Author(s): Eric Meola
On a day like this, I remember - I'm the President, but he's The Boss. President Obama, commenting on Bruce Springsteen, Kennedy Center awards ceremony, 2009. Before Bruce Springsteen became The Boss, he was just a kid musician from New Jersey, playing at the City's local stomping grounds and hawking tickets to his shows at $5.50 a pop. Photographer Eric Meola saw The Boss' potential, having witnessed a glimmer of it at a 1973 show at Max's Kansas City and later in 1975, after spending a day behind the lens, snapping photos of the young songwriter as they drove up and down Jersey's legendary Highway 9. Meola "got" Springsteen so well that one of his shots - the image of Springsteen leaning on Clarence Clemons' shoulder - would become the cover of the "Born to Run" album. Meola's photo shoot with The Boss in 1977 was different. By that time, Springsteen was more firmly coming into his own, having won some critical acclaim and a legion of dedicated fans. Springsteen arrived at Meola's New York City studio carrying a small paper bag with a change of clothes. His beard was gone; this was clearly a new stage in his life, a departure from "Born to Run". Over the days that followed, Meola took several photographs of Springsteen, his lens adjusting to the new persona-Springsteen, the rock star-that emerged from the darkness. "Streets of Darkness" is a carefully curated collection of Meola's photographs - some of which have never been published before - from those 1977 photo shoots. They span an afternoon spent in Holmdel at Telegraph Hill Road, drives on Highway 9, afternoons spent in Meola's studio, and days goofing around playing softball with the rest of the E Street Kings - intimate portraits that provide a window in the early days and life of one of the world's most legendary performers. Deluxe in size, this book is more than a must-have item for Springsteen fans; it is a work of art just as memorable and moving as the album "Darkness on the Edge of Town". Complete with an introduction from Meola, an insightful essay that puts the photo shoot into historical context, and running lyrics to several of Springsteen's songs, this collectible volume shows Springsteen as he was - an artist at the crossroads of his fledgling career, writing about dark themes and finding redemption through his own words and image.
ERIC MEOLA is an accomplished photographer, whose subjects have included everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Haitian children. His works has been featured in several galleries, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and in Munich's Museum of Modern Art. He lives in Syracuse, New York. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN's recording career spans more than thirty years. By 1975, Time and Newsweek declared Springsteen a national phenomenon. He has released twenty-four albums, garnered nineteen Grammy awards, won an Oscar, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.