Story 1985-03-27 Sydney, Australia

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘Open All Night´
´´Now….I used to work up in New York City….so….every night I used to have to drive home about 3 in the morning down the New Jersey Turnpike heading south….now, the turnpike´s a road that stretches from the top of New Jersey all the way down to the bottom….and uh, passes you through most of the oil refineries….so ´round 3 a.m, I´d be riding home, wasn´t bad, there wasn´t much traffic, I´d roll the window down a little bit, put the radio on and start driving….and I kind of wouldn´t be watching the speedometer that close, you know….so sometimes it´d creep up a little bit past the speed limit….and (?) I´m driving along, all of a sudden I see those red lights in my rearview mirror….New Jersey highway patrol….so I pull over….and the guy asks me for my license and my registration, I’m one of those people like I always forget my wallet, I always leave it home….so I didn´t have my license, didn´t have my registration… I gave him my name and he goes back and he sits in the patrol car and after about ten minutes he calls me back….and he says ´Son….are you….are you ….are you that rock and roll singer ?’….so I say ´Yeah, yeah, that’s me, that’s me’ ….. ´Are you the guy, are you the guy that, that sings that Born to Run song ?’….I say ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s me´, he says ´Well, you know, I got some of your records at home’ ….I say ‘You do ?’, he says ‘Yeah….and son, you’re in a lot of trouble’….he says ´Man, they´ve been blasting your name all over this police radio, you´ve got all these unpaid parking tickets and all these unpaid speeding tickets and now we gotta take you in´….so he took me in, impounded the car, about a month later I had to go to traffic court….so I go down to the traffic court….I hope like nobody´s gonna recognise me or nothing….and I´m sitting there….now in traffic court you can only plead, there´s three things you can plead, one, you can plead guilty….now, nobody pleads that because they don’t wanna admit that they did what they did… can plead innocent…, nobody wants to plead innocent ´cause they know the judge ain´t gonna believe ´em …. or you can plead ‘guilty with an explanation’….everybody pleads that… sit in traffic court all night, you´ll think everybody, the whole world is ‘guilty with an explanation’….so I was sitting there and a guy gets up before me and goes to this little microphone and he was caught speeding, he was caught doing, I think, 75 on a side-street and his explanation was that he was drunk and he thought he was out on the highway….so I said ´After that, after that explanation, whatever I had to say was gonna sound good´, you know, so… I get up there, I get in front of the mike…..I said ´Well, Judge, it, it, it all started like, like, like…..
(……) So I stood there in front of the judge but the judge didn´t budge….he didn´t buy it ….he fined me, I had to show him my license, my registration….but I´d brought the wrong registration….he said ´Son, you´re gonna sit here till you show me the right registration´, I said ´But, Judge, but, but, but´….he said ´Don´t worry because we’re open all night….’

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘The River´
´´Here´s a….here´s a song about when I was a kid, I remember my dad, he used to….he used to sit in the kitchen….at night, he used to get right home from work, buy a six-pack and go sit at the kitchen table….and he´d sit there all night long….I never remember him going out, I never remember having many friends come in….and when it got dark, he wouldn´t let us turn the lights on in the house so at night like the only light that was on was like the tv-light in the livingroom, my mother´d be sitting on the couch ….with them pink curlers in her hair (chuckles) and a bathrobe and slippers, watching tv till she fell asleep, I´d come in, every night she´d be sleeping on that couch…..and uh, my dad used to lock up the frontdoor so that he used to be able to tell when me and my sister was coming in, we used to have to pass by him in the kitchen…..and depending on how long he´d been sitting there, that was an easy, easy, either an easy or a hard thing to do ´cause he´d never wanna talk to you, not until it was late at night and he´d had a little bit, I remember I´d come in and he´d let me get through the kitchen….and then he´d let me walk through the diningroom….then he´d let you slip through the livingroom and just as you were about to hit them stairs thinking ´I made it´, he´d say ´Bruuce´….and he´d say it like real quiet so that you could barely hear it but he knew that you heard him and you knew that he knew that you heard him (chuckles) so you´d turn around….and you´d sit there and…..oh God…..but some nights I used to get where if it got to be too late, I´d stash this sleeping bag….out on the edge of these woods, I used to stuck it under some rocks, some nights you were better off waiting to come in till the morning so if it got really late, I´d go out there and I´d pull it out, I´d sleep out with a friend of mine, sometimes we´d sleep in somebody´s car….or on somebody´s porch…..but uh, sometimes I go back home now, I always drive past that spot, you know, where I used to, where I used to sleep out…..and sometimes it, it always felt like it was more, it was more my own than my own house was….now, this is a song about, uh….those places always stay with you and everybody needs some place they can go on those nights when they can´t go home…..”

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘Johnny Bye Bye´
´´(?) oh, wait a minute, oh….this is a song….I can't play this (chuckles) this is a….we used to….when, I was in my late teens I used to get around by hitchhiking all the time and uh… and all my friends used to hitchhike and then we´d come back and try to see who´d tell the best hitchhiking story….you know like ´Man, I had a guy that picked me up and he was so´, I can remember you´d always get picked up by these guys with souped up cars and they insisted on showing you how fast that thing went down the Garden State Parkway….I got in with one guy and I think he was in a, was a Plymouth Road Runner, I think it was a Road Runner, and he starts hauling down the turnpike…. man, he's, he's doing about 100, 110 and I'm watching the speedometer go up and I'm starting ´Man, gee, I get off right up here (chuckles) no, it's not that far, why don´t you slow down because I get off right up here´ but like he´s like (?) and we start to slow down, we come into traffic and like he's talking to me and he's not watching where he's going and he got down to about 25 miles and he rams into the rear end of the car in front of us…..and then he jumps out and I figure he´s gonna, like he was real mad, gonna start screaming, instead he jumps up over the hood and runs off into the woods by the side, so like, so I get out of the car and then the woman, the woman who he hit gets out and like she's going like 'Whiplash, whiplash' (chuckles) and she sees me and she thinks I was driving, she says ´Where's your license ?´, I said ´I don't have my license, lady, I was just riding, you know ?´, she says ´Oh yeah well where, you know, where's the driver ?´, I said ´He ran off into the woods´ and (chuckles) and then I realised that most likely that the car that I was riding in was not that gentleman's car and then I ran off into the woods (chuckles) it´s like (chuckles) I remember I stayed in the woods for like two hours walking backwards trying to get out of the way, afraid the cops were gonna come but I guess the best hitchhiking story I ever heard was a friend of mine came home and claimed that he'd been, been picked up by Elvis Presley on the turnpike….you know, he said it was, he said it was real late at night, he said this big black limousine pulled up, the door opened and a big guy got out of the front seat and he climbed in and said Elvis was sitting in there with a, with a girlfriend…..and the, the big guy, I guess must´ve been one of his bodyguards, says he got in behind him and he said they rode for about ten miles and he couldn't think of anything to say whatsoever (chuckles) he claimed that Elvis had said the reason he picked him up was because he remembered breaking down in the, in the Cadillac that they had when they were on the road in the early days, somebody giving him a lift… I never knew whether to believe it or not, you know, it was one of those stories like it was a good story, you know, you kind of hoped it was true (chuckles)…..but uh I remember when a friend of mine called me up and told me that Elvis had died, I thought, I thought back to that story….I wondered like, what I would have said to him….you know, if I'd been out on that highway that night….and uh, I guess, uh….just would have said ´Thanks for the ride´….”

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘Glory Days´
´´We got anybody over 30 years old out there tonight ? (cheers)….anybody over 40 ? (some cheers)(chuckles) now, this song´s for you, this is a song about getting old…. how time slips by on you when you´re not watching… always go out on a Friday night, there´s always somebody out there that comes up to you….and he´s patting you on the back, you´re sitting in a bar and trying to have a drink, they say ´Oh, Bruce, remember me ? (?) yeah, Bobby, we went to high school together (?) no, the dude, the guy, remember study hall ? the guy with the pizza pie ? dumped it over your head, got it all over your shirt ? your mother made me clean your shirt ? yeah, that´s me, how you doing ? nice to see you, nice to see you´….you know like you´re always meeting somebody….trying to remind you about what a great time you had in high school and everything….like now when I think back to high school, I realise that I hated high school….I was bad at my studies…..I was bad at sports…..I was bad at….wide range of activities….but the only good thing that happened to me in high school was I got interested in the guitar….I was already interested in the other thing…..but as time passed and I matured, the guitar was the only one I really got very good at…..see, that´s why the shows are so long ´cause the other thing happens so fast all the time…. but that´s alright, you see, ´cause I´m still, I´m still looking for some volunteers who wanna practise, practise, practise….(?) what the hell is this ? (chuckles)….are these the kinds of things that they give to a 35-year-old man ?….alright…..children, (?) story here…”

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘My Hometown´
´´Thanks, this is uh….a song I wrote, I guess….uh, I was living a little while in California….and uh….I started thinking back to the place I grew up….I remember when I was, I grew up in this small town, it was kind of real smallminded, I guess and uh….. when I was in my teens, I used to get on the bus every weekend, head up to New York City, go to the Village and uh….I remember thinking when I was a kid that man, when ….I was old enough to get out of that place, I was gonna get out and I was never ever gonna go back and that I´d never miss it….and I got to go out on the road, was on the road for a long time and for a long time I never did miss it…..and then I started to come home, I´d get in my car and I´d drive back down, down some of the old streets I grew up on, back to see some of my old friends, see what, what their lives were like, you know….and uh, I guess one of the things I was afraid of when I was a kid was I was afraid of….belonging to something ´cause if you admit that you belong to something then there´s some, it means you got some responsobility towards it, whether it´s your town or your country….(?) but….anyway, so this song, I guess, this song is about, it´s kind of about responsobility to the place that you live…..and uh, what happens… my country, the good and the bad of it, the shame and the glory happens in….in my name and what happens here, the good and the bad, that happens in your name….so…´s just wishing the best….to you and to your hometown…..”

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘I´m on Fire´
´´I remember when I was a kid….my old man told me I was never gonna…..amount to anything….I remember him sitting in that kitchen the whole night…..I´d sit there with him and all he´d do was talk about everything that he didn´t have…..was never gonna have….but it was strange that he never seemed angry about it…..(?)….he got me angry about it….and I´d stand down on the corner….watching…..watching the girls in the cars as they went by….thinking that someday…..some way…. ”

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘Growin´Up´
´´Now, this for all….old-timers, old-time fans….this is a story that happened a long time ago….in a place far, far away from here…, once upon a time……
(….) Well, now there I was….I was still in high school….but I was having a hard time ….I was doing bad in my studies….I was never interested in nothing they were teaching in class, I used to go in, lay my head down on the table and start daydreaming….they used to call me ´The Dreamer´ all the time….and they´d be always sending me down to the guidance counsellor…. now, the guidance counsellor is somebody who´s supposed to guide you through your high school career….but generally what they do is they keep you in the office for about a half-hour and then they send you back to class… I went down there one day and I was sitting there….he calls me in…..he says ´Mr. Springsteen, what´s your problem ?´….I said ´Well, Sir, see, I don´t know what I wanna do with myself, I´m not interested in nothing, I don´t have the interest, I don´t know what I wanna be when I get out of school, like, uh, you know, I, I don´t, I need some, I need some faith, I need some, need some hope, I need some confidence, I need some L-U-V along with some S-E-X on Friday night !….he said ´No, no, no, that´s too big a problem for me, you better go home and talk to your parents´….so I went home, my father was sitting in the kitchen, I walked in, I said ´Dad….man, I got sent home from school and I got a big problem, I don´t think they´re gonna let me go back till I get this straightened out, see, like I´m not doing very good, my grades are real bad and I don´t know what I wanna do with myself, I don´t know what I wanna be, I feel like my whole life is waste, going down the tubes here, you know, I ain´t got no faith, I ain´t got no hope, I don´t have any confidence, I don´t know what to do´….and he said ´Get me another beer out of the icebox´….so that was it…. I decided I was gonna do myself in, I was gonna end it all, I was gonna finish it, I had had it with life !….(?) that´s what happened, I decided I was gonna go down to the ocean, jump in and drown myself….so I hitchhiked down to Asbury Park…..but I had just gotten this phony identification and I decided that before I drowned myself, I was gonna see if it worked and go into a bar and see if I could get a drink first….so I went in….went to the men´s room…..and there on the men´s room wall, it said ´Advice and answers to all problems, big or small´, it said ´Call this number´….so I got a dime and went out and put it in the phonebooth….it rang once….it rang twice….and then I heard (Clarence: ´Hello´)….and it was some guy called Clarence ´He-who-knows-all´ Clemons on the other end….so like I started to tell him my problems and he said it was no big deal, that he could fix it up real easy if I just get over to his house right away….so I hitchhiked over there…. knocked on the door….the door opened up….we checked each other out….we decided that we´d make a good team and we became partners for life…..and Clarence , he said he´d been having his own problems and he´d just been to see the gypsy and the gypsy sold him a map to the secret of the world and if we followed this map at midnight when the moon was full, we´d find the answer to all (?) problems….so that night we packed up the car with a lot of peanutbutter-and-jelly sandwiches….all our favorite tapes and we started driving….we drove south down Route 9, deep into the dark heart of New Jersey….down past Freehold, down through Toms River, down through Lakewood, down deep, deep, deep into the pines….and the rain started falling ….and a hurricane came up and tried to blow us off the road…..and then a blizzard hit and then a tornado came up and swept across the highway and then a heatwave struck and then and then and then the roof to to the car blew off and then two of the tires went flat, the engine block cracked, the carburetor fell out and then and then and then the radio broke !….and there we were… the side of this dark dirt road…..and according to the map what we were searching for was just on the other side of those woods… deep into the forest we went….it was scary in there, let me tell you…..we heard sounds coming from everywhere (crowd cheers)….we came upon this big shade tree…..we could tell it was a shade tree because it had its shades on…..and there were sounds like werewolves coming out of the forest (crowd howls)….then we heard lions roaring in the darkness (crowd roars)….then we heard mad dogs barking (crowd barks)….and then we heard, we heard them little koala bears making whatever noise they make (crowd cheers)….but into the forest we went…, Big Man, there ain´t no like wild beasts in these woods, is there ?….I never heard of nobody getting ate alive in New Jersey (?)….there ain´t no like man-eaters or nothing ?…..ain´t no like, like, like killer beasts, no ? are you sure ?…..I think I hear something behind us, I hear something behind us….Big Man, I hear something behind us….whooa! and all of a sudden there was this big man-eating bear but, but instead of jumping on us and making us his dinner or something, he was acting kind of friendly….you know, like kissing us and he said that he wasn´t mean, that he was just lost and lonely….that he´d been out in these woods a real long time, he ran away from the circus and he said….his name was Humphrey (crowd cheers)….and that he was a long ways from home….but he said that if we´d be his friends, he´d help us out….he´d show us to just what we were looking for….so we made a deal….we´d take him into the band….and then back into the woods we went…..and there….the clouds pulled away from the moon …and in this little clearing….we found the answer to our quest….and we stood there and we knew that everything was gonna be all right….because when….when….when we touched…”

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘Racing in the Street´
´´I remember it was….it was right around the end of the summer….was, was like when the weather was….was still hot in the daytime but at night it´d really cool off….I remember I´d bought this…this, this old Camaro for 500 dollars…..and I used to…. ´round 11 or 12 at night, I used to put on two t-shirts and put on a big sweatshirt with a hood, put on my leather jacket, get in the car and….roll the top down and just….drive out through all those backroads ´round where I grew up….and uh….used to be this place down by the river where, I guess, it was kind of a junkyard, I mean, people from town´d go down there and dump off the things they didn´t want no more, leave ´em out there to rust….but there was this little clearing….where on the weekends some of us´d get down there and, and we´d meet and just sit around and talk during the night…..and that was the first place that I met her….and when we first started going out, it was…. like it always is when you first start going out, you know, it´s uh….everything´s fun, you know, all the stupid jokes are funny (chuckles) and uh….seems like it´s gonna last forever and ever, you know….but I don´t know what it is that pulls people apart…. what changes ´em and why it gets hard, so hard later on…..but she got to where she didn´t wanna, didn´t wanna talk much any more, she didn´t wanna go out much….and uh, she got to where she started hiding my keys at night so I couldn´t take the car out (chuckles)….and it got hard to understand….´cause we´d been….felt like we´d been such good friends….besides everything else….and that she knew that when I took the car out….and when I won….that that was the only time…..I got to feeling good about myself, I didn´t get it at my job, I didn´t get it with my friends on the street…..but that was the only time…..I felt like something…..was happening to me…..and I guess to have just one thing, one thing in your whole life that you do, that makes you feel proud of yourself…..I don´t think that´s too much for anybody to ask anywhere…..
(….) I remember that was the night that we packed up, we got out of there….and we didn´t know where we were going, we still don´t know where we´re going yet….but I guess that´ll come in time….all I remember was thinking, I was watching her sitting, sitting beside me….and thinking that I was never ever gonna let anybody stand in our way, ever, ever again….(?)….”

27.3.85 Sydney, Australia, intro to ‘Follow That Dream’
´´This is, uh…..this is, uh….when I was a kid….I remember going to bed with a transistor radio under the pillow, dreaming about being a rock and roll singer….and ….I get to …live out a little bit of my dream every night….and here´s hoping you get to live out….a little piece of yours….”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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