Blue Monday

The new super-duper boxed-set edition of Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town is coming out in a couple of months. While the packaging looks complete to the point of overkill, it probably won’t include a snapshot of the T-shirt that defined the New Jersey summers during the three-year layover between Born to Run and the 1978 release of Darkness. As anyone who was in the vicinity of Asbury Park back then would know, Springsteen fans were walking around the boardwalk with T-shirts emblazoned with MIKE APPEL SUCKS. Appel, Springsteen’s original manager, did not go quietly when rock critic Landau moved in on his meal ticket, which is why the followup to Born to Run took so long to arrive.  That’s why, to me, the title of Darkness will always be Mike Appel Sucks.

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4 thoughts on “Blue Monday

  1. organizer says:

    Yeah, Appel was a prick–signing Bruce to a slave contract, signed on a car hood in a dark parking lot. Bruce had to fight for years to get the rights to his songs back and to work with Landau.

    Bruce has, however, come to terms with Appel–whose incredibly pushy nature did get him recognized and a tryout before John Hammond before he might have otherwise. Bruce had him sitting at his table when he was inducted into the R & R Hall of Fame.

    • Marile Cloete says:

      Bruce must have an incredible way with people to sustain all those longterm relationships with the band and many others who work with him. And even more so to come to grips with a person like Appel.

  2. Steven Hart says:

    I didn’t know that! Landau’s prejudice against long-form songs certainly changed Springsteen’s songwriting. No more epics like “Jungleland.”

  3. Joseph Zitt says:

    1) No more epics? How about “Outlaw Pete”?

    2) When I was in Israel in the mid-80s, I heard an artist on the radio (I forget his name) who sounded to me a lot like Bruce. Looking at the credits when I found the CD, I immediately noticed that it featured the violinist Suki Lahav, who played on the Born to Run album. Digging further I spotted the producer’s name. It was Mikhael Tapuakh, which is Hebrew for “Michael Apple.”

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