Gene Stevens on his Favourite Artist: Bruce Springsteen

Sometime in the past 20 years I decided my favourite artist was Bruce Springsteen. I’m not quite sure exactly when, or how, that happened – I think it just ‘evolved’. Seeing him in concert the first time in 1980 was one of life’s highlights. My ‘conversion’ probably started then. I used to love – and still do – acts like Elvis, the Beatles and CCR. Actually my first favourite artists were The Animals, when I was growing up – just loved their dark, gritty sound with the haunting ache of ‘The House of the Rising Sun’. That was my all-time favourite song – till my Springsteen awakening. Now it’s ‘Born to Run’ (still). It’s a majestic, passionate masterpiece that blends Dylanesque imagery with Presley sensuality, powered by Spector style ‘wall of sound’ production. I’m looking forward to playing you two versions of that classic – Springsteen’s original from 1975, and his more wistful, mature rendering on Broadway just last year.

‘The Boss’ is turning 70 next week, and I’m saluting him with a spotlight that’ll include his first recording in the mid-60s with his first band – The Castiles; then his early 70s breakthrough, his superstar hits of the 80s and finally his brand new work from ‘Western Stars’ – the album, and the film recently premiered at TIFF. I hope you’ll join me for one of the most inspiring and exciting stars of popular music.

I’m continuing the year-long spotlight on ‘the greatest groups of our time – in alphabetical order’, and this time it’s The Rolling Stones. This will be one terrific, energized, rockin’ edition show – starting, as always, with ‘The Fabulous Fifties – and Beyond’. That’s all on the next ‘Vintage Favourites’ this Sunday (Sep.22) starting at 2pm.