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Is there an EastCoast rock sound ? Springsteen/Sha Na Na/Tom Petty/"Guitar" Bands

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Mike Eskimo, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    2 things got me thinking -

    1.) This particular comment Bruce had about Pettyafter he passed (among many very nice/loving things he said about him) :

    "Tom was a great classicist. He followed those forms pretty religiously. I veered slightly away from some of those things, into other things. But what was charming and exciting about the Heartbreakers was their formalism. It was kind of like the great bands of the Sixties, like the Beatles. It was a guitar band, something I envied very much. Because when we tried to push the guitars [in the E Street Band], it never quite worked for us. But they were a real guitar band. And the music was beautifully written, beautifully constructed. He had an ear to the classics. But Tom's attitude and personality, his own vision, gave it a modern edge."

    2.) I've always wondered why , though I like a ton of Bruce, very little of it is the meat and potatoes saxophone*/glockenspiel/Billy/Davey/Sandy/Janey/boardwalk stuff. And I'd see filmed concerts of Bruce and as well as Youtube clips and always wonder - "Why is the guitar so buried in the mix ?"

    I've kinda realized that I don't like the musical settings and mix of a lot of Bruce's classic songs and the reason I'd give is that it "was too East Coast". (When I was younger/dumber (if that's possible) I'd always say "Bruce is too Sha Na Na ! Oh, and let's get more beer !")

    Is there an East Coast rock sound ? Is it just Southside Johnny and Bruce ? Am I imagining the whole thing ?

    *Saxophone ? Nothing against Clarence , I hate it in Seger's tunes as well.
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
  3. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 24, 2009
    Mink Deville could be thrown in there. And Johnny Thunders gave homage to doo-wop on some of his solo stuff.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  4. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    No one talks much about The Four Seasons, but they had a ton of hits right before and as the Beatles hit. And very little guitar standing out in the mix. Maybe that's why they faded away. And how many oldies cover bands cover them? If the play Jersey Boys hadn't happened would anyone remember them?
    brookdalebill likes this.
  5. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sedalia, MO
    Bruce sure pushed the Guitars on Darkness and The River...,snarling, distorted Tele on one, and cleanish jangle on the other, ur very, very prominent....,which is why they are my fave 2 albums of his....
    Pete Baker likes this.
  6. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    Nah, I don't think there's any style distinctive with that area. Lots of good bands and musicians, but they all sound pretty different to me.
  7. bluesky1963

    bluesky1963 Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2011
    Glendale, AZ
    No. There have been quite a few guitar bands that came out of the northeast. Aerosmith, BOC, Boston, Kiss, etc.

    Bruce just doesn't write songs that lend themselves to guitar, Tom Petty did.
    Frank'n'censed likes this.
  8. jaimed

    jaimed Poster Extraordinaire

    Plenty of guitar rock further down the coast to VA to Florida.

    Link Wray - Rumble - recorded most of his records in Wash DC

    Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps - Norfolk VA

    Richmond has a hard-core rock scene.

    Georgia Satellites

    Allmans, Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, 38 Special, Outlaws, Blackfoot - Florida bands

  9. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    The Cars were from Rochester, I think.

    I think of the northeast coast as England: suits. Even when the suits are wrecked, like Lou Reed.

    Rust belt is a different story.

    Springsteen struck me as an affectation of the street with content that sounded plausible enough to justify the arena. He's a Broadway writer at heart. I wish he had done more acoustic stuff, alone.

    But east coast? CBGB music.
    BradL and Fiesta Red like this.
  10. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2004
    Newly Indiana
    I agree, but I throw in The Wild..., too.

    I'd say there IS a sound OP is hearing, but maybe not East Coast. It's an extra measure of soul and gospel you don't hear in pure "guitar" bands. Because of that Bruce could have written American Girl or The Waiting, but Tom couldn't have done NYC Serenade or Backstreets. Tom is full of the Byrds; Bruce was full of the Crystals.
    Paul in Colorado and Jakeboy like this.
  11. DonM

    DonM Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Apr 21, 2016
    I saw Springsteen do Born to Run several times before the album America out. Except for part of the break by Clarence, the entire song was a powerful guitar song. The intro riff that's used throughout the song was all guitars. I was surprised it sounded so different when I heard it on the album and it was primarily all sax.
  12. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    I think The Waiting is way too guitar-y for Bruce to have written. Very few big Bruce songs where the tag/riff/hook is guitar.

    I agree on the girl group and/or doo wop influences and think - now very obvious to me - that Billy Joel and Bruce have way more in common with each other than than any other artist has with either of them.

    Wait ! No one said it and I just thought of it, but there's no way I'm the first (not with this brain), but the glockenspiel and many of the other bits and the way the band is arranged and live-mixed, are Wall Of Sound/Spector homages !

    Obviously Bruce loved that sonic archetype and as annoying as it is to me, it's in sooooo many Bruce songs.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  13. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sedalia, MO
    Lol Bruce was and is an extraordinary guitarist. List to Adam Raised a Cain off of Darkness.. or the solo to Prove it All Night. Or go back to Steel Mill days and listen to the SCREAMING telecaster on He’s Guilty (The Judge Song). If all you know is Bruce from Tunnel of Love on, then yes, it seems lighter on guitar , at least in the studio.

    Listen to Roulette from the River outtakes.....Badass fuzz. Bruce has a lot of great guitar music. He is also a fan of the big early 60s sound.

    But Darkness,? Stripped down Tele ripping through a 5f6a with an MXR Distortion +. And live he has always been Guitar-heavy and still is.

    I always likened TP to a southern Boss. So many similarities to their approach, songwriting, and pure love of rock and roll.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  14. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    I’m far from a Springsteen guy, but that’s one of the reasons, I like Darkness so much
  15. joealso

    joealso Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Dec 25, 2012
    East Haddam, CT
    I've always thought that there was a common link on many east coast bands. I grew up in Richmond, VA with local and regional bands like Good Humor Band, Evan Johns, Skip Castro Band, Robbin Thompson, Bill Blue Band, Charlottesville Allstars and so many others. Add in New England bands like NRBQ and Roomful of Blues (in their heyday).

    I always felt some common thread among these guys and the early Springsteen work (1st 2 albums) with the jazzy arrangements and horns in many cases. Just my opinion though. I spoke with the late Robbin Thompson (he was in Steel Mill with Bruce) about it several years ago and he didn't identify it as an East Coast thing. But what did he know? :cool:
  16. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    I think that there are some regional similarities and differences. The Boston bands sound different to me then New York/New Jersey bands. And having lived in Virginia, once you get to DC there's another shift. (Danny Gatton, Bruce Hornsby...) Georgia and Florida (Allmans, Tom Petty...) and you've got another thing going totally. East coast is too broad a brush. So is West Coast. From Seattle Grunge, Portland hipsters, SF Psychedelia, LA country rock.... I'm glad that there are regional differences.

    And as much as I personally dislike Billy Joel, I can hear some elements common between him and Bruce. I never really thought about it until someone pointed it out.
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  17. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    ^^^^^ To many of us in flyover country, East Coast means one thing : NYC/Boston/Philly/maybe Baltimore and the surrounding areas.

    Stretching the definition, then you have all the dinky states north of there.

    Carolinas are the Carolinas, Georgia and VA are their own things, Florida is whatever it is :confused: and so on...
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  18. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    Ampeg vs Fender.

    Just sayin'.
  19. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    By The Levee
    New York Dolls.
    BradL and Tommy Biggs like this.
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