Friday, July 1, 2016
Glory Days (#BOTB)
The Deception of the Past
Sometimes we get stuck in our glory days and overlook some of the best years that came later. High school or college years can be wistful reminiscence for some while others may see them as the most painful times of their lives. We tend to gloss over those times that we think of as the "good old days" forgetting that there was likely as much mundanity to those times as any other--but there seems to be some magic; something that makes those days seem better than the rest.
Typically there is an art of self-deception involved in these memories. Perhaps it comes down to some special person or groups of people, a place, an event, or the circumstance at that time of life. That lodestone of remembrance that keeps us looking back in time might be fooling us or maybe it is totally real. But it is the past after all and that is something we can never absolutely recapture in the place where we are now.
Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th. The premise is simple: Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it. Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.
Bruce Springsteen and Robbin Thompson were both born in 1949 just a few months apart. Springsteen was born in New Jersey which is where he was raised and began his musical career in 1965 inspired by Elvis, Sinatra, and the Beatles. Most of us know the trajectory of Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen's rise to fame so I don't feel compelled to talk about it here. If you don't know, you can find out more by visiting his Wiki entry.
The lesser known Robbin Thompson was born in Boston, Massachusetts a few months before Springsteen. Spending most of his childhood in Florida, he became involved with several regional bands between 1963 and 1967, even releasing a couple of singles with one of the bands. In 1968 Thompson moved to Richmond, Virginia to attend Virginia Commonwealth University. He soon formed another band that quickly became a local favorite. In 1969 Thompson's band shared a bill with a Bruce Springsteen's band Steel Mill. Thompson's band Mercy Flight opened for Steel Mill for a number of concerts. The two bandleaders struck up a friendship and Springsteen invited Thompson to be another lead singer in Steel Mill. The band continued to tour with Thompson for a few months.
Steel Mill disbanded in 1971 after which Springsteen eventually rose to massive fame. Robbin Thompson continued on his own and collaborated with many well known musical artists throughout the years. He and Springsteen remained friends and often appeared onstage as guest artists with each others' bands. Robbin Thompson had one minor national hit and his collaboration with fellow Richmonder Steve Bassett, "Sweet Virginia Breeze", is the official popular song for the state of Virginia as appointed by the Virginia State Assembly. Thompson continued his music career as a popular regional favorite until his death on October 10, 2015.
This Battle of the Bands installment involves two different songs about the same topic--perceptions of how good high school days were. I'm taking the risk of putting up Springsteen's massive hit against Thompson's much lesser known, but excellent song.
Bruce Springsteen "Glory Days" (1984)
Most of you have undoubtedly heard this song which received frequent play on MTV when MTV actually played music videos. From his best selling album Born in the USA, "Glory Days" is purportedly an autobiographical account of an encounter Springsteen had with an old high school friend. The song takes a somewhat cynical look at those who bask in their past achievements.
Robbin Thompson "Candy Apple Red" (1980)
Thompson's song takes a more positive view of looking back on high school memories. Written and recorded before Springsteen's song, one might speculate if "Glory Days" was a response to old friend Thompson's "Candy Apple Red". It's almost like the two former band mates decided to write songs on the same theme with very different results. Take a listen and compare.
Time to Vote!
Two different songs by two different artists. One you likely know while the other might be a new one to you. Maybe I'm taking a risk with this match, but I think it's worth a shot. Let us know what you think about these two recordings. Is there one that you prefer over the other? If you're visiting a Battle of the Bands post for the first time then let me briefly explain. Please give each song version a fair listen to decide which one you enjoy the most. If you don't like either then at least tell us which recording was least innocuous to you. This comes down to your preference and it's as easy as that.
Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours
Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
'Curious as a Cathy'
Sound of One Hand Typing
DC Relief Battle of the Bands
The Doglady's Den
Cherdo on the Flipside
Jingle, Jangle, Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting & Editing.
J. A. Scott
Holli's Hoots and Hollers
Winner Announced on Wednesday July 6th
Since I'll be posting for the Insecure Writer's Support Group on Wednesday I'm going to cut voting a little short so I can incorporate the two posts. We'll have the weekend for voting so I don't think the shorter time span will have that much of a negative effect. Also on Monday July 4th I'll be posting my Question of the Month which may not get a massive readership since it's a holiday. Hope you vote on this Battle and visit the upcoming posts anyway and if you don't then have a great July 4th for everyone in the U.S. and Happy Canada Day to my neighbors in the North.
How do you view your high school days? Do you think we often deceive ourselves about our own pasts? How do you feel when people brag about their past accomplishments?