Episode 155: The Boss

Episode 155: The Boss
Pat is joined by Bruce Springsteen fanatics Matt Holt, Brad Wilhelm and a surprise guest as they discuss the music of New Jersey's favorite son. Recorded LIVE at The Comedy Attic as part of The Limestone Comedy Festival.
From July 3, 2014

With your host:

Pat Francis

00:00:00 Pat welcomes us to the show. We are LIVE from the Comedy Attic at the Limestone Comedy Festival in Bloomington, Indiana. Tonight's topic: the music of Bruce Springsteen. Pat welcomes his two special guests/Bruce Springsteen super fans to the show. First, comedian Brad Wilhelm! Pat says that each guest was only supposed to bring one song from each Springsteen album, but Brad brought four from Darkness on the Edge of Town. Brad, you rebel you. Pat brings out his other special guest, comedian Matt Holt! The live set-up is a bit awkward. Basically, Pat, Brad, and Matt are playing music clips while the audience stares at them. Kind of like an avant-garde theater piece, but with less nudity.
Let's talk about our best and worst Bruce Springsteen concert experiences. Matt's worst was in 1988, when he wanted to turn his friends onto Bruce during the Tunnel of Love tour. Matt brought one of his friends to a show. Five songs in, Matt's friend was asleep.
00:05:00 Brad's worst: He saw Bruce with a friend of his at Wrigley Field. Brad's friend had two different women show up for the show. Brad needed to entertain one while his friend worked the other. Classic wing-man scenario. But after the show, one of the ladies needed a ride back to the hotel and didn't know where it was. So Brad's friend volunteered him to drive this woman to her hotel. Okay, I guess that isn't too weird. Then, said woman needed to go to the bathroom, so she decided to take a piss in the backseat of Brad's car. Holy shit. At that point, wing-man status goes out the fucking window. And who was Brad's friend, the man who gave Brad a piss-filled grenade that washed the inside of Brad's car in golden goodness? Why, none other than Matt Holt himself!!! What a twist. Matt's woman gave him nothing sex-wise. Good. Serves him right for giving Brad the wet end of the deal.
Here's Pat's worst Bruce concert story: Pat's father-in-law is a nutcase. But somehow he got ahold of two Bruce Springsteen concert tickets for the reunion tour. Pat was going to go with him. F.I.L. got sick, so he wanted to give his ticket to Pat's wife Pilar. Pilar didn't want to go, so she told F.I.L. to give the tickets to Pat so he could take someone else. But F.I.L. wouldn't give Pat his tickets unless Pilar went with him. Eventually, F.I.L. was feeling well enough to go to the concert. Now, Bruce is known for his long shows. He'll pull a Lord of the Rings every night if he wants to, easily. It's 45 minutes into the show, everything's going great. F.I.L. asks Pat, "Are you ready to go?" Pat was confused because Bruce had easily another two hours left in the show. F.I.L. just wanted a taste of Bruce Springsteen and wanted to go home. He was tired, he was sick, his bones were rattling. You know, old people shit. F.I.L. was Pat's ride to the show. Instead of staying and calling a cab when the show ended, Pat left Springsteen early and went home with his father-in-law.
00:10:00 Pat has some prizes to give away to the audience. A couple of CDs, some posters. LOTS of posters. There will be Bruce Springsteen trivia questions for the audience to answer. About 1/4 of the live audience actually listen to Rock Solid. This should go swimmingly.
Wait, what's that? Do you hear something? It sounds to me like the faint echoes of a portable mP3 device swearing up a storm. Could it be? Why, yes it is! It's… Let's hear what Dirty iPod has to say today:
"John Cougar Mellencamp was the smoke monster from the TV show Lost."
So the Coug likes to puff on a few ciggys every and now then. No big deal.
"Clarence Clemons was called 'The Big Man' because he had a giant cock."
Hey, just because Clarence Clemons was a Black guy doesn't mean he had a big… aw, who am I kidding? Of course it does. The man could probably swing it over his shoulder like a towel.
"Without his scarf, Little Steven's head looks like a ballsack."
C'mon, Dirty iPod, that's a sensitive subject for Little Steven. The scarf gives him character, as do the wigs. I doubt Silvio Dante could have performed all those hits if his head looked like Strom Thurmond's scrotum.
"When Bruce Springsteen counts, he is letting you know the number of times he is going to fuck your mom."
Wow. That's a lot of stamina. I usually can go only once for forty minutes. And by that, I mean thirty seconds of sex and thirty nine and a half minutes of crying and apologizing.
00:15:00 Alright, let's kick things into high gear with Bruce's first album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. Pat loves this album, Matt doesn't like it. It's a bit too sparse for him. Nonetheless, Matt picks the song "Growin' Up". Brad picks the song "Spirit in the Night". Brad gets pretty emotional with his Bruce Springsteen. Each song he picked tonight means something deep to him. It's like going to church for him. Less so for Matt. He likes the songs, he's gotten laid a few times to them. He keeps it relaxed.
Brad is a pretty big Bruce Springsteen fan. No, a pretty MASSIVE Bruce Springteen fan. So much so that he has a voice message from E Street Band member Everett Bradley on his phone. He plays it for Pat, Matt, and the audience. Everett's a background singer/percussionist for the Wrecking Ball and High Hopes tours. Although it's a little hard to confirm if it's actually him because NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE HELL EVERETT BRADLEY SOUNDS LIKE!!!!/td>
00:20:00 Brad's main problems with Greetings is that the production quality is poor. Also, there's no Little Steven, no Max Weinberg, and no Roy Bittan.
Up next is Bruce's second album, The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle. Matt loves this album, Pat not so much. Pat plays Brad's pick "Rosalita". "Rosalita" is actually a dance song. Audiences used to dance at rock concerts. Now they just fiddle with their mobile telephones and their other doohickeys. Matt's pick is called "Kitty's Back".
This album was basically Bruce setting up his musical style for the near future. Brad says that Bruce really knew what he was doing. He was sounding different from everyone else out there. Brad also wants to write a musical based on The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle. Good luck with that, Brad. After I put my production of the Crazy Frog musical on Broadway, you're little show will be laughed out of town.
Brad, Matt, and Pat. You can tell by Matt's face that he is thrilled to be sitting between those two.
00:25:00 Now we're getting into familiar territory: Bruce's monster third album, Born to Run. Brad's pick is "She's the One". Brad used to hate the song, but now he likes it. Matt's pick is "Night". "Night" usually opens the shows, but Bruce changes the setlist every night, so no one has any clue what is going to be played. Even the E Street Band doesn't always know what's coming down the pipe. They have to keep hundreds of songs in their back pocket in case Bruce wants to play something obscure.
You know, this is all nice and fun, but Pat's just not feeling the Bruce Springsteen vibes yet. So let's mix it up. Pat plays "Born in the U.S.A." from the album Born in the U.S.A.
00:30:00 While "Born in the U.S.A." is playing, Pat goes into the audience. What's going on? It seems he's getting something to bring onstage. Something… or more like someone. Ladies and gentlemen, making his Rock Solid debut, please welcome to the stage… He may be made of felt, but his soul is made of fire.
Bruce Puppet is happy to be here tonight. Patti gave him a hall pass, so Bruce P. is on the hunt for some Bloomington snatch. Bruce P. is gonna be here for the duration of the show. Oh boy. Hang on to your butts, kids. Brad and Matt are slightly stunned, slightly embarrassed. You're not alone, guys. Bruce P.'s bandana keeps slipping off his head. He's also got some jokes he wants to tell us later that he got from The Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins. Whose idea was it exactly to do a live podcast? Brad. Boo, Brad. Booooooooo. Bruce P.'s bandana has been fixed.
00:35:00 According to Bruce P., Patti's carpet does not match the drapes. Good to know. Since Patti was just brought up, Brad decides to play one of his extra picks. Off Bruce's live album In Concert/MTV Plugged, it's "Red-Headed Woman".
The next Bruce album up for discussion is his fourth, Darkness on the Edge of Town. Brad says that this is the greatest album ever recorded. Of all time. Big words from Wilhelm, can he back it up? We'll see with his next pick, "Adam Raised a Cain". Bruce P. pipes up. He thinks that John Cougar Mellencamp has been ripping him off for thirty years. But now, payback has arrived because Cougar has to sleep with Meg Ryan. And not "America's Sweetheart" Meg Ryan. 2014 Meg Ryan.
00:40:00 Bruce seems to only write about three topics: women, working, and cars. Take Matt's pick for example: "Factory". Matt has seen 29 Bruce Springsteen concerts. Matt is also deeply ashamed of Bruce P. and his antics. What do you want us to do, Matt? The man is an untamed beast. He unleashes himself onto the audience every night. You can't contain the felt, Matt. You can't contain the felt.
Pat plays a song that he picked from Darkness. It's "Candy's Room". There is a lot of visual humor going on right now, which is perfect for an audio podcast. Especially if said audio podcast needs to be RECAPPED for a reader. Pat gives a fun fact about "Candy's Room:" It was originally called "Candice." WAIT WAIT, Bruce P's got a joke from Taylor Hawkins:
"Candice dick fit in your mouth?"
- Bruce Puppet, with the line of the episode.
00:45:00 Bruce P. seems to have shamed the entire room, so let's head on to the next album. Bruce's fifth, as well as a double LP, The River. There's a lot of fun stuff on this album, and a lot of dark stuff too. Brad picks a fun one, "Cadillac Ranch".
While Bruce P. and Matt get close, Brad searches for his dignity.
Someone in the audience yawns really loudly. It's Jimmy Pardo! Jimmy apologizes and Bruce P. lets it slide. Bruce P. also tells us how he wrote "Born in the U.S.A." as an anti-American song, and Ronald Reagan unknowingly used it as his campaign song. Bruce P. tricked him, he did. And then Bruce P. gave Ronald Reagan Alzheimer's Disease. Yup, Bruce made a special cocktail full of whiskey, cherry coke, jellybeans, and a big dose of Alzheimer's. Reagan downed the whole thing and the next thing you know, he had Alzheimer's…………look folks, I just write this stuff down as I hear it. Don't blame me for this.
Matt's pick is the slower, darker song "Drive All Night".
00:50:00 That damn Everett Bradley gets brought up again. Bruce P. knows that Everett eats all the food from Bruce's snack tray after each show. Bruce P. just wants a Zagnut bar, dammit. Is that so much to ask?
It's time to give away some prizes. First up is a brand new, sealed copy of Darkness on the Edge of Town. The question: What Bruce Springsteen song from The River features the namesake of The Player's Club, Kojak? This is a tough question. I know it's a tough question because no one in the audience gets it. The answer: "I'm a Rocker."
00:55:00 Matt has a trivia question for Brad: Which album beat out Bruce Springsteen's 2002 album The Rising for the Grammy for Album of the Year? Brad has no fucking clue. The answer: Come Away with Me by Norah Jones. We got a copy of Born in the U.S.A. to give away. Which at-the-time unknown actress danced with Bruce in the music video for "Dancing in the Dark?" Heidi in the audience has the answer: Courtney Cox.
This brings us to the album Born in the U.S.A.. Brad's pick is a song called "No Surrender". Matt's pick is a song called "Downbound Train". We have another trivia question: The "Dancing in the Dark" music video was too cheesy. The E Street Nation (yuck) didn't like it. The next video, "Glory Days," was much better received. Which indie filmmaker directed the video? Matt in the audience has the answer: John Sayles. Matt wins the copy of Darkness on the Edge of Town.
01:00:00 We have another, harder question: Bruce sings backup vocals on John Prine's album The Missing Years. Which song is it? No one knows the answer. A guy in the audience knew the album was recorded in Bloomington, so he wins by default. He gets a copy of Born to Run.
What do Brad and Matt think of Bruce's new album, High Hopes? Do they like it? Matt likes it now, after he saw the tour. Brad likes it too. Four of the songs on the album are repurposed material. Matt's pick is a song called "American Skin (41 Shots)". The song is about NYPD officers who shot a guy 41 times because they thought he had a gun. It turns out that it was his wallet. When Bruce was playing a run of dates at Madison Square Garden a few years back, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association called for a boycott because Bruce wanted to play the song. If Bruce did play the song, he would have no police protection. Bruce still went on stage and did the song. Bruce P., on the other hand, says that "American Skin (41 Shots)" has a different origin. It turns out that it's a drinking song. You know, 41 shots. Oh Bruce P., what a card.
01:05:00 Brad's pick is a remake of Bruce's song "The Ghost of Tom Joad". Tom Morello is all over this album. Matt was pissed about it at first, but then he enjoyed it. With Morello in the E Street Band, there sure are a lot of guitars on stage. Gee, I wonder how many? Bruce P. thinks about this for a minute. There's Bruce, naturally. There's Nils Lofgren. There's Patti (but hers isn't plugged in. She just has it so she can feel like she's actually doing something productive.) And there's Soozie Tyrell. Wait, who? Nevermind. In total, that makes… hold on… carry the seven… divide that by Pi… ONE TWO THREE FOUR!
01:10:00 We're wrapping things up here. Brad and Matt need to come to the studio so we can have an actual discussion. This whole thing was a baked soufflé of crazy. Pat send us off with a big round of applause for Matt, Brad, Dirty iPod, America, and Bruce Puppet. Goodnight!
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:15:00 Growin' Up Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. Bruce Springsteen Matt
00:15:00 Spirit in the Night Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. Bruce Springsteen Brad
00:20:00 Rosalita The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle Bruce Springsteen Brad
00:20:00 Kitty's Back The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle Bruce Springsteen Matt
00:25:00 She's the One Born to Run Bruce Springsteen Brad
00:25:00 Night Born to Run Bruce Springsteen Matt
00:25:00 Born in the U.S.A. Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen Pat
00:35:00 Red-Headed Woman In Concert/MTV Plugged Bruce Springsteen Brad
00:35:00 Adam Raised a Cain Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen Brad
00:40:00 Factory Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen Matt
00:40:00 Candy's Room Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen Pat
00:45:00 Cadillac Ranch The River Bruce Springsteen Brad
00:40:00 Drive All Night The River Bruce Springsteen Matt
00:55:00 No Surrender Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen Brad
00:55:00 Downbound Train Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen Matt
01:00:00 American Skin (41 Shots) High Hopes Bruce Springsteen Matt
01:05:00 The Ghost of Tom Joad High Hopes Bruce Springsteen Brad