Story 1985-09-19 Oakland, CA
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19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´Seeds´
´´We were down….in Houston, Texas…on the first part of….our American tour….and you´d see a lot of folks down there from….the Monongahela Valley, Pittsburg….out of Gary, Indiana, Youngstown…all from the Northeast and come down to find work in the oil fields…. or in the oil refineries….they had their wives and their kids with ´em….and when they got down there, the price of oil dropped….they were laying ´em off and shutting ´em down and there was no….no work to be found, they´d end up…..in tents sleeping out on side of the highway….or sleeping in their cars at night….with nothing to do but move on…this is called ´Seeds´….”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´Highway Patrolman´
´´Thanks….yeah….(?) anybody here tonight that was here last night ? (cheers)….we´ll do some different stuff then, we´ll do some different stuff….uh….this is uh….this is a song, uh…. about how….I guess, the conflict that you can feel sometimes between….between your family and your duty….and how even with the best intentions, how you can end up betraying yourself and your neighbors….”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´Used Cars´
´´Figuring out another one here (chuckles)….(?)….alright, this is uh….when I was growing up ….well, get the, get the accordion, get the accordion….hanging loose tonight (chuckles)…. when I was, uh….when I was growing up, about once every year, my folks would decide it was time to get a new car….by that they meant anything ´less than 200 dollars (chuckles)…. and uh, we´d go down to the used car lot, it was the only time me and my sister would get together on anything….we used to always beg my Pop for a convertible….and we had that, we had that whine perfected, you know, ´Please, Daddy, please get a convertible, please´ (chuckles)….every kid knows that, you know….there´s two things that a kid knows : one is how to whine like that and the other one is the exact spot in the backseat where no matter what you do, your Pop can´t reach you while he´s driving….everybody knows that (chuckles) ….anyway, I´m proud to say that my dad, he just turned 60 and he´s got a convertible (chuckles)…didn´t take him long (chuckles)….anyway….let´s try this….”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´I´m Goin´Down´
´´This is a song about, uh….the mystery of love…..have you experienced it out there ? (cheers)….oh yeah….you know how when you first meet somebody like….you´re making love all the time, two or three times a day….everything they say is great and….they´re so brilliant and….they look beautiful all the time and you´re opening the car door for ´em every place you go….holding hands all the time….oh yeah, that´s fun….if you wanna go out, it´s like, uh….´Where you wanna go, honey ?´ ´ Oh, I don´t care, anywhere you wanna go´….´Oh, honey, can I make you a sandwich ?´ (chuckles)….oh, but then ! (chuckles)….”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ‘Glory Days’
´´Man…great God Almighty…oh…now, my birthday´s coming up pretty soon….no, no, no … no, it´s like I´m always like…I´m always like looking in the mirror like….see if I gotten more wrinkles or….you know, if I still got my hair or something, you know…. it´s gone, man….oh Jesus….but uh….vanity….what´s that, ´Vanity, where is thy sting ?´ or what´s that saying ? …anyway….this is a song about…how like if you´re out on a Friday night….you´re in a bar and….there´s always somebody that comes up to you and goes like …. ´Hey ! …. hey ! … yeah, yeah, you, hey !…remember me ?….no, no, no….. remember me ?…..no, no, no …. remember the guy in study hall ?…yeah, the pizza pie ? …dumped it all over your shirt ? … yeah, that´s me, how you doing, how you doing ?, you know….and they´re always trying to tell you like what a great time you had in high school and stuff…and like I remember like…I hated high school…I couldn´t stand high school….I didn´t like no high school….when this time of year comes around and the weather gets like this, I still sit at home glad that I don´t have to go back to high school ….yeah….but like…in school I was only interested in two things….one was the guitar…. and the other one was….the….uh….uh….you know, that one, that one…. now, the guitar, the guitar´s the one that I became proficient at….the other one, uh…..that´s why the shows are so long ´cause the other thing happens so fast…..but that´s alright, that´s alright, like, you know, I´m married, I´m getting a lot of practise, practise, practise and…..got a very understanding wife and everything´s gonna work out fine….but in the end …. awww ! ….it ain´t nothing but glory days….”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´My Hometown´
´´Thanks….oh, I remember when….when I was a kid….I always remember getting up for school in the morning, how I used to hate it, I used to lay in bed and go ´Oh, five more minutes, Mom, five more minutes´ (chuckles) you know, and my mother would come in with a glass of cold water and she´d stand over me (chuckles) ´ Are you gonna get up ?´ (chuckles) ´Yeah´ ´You gonna get up ?´, ssshh (chuckles)….and uh….I used to remember that the loneliest walk in the world seemed the walk from my house to school….I would get in school….and uh….and the first thing we do is….say the Pledge of Allegiance….at the time I don´t remember….you know, you kind of get up and (mutters through the Pledge) and you kind of run through it….I never thought much about it….or what my country or anything meant to me when you´re that young….but I always knew one thing….I can remember even from when I was really young that if somebody pointed to the flag and asked me what I thought it meant, I always thought it meant ´fairness´….something just as simple as that… just as simple as this was a place where the fair thing was supposed to happen….and we´ve done a lot of traveling around the country this year and uh, I guess I´m sad to, makes me sad to say that that´s, in general that´s not the America I found out there….I found a place where…. where 33 million people live at or below the poverty line….so many people who feel like their country has sailed away from them and left them standing on the dock….and uh….I guess….I guess what happens here in the end…..no matter how powerless you feel…. sometimes, in the end is all our responsobility….and tonight there´s some folks in the audience that are trying to live up to their responsobility to their community….they´re from the San Francisco Foodbank….and the (?) County Foodbank….they serve Oakland and all the surrounding communities….and what a foodbank does is every year 20 percent of all the food that gets produced in America gets wasted and thrown away, meanwhile in every city there´s old folks whose social security checks don´t get ´em through the month, they gotta decide between buying medicine and food, there´s single mothers raising their kids on their own, there´s, uh…..people that been hit hard by unemployment….there´s a lot of folks out there that´ve been trying to do what they´re supposed to do and it´s still not working out for ´em….and so the foodbank comes along and gets the food, that would normally be wasted, out to the agencies that serve the people….and uh….right here in San Francisco and (?) County, they, right now they need some help….so when you go out into that lobby tonight, you´re gonna see a phonenumber for the foodbank in your area….and these are the people that are out there every day making some of these ideas that I´m singing up here tonight real in your fellow citizens´lives….so if you believe in an America where every man, woman and child has a place….maybe you can see your way to giving ´em a hand….and in the end, this is our hometown so…..do something about it…..”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´I´m on Fire´
´´I remember….growing up….sitting downtown….on a Friday or Saturday night….just watching the cars go by….I remember living inside my head so much….going home late at night….getting in bed….and laying there feeling like….like something inside of me was dying….and I didn´t know how to keep it alive….feeling like someday I was just gonna….if something didn´t happen….someday I´d just….feeling like I was just gonna….someday I was just gonna…..”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´Growin´Up´
´´You see, once upon a time…..in a land way far away from here….
(…..) Now, there I was….I was still in high school but I wasn´t doing too good….I was doing bad in my studies, they sent me down to the guidance counsellor…I walked in, he said …. ´Mr.Springsteen, what´s your problem ?´ ….I said ´Well, you see, Sir, it´s like, I don´t know what I want to do with myself, I don´t know what I wanna be….uh….I don´t have any faith in anything, I don´t have any hope, uh, I don´t have any close interpersonal relationship with a member of the opposite sex´….he said ´That´s too big a problem for me, you better go home and talk to your folks about it´….so I went home and walked in the kitchen and my dad was sitting at the kitchen table…..I said ´Pop, I´m in a lot of trouble, man, like, uh….they sent me home from school and….my grades been real bad, I don´t know what I´m gonna do with myself….I don´t know what I wanna be…..I ain´t got any faith in anything, I don´t have any hope, I mean….I don´t feel like I got any future ´ and he said ´Get me another beer out of the icebox´….so that was it…. so I went downtown….I just sat down on the curb, decided I was gonna do myself in….I was thinking ´How ?….I should drown myself, I should, uh, I should, uh, I should, uh´ and all of a sudden down the street came this tall, handsome-looking devil ….and he came up and sat down beside me….so I started to tell him about my problems…. and he said that his name was Clarence ´He-knows-all´ Clemons….and it was right there on that spot that we decided we´d become partners…..and Clarence said he knew this gypsy lady that he thought could solve our troubles….so off to the gypsy we went…..she motioned us in….so we went in….we paid our 2.50….I had to loan Clarence his 2.50….and she looked into the crystal ball….then she said ´You boys are in a lot of trouble´….we paid another 2.50 ….I paid Clarence´s 2.50 too…..and she looked into the crystal ball and said that we were gonna take a long trip…we were gonna explore new worlds….seek out new life forms…. go where man has never gone before….and stay twice as long….and have a lot of fun doing it too….so she gave us a map….she said that this was a map to the secret of the world and if we followed that map at midnight….we´d find the solution that we were looking for….so that night we packed up the car with plenty of peanutbutter-and-jelly sandwiches and we started driving south down Route 9….through the rain, through the tornados, through the blizzards and then a heatwave hit and then a hurricane came sweeping across the highway and the the roof of the car blew off and then we got four flat tires and then the engine block cracked and then the fender flew off and then the carburetor went and then and then and then….the tapedeck broke, oh, Jesus !!!….and there we were…..lost by the side of the road….and according to the map what me and Clarence was looking for was just on the other side of those woods….so into the forest we went….it was scary in there….noises were coming from all over the place…..sounded like werewolves (cheers)….sounded like homicidal cows (crowd moos)….sounded like mad dogs barking (crowd barks)….sounded like the Jersey Devil out there somewhere ! (crowd cheers)….now, Big Man, I never heard of like nobody getting ate alive in New Jersey or nothing, you know, I mean I ever heard like…I don´t know it´s awful dark out here….you sure there´s no like dangerous beasts up here ?….you sure there´s no like….I think I hear something behind us…..think I hear something behind us….we weren´t scared….we happen to be proficient in karate, judo, taekwando, Big Man….whooa! holy smokes, all of a sudden there were these two big man-eating bears but instead of jumping on us and making us their dinner….they said, they was acting kind of friendly….they said that they wasn´t mean, that they was just lonely….and that they´d been out here in the woods all by themselves for a real long time, that they´d run away from the circus ´cause they couldn´t stand being in them cages….and that if we´d be their buddies, they´d help us find what we were looking for….so back into the forest we went…..and the clouds pulled away from the moon and there in a clearing we saw the answer to our quest…..and as we stood there in the moonlight we knew that everything was gonna be all right….. because …. because….because when we touched…”

19.9.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’
‘‘I’d like to….just thank everybody for coming down to these two shows that we did here tonight….and I’d like to….thank you, both times we’ve come here to ‘Frisco, we’ve had a good time….this year and uh….this is a song, I guess, I’d like to do for youse as my favorite, favorite Elvis song….back in ‘75….back in ‘75, we were on the Born to Run-tour and we were….down in Memphis….and it was late at night and I got into a taxi, me and my guitar player Steve….we got in a taxi, he took us out to Elvis’ house….and I remember standing in front of those gates with those guitar players on ‘em…..and looking up towards the house and on the second floor window I could see a light on….and I figured that Elvis must be up reading and I said ‘Steve, Steve, I gotta give it a try’ and I jumped up over the wall and jumped down on the other side….and I started running….up towards the frontdoor….which, I guess, I think now was a pretty stupid thing to do….being that I hate it when people do it at my house…..but uh….at the time I was filled with the enthusiasm of youth, I guess, and, uh ….I got to the frontdoor and the guards came out of the bushes and they asked me what I wanted and I said ‘Is Elvis home ?’….and they said ‘No, no, he’s, he’s in Lake Tahoe’….so I tried to tell ‘em that I was…..that I was a guitar player and that I had my own band and that we played in town that night…..and that Elvis had been my inspiration and that, uh…..I told ‘em I had my picture on the cover of Time and Newsweek too….but uh….I was pulling out all the stops, you know, trying to make an impression….but I don’t think he believed me, he took me by the arm and put me back out on the street with Steve and uh….I guess later on, wasn’t much longer after that when a friend of mine called and told me that he’d died….and uh….I started thinking about what, what I was trying to do that night…..what I would’ve done if Elvis had come to the door ….I realised that it wasn’t really Elvis I was going to see at all but some dream…..that I had of him, I guess….it’s like he came along and whispered a dream in everybody’s ear and then we all dreamt it somehow….but uh…..it seemed like….I felt so sad that somebody whose ….who’d come along and taken away, whose music had taken away so many people’s loneliness and had given so many people a reason….and a purpose to live…. could’ve died so lonely…and uh…..in the end when you’re alone….you ain’t nothing but alone ….so, uh….anyway, I´d like to do this for youse tonight wishing you all the longest life with the best of absolutely everything…..”

19.09.85 Oakland,CA, intro to ´Stand on It´
´´What do you think, we can do this all night up here ? (cheers)…oh yeah ? (cheers)….you think you can take it, huh ? (cheers)….gimme that guitar….oh yeah, you think you can outlast us, huh ? (cheers)….are you ready ? (cheers)….are you willing ? (cheers)….are you able to rock and roll all night ? (cheers)…”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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