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  • Rock ‘n roll’s last angry man, Bruce Springsteen performed on Jimmy Fallon’s show this week in advance of his new album, Wrecking Ball, and it convinced me that his newest effort is not only his best work yet, but that he has indeed become the voice of a new generation.

    Honestly, no one writes like him anymore; it’s pure, unadulterated craftsmanship. And, his rag-tag E Street Band is just totally in sync; they’re flawless in their execution.

    I mean, what other band working today has four guitarists? I’ve always loved Nils Lofgren. They way he caresses his whammy bar, during the open notes of “We Take Care Of Our Own” is simply sublime.

    I’ve gotten to know Steve Van Zandt over the years, and though it’s sometimes hard to tell exactly what he’s playing, his camaraderie with Bruce and the band is exemplary. Truth be told, I couldn’t imagine Bruce without him.

    Max Weinberg without a doubt, is the heart and soul of the band. His drumming is spot-on perfect, just phenomenal. I’ve watched him over the years and his talent is amazing.

    While I think this first song is simply excellent, Bruce and the band performed the title track “Wrecking Ball” from the album, and it was even better. Starting off in a true-blue Dylan-esque style, his lyrics are his best ever.

    Both these tracks hark back to some of his best work (“Jungleland,” “Thunder Road”) and paint a true picture of the current state of the country. He may have a house in Bel Air next to Nancy Reagan, but Springsteen has always had an uncanny ability to decipher the nation’s soul.

    Personally, I like it best when an artist paints a sonically graphic rendering of his special place and takes me there with the music. I must say that the the only thing missing, and would have worked perfectly for sure, is a horn line (or two) from the late Clarence Clemmons.

    I didn’t know how Bruce will replace that special magic, but I’m sure he will do the Big Man justice. I haven’t heard the whole album, but based on the two songs I have heard, and now watching him perform, it’s the most significant work from him yet. Go Bruce!

    Supreme Mary Wilson Readies New Album

    And you thought you had a tough time watching The Oscars: Mary Wilson, of The Supremes, and author Mark Bego, are seen here on the red carpet at The Academy Awards party “Night of 100 Stars” at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

    Wilson is about to release a new album called Life’s Been Good to Me, and author Bego has just released his latest book, “Whitney Houston! The Spectacular Rise and Tragic Fall of the Singer Whose Voice Inspired a Generation.” Bego has been following Houston’s career since the beginning and provides some unique insights into her life following her tragic death.

    Also there were Mark Harmon, Martin Landau, Joel Diamond with Rebecca Holden, Bruce Davison, Richard Dreyfuss, Fred Willard, Dee Wallace and Alan Thicke.

    Names in the News

    Erin Cohen, Andrew Saffir, Donna Dolenz, Lee Jeske, Deb Caponetta, Bruce Grakal, Michele Grant, David Garrison, David Adelson, Eileen Roaman, David Salidor, Paul Iorio, Adrian Niles, Coatimundi, August Darnell, Roy Trakin, Bob Austin, Tom & Lisa Cuddy.