Sin City Presents Magazine November 2016 Volume 3 Issue 11 - Page 12

Artists i'm tired of defending


Written by: Sweet Pete Brown

We’re always excited when new members join our team and this month we welcome our newest member, “Sweet Pete Brown”!

Sweet Pete Brown is a singer, writer and amateur astronomer currently living in Las Vegas. He plays with his band Sweet Pete Brown and the Natural Facts

Get to know Sweet Pete! Follow him on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Now let’s get to it!

Sure, these people have sold millions of records, so I shouldn’t have to come to their defense, but, I find myself repeating a lot of these points more often than you'd think, so, here goes;

1. Bruce Springsteen

Most people know "Born in the USA" and the singles from that hit record which launched him into the stratosphere. After that, he would be forever associated with the blue collar, working man, "Heartland" and American idealism. What many DON'T know, is that title track (particularly in its acoustic inception) was a protest song about the unfair way Vietnam vets were treated upon coming back to their home, a country they fought and watched their fellow soldiers die for. Maybe the cheesy 80's over-production values aren’t helping convey the cynicism, but, the way Bruce howls out that chorus, the tortured refrain of a desperate man was NOT meant to be patriotic as the general masses incorrectly assumed, but IRONIC.

It’s a scathing indictment of our Nation's broken system in which men who sacrificed so much, received so little in return. The last verse; "Down past the shadow of the penitentiary, out by the gas fires of the refinery, ten years burning down the road, nowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go" -I'm not ashamed to admit- gives me chills every time.

I've never heard anyone try to sing that song and nobody could scream it like he did (Not even HE can do it anymore) It's a once in a lifetime performance captured by having his band playing live in the studio. With little to no rehearsal and a loose arrangement, a classic was put down for all posterity in only take number two.

Also, when "The Boss" finally hit mainstream success in 1985, he had already been recording for 12 years prior and had racked up a total of SIX albums. His classic 3rd album (and still my favorite) Born to Run, released to critical acclaim in 1975, was such a unique combination of dark, street poetry with a 50's/60's rock revival feel, it blew away audiences and true music lovers at the time, yet not many are familiar with it now.

Simply listen to the first track "Thunder Road" for its hauntingly beautiful tale of two lovers seeking a way out of the cruel injustice of their world, (a theme he frequently re-visited) or the single "Born to Run", an admitted attempt to re-create Phil Spector's legendary, "Wall of Sound" wrapped around what must have seemed like at the time, to be rock-n-roll's last grasp for air. Occasionally when that one comes on the radio, I crank it up, sing along and feel the longing for salvation from a life that doesn’t make sense anymore.

"Tramps like us, baby we were Born to Ruuuuuuun" Call me corny, I don’t care. That's powerful.