There are shelves bulging under the weight of Springsteen coffee table books, so was there really a need for one more? Well, as Streets of Fire proves, absolutely. This book of beautiful black and white photos and accompanying essays, were all taken by Eric Meola at the tail end of Springsteen’s legal battle with his former manager – keeping the singer out of the studio for a year – through the recording and release of his bleakest album up to that point Darkness on the Edge of Town. Meola was documenting music history.
As he points out in one of the book’s first essays, Springsteen and Meola rented a red convertible 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 XL in Utah and drove most of the night through the Bonneville Salt Flats to Elko, Nevada where they took some of the most memorable photos of the soon to legend. Meola’s pics of Springsteen on those often empty stretches of road, including documentation of The Boss getting nabbed by cops for speeding, are followed by a series of photos of Springsteen inside an old New Jersey farmhouse where he was recording.
The photos alone would have made the book a must-have for any fans of the musician, but Meola’s personal essays of the shooting sessions and his memories of working with Springsteen, as well as lyrics from the Darkness album, put this book ahead of just about all other coffee table books that have been compiled over the years around Jersey’s favorite son. Meola has also pledged to donate all of his proceeds from the book to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.