Confidential transcript of a recorded conversation that took place at an undisclosed location in San Mateo County, California on August 19, 2019 between Amazon Investigative Team A3b (Northern California, Southern Oregon, and Western Idaho) and Amazon Prime customer,...
Confidential transcript of a recorded conversation that took place at an undisclosed location in San Mateo County, California on August 19, 2019 between Amazon Investigative Team A3b (Northern California, Southern Oregon, and Western Idaho) and Amazon Prime customer, Bradley N. (the “Yelp Whisperer.”)
Amazon IT-A3b: Hello, Bradley N. Please have a seat. We will be recording this conversation. Is that OK with you?
Bradley: Yes, that is fine.
A: Do you know why we are here?
B: Because of a recent review I wrote for Bruce Springsteen’s 2010 album, “The Promise.” At least, that’s what Jeff told me over the phone.
A: Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page. Did Jeff also mention why we want to talk with you about your review, exactly?
B: No, not exactly. Something about my having waited for almost 9 years to post my review for the album. Is that why you''re here?
A: Yes, that’s right. Waiting almost 9 years to post a review is a bit … unusual. We decided it would be best to meet you in person to learn more. We at Amazon are always curious about our customer’s behavior, and your case is indeed an intriguing one. Why wait so long to post your review, if we might be so bold as to tackle the topic directly?
B: Well, I just started reviewing all sorts of Amazon products this summer, as part of a plan to craft a new social media profile. After years of simply buying things using my Amazon Prime account, now I’m also contributing reviews. It’s really as simple as that. I mean, “The Promise” is a priceless treasure in the Great American Songbook. It preserves in time Bruce as he was in his late 20s: lean, hungry for attention, and in search of adult-themed adventure. The songs are all about fast cars, lost loves, and intense, deeply felt longings. Lust for life sort of songs, done with classic rock and roll beats and truly memorable performances by members of the E Street Band: Clarence Clemons on sax, Roy Bittan on piano, Danny Federici on organ, Gary Talent on bass, Max Weinberg on drums, and Stevie van Zandt on lead guitar and harmony vocals. Plus great supporting roles as well by other backup vocalists and studio musicians. It’s brilliant stuff!
A: Well, Jeff will be very pleased to hear you say that. On the record, of course.
B: I will say it again: I waited to review ‘The Promise” because I just now got to it. I have a large backlog of things to review, dating back almost a decade. I can’t just write these things overnight, you know! I have my standards.
A: Yes, our Investigative Team has researched your profile and past reviews quite exhaustively. You do indeed write very detailed reviews, very creative, but not yet very popular.
B: Well, I do ask my younger brother to cast a Helpful vote for my reviews. I’d ask my mom, too, but I don’t think she even knows how.
A: There is nothing against the rules to have friends and family cast Helpful votes, as long as they are not paid to do so.
B: Well, I don’t think I’d try that. And you know what? It’s very appropriate that I waited so long to review “The Promise,” because it contains 2 discs of previously unreleased songs that Bruce recorded with his band in 1977 and 1978, but that weren’t published until 2010. That’s a long time, don’t you think?
A: Well, it’s longer than Amazon has been around, we’ll say that much.
B: And the songs are great quality – very Roy Orbison in nature, with some Elvis Presley thrown in, a reminder that Bruce was born in 1949 and grew up with 50s and early 60s rock. He’s no spring chicken!
A: No, Bruce is almost 70 years old by this point, as we noted in our last interview with you in July 2019, regarding “Western Stars.”
B: Exactly! I knew you guys looked familiar. Say, how about listening to “The Promise” with me? These are great songs for forgetting about present-day politics and other unpleasant things, like how Amazon Music’s live streaming service is changing the entire nature of the recording industry. Who knows if Bruce would have been such an original and classically American male voice if he’d been forced to come of age in today’s Internet-driven world?
A: We’d be happy to stay to listen, sir. Got anything good to eat and drink?
B: As luck would have it, I just baked a sourdough rye bread and have also cured a fresh king salmon fillet with smoked salt, cracked peppercorns, turbinado sugar, and crushed juniper berries. And I have a 2017 vintage of Kopriva unoaked Chardonnay from the Ricci Vineyard in the Carneros district of Sonoma County. It’s the perfect food wine for the rye and gravlax, plus a delicious goat cheese spread I just made as well with fresh herbs from my organic community garden. What do you think?
A: This case is closed. Let’s eat! Cheers, Bradley N.
B: Cheers! You know, as I look at us all gathered together here, drinking local Californian wine and American-made, farm-to-table food as the sun sets once more over the redwood-bedecked San Mateo coast, I think that Bruce and Jeff would both be so proud. Don''t you think?
A: Yes, sir. Most definitely! I can most definitely drink to that.
[end of transcript].