Story 1995-11-29 Berkeley, CA

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Adam Raised A Cain´
´´This is kind of….where I make my little speech….a lot of the songs tonight were written , um, with a composition that includes an awful lot of silence and a lot of stillness so gonna ask your, uh, uh, collaboration in helping me to do that and, uh, and, uh, so if you like singing or clapping along, it´d be a real embarrassment to your friends and your family…and uh….don´t make me do what I had to do in L.A, I confiscated about a half a dozen cellular phones down there, it was, it was pretty ugly….but anyway….thank you….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´Thank you….this next song´s, uh, a song about a fellow who gets, uh….gets out of prison and uh….works to try and integrate himself back into, into his family life and into the world at large, I guess, and….when you´ve done things a certain way, old habits are hard to change even if they´re killing you….this is called ´Straight Time´….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Highway 29´
´´Thanks, thanks a lot, this next song, I guess this is about….how you never, uh….never really know what you might do…..till you get there…..I think when you´re young, you think, you think you know yourself, (?)….but uh, that´s, that´s, you know….so, this is called ´Highway 29´…”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Murder Incorporated´
´´Thanks, uh, this is next song, this is, I guess, about….the fact that sort of, uh….there´s a whole group of Americans whose, whose lives and dreams have….been declared basically expendable….uh… just a price of doing business….and all it costs us is our freedom….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´It´s the Little Things That Count´
´´Thanks, uh, this is, uh….another song about you never know what you´re gonna do until you do it…and uh….it´s, you know, very (tunes his guitar) uh, here we go….let me see….(?) ….this is uh….I appreciate it, this is uh…..this is a song called ´It´s the Little Things That Count´, uh, let me say in front that it´s not autobiographical, my mother´s here tonight so…. (?)….it´s always, uh, it´s always mom or, or the name of any city (chuckles)….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Born in the U.S.A´
´´This is a song, I´ve read many, many places that, uh, this song was grossly misinterpreted, I´m, I´m not sure if that´s true or not, I guess sort of in the vein that like ´Louie Louie´ and ´This Land Is Your Land´ was, I guess….uh….I, I don´t know if it´s true but if so, there´s big bucks in misinterpretation, I wanna tell you….uh (chuckles) but uh….anyway, I get a, the writer always gets the last shot so I, I´ll see if I can get it right….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´That´s nice….uh….I was in this theater, I guess about….I think I played here the night, Halloween night 1975….and uh, the only thing I really remember was that when I got the shit panned out of me in the newpapers and uh, I had the stupidest pair of shades I´ve, I´ve ever seen….and….I don´t know, what was I thinking ? I don´t know….it was one of those pictures you look at and go…´What was I thinking ?!?´…but uh….this is a song, I guess about…. almost getting it right but getting it wrong….I did that for about 40 years….uh….different, different relationships, different women but….no, different women actually but the same relationship, that´s right….so uh….anyway…this is sort of about….just missing it….this is called ´Dry Lightning´….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Youngstown´
´´This is a, this is a song about, uh….I´d just about finished the, the record I just made, I think I was about, I had ten songs done….and I went down, uh, I went downstairs to my livingroom one night and I pulled out a book that I´d bought (?) quite a few years ago and never read it, it was a book called Journey to Nowhere, it was, uh….written by a fellow named, the text was by a fellow named Dale Maharidge and the photos by a fellow named Michael Williamson and what….what they did was they, they hopped a train in St.Louis and they took the rails all the way up into Oregon in the mid-80´s, sort of chronicling what they were finding out there….and uh….what they found was sort of….as I traveled around in mid-80´s and talked to a lot of people from some of the foodbanks, you know, you heard the same thing every city you went, you heard, uh….uh, ´there´s more people coming in´, you heard, uh, ´there´s people coming in who haven´t come before´ people who had previously been making it, people who had hung onto a middle class lifestyle, who were all of sudden out on the road sleeping in their cars and, and doing whatever they could….and uh, it´s a very, it´s a powerful book, I think, we´ll be trying to get it back in print pretty soon, it´s something worth, worth checking out, that, uh….I guess, uh….I read the book, I lay in bed and read the whole book in one night and I sat there (?) and what it made so real was that I think you spend your life and learn a craft, it´s hard to do….and somebody decides you´re obsolete and….you know, people who basically….they built, you know, who built the, the infrastructure of the country itself, the highways, the buildings, the bridges that we cross, steel that was shipped out here for Oakland, Oakland Bridge you got over here and uh…. what would you do, what would I, I just sat there and said ´What would I do if I couldn´t…. if I came home and I couldn´t take care of my kids and, and…..and I couldn´t make sure that they would be healthy and that they would be safe….uh….so, this is called ´Youngstown´….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Thank you…..a stool straight from the bar in my house to you, alright….there we go, these, uh, these next songs were set on the….the California-Mexico border….and I met a fellow in Arizona….I was staying in this little motel….and uh….these two Mexican, Mexican men came through driving a truck….and he told me his brother had died in a….motorcycle accident in Southern California….(?) and uh, there was something in the way that he spoke about his brother….and basically this song is about two brothers get caught up in the metamphetamine trade in Central Valley, what happens is you get….in 60´s they outlawed bikergangs who sort of ran most of the meth-labs and when the 70´s came in, Mexican drug gangs took over (?) in the state of Sinaloa, they´d come up and they´d, uh….hire the migrant workers to cook up metamphetamine which is very toxic and combustable….thing to handle ….and uh, by the time the D.E.A gets in, that´s usually who gets busted…..this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´The Line´
´´Thank you, thank you very much….uh….this next song is, uh….is set at the San Diego border-station and uh, I´ve always kind of had an interest in….in what the sheriff does, you know, and sort of, I´d watch all the old Westerns and ….there was always that ambivalent sheriff, you know….(?) breaking the law, alright, that, that might be easy to do, uh….what if it´d be your job to keep other people from breaking the law, that´s hard (chuckles)….uh…. this is set, like I said, down around San Diego and it´s about a fellow who comes out of the army, uh, there´s a lot of border patrolmen who end up working for the INS….and uh, it´s really hard telling where the, where the line really, really is….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´Thank you, this is a….song, uh….again takes place down in San Diego, now, these kids that´d come hopping across the border, 13, 14 years old, sometimes they´re running dope or they just come over into San Diego to, to, to sell themselves, uh….on a strip near this place called Balboa Park….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´When I was, uh….about 26, I first saw….John Ford´s, uh, (?) John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath and uh….it was, it was a picture that, that seemed….that´s resonated throughout the rest of my life for some reason, I don´t know why….and….I guess, towards the end of the film….I remember seeing it and thinking ´Yeah, that´s, that´s what I wanna do, that´s, that´s it´….and ….there´s a beautiful scene towards the end of the picture where Tom Joad is wanted for, uh, killing a security guard that, that killed his friend and there´s this beautiful dance scene at night, uh….you know, Tom, at the end of the dance, slips into this tent where his mother is sleeping….and he says ´Ma, I gotta go´….and he walks her out underneath the trees….and they sit down and she says ´Well, Tommy, I, I knew this day would come´…she says ´But how am I gonna know….where you gonna go, what you gonna do, how am I gonna know you´re alright ?….how am I ever gonna know you´re alright ?´….and he says ´Well, Ma, I think I´m gonna go out, I´m gonna just kick around….and….see what´s wrong and then maybe….I don´t know, maybe there´s some way I can do something about it….and….you´ll know where I am because I´ll be all around you in the dark….I´ll be everywhere….when you hear the guys yelling ´cause they´re mad, I´ll be there, when kids are laughing ´cause they´re coming in at night to have their dinner, Ma, I´ll be there too´….he says ´Because, you know, maybe, maybe we´re not all individual souls….but maybe we´re all just little parts of this one big soul´….and he kisses his mother and he disappears off into the darkness….and uh, at the end of this scene is….is the Joad family heading north for some more work and…..and the father says ´Well, you know, Ma, what are we gonna do ? how´re we gonna make it ? what are we gonna do ?´, she says ´Well, we´re just´, she just says ´Well, we´re just gonna keep going´….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street ?´
´´Thanks….it´s uh….kind of funny tonight, like there´s uh….they´re doing this….this profile on me for the ´60 Minutes´and it´s a, it´s a little….it´s a little unusual because, you know, I meet the fellow, a nice fellow and I say ´What do you, what do you wanna do ?´…he says ´Well, just be yourself´….and uh….so I said ´That raises a lot of questions….Which self ?´….he says ´Well, look, look, we just don´t wanna do anything staged´, I said ´Great, I don´t wanna do that either´…and they take this big camera and they point it at me….and I realised….wherever you are when that camera´s pointed at you, you´re on stage….so it´s tough because you really can´t, you can´t really be yourself, like normally…after a nice night like this, I like to go out back and slap the fans around a little bit but uh….but uh….I can´t do that, you know, then I got, then I, like I get in a big, in this big car with this driver and he takes me to the real expensive hotel and I do some drugs and go to sleep but….I can´t do that, I had to go out back, had to sign autographs, had to drive my own self home, I was in New Jersey and uh….. I had to do the whole, you know, the whole ´regular guy´-bit which is sort of very boring at this point in time….but, uh, oh, woe is me….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´This Hard Land´ (following ´Does This Bus Stop….´)
´´Don´t stand up for that one, that came out of a deranged mind….that´s uh, that song, uh….. actually that song and that whole record explains why I never did any hallucinogenic drugs …..would´ve liked to, actually, but uh…..I was afraid of what I was already thinking….what was on my mind, my Lord ?!?…alright….here´s a song about, uh…..happiness….brotherhood, struggle….over the rise….it ain´t over till it´s over….keep your chin up….and uh, stay alive if you can….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Dead Man Walkin´´
´´(tunes his guitar) It´ll be alright (chuckles)…this is uh….there´s a picture coming out around the, uh, I think the end of December, beginning of January or something, it´s a picture called Dead Man Walking, it´s a film by Tim Robbins (some people clap) and uh, you haven´t seen it yet, don´t clap….so it´s like, but it´s a….it´s a film about a fellow that, uh….that´s sitting on death row waiting for execution and uh….this is called ´Dead Man Walkin´´….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
´´(?) this is a song that was, uh, based on….some incidents that occurred in the….down in the Texas Gulf and uh, uh….oh, I guess it was mid-80´s, I believe….what you had was, uh….after the Vietnam War was over, there were a lot of Vietnamese refugees that came and settled down in that area because it was like home…..and uh….they went into the shrimp industry and there was a tremendous amount of, of tension and, and, and some violence between the Texas fishermen and the Vietnamese refugees….this is called, uh, it´s called ´Galveston Bay´….”

29.11.95 Berkeley, CA, intro to ´My Best Was Never Good Enough´
´´This is a song, uh, this next song came from, I was reading a Jim Thompson novel called The Killer in Me….uh….very entertaining book and uh….in it there´s a , there´s a sheriff who speaks, he´s always speaking in cliches and that drives everybody crazy and he plays this hick in this little small town and, you know, he´s always ´Have a nice day´ and, you know, ´It´s raining as hard as cows pissing on a flat rock´ and uh….so this goes on throughout the book and you know, it….meanwhile he´s….he´s got this real sort of sinister….very smart, sinister mind and he goes about slowly killing off every one of his enemies…I said ´Well, that sounds like a good idea….(?) cliches part´, so anyway I sat down….and uh….using all my expertise…..and experience…..”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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