Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock – Legends: the Bruce Springsteen pod

Results: Our final preliminary pod went more or less to form, with the top seed running off and hiding from the pack. The numbers: #5 Neil Young 68%; The Doors 13%; The Levellers 9%; The Red Hot Chili Peppers 6%; The B-52s 3%; Iron Maiden 1%; Deep Purple 0%. NY advances to the Great 48. Speaking of the Great 48….

Now, ladies and gentlemens, the Tournament of Rock – Legends edition, S&R’s epic search for the greatest band of all time, gets serious. Our 32 preliminary pod winners now join our top 16 seeds (four in each region) in the Great 48, and may the best band rock!

Our first match-up is a tough one. Really, really tough. Please welcome the #2 seed in the Hollywood Bowl region, hailing from Asbury Park, New Jersey…

As with the preliminary rounds, we ask you to listen (assuming you don’t already know the artist’s entire catalogue by heart) and cast a reasoned vote below. Polls close Wednesday morning.

Which band/artist deserves to advance in the Tournament of Rock: Legends?(survey software)

29 replies »

  1. It was funny, me and some people at the office were just talking about how freaking lame Bruce’s music is. I never got why so many people loved his tunes, they seem to go on and on for ever, and either have no climax, or are entirely climax with no place left to go. His live shows are also horrendous, check out his HBO special a while back, he would perform a 4 minute song, but the faux improve ending would last another 5 minutes. The Super Bowl halftime show should disqualify him automatically, it was face palm embarrassing. The sad thing is I like a few of his tunes, but there is no way this dude should win this tourney. The only toss up for me is whether I vote for the band I like the best (Petty), or the guitar legend who I actually met and was real cool.

  2. D: You’re doing Brand Darrell no favors this morning. I can get how somebody might not like his tunes, but we’re trying, as best we can, to move past “what I like” and into “what is critically valuable.” His live shows? I saw him once on the Born in the USA tour. Un. Fucking. Believable. He only played 3.5 hours non-stop that night, and 15-20K people left exhausted.

    Now, I can’t fault anybody for thinking Knopfler or Petty are incredible. I think that, too. But seriously,if you’re going to dismiss a guy who’s done all Bruce has I think you owe us a little more.

  3. Sam: I think if you look at most of my votes in the prior round, about 99% were based on who I thought influenced other musicians the most. My formula is simple, influence+critical acclaim+popularity. In this POD Knopfler has the first 2, while Bruce has the second 2. I think most musicians envy Bruce’s career, and may have been influenced by some of lyrics, but in general the music is lame. I also have an issue with the free pass he gets from the press and critics, maybe it’s payback from early on in his career, and I’d actualy be impressed to find a negative review of any of his latest albums.

    One of the main reasons I never want to see him in concert is becasue of how long it would be. I would never want to see any band for more than 2 hours. The reason people were exhausted when you saw him was becasue they had to piss and didn’t want to miss Born to Run so they held it. I imagine Bruce’s set list goes like this:

    Lame cover of London Calling, slow song, slow song, slow song, kinda rocking new song that no one knows, slow song, slow song, slow song, sax solo, drum solo, guitar solo, anyone else in the band that didn’t solo yet solo, slow song, slow song, some stupid call and response lead by Bruce that goes into Glory Days, slow song, dancing in the dark, slow song, Born in the USA, Thunder Road, slow song, Born to Run with a 10 minute outro. For space issues I omitted band Introductions, band hugs following songs, the 10 minutes between 3 encores and the 5 minute incoherent rambling in between songs. There are a lot of bands I’d like to see becasue they are “Legends” and this is the one person I have zero interest in seeing.

    In a room filled with about 50 people of different races and backgrounds Bruce made us either laugh or blush with embarrassment at his performance at the Super Bowl.

    I don’t ever hate bands/artists becasue they are famous, but I hate the fact that you “Have” to love Bruce, not like, but love. It could be where I’m from, but I just never got it.

    If I don’t vote for him, it will have nothing to do with his live shows or the indoctrination I received when I was young.

  4. Yeah, the further we get into this thing, the more I think it should have been a round-robin format or similar that allows us to rank the bands. If we get to the end of all this loathing and teeth-gnashing and all we come up with is the Beatles, I’m going to rechristen him Schadenfreude Slammy … after I’ve set fire to his car.

  5. The Boss is from Long Branch, NJ folks. I don’t believe he ever actually lived in Asbury Park, he just kind of adopted it.

    I’m from NJ (I’ve worked in both Long Branch and Asbury Park), so I don’t have a choice in the matter. State law. It’s on the books.

    We almost made Born To Run the state song until some jackass in the legislature pointed out the lyrics say “Its a death trap, its a suicide rap/We gotta get out while were young.”

    I’ll miss Petty.

  6. All I’m saying is that if we go through this long exercise just to reaffirm the Beatles’ supremacy, it’ll feel a tad hollow for me (and will make we want to emulate Johnny Cash’s pyromaniac leanings). I’m not saying that I think the Who or Pink Floyd should unseat them; though I’m not saying they shouldn’t either. I guess I’m just thinking that the further we go through this, the more curious I get about who would finish #s 2 to 10.

    For instance, if we had Nirvana, Hendrix, and Buddy Holly in the top ten, that would say some interesting things about the importance of burning brightly over burning long among our voters.

  7. These are going to be significantly more difficult…

    Liking them all equally, not a huge fan of any, i have to vote for Springsteen.

    And i won’t go quietly into the Schadenfreude.

    • The lack of Buddy Holly has been known from Day 1, IIRC. Elvis isn’t in here either, along with most of the pre-Beatles artists who created the conditions under which rock & roll could come into being and flourish.

  8. Ahem…

    I’m getting a little tired of a couple of things:

    1) people acting as if Sam created this tourney all by his little lonesome – he and I worked on this thing for weeks. And I gave him hell over some of his choices while he gave me hell over some of mine – just because I’ve kept a low profile doesn’t mean I don’t want some of the credit for causing people this much anguish….

    2) if The Beatles (genuflect) DON’T win, it’ll just be further proof to me that the universe is a random place where shit happens without rhyme or reason….

  9. Much as I enjoyed Darrell’s analysis, I voted for Bruce. Actually, I’m not a fan of his, but I respect his work.

  10. Jim said: if The Beatles (genuflect) DON’T win, it’ll just be further proof to me that the universe is a random place where shit happens without rhyme or reason….

    Maybe not the randomness of the universe, but at least the randomness of the internet. Or the randomness of the types of loonies that are attracted to Scholars & Rogues. (insert smiley face)

  11. A word in defense of fikshun – any top ten with Hendrix, Buddy, and Nirvana in it is a good top ten. Just sayin’…

    BTW, though I’ve noticed it matters to no one but me, I voted for Petty – voted for him in the last pod and regretted I didn’t vote for Jeff Beck. But in this pod, because all these artists are as authentic as it gets (to use that oft abused term to rank holiness in the rock pantheon), I decided to vote by a simple rule – who of these three do I, with my impeccable taste in music, listen to most?

    I listen to Tom Petty the most.

    And I notice no one has made fun of Tom’s Super Bowl appearance – it was like all his live performances I’ve seen – tasteful and tasty at once.

    Win or lose, Petty’s my man….

  12. This one was by far the toughest yet. All three belong here, all three are great, and even though I’m not a fan of Petty (his voice grates on me), I can’t help but admire him and some of the stuff he’s done over the years.

    I listen to Dire Straits the most of all three (I’m not sure I own any Bruce, although I used to own Born in the USA on vinyl (my sister and I split the cost of that album along with Pet Shop Boys – I think my parents still have both, as I don’t have a turntable to play them on) over and over and over. But even though I listen to Dire Straits the most, I ended up voting for Bruce. He’s simply too damn good, rocks too damn hard, and I enjoy listening to Bruce’s solo work. Knopfler’s solo work has been hit and miss, IMO.

  13. i guess i came to the party a day late. i’m still scratching my head over using the Beatles as the definition for the beginning of the tournament. true, their Ed Sullivan appearance caused a major shift in the popular music of the youth culture, but not as major as the one caused by Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly. We’re talking about a difference of seven years here.

    Never mind. I’m going to go pick up my tele and try to remember what rock is. Not that i could hear it over Nicole’s infernal Psyclon Nine playing in the other room. These kids today.

    • We had to draw a line somewhere, and the Beatles/British Invasion marked the advent of a new era. This wasn’t the only possible break, of course – we could have gone with Bill Hailey or Elvis. So yes, it was an arbitrary decision. And you’ll like it.

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