Story 1975-09-13 Houston, TX

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
“Hello, Houston (chuckles)…aah…gotta make sure the band’s ready, gotta put my hat on…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Spirit in the Night”
“It’s dark tonight…it’s dark tonight…it’s dark tonight…it’s so dark tonight…Steve…Steven…ain’t it dark tonight?…it’s so dark tonight …”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Pretty Flamingo”
“Bring the band down now, bring it down a little bit here, boys…I remember I used to live, was in this town I used to live in, I used to live on this main drag where like all the people that used to work in town used to have to walk by my house…and every day, like it was every day at about like, like twelve lunch-time and five o’clock, there’d be this one girl, right, this one girl, she walked by my house every day, right, Steven, me and Steven used to sit there, I’ve known Steven a long time and we used to sit there on the porch and like we’d be all too scared to like say anything, say “Hi” or something, right, so we’d just sit there every day, I’d say “Steven, it’s noon” and, you know, we’d run out and we’d sit on the porch, right, watch her walk by, run back in and five o’clock we’d run out again, we’d watch her walk by, right…so now everybody must’ve known a girl like that, right, in high school or something where, uh, like you just see and you never say nothing to her, you know, she never says nothing to you till you figure she don’t talk, all she does is…walk (chuckles)(crowd cheers) and like me and Steven like – Steven, I never did find out her name, you know, never did, years went by (?) went through this routine for like two years and never, never found out her name but, but remember what we would used to call her, Steven?…remember, I’m gonna tell you now…all the guys on my block called her Flamingo…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “The E Street Shuffle”
“Bam!…bam…bam…it was about, was about four years ago that me and Steve and Garry, the bass man, we had this band and we was playing down in, was playing in this little club in Asbury Park (some cheers) and uh…at the time, the only way we got this gig was we couldn’t get anybody to hire us at the time because we wasn’t playing like club material and stuff, you had to play club material and so we figured we had to get a gig ‘cause I wasn’t (?) nobody was working doing anything else so we went down to this club one Saturday night, a night just like tonight, was it not? (crowd cheers) Saturday night, it was a nice, nice, warm summer night, went into this place called the Student Prince which was on down there in Asbury and we walked in, there was only about ten people at the bar, right, so we figured “Just the place for us,” right, Saturday night, the guy’s doing no business, there’s that chance…so we walk up to the guy, the guy’s name was Bob Reed and he was this brick-layering type guy but he was in his thirties, he was like a heavy hitter type dude, you know, and we said “Hey, how about giving my band a job?” and he first says “Well, how much we gotta pay you?” we say “You wouldn’t have to pay us nothing,” right, “We’ll come and we’ll pay for the door” and there was only ten people in the place, right, so, so we figured – how many cats in a band out here? how many guys playing?…nobody, just two…you guys ain’t telling the truth (chuckles) anyway, we got this gig and we went down there, the first week I had a seven-piece band and I had, uh…and we split up about 13 dollars, right, we charged, really, we charged, we charged a dollar (someone: “How was it?”) how was it? it was good (chuckles) but we split up about 13 bucks, the next week I came back, I had about…I had a five-piece band, right, you know (chuckles) and we split up about 25 bucks, you know, and it slowly started to get better and people started coming down and stuff, seeing the band and stuff and, uh…but like we did this gig for about three or four months, right, was doing alright at it, was making enough to make a living and, uh…but we’d sit there every night, we were always trying to figure how we were gonna get a break, you know, how can we get a break, we figured “Man, we ain’t got no record, can’t do nothing without no record, can’t do nothing without no tape and here’s all these cats,” you know, when you’d sit there, we’d sit at this table at four in the morning after playing six sets, you’d look, I’d look at his face, he’d look at my face, right, (?) “Man, I’m gonna bring the manager of the Byrds to come down and see you guys tonight so you guys better be good,” right, so, you know, the guy’d never show and we’d be sitting there and we figured, we figured one night we were gonna sit down and figure out just what our problem was, what we was missing, you know, we figured we had guys that all play pretty good, pretty good musicians and we was playing the right stuff, we had like, we had like this teen appeal, we had a bass player that had long hair (crowd cheers) right, everybody, like, we had a bass player that had long hair, you know, we had a drummer that moved around a lot, you know, so like we figured we had everything going for us, you know, what was the matter, why wasn’t we getting a break, right, you know? so it was late, late, four in the morning, me and Steve, Miami Steve, was walking north down the boardwalk on our way home…now, you could see Steve had his guitar with him because he always carried his guitar…he carried it everywhere he went, before he went to Miami and became known as “Miami Steve,” he was known as “the Great Practiser”…’cause he would practise all the time, he would practise in the tub…he would practise when he was making love to a woman, she said “Steve, quit practising!” (chuckles)(crowd cheers) but he would not put down that guitar, very dedicated type of fellow…so here we was walking home, a nasty, rainy night, it was raining, it was snowing, it was hailing, it was cold, it was hot – if it was bad, it was happening (chuckles) you know, and it was bad (chuckles) so there we was…just minding our business, wanted to get home out of this nasty weather and all of a sudden: trouble…oooh (chuckles) you’re supposed to go “oooh” – all of a sudden: trouble (Clarence and Steve: “Oooh”)(chuckles) way down in the end, the farthest part of the boardwalk we seen something coming, we couldn’t tell what it was, it was so far…but it appeared to be this great mist, swirling and whirling, twisting and turning, slipping and sliding (chuckles) (crowd cheers) down the boardwalk…as it got closer and we got scareder, as it got closer, we could see that in the mist of the, of this hurricane, this appeared to be the biggest guy I ever seen, dressed in a white suit (crowd cheers) walking…he’s walking like there ain’t no rain, ain’t no snow, he’s walking like it’s 85 degrees and sunny…and I said “Steve, could I be right but…but…is he carrying…a saxophone?” (crowd cheers) and sure enough, from way down the end of the boardwalk, we’re hearing them ghostly notes (Clarence plays his sax) we (Clarence plays a little more) we ducked in, we ducked into the nearest, darkest doorway we could find, you know, and stood there hoping that whatever this was would blow on by (chuckles) in the nasty night (chuckles)(?) we heard the footsteps coming closer (Steve makes a sound of footsteps on his guitar) we heard the footsteps coming closer (Steve makes a sound of footsteps on his guitar) and then, needless to say, the wind did not blow it by (chuckles) it turned and stood right in front of us…I threw down my hat and we coolly and calmly begged for mercy (chuckles)…it was obvious tonight was not our night, the guy did not say a word, just put out his hand…we didn’t whether to…me being the Boss, I had to go first (chuckles)… and…and when we touched, it was sparks light on E Street…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Thunder Road”
“(tries out the piano)…Yeah, thank you, oh…so how’s everybody been down here? ain’t seen youse in a while (crowd cheers) everybody been ok, that’s good ‘cause this was the first time, this was the first place we ever stopped when we came to Texas, it was Houston, you know (crowd cheers) really, and like I can remember because like we were playing over at Liberty Hall, right, and like we was all scared, right, we was scared, we would say “Man” – this was the first time we’d been down here – we said “This is Texas and they’re gonna take us, we’re from New Jersey, right, you know, who’s gonna take this kind of stuff?” and then we came out like we got like just the finest reception you could ask for, you know, so I wanna thank you all for supporting the band the way you have over the past few years (crowd cheers) you know…let you know that, let you know that, that we really appreciate it, you know, but I’m gonna do this for youse, this is something called “Thunder Road”…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Kitty’s Back”
“Hey, Clarence…is it true…(Clarence: “What’s that, what’s that?”) is it true what they say? (Clarence: “What’s it they say?”) Steve, is it true what they say? (Clarence: “What they say, Bruce?”)(Steve: “Yeah, what did, what did they say?”) what did they say (Clarence: “What did they say?”) who in the band knows what they said?… (Clarence: “I’ll take a guess”)…(Steve: “They don’t know”)… (Clarence: “Maybe I should take a guess”) yeah…(Clarence: “I guess that, uh, Kitty’s back”)…
(…) Steven, here she comes (Steve: “I see her”)…(Bruce and the band keep repeating “Here she comes”)…Clarence (Clarence: “Yeah?”) don’t tell her I am (Clarence: “Ok”) Clarence, don’t tell her where I am (Clarence: “Ok”) tell her I had to go home early (Clarence: “Alright”) I got sick (Clarence: “Right on…ladies and gentlemen, now, I hate to announce but, uh, Bruce will not be here tonight due to illness…thank you very much”)…is she still out there? …(Clarence: “Yeah, man, she’s still out there”)…(Bruce and the band start repeating “Here she comes”)…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Rosalita”
“In a little café on the other side of the border…
(…) On the piano…Professor Roy Bittan, please (Roy plays) give me two (the band “hits it” two times)…on the bass guitar…Mr. Garry W. Tallent…give me three (the band “hits it” three times)…on the guitar…formerly “The Great Practiser”…now known as…Miami Steve …(?)…on the, uh, on the drums…the Mighty Max…on the organ…Dan Federici…and on the tenor saxophone…Clarence Clemons…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Quarter to Three”
“A song by Gary U.S Bonds…Kahuna…(snickers)…(Steve: “Gary would have wanted it that way)…are you ready with it, band? (Bruce strums a note on his guitar) I got my notes (snickers) he knows the mortal words…speak it, Steve…(snickers) he knows the mortal words muttered and uttered down through history (snickers with Steve)…
(…)(crowd cheers) What? (crowd cheers) what? (crowd cheers) are you talking to me? (crowd cheers) are you talking to me? (crowd cheers)…(goes back to the song)…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Carol”
“To quote one of the immortals…”I can’t dance, honey, I would if I could (Steve: “Hands over your hearts”) I got my eyes on you, baby, ‘cause you dance so good…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, after “Carol”
“Thank you so much, Houston (crowd cheers) the E Street Band, my boys (crowd cheers) ain’t you tired yet? (crowd cheers)…”

13.09.75 Houston, TX, intro to “Twist and Shout”
“You’re nuts (chuckles)(crowd cheers) they’re, they’re crazy (crowd cheers) is the band ready?…alright…ok…
(…) This is it (chuckles) (crowd cheers) so if you’re ready for “it,” this is it (chuckles)…(goes into the “aaa, aaa”-bit)…(the band stops)…that did it, I had a heart attack, I can’t make it (Clarence: “You can make it”) I’m going home, I’m going home…I’m going back to New Jersey (Clarence: “Bring him back, bring him back, folks”)(Steve: “Hey, come back!…you can do it…Boss!…can you do it?…can you do it, Boss?”)(Clarence: “You can do it, you can do it”)(Steve: “Can you do it?”) well…well…(Steve: “Can you do it?”) well…well…(Steve laughs)…well, shake it a baby…”

Compiled by Johanna Pirttijärvi

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