Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Incident On 57th Street" (1973)

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Before Born To Run, before Mary was pondering a way out, and before we had to get out while we were still young, there was Puerto Rican Jane and Spanish Johnny. Two lovers, maybe going in different directions, though wishing that that wasn’t so. This is Springsteen at his early romantic best. The song is introduced with a lovely piano figure that leads in to Bruce tearing off a short guitar solo that hints at the trouble Johnny might be heading towards.

Spanish Johnny’s involved in a tough crowd, something that Jane is well aware of. But that doesn’t stop her from romancing the situation: Jane moves over to share her pillow but opens her eyes to see Johnny up and/putting his clothes on/She says “Those romantic young boys/All they ever want to do is fight.”

And off Johnny goes, as Bruce rips into another guitar solo that dissolves into a circular piano figure that…

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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