On 16 November 2010 Bruce Springsteen released The Promise, a double CD compilation album of previously unreleased songs from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions.
The cover photograph, taken in Nevada by Eric Meola on 22 August 1977, shows Bruce Springsteen leaning against the hood of a red Galaxie 500 convertible, parked on a dust road which disappears toward Battle Mountain in the background. Bruce is reflective, hand to face. There is drama in the sky – impending darkness.
In his book Streets of Fire (2012) Eric shares his recollections from that 1977 shoot, and they set the scene perfectly:
“I spent days looking at maps, and then settled on a stretch of Route 80 between Salt Lake City, Utah and Reno, Nevada. Finally, the plans came together—we would fly out to Salt Lake City, find an old car, and drive it across the desert to Reno. Then, the day before we were due to leave, Elvis died. We flew to Salt Lake City on schedule, and spent an afternoon in used car lots, finally settling on a red convertible—a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500XL with bucket seats. In my mind, I was already visually closer to what would be the album Nebraska than I was to “Darkness.” I was focused on the landscapes and, to a lesser extent, Bruce. That vision would have to wait for David Michael Kennedy’s stark, chilling, almost anonymous photograph through a car windshield.”
“The conversation during our drive across the desert was mainly about the “Memphis Mafia,” and Elvis. Then, something happened that was…well, almost biblical. We had come to a place marked on the map as Unionville, just to the west of Battle Mountain. Nearby, there was an abandoned one-room schoolhouse and a cabin where Mark Twain once lived while writing Roughing It. I took some photographs of the gravel road, and of Bruce driving towards the camera, as the sky began to darken. But Bruce was restless, so we left the road at Unionville, and grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby roadside cafe.”
“It was August 22nd. We had spent the night before in Elko, and because we had been driving all day and all night, we tried to fall asleep in the car. But on that restless night, I slept fitfully on the hood of the Galaxie, listening to dogs howling all along Main Street. When we went back, the sky had gone black and the wind had come up. I photographed more images including a shot of Bruce in front of the car, leaning on the hood—a long, thin, dusty dirt road going off in the distance behind him, disappearing over Battle Mountain. It began to rain, and flashes of lightning filled the valley floor. It was one of those days and moments that stay with you to the grave. There was that strong, fresh, electric smell of ozone after lightning has cleared the air, and the feel of moisture mixed with dry desert wind—something I had felt only once before. We flew back home a few days later, and most of those landscape images were never used, like much of what I shot for Bruce during those years.”
We are delighted to announce that you can now acquire this important limited edition photograph for your collection. It is available to purchase in a range of three physical size options.
You can view price and size information, and place an order here.