Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen:
I was called in to see Charles Koppelman, head of A & R, to review the album. We played a good piece of the first side and I was immediately informed the album was unreleasable. Mr. Koppelman said the musicianship was simply not up to snuff. He asked me to meet him down at a Columbia studio in a few nights and he’d show me what some “real” musicians could do with these songs. I am sure he meant well but I explained I could not do that. I told him this was my band, I was committed to them, I thought the record sounded great, I was proud of it and wanted it released as is. Mr. Koppelman was blunt in his assessment of my prospects. If I insisted on the recording being released as it was it would most likely go in the trash heap, receive little promotion and, along with me, disappear. What could I do? I liked it the way it was, so I fiercely insisted it remain unmeddled with, and what Mr. Koppelman promised was exactly what happened.
When we toured to promote The Wild, the Innocent, few even knew it had been released. I hit one Texas radio station where I was told a representative from my record company had visited and, while promoting several new Columbia recordings, literally told them to remove mine from airplay, adding, “The songs are too long.” This was a new twist. My own record company trying to get my records off the radio. It was only the beginning. A battle royale broke out between rock ‘n’ roll drill sergeant Mike Appel and the new powers that be at CBS. Mike sent all the executives coal in a stock for Christmas. Ho, ho, ho.