Springsteen wrote “Hungry Heart” for the Ramones?

Oh. Dude.

One of the good things about being home sick was I got to finish reading Will Hermes Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years In New York That Changed Music Forever.

Hermes spent years researching the New York music scene from 1973 to 1977.  He covered not only punk, disco and hip-hops beginnings (three genres that have so many books about their start already), but also lesser talked about 70s New York genres like Salsa, minimalism, loft jazz, opera and conceptual-performance music. Musicians like Patti Smith, Philip Glass, Bruce Springsteen, David Johansen, Willie Colon, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Caz, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Richard Hell, Steve Reich, Lenny Kaye, Wayne County, Handsome Dick Manitoba, David Bryne, Rasheid Ali, etc all get the spotlight as Hermes shows how they were essential to the New York scene. 

Hermes shows the relationships and rivalries these musicians had with each other: How Springsteen and Smith were friends, how Debbie Harry couldn’t stand Patti Smith as a person, how Wayne County and Dick Manitoba got into a fistfight on stage once, how Joey Ramone begged Bruce Springsteen to write a song for the Ramones to play so they could have a hit like Patti Smith did with “Because The Night” (he did, but Springsteen’s management forced Bruce to keep “Hungry Heart” for himself), how the Sugar Hill Gang stole Grandmaster Caz’s lyrics for “Rappers Delight”, how Wynton Marsalis essentially coerced Ken Burns to keep 1970s jazz out of his Jazz documentary because he simply didnt like it (well, I guess thats just a sentence in the epilogue, but still, thats messed up), etc etc etc.

It’s a great read, and I recommend it to anyone interested in New York City history and music history.

(also, the backcover has endorsements from Sarah Vowell, Chuck Klosterman and Luc Sante….that alone will get me to read this).

[via tristn:dontcookbilly]

Just downloaded the iBooks sample. Can’t wait to read this.

I just downloaded a sample as well. Looking forward to digging in.