Today: Bruce Springsteen, Wembley Arena, 1992
In this month’s [b]UNCUT[/b], our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisce about their favourite gigs.
The October issue, onsale now, features our best 50 – including [b]Jimi[/b], [b]U2[/b], [b]The Band[/b] and [b]Oasis[/b] – with rare photos from the shows too.
Now here’s some more – we’ll publish one everyday this month – including online exclusives on gigs by Manic Street Preachers,[b]The Stone Roses[/b], [b]Pixies[/b], [b]Beach Boys[/b], and [b]Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones[/b] and [b]Babyshambles’ Adam Ficek[/b]’s favourite live memories too.
Wembley Arena, London, July 6, 1992
It’s 20 years since I first heard [b]Tunnel Of Love[/b] and was persuaded of the greatness of Springsteen, and in that time I’ve seen him in concert more than 70 times. In many ways, this Wembley show represented the nadir of Springsteen, both live and on record. He was without the [b]E Street Band[/b] for the first time ever and was supporting two of his weakest albums – [b]Human Touch[/b] and [b]Lucky Town[/b]. But it was special for me. It had been four years since the Tunnel Of Love tour and I’d more or less given up on seeing him. So I’d spent 48 hours queuing up outside for tickets for this one. And I got front row tickets – Row A, Seat 31 – smack in the middle.
It was also my graduation day from Manchester. And so I missed my own graduation to see this Springsteen gig. Before the gig, I waited outside and was lucky enough to meet him. He signed my vinyl copy of [b]Born To Run[/b]. So it felt like all the stars were in the right place.
It was a magical moment when he walked onstage and began warbling in front of me. I’ve never felt that euphoric. What made it even more extraordinary was when he decided to take his shirt off, because he’d sweated so much. So he came over to the front of the stage, unhooked his Telecaster and said to me, “Could you hold my guitar while I take my shirt off?” So I held it in one hand. I mean, it was the same famous Esquire Fender Telecaster from the cover of Born To Run.
Musically, it was interesting, especially the muted response that everyone in the band got from the crowd, apart from [keyboardist] [b]Roy Bittan[/b], who was the only member left over from the E Street Band. There was this sense of treachery around the place. The other thing I recall is how much Bruce was smiling. It was all about having fun, music for the sake of music. It confirmed my faith in Springsteen after four years away.
Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock’n’ Roll by Sarfraz Manzoor is available from Bloomsbury.
plus [b]WERE YOU THERE?[/b]
Not even [b]UNCUT[/b]s war-weary gig-hounds have been to every great show in history – but you lot probably have.
Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com, or [b]share your memories[/b] in the comments box below, of the ones we might have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!