The Boss Of Me: A Tale Of Two Titles

Duke Street Kings front coverIn his triumphant return to the pages of The Delete Bin, merely popping in perhaps from his sojourn as a book-writer and blogger in his own right (write?), Geoff Moore deliberates over his career as a novelist, specifically as a music nut with a penchant for titling his work like a boss, or rather in deference to THE Boss.

He also talks a bit about his newest book, Duke Street Kings, a tale of friendship, betrayal, the advertising industry, and the possibility of swimming with the fishes, gangland style — all set to a beat you can dance to. 


In 1962 Bo Diddley sang Willie Dixon’s words: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” But the artwork and especially the title will surely influence your decision to purchase it.

In the mid-1990s I set about writing my second novel as my first attempt was quietly disintegrating in landfill somewhere in the environs of Montreal. Taking Stock was to be a novel about work. In my life I’d found that when my career was going well my personal life was a mess and vice versa. One propped up the other. Neither ever went well at the same time and I wondered what would happen to a man if his alternating pair of support systems tanked at the same time. Read more

Who Is The Next Bob Dylan?: 10 Songwriters Once Voted Most Likely

Bob Dylan
photo: Simon Murphy

From the mid-60s and into the 1970s especially, a new trend in music journalism ramped up into high gear. It was the only one that would rival the whole “will the Beatles get back together?” question that helped to mark those times. That question was: who is the next Bob Dylan?

During the course of his career Bob Dylan took a lot of risks; going electric, changing his voice from time to time, quitting the touring treadmill for almost a decade, and making records that people didn’t expect him to make. And he’s still doing it today – Christmas In The Heart, anyone? That most of these risks tended to pay off was beside the point.

But, during the eighteen months that everyone had to wait as Bob recovered from his motorcycle accident in late 1966, maybe the label, the fans, and the press perhaps realized that putting all their eggs in one basket was the riskiest move of all. As a result, a lot of performers would be tagged with the whole “Next Dylan” or “New Bob Dylan” labels, despite the fact that Dylan himself was still very much in his prime.

Maybe this was because it was just a safer bet to hang one’s hopes on a new artist just starting out, than on one who continually made himself a moving target. In some respects, the comparisons were meant to be complimentary to these new artists. But, as some of these artists evolved, audiences began to see that they weren’t the next anyone, other than themselves – original voices. This is how it should be.

But, who were these artists? Well,  here’s a selection of 10 who are standouts for me in the Who Is The Next Bob Dylan? stakes. Some are big names, as big as Dylan is by now. Others can be called ‘cult artists’, albeit ones with respectable back catalogues of their own. So, judge for yourself to see whether or not the Next Dylan tag applies to any or all of them. And decide too whether or not the passage of time makes the comparison a fair one, or completely absurd. Read more

Bruce Springsteen Sings “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”

Listen to this track by Once-And-Future-Boss and game-changing singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. It’s “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”, a tale of machismo, morality, and a retelling of the hero’s quest. The song serves as the closing track to Springsteen’s first album, 1973’s Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, released on January 5 of that year.

This song was an early composition of Springsteen’s, relatively speaking. He’d done time fronting a number of New Jersey-based bands from the mid-to- late-60s, including The Castiles, Earth, Steel Mill, and Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom (featuring Steve Van Zandt and Southside Johnny), plus a number of related groups in addition to his sideline as a solo artist.

All the while, he’d put in considerable effort in honing his craft as a singer-songwriter, particularly as a lyricist, concurrently developing his established skills as a guitar player and front man of rock and R&B-oriented bands around town. The balance he’d look to strike would be with his abilities to craft songs to be easily interpreted in a solo setting, but with enough musical juice to be applied to a larger ensemble, too. This is a direction he’d been moving in intermittently even before he got his record deal.

It was this song included among a others that made the impact he needed to get there. And it would be some important people who would first hear the song that would get Springsteen’s burgeoning career into motion. Read more

Bruce Springsteen Performs “We Take Care Of Our Own”

Here’s a clip of New Jersey resident, American icon, and universally acknowledged rock ‘n roll Boss, Bruce Springsteen. It’s the video for his recent single “We Take Care Of Our Own” as taken from this year’s Wrecking Ball  album, his seventeenth release.

It’s difficult to talk about Springsteen without mentioning his unique role in the history of rock music, post-1960s. He emerged during a time of great social and economic upheaval in the United States; the energy crisis due to political turmoil in the Middle-East, the Watergate scandal, and America’s defeated withdrawal from Vietnam happened concurrently with the releases of his first three albums, including his breakthrough 1975 album Born To Run, give or take a few months on either side.

This was a time when the illusions of a nation were being shattered one by one after a post-war economic honeymoon. It is upon this spirit of disillusion that Springsteen found his voice as an artist, and proved to be the voice that represented so many others at the time. In part, this is the reason he appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1975; he was a voice for his times.

So now in 2012, where has Springsteen’s voice taken him on “We Take Care Of Our Own”, Wrecking Ball, and for us as his audience along with him? Read more