If you talk to die-hard Bruce Springsteen fans, many of them will list “Incident on 57th Street” as one of their favorite Springsteen songs. The song leads off the second side of Bruce’s second album, “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle” released in 1973, with “Rosalita” and “New York City Serenade.” The jazzy sound of these songs was dominated by the incredible piano playing of David Sancious who preceded Roy Bittan in the E Street Band.
The live version in the video above was released as a B-side in the mid-Eighties when Springsteen released his first live album, but I can’t find it anywhere on iTunes or in a legal digital format. It’s by far the best live version I’ve heard of this song and it features an excellent and mellow guitar solo by Bruce at the end that’s much better than the solo on the original recording.
This fan video was created by a Springsteen fan on YouTube who has posted a number of excellent Springsteen videos. He mashes up concert footage and other Springsteen footage to create visually interesting interpretations of the songs, and he translates the lyrics into Spanish subtitles.
In a tribute to Joe Strummer and The Clash, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt got together at The Grammy Awards in 2003 to perform The Clash’s “London Calling.” Pete Thomas joined them on drums and No Doubt’s Tony Kanal is also there playing bass. It’s a pretty incredible performance.
It also created the inevitable flame war in the YouTube comments, with some youngsters taking shots at “dad rock” some punk fans expressing outrage that traditional rockers like Springsteen would cover The Clash. More knowledgeable fans then pointed out that Joe Strummer always admired Bruce, and once said, “Bruce is great. If you don’t agree with that, you’re a pretentious martian.”