Elliott Murphy

Better Days - July 2005

"Better Days" has always meant so much to me as a great song and a philosophy for life. I clearly remember the first time I heard it on the radio when it was released as the first (I think) single from the Lucky Town/Human Touch double album release and aside from just loving the groove of the track I thought my friend Bruce really sounded contented and on a personal level that was really rewarding. I sang "Better Days" for the Light Of Day benefit album that was put together by Sal Trepat and Bob Benjamin and then I presented the CD to Bruce before his show with the E Street band in Madrid a few years ago. He seemed happy with my version of his song and of course that's always gratifying. I tried to give it a Ben E. King Stand By Me feel on the recording and he picked up on that right away. So then a few hours later I was watching the show like everybody else in the audience when Bruce called my name and started singing "Better Days". I ran to that stage so fast I was like a blur to the security guards and grabbed a guitar and was singing by the first chorus. Whew! So when Bruce mentioned we might do something together in Paris during his solo European tour last June I wanted to be completely prepared and called him that morning to ask what song we would be singing. When he called me back a half hour later and just said "Better Days" I was thrilled I knew because this time I would be ready.

It was the 24th song in his set and I stood by the side of the stage watching his incredible one-man show. In my opinion, there is no other performer I know who could do what Bruce does on these recent solo shows. The shows are magical and spiritual, uplifting and intimate and the audience is incredibly focused and respectful for over two hours. Every time I see Bruce play I learn something about myself. So finally, my time in the spotlight arrived and Bruce gave me one of his beautiful new Jumbo acoustics to play and I walked on stage and was greeted with a very moving cheer of "El-li-ott! El-li-ott! in my adopted hometown of Paris which really helped to make me feel comfortable. Bruce played a 12 String and harmonica and we traded off on the verses and in my humble opinion I think we really did a fine job. So once again, I thank Bruce for letting me be a part of his beautiful show and here's to Better Days for all of us."

Elliott Murphy, New York City July 2005

 

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