Story 1984-12-14 Memphis, TN

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´Johnny 99´
´´It was about four years ago, they closed down this big autoplant up in North Jersey…left about 2,000 people out of work….and uh, he went looking for a job for about six months and finally the bank that, uh….the same bank that he put his first paycheck in….was gonna foreclose on the mortgage on his house….so, uh….so you walk in these shoes for a little while….”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´Reason to Believe´
´´It´s so hard to find something to hold on to that, uh….sometimes people….hold on to anything, even something that ain´t really there, this is called ´Reason to Believe´…. everybody´s waited for somebody….who wasn´t ever coming back…..”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´Mansion on the Hill´
´´Here´s, uh…this is a song, I guess….when I was a kid, there was this house that stood way out on the edge of town, up on this hill….and uh….sometimes at night, like, in my house, I remember, my mother´d be like sitting in the frontroom with just the TV on and ´em pink curlers in her hair like the ladies used to wear…some people still wear ´em….and uh….and my Dad´d be sitting in the kitchen with the lights out, smoking a cigarette….and he´d ask me if I´d wanna go for a ride….and he´d put me in the car and we´d go….he´d drive out by this house and he´d just sit there and kind of stare up at it….he wouldn´t talk too much, I don´t know what he was thinking….but the factories close down but the mansion on the hill remains….”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´Johnny Bye Bye´
´´This is, uh….it´s always kind of special when we come down here to Memphis because ….it´s….you can´t come down to this town without thinking about all the great music that´s come out of here and uh….you certainly can´t come down without thinking about Elvis….it was back in 19….78, I came down here….and we did a show…and it was about 3 in the morning and I got into this taxi cab….me and, uh, my friend Steven…..and…..we went out to Elvis´ house….that was earlier, it was earlier, must´ve been right in the mid-70´s….I remember I seen a light on in the window….and for some reason, I jumped over the wall and I tried to get to the frontdoor (chuckles)….and I got up there and, and I remember the guards came out and they said ´What do you want ?´ and I said ´Well, I wanna see Elvis´ (chuckles) and they said ´Well, he´s in Lake Tahoe´…I said ´Oh, but no, see, like, I´m Bruce Springsteen, I was on the cover of Time and Newsweek´ (chuckles), they said ´Oh yeah, sure you were….oh yeah….alright, well, just, just step out this way, please, so´ (chuckles)…but uh….I don´t know, I don´t know what I would´ve said to him if I had seen him, I guess, probably would´ve just stood there with a….stupid look on my face…..but uh….anyway, I loved him, this is called ´Bye Bye Johnny´…..”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´Glory Days´
´´Have we got any bass singers out there ? (cheers)….well, now, this is a song…..about a simple thing….me, no (chuckles)….this is a song about how time marches on…how that clock keeps ticking away…and about old times….now, some people got more old times than other people….I got my share….but now the Big Man, he has more than me….but as you can see, he has maintained his youthful beauty….this is like how you go out to a bar on a Friday night, you´re trying to have a drink and somebody comes up to you…..and they´re drunk already, see they beat you to it, they get to be obnoxious to you before you get to be obnoxious to them….so like you know they´re way ahead of you and they come up to you and….´Oh, Bruce, like, remember me, like, we went to high school and remember all that great time we had in high school ? (?) yeah, me, yeah, remember the guy in study hall, the guy that took the pizza pie and, and put it over your head ? yeah, that´s me ! how you doing ? yeah, great´…. everybody keeps thinking back about oh how wonderful high school was….but every time I think about I realise….I hated high school….I detested high school…..I´m still glad when eight o´clock comes around that I get to play the guitar instead of doing my homework… the high school I was only interested in two things….one was rock and roll…..and the other was….the one that everybody´s interested in (chuckles)….but as I got older….I had more of an opportunity to practise the guitar so consequently that´s the one that I became proficient at ….but the other one I have not given up on… if there´s anybody out there who´d like to practise, practise, practise…´s a lonely life (chuckles)….and in the end…..hurry up (chuckles) ´cause all things must pass (chuckles) and in the end it ain´t nothing but glory days….I´m gonna tell a story, here we go, boys….”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´My Hometown´
´´Thanks…´s a song, uh….that I wrote, uh, about three, four years ago….and I guess it´s a song, it´s kind of about….trying to shoulder some of the responsobility…of the place that you live….and uh, sometimes that can be a confusing thing to do because I guess we all are caught up in our own lives, it gets hard enough sometimes just to get through the day and uh ….don´t think a whole lot about what sometimes what´s going on around us right in our own cities and our own towns and sometimes even in our own country….and so this is a song about….trying to find some place….in the community that raised you…..and tonight when you go out into the lobby, you´re gonna see some folks from the Memphis Foodbank….and they´re working here in your town, what they do is every year 20 percent of the food that gets produced in America just gets wasted, gets thrown away….meanwhile in every city…. there´s people that are, who just aren´t getting enough to eat, there´s undernourished kids, there´s old folks whose social security checks ain´t getting ´em to the end of the month….and there´s a lot of people who the trickle-down theory of economics ain´t trickling down to…. and….so what these people is they can use some support, could use a little helping hand…. and the foodbank gets that food to the agencies that are helping these people out, they need volunteers to work in their warehouses, they need people to help with the deliveries, they got trucks and vans and they need just some money, for every dollar that they get, they can buy 14 dollars´ worth of food….and they´re here in your town trying to make it a better and a more decent and a fairer place to live….so if you can help ´em out, go on out there and check ´em out, they´ll be out there during the intermission and this is your hometown so….so do something about it…..”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, middle of ´Growin´Up´
´´There I was….I was still in high school but I wasn´t having much luck, I was doing bad in my studies so they sent me down to see the guidance counsellor….I went in, he said ´Mr.Springsteen, what´s the problem here ?´….I said ´Well, you see, Sir, it´s like….like I don´t know what I wanna do with myself, like I don´t know, I don´t know what I wanna be, I don´t know what I wanna do with my life… know, I need, I need some faith, I need some, some hope in something, I need some, some confidence´….he said….´That´s too big a problem for me, you better go home and see your folks´….so I went home, my father was sitting in the kitchen….I came in, I said ´Dad….I got something really important that like I gotta talk to you about, you know, I gotta, like I don´t know where I´m going, I don´t know what I´m gonna do with myself, there´s nothing I wanna do, nothing I wanna be, it´s like, I don´t have no faith, I need some confidence, I need some hope, I need a date !´…..and he just looked at me and said ´Get another beer out of the icebox´….so that was it….I decided I was gonna hitchhike down to Asbury Park….walk into the Atlantic Ocean and end it all…..I got out on Route 33…..had a couple of rides, got down there…..I had some phony I.D, I figured before, before I´d drown myself, I´d have a drink first….so I went into this little bar, went into the men´s room and on the wall it said ´Advice to all problems, big or small, just call this number´ so I wrote the number down and got a dime and I went outside, put it in the phone booth, it rang once, it rang twice and then I heard (Clarence: ´Hello´)….and it was some guy called Clarence He Who Knows All Clemons….so like I told him a little bit about my problem, he gave me directions to his house and I went over….knocked on the door, the door opened up….we kind of checked each other out for a while….we decided we´d make a good team….and he said he was having the same kind of problems himself but that he had the answer because somebody, he´d been to the gypsy and somebody´d given him a map to the secret of the world…..and if we followed that map tonight when the moon was full, we´d find the answer to all our questions… we got into Clarence´s Oldsmobile and we started driving south…..down Route 9, through Freehold, through Lakewood, through Tom´s River, down into the pines….it started raining, the wind started blowing, it started snowing, then we got hit by a heatwave and then hailstones as big as grapefruits came pounding down and then the roof blew off our car, the engineblack crocked, the engineblock cracked, all sorts of shit was going on and finally we had four flat tires and we pulled over to the side of this dirtroad …..and Clarence said that according to the map, what we were looking for was just on the other side of those woods… into the forest we went… was dark… was scary….there were sounds coming from everywhere (cheers) we came upon this big shade tree….we could tell it was a shade tree because it had its shades on (chuckles) but on into the forest we went, we heard werewolves (howls) we heard lions roaring (roars) we heard homicidal cows (moos) we heard mad dogs barking (barks) now, Big Man, Big Man, there ain´t…..there ain´t no like man-eating beasts or nothing in there, is there ?….I never heard of nobody like being ate by ´em in New Jersey, not in New Jersey, that happens like…..I think I hear something, I think I hear something…..Big Man, I´m telling you, I think I hear something behind us, there´s something behind us, there´s something behind us…..whoooa! and all of a sudden there it was, this big man-eating bear but, but, like, instead of jumping on us and making us his dinner, he was acting kind of friendly….and he said, ooh, ooh, he said he wasn´t mean but he was just lonely out here in the woods by himself…..that he´d run away from the circus, he got tired of being in them cages…..and that if we´d be his buddies, he´d help us find the answers to all our problems…..I could tell by the way he wore his hat that he was smarter than the average bear….and so, so we made a deal with him and then he led us into the woods…..and all of a sudden there in the clearing…..the clouds pulled away from the moon….and we saw the answer to our quest…..and then I knew that everything would be alright….and the stars came out and as we stood there in the middle of the woods….when…. when…..when we touched…..”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´Racing in the Street´
´´It was right at the end of the summer….it was off this strip down by the river that I met her ….and we started going out….you know how it is when you first start going out with somebody, like, everything is perfect….and uh….she liked to go out riding, we´d talk all the time….laughing all the time, having a good time….and then something, something happened and it seemed like the things that made her happy once…..just didn´t make her happy any more….and she got real quiet and she got to where she wanted to stay in a lot, and then she got to where she´d hide my keys so I couldn´t go out at night….and…..I don´t know what happens, maybe, maybe it´s something where people just expect too much of each other, you meet somebody and you think like they can take away all your loneliness….when in the end ….nobody can take away your loneliness, you just hope that you, that you can find somebody that you can share a little bit of it with….and it ain´t so bad…..that´s not so bad at all…..
(….) Well, that was the night that we left….we still don´t know where we´re going yet but I guess that´ll come in time….and it seems like you´ve just gotta keep moving….somehow so much gets left behind….seems like so much keeps getting lost somewhere…..well, there´s not much you can do but keep going and to keep searching and to keep going and to keep going, keep going….”

14.12.84 Memphis, TN, intro to ´Born to Run´
´´Thanks….that´s Little Steven….thank you….I wanna….I wanna just take a minute and thank everybody for coming down to the show tonight….and last night too….I know, I know that some of you guys wait for a long time on lines for the tickets and I want you to know we appreciate it (chuckles)….and I´d like to also thank you for your, for your support of the Memphis Foodbank, you know, if….because, uh, if we stuck together a little bit more….and the power of rock and roll´s always been the power of friendship and the power of community….and in the end…..nobody wins unless everybody wins….”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License