Thursday, May 3, 2012

40 Year Itch: Job Number 79682

Forty years ago today, Bruce Springsteen made his first "formal" studio audition at CBS Studios in New York City. John Hammond produced the twelve song demo session which became known in the studio logs as job number 79682. Half the songs Springsteen played would appear on his debut album Greetings From Asbury Park the following year. Among them, "Growin' Up", seen below performed live in 1972 at The Gaslight, the same club in which he performed for a half dozen CBS record execs. ( One of whom dismissed Bruce as another Dylan clone)

The songs Springsteen played in his audition were MARY QUEEN OF ARKASAS ( two takes), SAINT IN THE CITY, JAZZ MUSICIAN (two takes), IF I WAS A PRIEST, ARABIAN NIGHTS, GROWIN' UP,  DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET?, TWO HEARTS IN TRUE WALTZ TIME, STREET QUEEN, ANGELS,  SOUTHERN SUN and COWBOY OF THE SEA. The Mary, Saint, Bus and Growin' Up demos all appear on the 1998 box set Tracks.

Hammond, who also discovered Bob Dylan and Stevie Ray Vaughan, said “I couldn’t believe it. I reacted with a force I’ve felt maybe three times in my life. I knew at once that he would last a generation.” 

Hammond took the tapes to his boss, Clive Davis, who found Springsteen's act "amusing". They offered Bruce a $25k advance to record his debut album, fully expecting to get a singer-songwriter effort because that was the only thing selling in 1972. Instead Bruce went back to Jersey and gathered together the boys in his band. And the rest is history...

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