Making Our Move

I’ve been thinking about how Everton should mark the departure from Goodison Park to Bramley Moore Dock. It’s massive this. Seismic.

Nearly 150 years of history. The impact of the move on the dynamic in L4 cannot be underestimated. Everton stand on closer to the edge of greatness than they have in a generation, maybe two. I recently turned 41. We were champions when I was 7, surprise cup winners when I was 15. Nothing since.

We went and got Ancelotti.
We went and got James Rodriguez.
We are building the Fourth Grace on the famous Mersey waterfront.

This is a further opportunity to make headlines across the world. I am convinced that Everton Football Club are THE football club of the United States. Good, honest America. It does exist behind all the bullshit. Blue-collar, hard-working, self-made. Infused with Scots and Irish heritage… Just like us here in Liverpool. Maybe not everyone over there realizes it yet. But those are just Evertonians who don’t know they are Evertonians yet. Other nations can buy into it too. Our appeal, our heritage, our heart and soul. It knows no bounds.

It’s time, long overdue in fact, to play to our strengths. Of which we possess many.

It’s time to cash in. In the best possible sense of the term, both financially and emotionally.

Bruce Springsteen had been waiting for this moment for a long time. “I gotta tell you,” he said to the 76,000-strong crowd, “I’ve been trying to do this for 50 years.” For the finale of his headline slot in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday, he’d arranged a very special treat: An onstage collaboration with Beatles legend Paul McCartney.

Linnie Rawlinson, CNN News, 16 July 2012

Sorry fellas. You picked the wrong town to do it.

On that night in July 2012 Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney had the power switch flipped and were thrown offstage, midway through a storming rendition of The Beatles’ showstopper, Bert Berns/Phil Medley’s Twist and Shout. It was supposed to be the ultimate climax to a typical Springsteen set. A celebration of everything The Boss and his seasoned rock ‘n’ roll, soul, rhythm ‘n’ blues revue, the legendary E Street Band, have been for over half a century. The Boss and a Beatle rocking out. Poetry.

Flash back to December 1962. A 13-year-old Springsteen is practicing his guitar stance in his bedroom in small-town New Jersey. Strumming to his Elvis Presley records. An until recently ragtag group called The Beatles are about to head home to Merseyside from Hamburg, where they have paid their rock ‘n’ roll dues, honed their craft and had their hair cut into mop tops. In Liverpool 4, Harry Catterick’s Everton football team win once and draw three of their four fixtures. They embark on a run to the end of the 1962/63 campaign which includes eleven wins and only three defeats, clinching the title in style, playing the School of Science brand of soccer with which the club had made their name.

Over the next few years, The Fab Four would conquer the world. The Mersey Millionaires would augment their squad with record signings, The Golden Vision and The Holy Trinity would sprinkle their stardust, Pele, Yashin and Eusebio would run out at Goodison Park, World Cup winners would wear the Royal Blue and the club would claim further silverware and imbue their illustrious history with thrilling new chapters. Bruce Frederick Springsteen would slowly get to grips with the rudiments of playing the guitar, compose his first songs, with the work of Lennon and McCartney, the Rolling Stones and co. ringing through his imagination all the while. He would put together early incarnations of the kind of pulsating band he knew he needed to take him where he wanted to go and begin to cultivate a legend of his own, up and down the Eastern seaboard. Tales of his heart-stopping, foundation-shaking concerts would spread far and wide. Like The Beatles before him, Bruce would catapult himself ‘to the toppermost of the poppermost’.

As of September 2020, with Springsteen just days away from his 71st birthday, McCartney a stately 78, The Boss has still never played Liverpool.

Liverpool, the city where the Merseybeat phenomenon – spearheaded by The Beatles at venues like The Cavern Club – so spectacularly combined British and American, black and white, musical sensibilities, in the 1960s. Drew on their heritage, blended with an alternative cultural scene in Hamburg and repackaged it all for the world to twist and shout to.

Liverpool, THE spiritual home of the rock and roll music Springsteen and his band have celebrated through every lovingly crafted album, every lung-busting, marathon-length concert over the past 50-plus years.

Liverpool, home of not one, but TWO great football clubs, one of which – Everton, as it happened – where a jobbing musician called Jim McCartney, who lived on Sunbury Road, beside Anfield, would take his sons Paul and Mike along to watch at their Goodison Park home in the years after the War.

Liverpool.

Home.

It’s time we showed Bruce how we do things in L4. And gave him and Macca the stage one more time.

Without pulling the plug.

Without a curfew.

We went out and got Ancelotti.
We went out and signed James Rodriguez.

We can get McCartney and Springsteen

We can do this. A world-renowned, double-barrelled, superstar headline act in a summer of celebration when we move from Goodison to Bramley Moore. No expenses spared. No effort spared. Turn Stanley Park into a festival of Blue. Nothing but the best will do. The setlist is already written. The legendary cassette tape of Springsteen’s Born In The USA album, which became the lucky soundtrack on every coach journey Howard Kendall’s men took in 1984/85, has been digitized and remixed to blast from the most powerful of speaker systems.

Wrecking Ball

(Bruce Springsteen)

I was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey, some misty years ago
Through the mud and the beer, and the blood and the cheers, I’ve seen champions come and go
So if you got the guts mister, yeah if you’ve got the balls
If you think it’s your time, then step to the line, and bring on your wrecking ball

Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball

Now my home’s here in these Meadowlands, where mosquitoes grow big as airplanes
Here where the blood is spilled, the arena’s filled, and Giants played the games.
So raise up your glasses and let me hear your voices call
Come on!
Because tonight all the dead are here, so bring on your wrecking ball

Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball

One, two, one two three four!

Yeah we know that come tomorrow, none of this will be here
So hold tight to your anger
Hold tight to your anger
Hold tight to your anger, and don’t fall to your fears

Now when all this steel and these stories, they drift away to rust
And all our youth and beauty, has been given to the dust
When the game has been decided, and we’re burning down the clock
And all our little victories and glories, have turned into parking lots

When your best hopes and desires, are scattered to the wind
And hard times come, and hard times go
And hard times come, and hard times go
And hard times come, hard times go
And hard times come, and hard times go
And hard times come, and hard times go
Yeah just to come again

Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball (bring on your wrecking ball)
Bring on your wrecking ball (bring on your wrecking ball)
Take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got, bring on your wrecking ball

One, two, one two three four!

Whoa-ho-ho
Whoa-ho-ho
Whoa-ho-ho
Whoa-ho-ho

The River

(Bruce Springsteen)

I come from down in the valley
Where, mister, when you’re young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
When she was just seventeen
We drive out of this valley
Down to where the fields were green

We’d go down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
Oh, down to the river we’d ride
Then I got Mary pregnant
And man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday
I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse
And the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles no walk down the aisle
No flowers no wedding dress

That night we went down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
Oh down to the river we did ride
I got a job working construction
For the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been much work
On account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember
Mary acts like she don’t care

But I remember us riding in my brother’s car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse

That sends me down to the river
Though I know the river is dry
That sends me down to the river tonight
Down to the river
My baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride

Other suggested songs:

Bruce Springsteen:

Glory Days
Blood Brothers
Born To Run

The Beatles:

Get Back
There’s A Place
All Together Now

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