Bruce Springsteen – 1984 ‘Born in the USA’ Tour Handwritten Set List & All Access Laminate / From Sound Man
Bruce Springsteen’s handwritten set list and an ‘All Access’ laminate from his 1984 Born In The USA Tour, from the collection of Bruce Jackson (1949-2011), Springsteen’s concert sound engineer from 1978 to 1988.
Jackson worked closely with Springsteen on the Darkness, The River, Born in the USA, Tunnel of Love Express and Bruce Springsteen 1992-1993 tours, as well as mixing sound for Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand and many other artists.
Springsteen wrote the Forward for On The Road With Elvis, a book about Jackson’s work with Elvis Presley. In it he described spending countless hours with Jackson in an effort to insure his audiences got “the best sound possible.” His essay concludes, “But at the end of the day he was just a good friend. He was a lovely friend of mine.”
Springsteen has handwritten the titles (sometimes in shortened versions) to fourteen songs played on the Born in the USA tour. This set list is almost certainly from a tour rehearsal, as Springsteen’s shows included more songs than he wrote down here. At some point the setlist was exposed to moisture, with droplets obscuring the first title, and blurring two others. There are some long flattened creases, indicating at some point Springsteen or Jackson folded it to fit into a pocket.
Also included is Bruce Jackson’s personal ‘All Access’ Tour Laminate, used by him on the Born In The USA Tour.
With Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity, noting that this was part of Bruce Jackson’s collection of Bruce Springsteen artifacts.
Setlist measures 6″ x 9 1/2″.
Songs: C (?) either Cadillac Ranch, Cover Me or Candy’s room, all played on the 84 tour/Hungry Heart/Dancin [Dancing in the Dark]/Sherry [Sherry Darling]/No Surrender/Because the Night/Pink Caddy [Pink Cadillac]/Bobby Jean/Racin [Racing in the Street]/Rosy [Rosalita]/[encores] Jungleland/Born to Run/Spirit [Spirit in the Night]/Devil [Detroit Medley – Devil in a Blue Dress]
Bruce Jackson (1949- 2011) was an acclaimed Australian audio engineer responsible for concert sound for Elvis Presley from 1971 until his death in 1977, Bruce Springsteen (1978-1988), and Barbara Streisand (1993- 2007).
During his long career in concert sound, Jackson worked with many other major artists including Johnny Cash, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and the Faces, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Al Green, and the Jackson Five and Michael Jackson.
From Wikipedia: Jackson mixed Springsteen on four major tours from 1978 to 1988, and is credited as engineer on the album Live/1975-85. The tours include Darkness, The River, Born in the U.S.A. and Tunnel of Love Express…Springsteen called him “BJ”.
At every new venue, Springsteen would take “BJ” around to various seats in the concert venue, sitting in every section, even the last row of seats, and listen to the band play. He asked Jackson why the sound was not so good far away as it was up close, and if the audio crew could do anything about it. Jackson said, “we can do a lot about it”, and worked with Clair Brothers to design a ring of delay loudspeakers positioned closer to the farthest seats to augment the high frequencies lost over distance by sound waves travelling through air. Throughout Jackson’s years with him, Springsteen maintained his interest in delivering high quality sound to every seat, and the solutions grew in size and complexity until by 1984 there were eight rings of delays set up for the largest venues.
Jackson worked closely with individual musicians in Springsteen’s band to help them achieve the sound they wanted…Bassist Garry Tallent described the elements of his bass rig to a reporter then summed up its overall effect by saying, “the rest is up to God and Bruce Jackson.”
Jackson had been close to Presley, but the two men were not near in age. “It was nice to have [Elvis] respect me and like me, of course, but in truth I think I had a much more extensive relationship with Springsteen – we were pretty much the same age. I remember once Bruce bought me a Jeep to thank me for all the work I’d done. I was shocked because he wasn’t one to do that sort of stuff.”
In 1988, Jackson quit touring with the birth of his son…However, he was consulted occasionally by Springsteen staff and Clair Bros to solve acoustic issues during subsequent tours.
A pilot, Jackson died in the crash of his private plane in January 2011. A memorial celebration of his life was held at the Sydney Opera House. Some 500 attendees listened to remembrances and anecdotes from family members and from business colleagues such as Roy Clair and David McGrath. Prerecorded videos were played, sent from Springsteen, the band U2, Streisand and her manager Martin Erlichman, and members of Fleetwood Mac.
In 2018, the coffee table book Bruce Jackson: On The Road With Elvis was published, with a forward by Bruce Springsteen.
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