Story 1984-08-26 Largo, MD

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´Open All Night´
´´Now this….this is a song about the golden roadway of the east, the New Jersey Turnpike…
and uh, I used to work up in New York City all the time….so I’d always have to drive home late at night….I had a girlfriend that lived down farther in south Jersey….and uh…..I used to kind of like the ride, I’d get out there around 3.30….just start driving, the window down a little bit….and….I never had too much trouble on the Turnpike but if you get off at exit 8, that’s the Freehold exit….you’ve gotta….you´ve gotta ride through Heightstown down 33…. to the shore….out in Heightstown, those guys, they don’t have nothing to do but sit around and wait for you all night long….so I was driving home one night and I was thinking about seeing my girlfriend….thinking about….raiding her refrigerator….seeing my girl….making a peanutbutter-and-jelly sandwich….seeing my girl and…..making a ham-and-cheese sandwich and…..raiding the refrigerator and….going back in the refrigerator again, no….and I know I wasn’t speeding but I must’ve been going suspiciously slow….because all of a sudden, I see them red lights….I get pulled over….and he comes up and says ‘License and registration please´….now, I didn’t have any (chuckles) see, I always forget my wallet….one of them people that always leaves their wallet home….so I give my name and he goes back and sits in the patrol car….and he calls me back in about five minutes and kind of looks at me and he says ‘Uh, hey, uh….are you…are you that rock ‘n roll singer ?’….so I said ‘Yeah, yeah,’ you know, ‘That’s me, that´s me’, he says ‘You, uh….you the guy tha, you wrote that, that, uh, you wrote that ´Born to Run´ song ?’….I said ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s me, yeah, I wrote that one, that’s me’…he says ‘Yeah, well, you know,’ says, ‘I got some of your albums at home´, I said ‘Yeah ?’, he said ‘Yeah, and Son, you’re in a lot of trouble’….wait a minute !….so they took me in and….impounded my truck. and…..but the weirdest thing about it was I had to go to traffic court…..and when you go to traffic court, there’s generally three pleas that you can plead, one is innocent, which hardly nobody pleads that…..the other one is ‘guilty,’ which not many people plead that but the one that almost everybody pleads is ‘guilty with an explanation’….if you sit in traffic court all night, you figure out that the whole world is guilty with an explanation…..snd what that means is that you really did what they said you did but now you’ve got about five minutes to bullshit your way out… like I’m, I´m sitting there and somebody, some guy recognises me and he comes over and he’s one of them people that when they sit down, they sit so close to you that you got to, like, lean away and he was drunk and he gets up before me and he was caught doing 60 on a residential sidestreet and his explanation was that he was drunk and thought he was on the main highway….is that what they do ?….I don´t know….so anyway, my turn came up and I got up and they got a little microphone and….you know, you got to stand there and everybody’s looking at you, and you feel like a complete jerk….and I said ‘Well, Judge….now, let me start at the beginning….
(….) So anyway….I thought it was a good story but it didn´t go over to the judge….so I paid my fine….and then I went out and ran open all night….”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´Nebraska´
´´Thanks….I guess, seems like one of the… of the big problems that we´ve got….in the country today is people feeling isolated from their, from their jobs….from their friends, from their government….you get a sense of powerlessness sometimes…..I don´t know, some people just explode….”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´Glory Days´
´´This is a song about….old times….now, see….before I….knew I wanted to play the guitar ….the only other thing I wanted to be was a baseball player….and so, like, I followed the traditional route, I was in Colonial League and then Little League and then Babe Ruth League….by the time I was 15, I had amassed…..a quantity of at least 25 hits….but when I got to be about 15, I got interested in a couple of other things….one of ´em was music….and so it wasn´t too bad because we used to play, play the gigs on the weekend and then we used to have the ballgames during the week….but we had a rain-out one day and they scheduled the ballgame for 8.30 Saturday morning….that´s too early…. the only thing good about it was that´s the last time I was up at 8.30 on a Saturday (chuckles)….but I´d been out the night before and I did this gig and I didn´t wanna go so when the guys came by house, I told my mother to tell ´em that I was sick and that I couldn´t come…..and like, you know, every good mother, she goes downstairs to lie for her son….they come to the door and she goes ´No, Bruce, he, he got a cold and he can´t come today´, you know, ´He can´t make it today´ (?) so they go away….I´m laying there in bed….but then they come back 20 minutes later….and I hear ´em knocking at the door, talking to my mother and they´re saying….´Oh, Mrs.Springsteen….if Bruce don´t come to the game, we´re gonna lose because we´ve only got 8 guys and we´re gonna forfeit the game, he´s gotta come´….so I´m like laying up there in bed, you know, like this….I always sleep with my guitar….my girlfriends don´t like it but they get used to it…..sometimes it sleeps on the outside, though…..and so, so now I gotta make believe like I´m really sick, you know, I gotta fake and you know do all that, so like I´m (coughs) trying to make believe that I´m sick and they come upstairs and they´re, you know, begging me and stuff and I´m one of those people that ´soon as somebody starts that begging, I can´t say ´No´…..I can never say ´No´ to people… I get my uniform on and I go down…..and I get out there in rightfield and… know, the game´s going along and I´m just praying that nobody hits nothing to me…..I´m doing pretty good for about 8 innings…. and all of a sudden…..gssshhh !….it was at the moment that I decided to give up my sports career and dedicate the rest of my life to rock and roll….but when you´re out, you always meet somebody in some bar who comes up and starts telling you about all those times…. ´Remember the day you were in rightfield, the ballgame was on the line, you dropped the ball ?´….anyway, are you ready for it ?….”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´My Hometown´
´´Thanks…..this is uh…..I guess everybody kind of…..ends up in a, in a love-hate-relationship with the place that they grew up in a little bit….I know when I was…..when I was 16, I couldn´t wait to….the weekend´d come, I´d get on the bus and go up to New York City, just to get out of my little town….as I got older, I guess I started to feel like you can kind of run but you can´t hide and that, uh…..(?) we´re all a part of something here…..and…..and what happens here in this, in this country and in your town….happens in our names and we all kind of share the shame and the glory of the best and the worst of it…..”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, middle of “Thunder Road”
“(After the singalong) Wanna join the band? (crowd cheers)…”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, after “Thunder Road”
“Thanks (crowd cheers) thanks (crowd cheers) alright (chuckles) we’re just getting going now, we’re just getting warmed up (crowd cheers) so we’re gonna take a short break and then we’ll be right back (crowd cheers)…”**

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to “Hungry Heart”
“Ah, let’s dance! (crowd cheers)…
(…)(After the singalong) That’s A+, very good, very good…”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, towards the end of “Dancing in the Dark”
“Sometimes I feel…so lo-lo-lonely…and I get so downhearted…and I just wanna cry, cry, cry, cry now…(?) darling…and that’s when…that’s when…I need a little help…and I wanna reach out…I just wanna reach out …I just wanna reach out…and say…hey, Baby…come on, Darling…”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, middle of “Sherry Darling”
“…Because this car just ain’t big enough for me and that blabbermouth…
(…) Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States (Clarence plays a solo) Secretary of State (Bruce plays a solo)…”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´No Surrender´
´´Thanks, thanks a lot (chuckles)….oh, here´s a song about….about trying to find something , I guess, that you can hold on to, that enables you to make it through the night….I guess I always, I always considered myself real fortunate ´cause when I was….when I was real young, I found something that I really loved to do…..and uh…..I had this dream and I get to live a little bit of my dream every night….so…..this is for Little Steven, wherever he is out there….he´s got an album out called ´Voice of America´, it´s a real good record, if you get a chance… should pick it up….”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´Be True´
´´Here´s a song for, uh, Jackie and her friend (chuckles) and for, uh, the girl that wrote the words down to this out there (chuckles) this is the first time we´ll play this one….(chuckles) ….”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´Growin´Up´
´´Now, once upon a time…..
(….) Now, there we were….it was a night just like tonight….except it was a little hotter….and it was raining….and it was back in June….and it was a long, long time ago….I’d just met Clarence…..he was working in the gas-station, I was working in the bowling alley…..we had no direction in our lives ….we were sitting around on the weekends down on Main Street… no place to go, we were lost….we didn´t have any confidence, we didn´t have any guidance, we didn´t know what we wanted to do with ourselves…..we needed some faith….we needed some hope….we needed a couple of girls !….so Clarence told me that he knew these two young ladies that lived not-too-far outside of town and he thought he´d be a good buddy and pick up my spirits and we´d go and visit….so we got in Clarence´s old Oldsmobile and we started driving south down Route 9…..down through Freehold, down through Lakewood, down through Toms River…down deep into the pines….we drove for about two hours, I was wondering when we were gonna get there…..he kept telling me it was just a little bit farther ….so there we were on this dark backroad, trees all around us…..and all of a sudden we had a flat… happens….so, it was so scary we didn´t know whether we were gonna just roll up the window and stay in the car till morning or whether we should go out and check and see if there was a spare….so we figured we´d do it the fair way, we´d choose for it…..I won…..but I gave him a second chance to rebut….I won again !….and then I went out to check to see if we had a spare….anyway, the trunk was empty but Clarence said that he knew where there was a gas-station….just on the other side….of those woods ….so deep into the forest we went ….it was dark, we couldn´t see our hands in front of our faces…..there was scary noises coming from every place (cheers)….Big Man, now, now you never heard of no wild animals in New Jersey or nothing ? there ain´t no like killer chipmunks or….are you sure ? you sure these woods ain´t….do you think we´re safe walking through these woods here ?….I don´t know….I think I hear something, I think I hear something…..I think I hear something….. Big Man….hope it ain´t no Jersey Devil now….Clarence, hey, Clarence, oh Clarence !….hey, Clarence, where are you, buddy ?….oh man, was a good thing our fans couldn´t see us there, I´m telling you (chuckles)….we were so scared….but then something came shooting out of the sky….and the clouds pulled back from the moon…..and over in the middle of the forest in the clearing, we saw the answer to our quest….and then…..when we touched…..”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, middle of ´Rosalita´
´´Ladies and gentlemen….and children of all ages…..I´d like to introduce to you the illustrious, the industrious, the impervious members of the E Street Band….beginning at my far left….the only member of the band with a complete high school diploma, a man who gave up a scholarship at Harvard, with a PhD in unusual sexual practises to join this tour with the E Street Band, the educated, the dedicated, Professor Roy Bittan….on the vocals, an alumni of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, the lovely Miss Patti Scialfa….on the bass guitar, the man that brings you the thunder from down under, who puts the bass in your face, his mother was a Tallent, his father was a Tallent, Mr.Garry W.Tallent on the bass….on the drums, we have author, drummer….the man who wrote The Big Beat, Mighty Max Weinberg on the drums….on the organ, the inimitable, the inevitable, (?), the irreversable, the unforgivable, the unimaginable, the incredible, Phantom Dan Federici…..lookout girls, he hates to be alone…..and on the guitar…. a hometown boy….drumroll, please….Mr.Nils Lofgren (Nils does his stunt on a trampoline)….and last but not least…..he´s a mean, lean lovemachine….the only thing I can say is gimme a C-L-A-R-E-N-C-E, what´s that spell ? ….what´s that spell ?….what´s that spell ?….Clarence Big Man Clemons on the saxophone ….”

26.08.84 Largo, MD, intro to ´Born to Run´
´´Oh, thank you, I´d like, I´d like to just take a minute and thank everybody for coming down to the show tonight, thank you very much….yeah, I know a lot of you guys had to wait in those lines for tickets and I want to let you know we appreciate it….this is uh….when I was a kid and I grew up….I heard the music of Elvis Presley, it was kind of….the first thing in my life that´d ever set my mind free….and uh, I guess, allowed me to dream bigger dreams than I normally would´ve, coming from where I was coming from….so I guess his music always said to me ´Let freedom ring´ so that´s what we´re here for tonight but remember we gotta fight for it every day (?)….”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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