Friday fanfare: “Cadillac Ranch”

My grandfather always owned Cadillacs. When one broke down, he went out and bought another one. He was a construction worker, but he viewed his car as a status symbol, and he thought Cadillacs were the classy cars to have. Grandpa always used to sneak me Juicy Fruits because he knew I liked to chew gum, but he also knew that my mother, his daughter, only allowed me to chew sugarless gum. But he’d give them to me anyhow, and say, “Don’t tell your mother.”

I was there when he died in 1976, suffering a heart attack while at a friend’s house. Four years later, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band released a great two-LP set called The River, which included a song called “Cadillac Ranch.” I have always and will always think of that song as a tribute to my grandfather.

Here’s the original:

Here’s a live version from 2016, with some great solos by Bruce, Nils Lofgren, Little Steven, and Soozie Tyrell.


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