Story 1985-01-19 Charlotte, NC

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Darlington County”
“Are you ready? (crowd cheers)…
(…) They got him for, uh…resisting arrest…driving without a license …driving while intoxicated…and impersonating a human being…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
“Thanks…we’re gonna be playing for quite a while, you can sit down for a little while if you want, it’s gonna be a long show…plenty of work for your feet…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Reason to Believe”
“Oh, this is a song about faith…that’s the, that’s the hardest thing to come by these days, there’s always somebody kind of packaging it and trying to sell it to you on TV (chuckles) with everything else, and, uh…I guess faith, that’s, that’s free (?) but this is about blind faith, some people get so hard-up to believe in something that they’ll believe in anything that comes along…(Bruce plays a harmonica intro that sounds a bit like “Amazing Grace” before moving on to playing it the usual way)…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Used Cars”
“Oh, this is a song about old cars (chuckles)(crowd cheers) old cars, they never fade away…they just break down and leave you stranded all the time (chuckles)…when I was a kid, I remember it was always a big deal when once a year my father decided to go down to the used car lot and get us a…get us another car…now, that was the only time that me and my sister used to ever get along, we used to fight all the time, we were like a year apart…but, like, she liked, she was one of those girls, like, she liked to do everything before me, she was younger, she would tie her shoes first, she could blow a bubble (chuckles)…so we were always real competitive then…right around this time of year we’d get together and we’d go into the kitchen and we’d start, you know, begging my old man to get a convertible (crowd cheers) “Please,” you know, “Please, Dad, please, please!”…and he’d like sit there and he, I could see he would kind of think about it because in his heart he was always a convertible-driver that got stuck in the hard time (chuckles)(laughter from the crowd) he’d take us down there, we’d go down, I remember we’d get down there and me and my sister, we’d be running all around going “Daddy, over here, over here!”… he’d be walking along with my mother…and we always came home with like, you know, a hard-top Rambler (chuckles)(laughter from the crowd) but me and my sister, we had our good ways we could get him back, we always found the exact spot, there was always one spot in the backseat where while he was driving no matter what you did he couldn’t reach you (laughter from the crowd) (crowd cheers) we’d always be back there tucking the springs, you know, “Wait till we get home, wait till we get home!” (chuckles) anyway…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Glory Days”
“(After the sing-along) Sounds good out there (crowd cheers)…now …this is a song about…the past…now I’m kind of in a confessional mood tonight (crowd cheers) so I was sitting backstage and I got a letter from a fellow, said he was the assistant manager of the Greensboro Hawks (crowd cheers) now, when I was a kid, before I wanted to play the guitar, the only thing I wanted to be was a baseball player (crowd cheers) and, like, you know, I started out, like, the usual way, I was like eight years old in the Colonial League, then I went in the Little League, then I was like in Babe Ruth League and all the while I had amassed a hitting average of at least a hundred and fifty! (crowd cheers) that didn’t, you know, it didn’t bother me, it didn’t…but what happened, what really got to my sports’ career was when I was about fifteen, I got interested in the guitar (crowd cheers) and so like usually it was ok because the baseball games were most of the time during the week and then the rock’n’roll was on the weekend (crowd cheers) but like one day, one day we had this rained-out game and they rescheduled it for, like, Saturday morning eight o’clock and I was out Friday night and so like when the guys came ‘round my house, I heard them knocking and I told my mother, I said “Ma, I know, Ma, tell ‘em, like tell ‘em I’m sick, you know, tell ‘em like I can’t go, I’m just too sick” and so like, you know, like every good mother she goes down and lies for her son, she says “Oh, boys, no, Bruce can’t make the game today because he’s too sick” (chuckles) so like, you know, I was like laying in bed catching some extra z’s…but like they come back about twenty minutes later and I hear ‘em at the front door and they’re going “Oh, Mrs. Springsteen, please, please, if Bruce doesn’t come to the game we only got eight guys, we’re gonna forfeit the game, we’re gonna screw up our own season, he’s gotta come”…so I hear my mother let ‘em in and I hear ‘em coming up the stairs so now I gotta like make believe like I’m really sick, you know…I’m laying there (crowd cheers) I always sleep with my guitar…my girlfriends don’t like it but they get used to it (crowd cheers) sometimes the guitar sleeps on the outside (chuckles) (crowd cheers) anyway, like I’m laying there and I’m like (coughs) you know, trying to make believe like I got the pneumonia or something…anyway, they beg me and they beg me and I’m one of those people like when somebody starts begging me for something I can never say “no” (crowd cheers) if somebody asks me for, like, money on the street, I always give it to ‘em (chuckles) but, anyway, so I go to the game and like I got my uniform on, I’m feeling really kind of hazy and they put me out in the right field, I’m doing ok because, like, six or seven innings go by and nothing comes to me, I’m feeling pretty good, hoping nobody hits nothing in this direction and like I start daydreaming, I’m out there…and there’s this girl (crowd cheers) she’s climbing over the out-field fence (crowd cheers) she wants to know why I’m wearing this hot uniform on such a hot summer day (crowd cheers) we’re laying down in right field (crowd cheers) then all of a sudden PSSSH! (crowd cheers) fucked up (chuckles)…I missed the ball, we lost the game, the runner scored, I suffered defeat and humiliation in front of my peers…anyway, that was when I gave up sports and decided to dedicate my life to rock’n’roll! (crowd cheers) now I haven’t regretted it yet! (crowd cheers) but anyway…in the end all things must pass…and you’re left with nothing but glory days – anyway…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “The Promised Land”
“Thanks…oh…that’s, uh…no matter how old you get, you gotta keep searching for that Promised Land (crowd cheers)…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “My Hometown”
“I remember when I was…when I was growing up, I thought…one of the things I always wanted to do was get to travel around…and I lived in this town, it was kind of a small town, it was real small, small-minded and narrow-minded when I grew up there in the late ‘60’s…and uh…it was a time when it seemed like the whole world was splitting apart and everybody in my town wanted to, to, it seemed like to turn away or something…but, uh, I used to get on the bus and go up to the city (crowd cheers) and the Greenwich Village…(?) and I always swore that when I left there that I’d never, you know, I’d never want to go back…but as I got older I started to come home off the road and get in my car and I’d drive down there and I’d see, visit my old friends and see what their lives were like… and, uh, I guess one of the things when I was a kid that I was afraid of was I was afraid of belonging somewhere because when you belong somewhere, that means you got some responsibility to that place, whether it’s your family or your town or your country…if you stand up and you say “Well, I’m an American,” that means you got some responsibility to America (crowd cheers) and here in this country we got so many, so many things to be proud of and we got a lot of things to be ashamed of…and it’s the things that you have to be ashamed of that need some taking care of by all of us (crowd cheers) and, uh, tonight I guess when you go out into the lobby you’re gonna see some folks from the Foodbank of Northwestern and North Carolina (crowd cheers) and, uh, what a foodbank is is every year twenty percent of all the food in America that just gets produced just gets wasted and thrown away and meanwhile in every city there’s people going hungry, old folks whose social security checks don’t get ‘em through the month, there’s people who’ve been hit by unemployment, there’s people who the trickle-down-theory of economics ain’t trickling down to (crowd cheers) and…what these, what a foodbank does is it gets hold of that food and it gets it to the, to the agencies that serve the people but they need your help and, uh, they’re here in your town, last night, I don’t know how many of you folks were here last night (some cheers) but I wanna thank you for the support that you showed last night (?) I really, I just wanna say thanks…so they’ll be out there in the lobby during intermission, if you got a buck you can lend ‘em or if you’ve got some time to volunteer for ‘em, they’re here trying to make Greensboro a better and a more decent place to live for all of you (crowd cheers) you know, in the end…nobody wins unless everybody wins and this is your hometown…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, towards the end of “Dancing in the Dark”
“Sometimes I feel…I get feeling so lonely…and I get so downhearted…and that’s when I need a little help…and I just wanna reach out…to somebody…somewhere…and say “Hey there, Baby” (crowd cheers)…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Cadillac Ranch”
“Now in the beginning…man invented the wheel…and after he invented the wheel (?) so he invented the Cadillac (crowd cheers) …”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “No Surrender”
“One of the great things, I remember growing up about rock’n’roll music was how it kind of cemented the bonds of friendship in between you and your friends if you liked the same records…I remember I was fourteen or fifteen and I went into this Hullabaloo Club, there was a show on TV at the time that was…that was kind of like American Bandstand, I guess, girls dancing in the cages in white go-go boots and all that stuff (chuckles)(some cheers) it was during the, uh…and, uh, it was called Hullabaloo and I went into this club in Middletown, New Jersey (crowd cheers) you couldn’t have been in Middletown, New Jersey (chuckles)(?) I went into this club and I saw this guy onstage singing these Paul Revere and the Raiders’ songs (crowd cheers) and we kind of introduced ourselves to each other and became real good friends, we used to go to the city…and go in all the clubs down in the Village…but, uh, anyway, this is, this is for, uh, this is for Little Steven (crowd cheers) he had a record out a little while ago called “Voice of America” which was a really great record, if you get a chance, you should check it out…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Growin’ Up”
“Now, this is for all you old-timers out there (crowd cheers)…you see, this is something that happened a long time (crowd cheers) in a land far away from here…it was once upon a time…
(…) And there I was…I was still in high school…I wasn’t doing too good…I was doing bad in my studies, like I never paid attention in class, I was daydreaming, looking out the window…so finally they sent me down to the guidance counsellor…so I walked in and he says “Mr. Springsteen (crowd cheers) what’s your problem?”…I said “Well, Sir, like I don’t know what I wanna do with my life, I don’t know what I wanna be, I don’t know, uh, I don’t know where I’m going, I need some faith, I need some hope, I need some, some, some…I need a date for Saturday night! (crowd cheers) so he kind of sat there and wrote it all down and told me it was too big a problem for him, I was gonna have to go home and talk to my folks so I went home and I remember I went into the kitchen and my dad was sitting at the kitchen table, I said “Dad, you know, uh, I got something I gotta talk to you about, it’s kind of real important and, like, I’m getting in trouble at school, I’m not interested in anything, I don’t know what I wanna do with myself, I don’t know what I wanna be, I got no direction, I need some faith, I need some hope, I need a close interpersonal relationship with a member of the opposite sex! (crowd cheers) and then he said…all he said was “Get me another beer out of the icebox” (crowd cheers) so that was it, I was gonna call it a day, I was gonna, decided I was gonna do myself in, tried to think of some ways of doing it, decided I was drown myself…got out on Highway 33, started hitchhiking towards Asbury Park (crowd cheers) got down to Asbury, I had this phoney I.D, I decided that before I drowned myself I was gonna get a drink first (crowd cheers) so I went into this little bar and I went into the men’s room and on the wall it said “Advice and answer to all problems, big or small” and it had a phone number so I went out into the phone booth, dialled the number, phone rang once…rang twice…and then I heard (Clarence: “Hello”) and it was some guy called Clarence “He who knows all” Clemons (crowd cheers) so like I told him a little bit about my problem and he told me he thought he could help me out so he gave me his address, I hitchhiked over to his house…knocked on the door (Max pounds the drum) the door opened up…we kind of checked each other out for a while (crowd cheers) we decided that we’d make a good team and we became partners (crowd cheers) and Clarence, like, he was having some trouble of his own and he had just been to the gypsy and he came back from the gypsy with this map, it was a map to the secret of the world and he said that if we followed this map at midnight tonight that we’d find the answer to all our troubles so that night we packed up the car, we brought along lots of peanutbutter-and-jelly sandwiches (crowd cheers) and we got in his old Oldsmobile and we started driving south down Route 9 (crowd cheers) through Freehold (crowd cheers) through Lakewood (crowd cheers) through Tom’s River (crowd cheers) it started raining…and then hailstones big as baseballs started coming down and then a hurricane blew across the highway and then a tornado came and ripped off the roof of the car and then it started snowing and then a heatwave hit and we kept on going, we had two flat tires, the hood blew off, the engine block cracked, the carburettor busted, the windows fell out and then the radio broke! no! (crowd cheers) and there we were… by the side of this dirt road…and according to Clarence’s map what we were looking for was just on the other side of those woods…so into the forest we went…it was scary in there…it was dark…the wind was whipping through the trees (crowd cheers) we came across this big shade tree…we would tell it was a shade tree because it had its shades on! (crowd cheers) we kept on going…we started to hear sounds like werewolves coming out of the forest (crowd howls) and then we heard lions roaring (crowd roars) then we heard homicidal cows mooing (crowd moos) and mad dogs barking (crowd barks) but, Big Man, there ain’t like, there ain’t like no big beasts in the woods, is there? I never heard of nobody like being ate alive in New Jersey or nothing (?) beasts out there…(?) I think I hear something behind us, I hear something behind us (crowd cheers) oh, Big Man, Clarence, I hear something behind us right there…(screams) and all of a sudden there was this big man-eating bear!…but, but, but instead of jumping on us and making us his dinner, he was acting kind of friendly, he said, he said that he wasn’t mean, that he was just lonely and that he’d been out in these woods by himself for so long ‘cause he ran away from the circus where they were keeping him in cages and that if we’d be his buddy, if we’d be his friend, that he’d help us find what we was looking for…I could tell by the way he was wearing that hat that he was smarter than the average bear (crowd cheers) so we made a deal with the bear and then he took us back into the forest…and all of a sudden the clouds pulled away from the moon and there in the clearing…we saw the answer to our quest (crowd cheers)…(?) we stood there…and we knew everything was gonna be alright…because…because…because… when we touched…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Racing in the Street”
“I remember it was right around the end of the summertime that I met her…I remember I had this, this old Camaro that I was driving around (crowd cheers) got it for five, five hundred dollars (?) and there was this strip down off the river…I guess it was kind of like a junkyard where people from town’d come down and dump off the things that, that they didn’t want no more and leave them out there to rust…and on the weekends a bunch of us would meet down there, just sit around on the cars talking and stuff…and, uh, that was where I first met her and when we first started going out it was like, uh, like it always is when you first start going out, you’re laughing all the time and always having fun, going out riding…but, uh, time passes and I guess people change…and it gets harder to hold on, it seemed like the things that made her happy once just didn’t make her happy no more…I was spending most of my time trying to find out what it was, how to make her happy again…but, uh, she got to where she didn’t talk much, she wanted to stay in all the time, and she’d hid my keys at night so that I wouldn’t take the car out…and…I don’t know, maybe sometimes people, people expect too much of each other…but it got hard to make her understand that…that when I took the car out and when I won, that it was the only time I got to feeling good about myself…and to have just one thing, one thing in your life you do that makes you feel proud of yourself, no matter what it is…that’s not too much for anybody to ask…anywhere…
(…) Well, that was the night that we left…just packed up our bags… and we still don’t know where we’re going yet but I guess that will come in time…but sometimes it seems like time gets running so short on you, like it’s gonna run out on you…and so much gets lost and left behind…I guess there’s not much you can do but keep on going…and to keep on searching…and to keep on going…and to keep on going…and to keep on going…and to keep on going…keep on going…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Can’t Help Falling in Love”
“Thanks, thanks a lot (chuckles)(crowd cheers) I’d like to just take a minute and thank everybody for coming down to the shows that we’ve done here in Greensboro (crowd cheers) let you to know that we appreciate it, I know a lot of you guys stand out there in line for a long time waiting for your tickets (crowd cheers) I know you’re out there (?)…but, uh, I’d also like to thank you for your support of the Foodbank of Northwestern and North Carolina (crowd cheers) just really, uh, thank you for your generosity, you’re letting a lot of people know out there who might not normally know that it’s not just only (?)(crowd cheers)…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, middle of “Detroit Medley”
“In the travelling band we got…Professor Roy Bittan on the piano
(crowd cheers) Mr. Garry W. Tallent on the bass guitar (crowd cheers) Patti Scialfa on the vocals (crowd cheers) Mighty Max Weinberg on the drums (crowd cheers) Phantom Dan Federici on the organ (crowd cheers) Mr. Nils Lofgren on the guitar (crowd cheers) and last but not least…the greatest man (?) on the saxophone, Big Man Clarence Clemons (crowd cheers)…”

19.01.85 Greensboro, NC, intro to “Twist and Shout”
“Step by step, slowly I turn until…come on, Boys!…
(…) Oh, yes, my favorite part of the night…I get to see everybody who’s been looking at me all night long (crowd cheers) Big Man, who you feeling? (crowd cheers)(Clarence: “Grooving, grooving”) how’s the band doing? (crowd cheers) how’s the people way back on the hill there doing? (crowd cheers) and how’s all the bums in the bleacher seats back there? (crowd cheers) how the hell are you guys back there? (crowd cheers) that’s good…because before I go… there is one thing I must know…(?)…a question…that I need an answer to…what I wanna know is…what I wanna know is…is…do you love me? (crowd cheers)…”

Compiled by Johanna Pirttijärvi

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