Story 1985-10-02 Los Angeles, CA

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, intro to ´The River´
´´How are you doing out there tonight ? (cheers)….that´s good, that´s good…..when I was growing up…. me and my Dad, we used to go at it all the time….it seemed like it was over anything….he always seemed so angry….like the thing that used to always get to him was when I was, when I was 18, I used to have a real long hair….like way down to my shoulders ….and he used to hate it….he used to hate it so much….and he used to….he used to wait for me at night in the house…..and it got to where we were fighting so much that….that I….I´d stay out of the house a lot….and in the summertime it wasn´t so bad but when the winter came….I remember being downtown and it would get so cold…..and when the wind´d blow, I had this phone booth I used to stand in…. and uh, I used to stand there and call my girl and get her to call me back (chuckles) … and then talk to her for hours at a time all night….and, uh, and finally when I´d go home I´d stand in the driveway and I´d tuck my hair down so he couldn´t tell how long it was….and I´d get up on the porch….and I´d get into the kitchen…. and he´d always call me to sit down with him….and talk to him….and he´d sit there with all the lights out….and I could never see him….and he´d always ask me the same question…. what I thought I was doing with myself….and the worst part about it was I could never answer….and he used to tell me ´Man, I can´t wait till the army gets you….man, when the army gets you, they´re gonna make a man out of you…..they´re gonna cut all that hair off and they´ll finally make a man out of you´….and uh, I can remember one time I had an accident, a motorcycle accident….and I was laid up in bed and he had a barber come in and cut my hair when I couldn´t walk….I can remember telling him that I hated him…..I told him that I hated him and that I would never ever forget it….then I got, I remember the day I got my draft, my draft notice in the mail….I hid it from my folks….and then three days before I was supposed to go up for my physical….me and my buddies went out and we stayed up all night….and I remember we got on the bus that morning and we were so scared….´cause it was in ´68…. and the Vietnam War was going on and there was a lot of guys….a lot of guys leaving town ….that didn´t ever come back….and there were guys that came back and they just weren´t the same again….and we were so scared going up on that bus….and we went up and we took the physical and I failed (chuckles)(cheers)….it´s nothing applaud about….but I can remember coming home….coming home …walking in the kitchen….and my Mom and Pop sitting there ….and they asked me ´Where´ve you been for three days ?´…..and I said ´I went, I had to take my draft physical´…. my Dad said ´What happened ?´….and I said ´I failed´….and he said ´That´s good´….”

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, intro to ´My Hometown´
´´Oh, thank you, thanks….oh man….well, tonight is the night (chuckles)….oh boy, we´ve, uh ….I remember when I was a kid….when I was a kid, I walked to school in the morning, it used to seem like the loneliest walk in the world…..and I remember the first thing we´d do when we´d get into class is we´d….you know they get you all standing there and you´d say the Pledge of Allegiance….and uh, you know how it was (says the Pledge really fast) and it kind of went on and on…..but one thing I always remembered when I was….from when I was young that if somebody asked me….what the flag meant…..I guess even when I was a kid I used to think, well, it meant fairness ….that this was a place where the fair thing was supposed to happen….and, uh, we´ve been all over this year, we´ve been just about all throughout the States….and I´ve got to say that I´ve learned some things that, that have given me a lot of hope and I´ve learned some things that have made me sad….I guess that that fair America was not the one that I found out there often enough for most people….and uh….I guess I´m bringing it up tonight because I guess I think we all got….have the chance and the responsobility to do something about it and tonight in the audience….there´s some folks from the Community Food Resource Center of Los Angeles…. that´s a foodbank and they´re connected to foodbanks in Long Beach, in Orange County and Riverside and San Diego….and there´s some folks from the Steel….Steelworkers-Old Timers Foodbank….in East Los Angeles….who we worked with the last time we were out here ….and one thing that I have found out over this year is that every place you go, no matter where it is, when you, when you mention the name of that place people go nuts !… like we´ll give it a try here for a minute : Los Angeles (cheers)….yeah….that happens every place you go and I finally figured it out that that happens because people are proud of where they come from…..and if you´re proud of where you come from, it´s the folks from these foodbanks that are out there every day taking some of these ideas that I´m singing about up here tonight and trying to make ´em a reality in people´s lives….they´re trying to make Los Angeles and the whole surrounding area a better and fairer place to live for all of its citizens…..and without them what I´m doing up here tonight don´t amount to much more than words….so when you go out into the lobby during the break….check the number of those foodbanks ´cause they´re out there getting the food that would normally be wasted and getting it to the agencies that serve the people, helping the old folks whose social security checks don´t get ´em through the month, helping single mothers who have to raise their families on their own, helping people that been hit by unemployment really hard….and…their phone numbers will be out there in the lobby when you go out there tonight, oh, let me remind you that nobody will be taking donations….so if somebody comes up to you and asks for a donation, uh, keep your money in your pocket till you get home, call that number and send it in….they could use your help, I´d appreciate it, they´d appreciate it and in the end, if you´re cheering for it, you ought to do something about it ´cause this is your hometown…..”

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, intro to ´No Surrender´
´´Thanks….yeah….this is uh….this is a song about….trying to find something to hold on to….that´s hard to do these days….I guess….oh, I´m out of tune (chuckles)(tunes his guitar)…that´s….close enough for rock and roll (chuckles)….(?)…but uh, this is a song I´d like to do this for Little Steven tonight….he´s uh, he´s back in New York right now working on a record called ´Sun City´ which is an anti-apartheid record that should be coming out….very shortly, it´s a real, it´s a real good record…..but uh….I´d like to do this for him and for all….I guess especially….for my band tonight because…gonna get kind of sentimental tonight now (chuckles) it´s the last night (chuckles)….there´s, there´s no way I can ever measure….measure what their friendship has meant to me over the years so here´s to my band and here´s to friendship….”

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, intro to ´I´m On Fire´
´´I remember growing up….and my folks….always having to work so hard all the time ….I remember my dad in the morning….going out into the backyard, popping the hood of one of the old cars he bought, trying to get it started to go to work…. and my mom going down to the finance company….borrowing money for Christmas and getting it paid back in time to borrow money….for Easter, getting it paid back in time….to borrow money to get us clothes to go to school in…..when I was really young I don´t, I don´t remember thinking about it much…but as I got a little older, I´d watch my father ….how he´d come home from work….and just sit in the kitchen all night….like there was something dying inside of him…. or like he´d never had a chance to live….until I started to feel like there was something….dying inside of me…..and I´d lay up in bed at night and feel like if something didn´t happen….that I was just gonna….that someday I´d just….I felt like I was just gonna…..if something didn´t happen I was just….I felt like I´d just….like I was just gonna….just gonna…..”

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, middle of ´Growin´Up´
´´Now, there I was….I was still in high school but I wasn´t doing too good….I was doing bad in my studies and they sent me down to see the guidance counsellor…and I walked in and he said….´Mr.Springsteen, what seems to be your problem ?´ so I said ´Well, Sir, it´s like, you see….I don´t have any interest in anything….I don´t know what I want to do with myself, I don´t care what´s going on around me, I ain´t got any faith, I don´t have any hope in anything, I don´t have any close interpersonal relationship with a member of the opposite sex, I don´t have, uh´….he said ´No, that´s, that´s too big a problem…. you better go home and talk to your folks about it´…. so I went home and I went in the kitchen and my Pop was in there and I said ´Pop….man, I got sent home from school, I been in a lot of trouble lately and….I really gotta talk to you about something, I don´t know what´s gonna happen with me, I don´t, I don´t have any interest in anything, I daydream in class all the time and I don´t have any faith in anything….in myself, I don´t have any hope in anything´ and he said….. Will you 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 say ´Goodbye cruel world´, yeah !… so I got out and I hitchhiked down to Asbury Park…..I was gonna jump in the ocean and drown myself ….I was sitting there on the boardwalk….contemplating the water temperature ….when all of a sudden in the distance….this big handsome dude came walking….he kind of sat down next to me, I started saying my prayers….but we kind of got talking….I was telling him all about my problems….then he started telling me all about his problems….then we cried on each other´s shoulder for a while…. but we decided that we´d make a good team and we became partners….. that´s right, that´s right, that´s right….and Clarence, he said that he knew a gypsy lady that could help us out with our troubles….so over to the gypsy we went….it was late at night, the boardwalk was deserted….we walked in, we paid our 2.50 each, I had to loan Clarence his 2.50….and she looked into the crystal ball and she said….´You boys are in a lot of trouble´…. paid another 2.50…. I ain´t get it back yet either (chuckles)….and we looked ….and she looked into the crystal ball and then she said….´You boys are gonna go on a real long trip…you´re gonna seek out new forms of life….you´re gonna explore new worlds….you´re gonna go where no men have ever gone before….and stay twice as long….and have a lot of fun doing it too´….and she gave us a map….to the secret of the world and she said if we followed that map at midnight, we´d find the answer to all our troubles….so that night we got into Clarence´s Oldsmobile and we started driving south down Route 9…. south through the rain, down through Lakewood, down through Freehold, down through Toms River….and a hurricane hit and then a tornado blew across the highway and then a blizzard hit and then a heatwave broke and then the roof flew off the car and then we got two flat tires and then the fenders flew off and then the engine block cracked and then the carburetor went and then the windows blew out and then and then and then….the radio broke !!!…. you know what that´s like….but there we were…..on the side of this….dark dirt road and according to the map what we were looking for was just on the other side of those woods… into the forest we went….it was spooky in there….there were sounds 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 ! (crowd cheers)….and, now, Big Man, I ain´t ever heard of no killer beasts like in New Jersey or nothing…. did you ? no ?….I heard of killer hamburgers but no killer beasts….I think we´re safe out here, don´t you ? yeah…..we´re alright….I think I hear something behind us…..I think I hear something behind us….I think I hear something behind us, Clarence, oh, Clarence…..whooa! and all of a sudden up behind us came these two big man-eating bears but instead of jumping on us and making us their dinner, they were acting kind of friendly….and they said that they weren´t mean but that they were just lonely….and that they´d been out in the woods for a long time by themselves after they escaped from the circus ´cause they got tired of living in them cages….and they said that if we´d be their friends that they´d help us find what we were looking for….and so back into the forest we went…..and all of a sudden the clouds pulled away from the moon and there in a clearing we saw the answer to our quest…. and then we said goodbye to the bears for the last time…..and as we stood there in the moonlight we knew that everything was gonna be all right…..because ….because….when we touched…”

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, intro to ´This Land Is Your Land´
´´I´d like to, uh….I guess I´d like to take a minute and thank….once again, I´d like to ….thank people who don´t get thanked very much…..I guess first and foremost that is my crew and all the people that work behind the scenes at my show (cheers)….yeah, go ahead, let ´em, let ´em hear it ! (cheers)….oh, we´ve done….we´ve traveled all year, they´ve put this show up in the cold, they´ve put it up in the rain, they´ve put it up…. when it´s 99 degrees and 90 percent humidity….and they´ve just done the best job that´s ever been done (chuckles)….I´d like to thank them, I´d like to thank, uh….I´d like to thank all you guys for coming down to the show tonight, the shows we did here in L.A….and I guess I´d especially like to take this chance to thank all my fans for the years of support that they´ve given me and the band….this has been, uh….this has been the greatest year of my life and, uh…..I wanna thank youse for making me feel like the luckiest man in the world….and, uh, I´d like to do this song for youse, this is, I guess…. the greatest song that´s ever been written about America….it´s by Woody Guthrie and ….it gets right to the heart….of the promise of what our country was supposed to be about…..and as we sit here tonight that´s a promise that is eroding for many of our fellow citizens every day….with 33 million living at or below the poverty line….uh….I guess I´d just like to do this for youse tonight asking you to be vigilant because with countries, just like with people, it´s easy to let the best of yourself slip away….”

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, intro to ´Stand On It´
´´(?)…so you think you can take us, huh ? (cheers) so you think you can stand it, huh ? (cheers) are you ready to be massacred by rock and roll ? (cheers) are you sure ? (cheers) oh yeah ? (cheers) oh yeah ? (cheers)….´´

02.10.85 Los Angeles, CA, middle of ´Traveling Band´
´´Alright….mystery train….come on down the line…..mystery train….are you ready to travel ? (cheers) you´re gonna have to quit your job….say goodbye to your baby….say goodbye to your mama and papa….you´re gonna have to quit school….if you wanna be in a rock and roll band….are you ready to go ? (cheers) are you ready to go ? (cheers) I´m ready to go now…. I´m ready to go, go…..´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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