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The lights are on, but you're not home:

According to Joan Walsh at Salon:

[Bill Clinton] left the stage to U2's "Beautiful Day," which then strangely segued into Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" — although the band cut off the refrain but the crowd shouted out the line they dropped: "You might as well face that you're addicted to love."

This calls for the 12" remix:

Let the healing begin.

(HT: Jim Chen)

UPDATE: CSPAN captures the precise moment of addictus interruptus:

Apparently, somebody at the convention noticed the problem and abruptly pulled the plug on the sound, but couldn't stop the audience from continuing the song.

Anderson (mail):
Absolutely hilarious.

Addicted to *something*, surely, but can we call it "love"?
8.28.2008 1:44pm
Hoosier:
It's always a challenge when you use rock songs for a political "message." When (Bill) clinton went on stage, they struck up "Don't Stop Thinking about Tomorrow." Ironically, a reference to a campaign of 16 years ago, seranading a man who left office eight years before.

Bush and co. used the song at rallies somewhat effectively: They played "Don't Stop" for a time, then broke in with "Won't Get Fooled Again." Clever. But the final line of the song is, of course, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Which isn't quite the message they were seeking to put out.

That said, Robert Plamer is not the guy to play for Bill Clinton. Just a bad, bad call. Though "Flower" by Liz Phair would have been worse.
8.28.2008 2:34pm
hawkins:
Too bad it didnt segue into "Sneakin' Sally"
8.28.2008 2:43pm
The Unbeliever:
I won my bet with myself: the Dems did reuse "Beautiful Day" for a speaker who really didn't warrant it (last time it was at the end of John Kerry's acceptance speech).

But it puts me at risk of losing my second bet, that Obama's speech will be followed by a U2 song.
8.28.2008 3:17pm
zippypinhead:
Bill Clinton leaves the stage to a fragment of "Addicted to Love" and the convention crowd obligingly fills in the missing [and incriminating] tag-line? Brilliant! Just the sort of funny gaffe that, if noticed, could tick off Bill (and maybe Hill?) all over again. Wonderfully respectful team-building there, guys!

This may be right up there with the Reagan campaign's misguided attempt to use Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as an uplifting anthem in the '84 re-election campaign...
8.28.2008 3:42pm
Anderson (mail):
Though "Flower" by Liz Phair would have been worse.

Heh. Indeed.
8.28.2008 5:23pm
Crunchy Frog:

This may be right up there with the Reagan campaign's misguided attempt to use Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as an uplifting anthem in the '84 re-election campaign...

Sadly, most of the American public thinks it is an uplifting anthem. Mostly that's attribtable to Sprinsteen's refusal to actually use consonants when he sings, so nobody can understand the lyrics.
8.28.2008 5:33pm
DiverDan (mail):
I'm sure that using this song to usher the Great Prevaricator off the stage was the work of a vast right wing conspiracy! -- whoops, it was the Dems running the show -- who needs a right wing conspiracy with friends like that, eh Bill?
8.28.2008 5:56pm
glangston (mail):
Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" would have been a good one but it had been used just a few days ago for the Olympic farewell. Yep, "gonna give you every (bit) of my love".....indeed.
8.28.2008 7:04pm
EH (mail):
The music used at the DNC is about as meaningful as it is on the Jay Leno show that it apes. The question remains, though, will the RNC use bumper music similarly? Will they only use music that old white people like?
8.28.2008 7:30pm
Fub:
EH wrote at 8.28.2008 6:30pm:
The question remains, though, will the RNC use bumper music similarly? Will they only use music that old white people like?
Only bitter, frustrated people, clinging to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment.

Maybe a rendition of some old Johnny Cash: I shot an atheist immigrant free-trader in Reno, who didn't look like me...
8.28.2008 8:51pm
Joshua:
zippypinhead: This may be right up there with the Reagan campaign's misguided attempt to use Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as an uplifting anthem in the '84 re-election campaign...

Crunchy Frog: Sadly, most of the American public thinks it is an uplifting anthem. Mostly that's attribtable to Sprinsteen's refusal to actually use consonants when he sings, so nobody can understand the lyrics.

Springsteen's closing line from that song ("I'm a cool rockin' daddy in the USA", not something you'd expect to hear in a song critical of America) and the placement of a huge American flag in the background of the album cover probably had a lot to do with it too.
8.28.2008 10:09pm
zippypinhead:
Oh, jeez, the DNC flunkie in charge of the convention music clearly DOESN'T get it. 9:43 pm EDT, and it's clear from CNN's live feed that they're playing Springsteen's "Born in the USA" in the stadium to try to get the crowd excited and rowdy before the Story of O begins. Argh!!!

Fire that clown, or at least get him the liner notes for anything he/she/it proposes to play!
8.28.2008 10:47pm
Mozart:
"The question remains, though, will the RNC use bumper music similarly? Will they only use music that old white people like?"

How 'bout

Country Joe and the Fish? ["1-2-3 what are we fighting for; don't ask me I don't give a damn..."]

Weird Al Yankovich [Ayatollah and McCain's favorite dittie, Bomb Iran]

Springsteen had a great cover of Edwin Starr's War on his Live 1975-1985 album. Too bad he's a Dem and won't let the RNC play his stuff.
8.28.2008 11:02pm
Hoosier:
Mozart:

I'm actually betting on In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. But posting that isn't a wittily sarcastic attack on the GOP. So let's just keep this between us old friends. 'K?

PS--LOVED the Requiem Mass! Nice work.
8.29.2008 12:00am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
zip:

Oh, jeez, the DNC flunkie in charge of the convention music clearly DOESN'T get it. 9:43 pm EDT, and it's clear from CNN's live feed that they're playing Springsteen's "Born in the USA"


This article does a nice job of explaining why the use of that song was appropriate. But I can't explain why he seemingly overlooks the Robert Palmer issue.
8.29.2008 3:27am
Mozart:
Somebody using the pseudonym "Mozart" should never disagree about pop music with somebody using the pseudonym "jukeboxgrad" but that article trying to justify Born in the USA was just silly.

Using depressing lyrics from a peppy-sounding 25 year old song about a 35 year old societal failure is appropriate as an uplifting campaign anthem? Not. By that measure for domestic issues events they ought to be inspiring the campaign by playing Springsteen's Johnny 99 about a guy on death row because he got laid off from the auto plant and happened to shoot a store clerk in a robbery meant to feed his family. Not.

And add Billy Joel's Allentown . And the rest of Springsteen's album Nebraska, and his song My Home Town too. Some Johnny Cash would be good too, especially when campaigning in the south. Not.

And use Stephen Sills' Love the One You're With whenever Hillary takes the trail for Obama to convince her supporters to back the nominee. Just not when Bill's in the room.

Not.
8.29.2008 9:55am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mozart:

depressing lyrics… as an uplifting campaign anthem


"Born in the USA" is like a lot of his other songs: it tells a sad story while also carrying a message of hope and redemption. In this particular song, that hopeful message is revealed in the lyrics only once: "I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A." The line only appears once, and it's the line that ends the song. In a Springsteen song, there are no accidents.

Rolling Stone said it this way:

Though it looks at hard times, at little people in little towns choosing between going away and getting left behind, Born in the U.S.A," Bruce Springsteen's seventh album, has a rowdy, indomitable spirit. …

Though the characters are dying of longing for some sort of payoff from the American dream, Springsteen's exuberant voice and the swell of the music clues you that they haven't given up.

… That's classic Springsteen: the lyrics may put a lump in your throat, but the music says, Walk tall or don't walk at all.


You realize the song is "peppy-sounding." This means that hopefully you can see what this writer means about interpreting the lyrics in the context of what "the music says." The "peppy-sounding" music supports the idea conveyed in the closing line: that the protagonist hasn't "given up," and has an "indomitable spirit" that let's him be "a cool rocking daddy in the USA." Despite what the war and the economy have done to him.

Johnny 99


That song (lyrics) is from Nebraska, which is one of Bruce's darkest albums, and arguably his best. What makes that album different is that he mostly leaves out the message of hope and redemption, and just gives us the mercilessly unmitigated depression.
8.29.2008 10:43am
David Chesler (mail) (www):
I'm new at this interyoutubes thing, and my employer doesn't allow fun stuff (but it allows the VC, I guess this is serious) - when I try the video links they're no longer available, and the playing-off music isn't on the CSPAN site. Is there somewhere I can see it?
8.29.2008 10:48am
Mozart:
Jukebox: "I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A."

As the concluding line of lyrics devoted to decrying one's mistreatment by one's country as a Vietnam draftee and vet, the most likely interpretation is that it's SARCASM. Like the rest of the tune it's PEPPY sarcasm, but sarcasm nonetheless.

And the Rolling Stone review you selectively quote was of the ALBUM -- sounds like a perfectly adequate overall thematic description, particularly in light of songs like No Retreatt, No Surrender and Darlington County (probably another ditty best not to play around Bill?).

Rolling Stone's description of the SONG Born in the USA: "ironic fervor for the Vietnam vet's yelping about the dead ends of being Born in the U.S.A."

A dumb, dumb, dumb campaign theme song, unless you intend to depress those few who are actually paying attention. Almost as brilliant a choice as playing Addicted to Love for Bill Clinton right after he unconditionally and enthusiastically endorsed the nominee as the heir to the best of his administration's legacy.
8.29.2008 11:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mozart:

the most likely interpretation is that it's SARCASM


Bruce doesn't do sarcasm. On the contrary, he's painfully earnest and direct. I say that as someone who's been studying his work for thirty-five years. And "studying" is not an exaggeration.

the Rolling Stone review you selectively quote was of the ALBUM


True, but the title song, unsurprisingly, is very congruent with the message of the album. So what I quoted described the title song as well as the album.

unless you intend to depress those few who are actually paying attention


Obviously most people are barely paying attention, and they just feel uplifted because it's "peppy-sounding." In other words, most people interpret the song the way Reagan did. A handful of people actually pay attention to the verses, and not just the chorus, and that small group will interpret it either the way I do or the way you do. But either way that's a small group, as you acknowledge.

After the Reagan incident, Bruce created a different version of the song, one that intentionally makes it much harder to do what Reagan did: overlook the depressing core story. In the new version, the musical arrangement is anything but "peppy-sounding" (instead, it's a slow blues played solo on slide guitar). But the lyrics are unchanged, with the exception of removing that critical ending line. I think this supports my interpretation of that line.
8.29.2008 1:27pm