dreaming. For most of my life Tuesdays were made more interesting by a tradition at what was once a great radio station, WNEW-FM. A station that introduced progressive rock to New York City, changed a generation from pop singles to album oriented and in maturity deserved the slogan “Where Rock Lives.” The tradition that people from other cities probably remember from other stations was called “Two for Tuesday.”I was wondering if anyone would be interested in participating here. This week’s is a little personal and a little political.
Did you ever get the feeling that if there was one place on earth to be, that you had picked that place? Did you ever really blow it?
Welcome to a second installment of Two For Tuesday. The first went back in time to Glam Rock and this one progresses to a updated version of Folk Rock. As I mentioned all these diaries will be about the nostalgia of WNEW-FM, where rock once lived in NYC.
Today a memory of someone who woke me up for many years, morning Deejay Dave Herman who was greatly responsible for launching Bruce Springsteen in the Big Apple. Here in NYC we were a bit backwards in the Bruce Springsteen department. He did not become “the Boss” here until his third album “Born to Run.” Across the river in New Jersey by the third album everyone either went to high school with Bruce, dated his sister or had seen him ten times in the Stone Pony but New Yorkers were a little slow on the uptake. So Dave Herman, who was also the father of the dreaded midnight oldie began a morning tradition called “Bruce Juice.”
And on that note, I have a “Wow I should have had a V-8 story,” or the ultimate “Oh boy did I blow it.” It was the somewhere in the mid seventies and I was a huge Springsteen fan. Much because of the urging of Bruce himself I also became a fan of Southside Johnny. So when Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes went on sale at the Capital Theatre I got two tickets. I was looking forward to the show but something came up, a chance to work another concert in Manhattan. I can’t even remember what the other show is now but the choice seemed easy, see one band and get a paycheck or drive all the way out to the Soviet Union to see another and get stinking drunk. So I gave the Southside ticket to my brother and he went with my buddy Guy while I worked whatever.
Sometime early the next morning when my load out ended I drove home to the Bronx for a nightcap at the Green Isle Pup. It was know as the place on Bainbridge Ave. “where good friends meet” and sure enough there was my brother and Guy. I asked about Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and was surprised to hear both of them say “the show wasn’t that good.” I did not know that they were just trying to put off my pain and suffering. So with very little talk about their concert and a whole lot of talk about my concert we did the cycle and headed home to bed. For you nonprofessionals, the cycle is when the patron buys three and the bartender buys one.
When the alarm clock went off in the morning, as always it was Dave Herman and he said something like this;
Wow that had to be the greatest concert of all time. Last night Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes were scheduled to rock the Capital Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. But there was a surprise appearance. Joining the Jukes on the stage was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Such is life. Below the fold, a little Two for Tuesday Bruce Juice!
Now you would expect in a WNEW-FM nostalgia series that this would go back to the early days of one one of America’s most original artist. You would expect a little “Barefoot girls sitting on the hood of a dodge, drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain” or the memory of a time when “She’d fill them long summer nights with her tenderness.” This probably should be tribute to a very familiar name “Hey, Eddie can you lend me a few bucks, tonight can you get us a ride” or go back to the “day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream.” But all that is left of those days is “So you’re scared and you’re thinking that maybe we ain’t that young anymore.”
Times change and now besides being one of the most original American artist Bruce Springsteen is also one of our most liberal Americans. I did not blow it when he toured some great cover tunes of great historic songs. I got to see The Seeger Sessions at the Greek in Los Angeles and again on PBS. It was one great night under the stars, an educational night of folk heroes.
I remember that night thinking when I heard “Mrs McGrath” for the first time that it was not as sad as it is today. I was thinking at the time that Bush would be gone very soon and the terrible wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would be over.
For the second in this “Two for Tuesday” what else but…
Have you ever been in the right place at the right time? Any memories to share?