Demo - Studio Sessions - Timeline

Date Song Title Location Personnel

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.

November 4, 1971
  • BABY DOLL
  • SONG FOR ORPHANS (Unconfirmed)
Pocketful Of Tunes Inc., New York City, NY

Note: Mike Appel's first audition of Springsteen.

November 14, 1971
  • COWBOYS OF THE SEA
  • NO NEED
  • IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY take 1 - V1 (fast)
  • IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY take 2 - V2 (slow)
  • FOR YOU
  • HOLLYWOOD KIDS
  • IF I WAS THE PRIEST
  • THE ANGEL - V1
  • ARABIAN NIGHTS
Pocketful Of Tunes Inc., New York City, NY Recording Engineer: Bob Spitz

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.

April, 1972
  • IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V2
  • ARABIAN NIGHTS - V2
  • LADY AND THE DOCTOR - V1
Mike Appel's Office, Laurel Canyon, New York City, NY

Timeline: Springsteen began a series of demo sessions for Sioux City Music at Wes Farrell's Pocketful Of Sounds Studios (where Appel was still employed) in April 1972.

April, 1972
  • FAMILY SONG - V1
  • FAMILY SONG - V2
  • CAMILLA HORN
  • ELOISE - V1
  • MARIE
Pocketful Of Tunes Inc., New York City, NY Produced by Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Recording Engineer: Jim Cretecos

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.

April, 1972
  • RANDOLPH STREET
  • WAR NURSE
  • JESSE
  • PRODIGAL SON
  • BORDER GUARD
  • HOLLYWOOD KIDS
  • BABY DOLL - V2
Jim Cretecos' Apartment, New York City, NY Produced by Jim Cretecos
Recording Engineer: Jim Cretecos

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.

May 2, 1972
  • MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V1
  • IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V3
  • GROWIN' UP - V2
  • IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V3
John Hammond's office , CBS Records, Executive Offices, New York City, NY Produced by John Hammond

Timeline: 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 Columbia Records building.

May 3, 1972
  • MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V2
  • MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V3
  • GROWIN' UP take 1 - V3a
  • GROWIN' UP take 2 - V3b
  • DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET?
  • IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V4
  • ANGELS aka THE ANGEL - V2
  • ARABIAN NIGHTS - V3
  • JAZZ MUSICIAN - V1
  • JAZZ MUSICIAN - V2
  • IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V4
  • TWO HEARTS IN TRUE WALTZ TIME
  • STREET QUEEN - V1
  • SOUTHERN SUN - V1
  • COWBOYS OF THE SEA - V2
Columbia Recording Studios, Studio E, New York City, NY Produced by John Hammond
Recording Engineer: Phil Giambalvo

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-July demo sessions for Sioux City Music.

May-July, 1972
  • SOUTHERN SUN - V2
  • IF I WAS THE PRIEST - V5
  • SHE'S LEAVING - V1
  • SHE'S LEAVING - V2
  • THE SONG
  • JAZZ MUSICIAN
  • IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V5
  • COWBOYS OF THE SEA - V3
  • HENRY BOY
  • NO NEED - V2
Mediasound Studios, New York City, NY Produced by Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Recording Engineer: Jim Cretecos

Note: The list above is in approximate chronological order.

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