Trying To Get To You

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Weird Scene Inside The C Train

This past Thursday night, I was taking the C train home. The train car was basically empty except for a young guy in his 20's who was singing something softly to himself while he twirled around the poles in the subway car. He had longish blonde hair, an unkept sandy goatee and he looked a little, well, crazy. I was taking my iPod out of my bag when I heard a familiar melody coming from his lips. I couldn't place it at first, but then I heard a familiar line, "I've got God on my side/And I'm just trying to survive," and I realized that the guy was singing Springsteen's "Devils & Dust." It was kind of weird, because the guy was so young and in addition, "Devils & Dust" is far from one of Bruce's better known songs.

I couldn't help myself.

Me: "Singing some Bruce?"
Him: (looking up, very surprised) "Yeah! How did you know that?"
Me: "I'm a big fan. I know the song well...I was a little surprised to hear someone singing that song."
Him: "It's a great album. I'm a big fan. I always sing that song when I'm in a good mood."
Me: "Really? It's not a song I associate with being in a good mood, but cool."

So then my new friend sat down next to me, and for the next two stops, proceeded to tell me that he was a stand up comic and had just secured his first gig in a while, that it was testament to his newly found sobriety and that he now felt like he was on his way. I couldn't help but notice that the guy had a sort of weird electric energy about him - the kind of guy who as Hunter Thompson once wrote, "has abandoned all hopes of ever behaving normally." A true character.

He got off the train very soon after he sat down with me. We shook hands, smiled and wished each other luck.

Download: "Devils & Dust" 6/20/05, Paris, France
Buy Devils & Dust at Amazon


Parisian Cowboy said...


"Devils and dust" is not my favorite song, but I think it's the best one on this album. But you're right, it's anyway funny to hear a guy singing that song.

Ben Lazar said...

I personally think "Long Time Coming" is the best song on Devils - but again, it was truly weird to hear someone singing "Devils and Dust" on the subway.

Anonymous said...

"Devils and Dust" is a good song but the album is horrible as the rest of the songs sound as if they are outtakes from "...Tom Joad" (for reference i totally dig "...Joad" and "Seeger Sessions").

It seems like he had one good topical song and decided to build an album around it.

The subsequent "Dust" tour was incredible, though.

Ben Lazar said...

I disagree about the album Devils & Dust (And FWIW, I think Joad is a snooze, and the Seeger Sessions is great). I don't think it's entirely consistent, but "Long Time Comin'," "All The Way Home," "Leah," "Maria's Bed" and "Reno" are all first rate Springsteen. Definitely 3 or so snoozers.

The tour was a mixed bag in my opinion. I LOVE the bootlegs I have, but actually being in the room was the first time I felt a sense of disconnection from a Springsteen show. His performances were outstanding though.

cindy hotpoint said...

And this is why I love that the C train is my transport route of choice (that and the B43 bus...)

Were you in the pentultimate car? That's always where magical stuff happens for me. Seriously!

Ben Lazar said...

I think I was in the 3rd car. It might have been the penultimate car. Seriously.