Story 1985-01-18 Charlotte, NC

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´Reason to Believe´
´´This is a song about blind faith….seems that the hardest thing to come by is something …. something you can hold on to, something you can believe in…there´s always somebody on the television trying to…sell you something to believe in….and some people, I guess….they get so hungry….that, uh….they believe in anything that comes along…”

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´Shut Out the Light´
´´Oh, thanks, thank you….(?) ´round 1977, I was driving through….Phoenix, Arizona….and I stopped in this drugstore, I was looking for a book to read….and I went in and I found this, this book called ´Born on the Fourth of July´….by, by a Vietnam Veteran named Ron Kovic ….and it was an incredible book, it was something that, I guess….anyway, I traveled on on to Los Angeles and I was staying in this motel….and I remember I was in the pool and I was swimming….there was a fella….in a wheelchair sitting by the side of the pool….and I got out and we kind of looked at each other and I had the book and he said ´I wrote that book´…. and when I first met Ron, I guess it was….even though I´d grown up during the 60´s and lived through that and had my friends go….and some of ´em not come back….it was the first time I started thinking about what Vietnam had meant….back in the history of our country…. now, this is a song, this about coming home, it´s a song called ´Shut Out the Light´….”

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´Johnny Bye Bye´
´´(?)…and it was late at night, I guess we´d done the show, we played at some little auditorium…and we were going back to the hotel, me and Steve, my guitar player, were sitting around….we decided we wanted to get something to eat so we called up a taxi cab and a taxi came down and got us and we said we wanted to eat some place outside of town, this fella said ´Well, I know this place, it´s right out by Elvis´ house´…so I said, uh, ´You know where Elvis lives ?´, he says ´Yeah, yeah´, ´Well, take us out there right now´….so, so he drives us out to Elvis´….and it´s about, it´s about 3.30 now, I get out of the cab and I´m standing there in front of those gates with the guitar players on the front, right….and I look in and I can see through the gates and I see like in the second floor there´s a, there´s a light on so I guess I figure like Elvis must be up reading or something (chuckles) and now….and I remember, for some reason, I started to climb up over the wall and the taxi cab driver says ´No, man, they got big dogs over there and they´ll eat you alive if you get over there´, I jump over the wall and I start running up the, up the drive towards the frontdoor which, I guess, now I think was kind of a stupid thing to do because, like, I hated it when people do it at my house, you know (chuckles)….but anyway….I was filled with the enthusiasm of youth (chuckles) and up the drive would I run so (chuckles)….so I get to the frontdoor and like I´m about to knock and these guards come out of the woods and, you know, they´re kind of just, they drift over by me and they say ´What do you want ?´, I say ´Well, gee, is Elvis home ?´ (chuckles)….and they say, they say ´Oh no, he´s, he´s in Lake Tahoe, he´s not here right now´, I say ´Well, see, yeah, I´m a guitar player too and like I was on the cover of Time and Newsweek´ and they say ´Oh yeah, sure you were, sure, oh, oh you´re that guy, oh yeah, sure, great, great´ (chuckles)….then they took me down and put me back out on to the street so (chuckles)….but, anyway, I don´t know what I would´ve said to him if I had ever met him ….I don´t know what I would´ve said….I don´t know, guess I´d´ve told him I love him (chuckles)….anyway, this is uh….it was, uh….it was, I remember when a friend of mine called me up and told me, told me that he´d died….and I guess it felt like, for everybody it felt like some little part of ´em died at the same time….it was hard to understand how somebody who came in and whose music took away so many people´s loneliness….could´ve ended up kind of as lonely as he did….seems like he got cheated, that´s not right….this is, uh, this is called ´Bye Bye Johnny´….”

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´Glory Days´
´´This is a song about….like, old times….this is for Lynn and Eddie, old time friends of Max´s….but, like, old times, the older you get, the more of them you got….and like you know you´re in trouble when you see like everything you wore when you were 15 is exactly what you should be wearing when you´re 35….it comes back ! (chuckles)….oh, shit….but anyway ….Clarence had a birthday recently….now, let´s just say that he has more old times than me ….but as you can see, he has maintained his youthful beauty….it´s a wonderful thing (chuckles)…alright….are you ready, Big Man ?….not too old now ? (?) still rocking here, alright….
(….) Oh, keep on rocking, people….you´re looking good….don´t ever be stopping now…. don´t let me down….´cause I hear that big clock ticking away…every minute of my life every day…it says ´Big Man….you´re 38….you´re 39….you´re 40…..41….42….you´re 43….you´re, you´re, you´re, you´re… adult !….”

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´The Promised Land´
´´Oh, you know last week….was the 15th just a little while ago, it was Martin Luther King´s birthday….and, and, uh….this is a song for him, somebody who came in….and….did so much for his people and for our country as a whole….and by….I guess he, he did the ultimate sacrifice and in doing so….gave dignity (?) to every man….”

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´My Hometown´
´´This is uh….I remember…oh, when I was a kid growing up….I grew up in this small town and uh….a lot smaller than Greensboro (chuckles) and uh….I remember when I was 16, man, I hated that town….it seemed so narrowminded and small-minded….I used to get on the bus, take Lincoln Transit to New York City….I remember, like, I used to feel so great when I got out at Port Authority, you know, it was like ´Oh, man, nobody, nobody owns me up here´, you know (chuckles) and I´d go down into East Village…where it was a lot easier to ….to breathe….feel a little better, at the time….I remember when I finally got out of there, I said ´Man, I ain´t ever coming back, ain´t ever coming back´…but uh, as I got older, I guess I used to come home off the road and….I´d get in my car and I´d drive back down through town….and I´d go see some of my old friends, see what their lives were like….see what they were doing….and I realised that I would always, always….you know, carry a part of that town with me no matter where I went…..or what I did….but uh, when I was a kid, I guess, I was afraid of, one of the things that I was afraid was I was afraid of belonging, belonging to something because if you admit that you belong to something that means you´ve got some responsobility…like if you stand and you say ´Well, I´m an American´ that means you got some responsobility to America, the country that you live in….now, in this country….you know we got plenty of things to be proud of and plenty of things to be ashamed of….and unless you look at it both….unless you look at the bad stuff, there´s no way it ever gets better …but tonight when you go out into the, into the lobby, you´re gonna see some folks trying to hold up their end…..of their responsobility to their community, they´re called….let me get this straight now (chuckles)….Foodbank of Northwest North Carolina….and what a foodbank is is every year about 20 percent of all the food that gets produced in the United States, it just gets wasted and thrown away and meanwhile in every city there´s people going hungry, there´s old folks whose social security checks don´t get ´em through the month, there´s people who the trickle-down-theory of economics ain´t trickling on down to, there´s….you know, kids that are undernourished….and what a foodbank does is it gets that food and it gets it to the agencies that serve the people out there….and uh….they need some support, they can use your help and they´re right here in your town….if you can give a buck or two dollars or if you can spare some time for ´em or just check out what they´re doing when you go out into the lobby during intermission, I know they´d appreciate it and I´d appreciate it…. there´s uh….you know, sometimes….sometimes people going hungry seems like it´s something that just happens a long ways away and it´s hard to believe that it happens in a country….so rich as ours and it´s something that we should be ashamed of….but, uh, anyway, they´re out there trying to make your hometown a better and a more decent place for everybody to live so check ´em out….”

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´Pink Cadillac´
´´Take it easy now….well, now, this is a song about the conflict…..between worldly things and spiritual health….between desires of the flesh….and spiritual ecstasy…they say you can´t have both….now, where did this conflict begin ?…..well, it began in the beginning in a place called the Garden of Eden….now, the Garden of Eden was originally believed to have been located in Mesopotamia….but the latest theological studies have found that its actual location was ten miles south of Jersey City, off the New Jersey Turnpike…..that´s why they call it the Garden State….but, now, understand, understand this….in the Garden of Eden , there were none of the accoutrements of modern living….there wasn´t no microwave ovens there….they didn´t have no little Pop-Tarts you could put in the toaster and go home and jump in bed to watch Johnny Carson….you couldn’t go out on to the highway and buy a cheeseburger if you wanted one….no Sir !….in the Garden of Eden there was no sin…there was no sex….that´s right….man lived in a state of innocence ….now, when it comes to no sex, I prefer the state of guilt that I constantly live in ….before the tour started, I decided to make a spiritual journey to the location of the Garden of Eden to find out the answer to some of these mysteries…(?)…I found out that that spot was now occupied by Happy Dan´s Celebrity Used Car Lot….I walked in, the man said to me ´Son, you need a yellow convertible , a four-door DeVille with a Continental spare, wide chrome wheels, air-conditioning, automatic heat, fold-out bed in your backseat, eight-track tapedeck , TV and a phone so you can speak to your baby when you’re driving all alone’…I said ‘I’ll take two’….then I said ´But Dan, Dan, that´s really not the reason why I came…you see, I wanna know the answer to some of this conflict that I feel, what´s the meaning of temptation….why does my soul pull me one way and my body pull me the other way all the time….he said ´Well, son, that´s easy ….because right here on these ten beautiful commercially-zoned acres was the sweetest little paradise that man had ever seen, now, in the Garden of Eden there were many wonderous things : there was a Tree of Life, there was a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, there was a man, Adam, there was a woman, Eve, and she looked so fine ….and when Adam kissed her, well, son, it was the first time that a man had ever kissed a woman ….and she had legs that were long and soft….and when Adam touched her, well, son, it was the first time that a man had ever touched a woman…and then they went out into the green fields….and they lay down…. and when Adam….well, let´s just say it was the first time….but there was something else in the Garden of Eden on that day, old Satan came slithering up on his belly and somehow he turned their love into a betrayal and sent them driving down into the darkness below…but right here tonight on our backlot for 99.95 and no money down and don´t worry if you´ve got bad credit, it´s good here, I´ve got their getaway car….if you´ve got the nerve to ride….I´ve got the keys….to the first….pink….Cadillac….”

18.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to ´Racing in the Street´
´´It was right around, it was right around the end of the summer…fall was just coming on that time when….feels kind of scary, you don´t know what you´re gonna do….and I had this old convertible Camaro that I was driving around all the time….and I got it for 500 dollars (chuckles) …and, uh….there was this strip down off the river, I guess it was like the junkyard where people from town would bring down….the stuff they didn´t want no more and leave it off out there to rust away…we used to meet down there on Fridays and Saturdays sometimes ….and uh, that was the first place that I´d seen her and we started going out….and you know how it is when you´re first going out, like everything….everything is great, you know, it´s fun all the time and you´re laughing all the time and we´d go riding….didn´t matter what we did ….but then it seemed like the time passed and fall came and winter…and the things that, that made her happy once just didn´t seem to make her happy any more….and I was spending most of my time … trying to figure out something that´d make it the way that it was….make her happy again….but she got to where she didn´t talk much and just wanted to stay in all the time, didn´t wanna go out riding….and at night she´d hide my keys so that I couldn´t, I couldn´t go out and ride in the car….and it got, uh….it got hard to make her understand and I know that once….one time she knew….that when I took the car out….and when I won….that it was the only time that I got to feeling, like, good about myself….and that to have just one thing, one thing in your whole life….don´t matter what it is, that you do…that you can do good, that makes you feel proud of yourself, that´s not too much for anybody to ask….
(….) 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….but sometimes it seems like time gets running so short on you….like you never know when it´s gonna run out on you….and so much gets lost and just left behind…..I guess there´s not much you can do….but to keep going and to keep on searching….and to keep going and to keep on going and to keep on going and to keep going, keep on going….”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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