https://youtu.be/FjT_PAU-ujE Danger Danger singer Ted Poley actually got his start in music as a drummer.…
played on Springsteen’s first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. Lopez started out in a drum & bugle corps. as a bugel player until the 8th grade. He attended a show at the U.S.O. club in Asbury Park NJ. Walking up to the club, he heard some great music coming from inside. He turned to his friend and said, “there’s a good band in here tonight.” His friend told him that what he was hearing was actually not a band, but his friend Buzzy playing drums along with records.
Buzzy Lubinsky was a drummer/dj. Probably one of the first. He would simultaneously spin records on two turntables while drumming. Vini started working as a roadie for Buzzy. Every once and a while Buzzy would have something to do and Vini would fill in for him. That’s essentially how he learned to play the drums.
Buzzy eventually got Vini a gig playing drums for Sonny Kenn and he never looked back. In 1968, Vini met Bruce Springsteen. Vini, Bruce and Danny Federici started a band called Steel Mill. “Tinker” – Carl West started getting them gigs in places like; Richmond and Nashville. In the early 70’s, they changed bass players and got “Little” Steven VanZandt in the band.
After a few years, Bruce went out on his own and signed with Mike Appel and Jimmy Cretecos at Colombia Records. Colombia originally wanted Bruce to use their studio musicians to record his album; but Bruce stuck to his guns. He told Colombia that he had a band already and he was going to use them. He called up his old buddy’s and formed the E Street Band. Vini played on The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. His favorite songs from that album are: Incident on 57th St. & Rosalita.
“When I see Bruce, he never looks backwards. But he does remember those old days; and he keeps telling me, (that) ‘one of these days… we’re going to go back to the old days.’ So I’m looking forward to those days. The new days… with Bruce, because we can make some good music again together.”
Goin’ Back to Georgia- STEEL MILL 1969 – featuring Vinie “Mad Dog” Lopez
Springsteen first made a name for himself in the local Asbury Park band Steel Mill, which featured future E Streeters Vini Lopez, Danny Federici and Steve Van Zandt. They never recorded a proper album, but they gained a pretty devoted following in New Jersey (and, weirdly, Richmond, Virginia) due to their marathon live shows. One of the highlights was “Goin’ Back to Georgia,” which owes a clear debt to the Allman Brothers. (as reported by Rolling Stone Magazine
The Born in the USA sessions lasted about three years, and produced tons of great non-album tracks like “Shut Out the Light,” “Pink Cadillac” and “Murder Incorporated.” Those have all been released, but “The Klansman” – a dark tale of a Southern boy visited by a KKK recruiter – remains in the vault. He cut the song at his home studio with a drum machine. Expect to see it on the inevitable Born in the USA box set.
There was almost a new Bruce Springsteen album in 1979 called The Ties That Bind, which would have included this pretty love song, but Springsteen pulled the LP at the last minute. He went back into the studio and recorded a ton more songs for the eventual double-LP set The River. “Cindy” didn’t survive the cut, but bootleggers got their hands on hours of material from this era.
Is this weirdest Bruce song ever? A lot of Nebraska songs are told from the perspective of criminals, but this outtake, about a guy who takes an underage girl to Florida as his “child bride,” is pretty dark. It’s not very far off from the real-life story of Charles Starkweather, the subject of Nebraska‘s title track (and the classic Terrence Malick movie Badlands, a major Springsteen inspiration). The song never came out, though parts of it evolved into “Working on the Highway.”
Springsteen spent six years fiddling around with “Janey Needs a Shooter,” but he was never satisfied with the results. Warren Zevon fell in love with the title after hearing it from Springsteen manager Jon Landau, and he started writing his own version (with the name changed to Jeannie) – which Springsteen helped him finish. Springsteen’s own version remained unreleased.
There was no Bruce Springsteen album in 1974, but he wrote new material through much of the year. “Lonely Night in the Park” was originally slated for his third disc, and manager Jon Landau argued that this song should have appeared on Born to Run instead of “Meeting Across the River.” He was overruled.
“Visitation at Fort Horn” was originally slated for Greetings From Asbury Park, but Clive Davis didn’t hear a hit on the LP. He sent Springsteen back to the studio, where he recorded “Spirit in the Night” and “Blinded By the Light.” To make room he, cut “Visitation at Ford Hood,” a wordy epic that recalls “Lost in the Flood.”
The wildly sacriligeous Jesus-in-the-Wild-West tale “If I Was the Priest” has never been released in any official capacity, but it remains one of the most important songs in the Springsteen catalog. He played it for Columbia exec John Hammond at their first meeting – and Hammond signed the young songwriter, hoping that his debut LP would be all solo songs like this.
Springsteen almost never plays pre-Greetings From Asbury Park songs in concert, so fans have to scour bootlegs to hear them. “Song for Orphans” is a rare exception. Out of nowhere, he dug it out in 2005 at a Trenton stop of his Devils and Dust tour. The handful of people in the arena who knew the song went insane.
This is another song that Springsteen played for John Hammond at his Columbia audition in 1972. He attempted a studio version during the Greetings sessions, but it didn’t come close to making the final cut. It’s a totally strange tale about cowboys who “herd the fishes of the deep . . . at the bottom of the sea.”
This is yet another song from Springsteen’s 1972 demo sessions with John Hammond. It’s sort of a proto-“Kitty’s Back,” about a girl with “Cadillac hips,” eyes that are “certified glass” and “legs just like a limousine.”
“Tokyo” was an early contender for The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. Springsteen regularly played it live, but epics like “Rosalita” and “New York City Serenade” only left room for seven songs. “Tokyo” was yanked, though many amazing live recordings survive. It’s a rare chance to hear Garry Tallent on the tuba.
This tune, recorded during the Ghost of Tom Joad sessions, was recorded by rockabilly hero Sonny Burgess and included on the 1997 Springsteen tribute disc One Step Up/Two Steps Back: The Songs of Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen and Burgess played it together at a 9/11 benefit concert in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2001.