Wild Billy's Circus Story

CIRCUS TOWN - V1 uncirculating
CIRCUS SONG - V2 uncirculating
CIRCUS SONG 5:01 UBER22
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY - V3 uncirculating
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY - V4 uncirculating
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY - V5 4:38 WIESS

Note: Written in mid-1972 as "Circus Town", and performed live as an acoustic show opener, from late 1972 (by which time it was being called "Circus Song"), up until mid-1974. Inspired by memories of the circus that came to Freehold every summer when Bruce was young, he brilliantly describes the cast of characters as the tuba plays. Some of the descriptions are wierd or gross, but he finally loses it in last verse, when the midget or Tinytim get lifted above the "liars". On April 24, 1973 at the Main Point, Little Tiny Tim says, "Sampson, where's the liars? Oh, they're outside cryin' Oh, hear the liars Oh, feel their fire Hear the liars, They're so scared of dyin", after which he sings "Well, anybody wanna try the big top? All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop." Though he had performed "Circus Song" with these lyrics since January, he made a change just before appearing May 1, 1973, at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, where it was to be filmed for showing at the CBS Sales Convention in July. The final verse was changed to, "And the strong man, Sampson, lifts the midget, little Tiny Tim, way up on his shoulders, way up and carries him on down the midway, past the kids, past the sailors, to his dimly lit trailer, And the Ferris go 'round and 'round like it ain't ever gonna stop, And the circus boss is whispering into some little boy's ear, "Hey son, you wanna try the big top?" All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop!". In the blink of an eye, "Circus Song" went from the killer of every boy's dream to run away and join the circus, to something less nefarious, and that's the way it stayed. The first WIESS studio recordings V1 and V2 were made on May 14, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios, with 8 takes; it is not known if any of these survived. An almost perfect recording of "Circus Song" was recorded on May 31, 1973 at WGOE Radio Alpha Studios, Richmond, Virginia. It's available on Über Series Vol 22. Work on 'Circus Song' was resumed on June 25 V4 and 26 V5, and the album take, of "Wild Billy's Circus Story", went in the can on June 28. When or why the title of the song was changed is not currently known, but it was sometime during the June sessions, up to the album release. This song might not exist without Garry Tallent on tuba and Danny Federici on accordian, "Ninety-five, ninety-six, ninety-seven" says the crowd with or without the ringmaster.

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