The Dude on the Right
When I went for my walks over the past weekend I got to listen to something I
haven’t been able to in years, so I’ve got to give a big shout-out to a couple
of fraternity brothers, namely our own staff member The Mystery Dude as well as
another brother, Tosh. It all stems to, back in the day, when we had to walk
to school, both ways, in the snow, and how we used to copy music and share it
with our friends. That’s right, the time of that plastic thing called a
In any case, one of my favorite concert recordings of all time was
of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band doing the 10th Anniversary Concert
for WMMS at The Agora in Cleveland. I don’t believe I heard the original
broadcast as I was eleven years old in 1978 when it aired and really don’t
remember much of anything when I was eleven except a crush on a girl in my
sister’s class, but I ended up with a copy of the show which I really can’t
remember how I got it, either. Maybe I recorded it off of the radio during a
re-broadcast, maybe I stole it from my brother, or maybe it was God, but it is
still one of my favoritist concert recordings of all time. Then, in college,
either I made a copy for The Mystery Dude, or he borrowed my tapes to make a
copy (The Mystery Dude is a Deadhead, so tape collecting of concerts comes
second nature to him), but, as the CD world started to proliferate into my life,
suddenly all of those cassettes found their way into a cardboard box; in fact, I
still know where they all are, yet they are never played now.
Continuing on – With the other Bruce concert recordings I have gotten over
the years, well, the box set of "Live/ 1975-1985" and some live stuff from
"Tracks," every time I heard one of those songs I yearned for listening to that
show from 1978 where Bruce explains that on the way to find God (during the song
"Growin’ Up") he bumps into Kid Leo (radio DJ extraordinaire from WMMS), who was
"Prayin’ for more watts. I gotta blast this baby all the way to New Jersey."
Bruce Springsteen, always the storyteller, but I left his storytelling from 1978
in my head and in a box of tapes, and I was too lazy to do anything about it.
But then, when a group of us got together to see "The Transformers" movie,
The Mystery Dude handed me a CD jewel case and there it was, a copy on some CD’s
of the copies of the cassettes of the Bruce Springsteen concert I had given him
over a decade ago. If I have the story correct, Tosh offered to convert The
Mystery Dude’s collection of cassettes to the digital age, and made his way to
the Springsteen copy. The Mystery Dude, being pretty cool, made a copy for me,
which I proceeded to burn to my hard drive and put on my iPhone, and there I
was, walking, being transported back years and years and years, and even though
not fully remembering the origins and passing on of my tapes of the Bruce
Springsteen concert, I was still knowing every word from the broadcast, from Kid
Leo’s opening of "And welcome, to the WMMS 10th Anniversary Concert.
I’m Kid Leo, and I have the, ah, duty and the pleasure of welcoming, ladies and
gentleman, the main event. Round for round, pound for pound, there ain’t no
finer band around. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band!", to Bruce
explaining going to Utah and driving to Reno and seeing a house an Indian had
sculptered from stuff in the desert that had a picture of Geronimo with
"Landlord" over it, and a sign pointing down a dirt road that said "Thunder
Road," to Bruce explaining "fraternity rock," and the crowd understanding in its
loudest. Damn, it was so good to hear that show again.
So, Mystery Dude and Tosh, I would like to thank you for bringing that
concert back into my life. And as I was listening, as I do every time I listen,
I still wonder who Jay Cox from Cincinnati is, and why is Bruce dedicating
"Darkness on the Edge of Town" to him?
Thinking about it, maybe I should give Tosh my box of old cassettes. I know
I’ve got a bootleg of a Meat Loaf concert in there, as well as maybe George
Thorogood, but I’m guessing The Mystery Dude was given copies of those as well,
so maybe one day I’ll relive those days. I suppose I could also get off of my
lazy ass, hook up the old tape deck, and dub them myself, the old fashioned way,
but then what would The Mystery Dude surprise me with the next time a bunch of
us get together to see a movie?
That’s it for this one!
I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!