Demo - Studio Sessions - Timeline

Timeline

TIMELINE: On November 4, 1971, Tinker West brought Springsteen to a meeting at Pocketful of Tunes, a music publishing company owned by Wes Farrell, that employed Mike Appel. After he played "Baby Doll" and another tune, Appel recalls, “I told him they were the worst songs I ever heard", but he told Bruce to write some more songs and see him again. Springsteen was inspired by the challenge, and began writing songs "like a madman". Springsteen's second audition with Appel was a Saint Valentines Day Massacre on February 14, 1972 at Pocketfull of Tunes, with Appel, Jim Cretecos, and Bob Spitz present. Spitz recorded the performance on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. It's Hard To Be A Saint In the City was recorded twice at the request of Appel, who reportedly was blown away by the lyrics. After that performance, still mumbling "like a harley in heat" to himself, he and Cretecos quickly started preparing contracts to sign Springsteen without delay.

Recorded at Pocketful of Tunes, 39 West 55th Street, New York, NY on November 4, 1971
BABY DOLL uncirculating
SONG FOR ORPHANS uncirculating

Note: Mike Appel's first audition of Springsteen


Recorded at Pocketful of Tunes, 39 West 55th Street, New York, NY on February 14, 1972. Recorded by Bob Spitz.
COWBOYS OF THE SEA 3:52 uncirculating
NO NEED 2:05 uncirculating
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY take 1 - V1 (fast) 3:05 uncirculating
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY take 2 - V2 (slow) 7:08 uncirculating
FOR YOU 6:13 uncirculating
HOLLYWOOD KIDS 2:28 uncirculating
IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V1 5:53 uncirculating
THE ANGEL 5:00 uncirculating
ARABIAN NIGHTS 5:00 uncirculating

Note: Mike Appel's demo of Springsteen


TIMELINE: Springsteen signed Exclusive Recording and Exclusive Management Agreements with Laurel Canyon (Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos) in mid-March, 1972. However Springsteen did not sign any Songwriting Agreement at this time, apparently wishing to think this matter over a bit longer. He paid little attention to what he was signing, but told both Appel and Cretecos his priority was getting an audition and recording contract. During April, Springsteen traveled to New York on occasions to visit Appel at Pocketful Of Tunes, where spontaneous, “off-the-cuff” performances were recorded in a songwriting room (not the studio). To date, only a couple of these demos have surfaced, and other titles, similarly taped, may exist.

Probably recorded at Mike Appel’s office, Laurel Canyon, 75 East 55th Street or home, New York, NY during April, 1972
IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V2 5:53 U1
ARABIAN NIGHTS - V2 5:25 U1 / ESRR
LADY AND THE DOCTOR - V1 3:22 U4

Note: the U1 and U4 recordings are from a downstream generation source and un-enhanced - and therefore of reduced sound quality. ESRR is somewhat improved, but is snipped at the end.


TIMELINE: Further demos were recorded over multiple sessions at the apartment of Bruce’s co-manager Jim Cretecos. Cretecos was an electronics engineer and was able to emulate a reasonable recording environment in his apartment – so much so that it is difficult to distinguish some of the recordings Bruce made in Cretecos’ apartment from those made in a professional studio.

Recorded at Jim Cretecos’ apartment, New York, NY during April, 1972. Produced by Jim Cretecos. Recording Engineer: Jim Cretecos.
RANDOLPH STREET 3:52 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
WAR NURSE 2:05 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
JESSE 3:05 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
PRODIGAL SON 7:08 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
BORDER GUARD 6:13 BTF / UNE
HOLLYWOOD KIDS 2:28 BTF / UNE
BABY DOLL - V2 5:00 BTF

Note: all the “BTF-UNE-PS-EY” recordings are professionally transferred from a copy of the master tape and have been further improved by modern technology.


//TIMELINE: In late April 1972 Mike Appel was able to procure a May 2 meeting with CBS A&R Manager John Hammond so that Hammond could meet and listen to Bruce.

Recorded at John Hammond's office , CBS Records, executive offices at 51 West 52nd Street, New York, NY on May 2, 1972. Produced by John Hammond
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V1 uncirculating
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V3 uncirculating
GROWIN' UP - V2 uncirculating
IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V3 4:55 uncirculating

Hammond loved what he heard and Springsteen’s first studio demo session took place at CBS Studios the following day (the so-called “John Hammond Demo Session”). Fourteen recordings were made of twelve different songs; two performed twice. Session log information survives so it has been verified that these recordings encompass the complete session. John Hammond was prepared to sign Bruce on the spot on May 3. But administrative formalities within CBS meant that it would take several weeks for that to become reality. Mike Appel sent cassette copies of some (not all) of this May 3 material to several record company executives during May in an attempt to create a bidding war for Springsteen’s services. However, none of the other companies were interested in Bruce.//
Springsteen audition for John Hammond took place at Studio E Columbia Records building, 6th floor, 49 East 52nd Street, New York City, 10022

Recorded at Studio E, Columbia Records building, 6th floor, 49 East 52nd Street, New York City on May 3, 1972. Produced by John Hammond. Recording Engineer: Phil Giambalvo
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V2 1:15 HDT
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V3 4:18 U3 / HDT / TRACKS
GROWIN' UP take 1 - V3a uncirculating
GROWIN' UP take 2 - V3b 2:35 TRACKS / US3 / HDT / CHAPTER
DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? 1:55 U3 / HDT / TRACKS
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V4 2:48 U3 / HDT / TRACKS
THE ANGEL 3:37 U3 / HDT
ARABIAN NIGHTS - V3 5:05 U3
JAZZ MUSICIAN - V1 4:55 HDT
JAZZ MUSICIAN - V2 5:18 U3 / HDT
IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V4 5:13 U3 / HDT
TWO HEARTS IN TRUE WALTZ TIME 3:31 U3 / HDT
STREET QUEEN - V1 3:49 U3 / HDT
SOUTHERN SUN - V1 3:54 U3 / HDT
COWBOYS OF THE SEA - V2 4:38 U3 / HDT

Note: all Tracks recordings are professionally transferred from the master tape. The U3 and HDT recordings are each from different, downstream generation sources and of significantly reduced sound quality, particularly HDT audio.


TIMELINE: A week or so following this May 3 John Hammond demo session Springsteen finally signed his “Exclusive Songwriting Agreement” with publisher Sioux City Music (Appel & Cretecos). It was following the signing of this Agreement that Springsteen began a series of May-June demo sessions for Sioux City Music at Wes Farrell’s Pocketful Of Sounds Studios (where Appel was still employed). Despite this timeline it appears that some of these recordings may have been cut in April 1972.

Recorded at Mediasound Studios, 311 West 57th Street, New York, NY during April-July, 1972. Produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos. Recording Engineer: Jim Cretecos.
FAMILY SONG - V1 5:43 U1
FAMILY SONG - V2 5:03 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
CAMILLA HORN 1:03 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
ELOISE - V1 1:05 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
MARIE 4:44 BTF / UNE / PS / EY
SOUTHERN SUN - V2 4:15 BTF / UNE / U4 / DT
IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V5 5:33 BTF / U4 / DT
SHE'S LEAVING - V1 2:14 U4 / DT
SHE'S LEAVING - V2 5:10 U4
THE SONG 3:44 DT
JAZZ MUSICIAN - V3 6:03 U4
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V5 2:38 U4
COWBOYS OF THE SEA - V3 4:15 DT
HENRY BOY 3:13 U4 / DT / CHAPTER
NO NEED - V2 6:04 U4

Note: all the BTF or UNE or PS or EY recordings are professionally transferred from a copy of the master tape and professionally enhanced. All U1 or U4 or DT recordings are from a downstream generation source and of reduced sound quality. Master tape quality versions of both "The Song" and "Cowboys Of The Sea" from this session are in very limited circulation in collector circles. The list above is in approximate chronological order.


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