Forum: Bridge photography and music

A few months ago, I was approached by a musician from Louisiana, who wanted to use one of my photos of a bridge I photographed near St. Louis last summer while at the Historic Bridge Conference. It was located over the Chain of Rocks Canal, one of the alternative parallel routes along the Mississippi, carrying an Interstate highway. It is unclear how he came across the website Historic Bridges of the US, let alone why he wanted this photo:

Photo taken during the Historic Bridge Conference in August 2011

But I know there was a certain vantage point I took advantage of when I got this shot and the gut feeling that this bridge would get some fame in one way or another. I gave the man the green light and (as you can see in the photo at the beginning), it really paid off. I did receive a pair of copies from the guy and listened to the music. It is definitely contemporary and easy to listen to while traveling- in other words, he will definitely see some of his songs reach the Top 40 at some point before the year was over, let alone receive some awards for the best album cover.

This brought me up to a couple of questions I have for the forum for you to chew on over the weekend (and beyond). Many bridges (and in particular, historic bridges) were used in many musical pieces, movies, and literary genres as a way of attracting the readers. Some people have written stories about them. The most commonly known story and later film was “The Bridges of Madison County”, talking about the story of a photographer taking covered bridges in a small Iowa community, who falls in love with a farmer’s wife, who originated from Italy.  However, it is unknown how many pieces are around that have bridges in them, but they seem to be plenty in number.

So the question for the forum on this topic is the following:

1. Do you know of any other musical piece/album, book, literary genre or film that you know where a bridge is used as the centerpiece?

2. Do you think that the usage of bridges in these pieces contribute to their success, and if so, how?

As for the CD I just received, I can only recommend you purchasing it as the lyrics are easy to listen to and the music falls right in line with other contemporary music that we are accustomed to. After all, one cannot be used to only one form of music or another. Alternatives can open new avenues. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles would like to thank Michael Dean for the use of the pic for the album and wish him the best of luck with the success of his newly released album.

2 thoughts on “Forum: Bridge photography and music

  1. Movie – Easy Rider : Opening credits crossing Old 66 Colorado Through Truss Bridge at Needles Ca. The movie poster and album cover feature the crossing of a Louisiana Through Truss bridge. Obviously an image very important to the movie makers.
    Grapes of Wrath : Features the same crossing but on the old Bowstring Arch Through Truss road bridge converted to a pipeline bridge around 1950.
    The bridges are very symbolic and powerful metaphors of the vastness of America, and more importantly, of journeys of no return. The bridge becomes the Rubicon, on the border of the promised land of California, or crossing the Mississippi on bikes.
    The Bridge – In 2004, Eric Steel filmed the Golden Gate Bridge for a year. He captured a number of suicides on film, then interviewed the families and friends, not telling them he had the footage. He released these last moments and their stories in his 2006 film The Bridge.
    My love for old truss bridges is a Rubicon of sentiment. A window closing on a time when the beauty of form and function was meant to be appreciated individually. They were a source of pride as well as commerce for communities. Each bridge unique in its details, some with decoration, some with exquisite hand cut stone piers and abutments. A hand blown crystal goblet versus a concrete slab Styrofoam cup. Most Texans have no concept of the bridge as the key element to the settling of the state as well as creating the economy we have today (there are 48,492 bridges in Texas).


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