Jeff Bridges is playing music, touring with a band called the Abiders that echoes his most famous role (as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski”) and playing a lot of songs from his Oscar-winning role (as Bad Blake in “Crazy Heart”).
A clue to what’s really going on, to what this great man is all about, is one of the covers Bridges has been doing on a club tour that comes to the Aladdin Theater Nov. 23. “To Live Is to Fly” is a Townes Van Zandt song, rueful and knowing like so many of the doomed Texan’s classics. It’s got an easy flow but is so deep — sounds like Bridges, doesn’t it? — and is full of diamonds and dust.
“Everything is not enough, and nothin’ is too much to bear,” he sings. “Where you’ve been is good and gone. All you keep’s the getting there.”
The popular image of Bridges these days is of a hairy guy in a bathrobe, slurping White Russians and saying “man” at the end of every sentence. It’s funny and real but is only a slivver of his talent, the elephant’s tail of a career that started when he was a child, learning by watching his father on “Sea Hunt,” Lloyd Bridges brimming with life, making everyone around him happy with his joy at being an actor. To live is to fly, all low and high, Jeff has another strong role model, brother Beau, eight years older, dad while dad’s away, another actor, music coming through Beau’s door. Buddy Holly. The Everly Brothers.