Story 1995-12-06 Washington, DC

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Adam Raised a Cain´
´´Thank you, good evening….this is where I….I give my little speech here….uh….tonight a lot of these songs, a lot of the music tonight was composed using a lot of silence and so in order for me to, to give you my best, I need, I need a quite a bit of quiet, uh….so I´m asking for your collaboration with me tonight in allowing me to do that, uh, anybody who has a problem with that, well, the state police are waiting outside the door (?)….that´s the kind of pull I´ve got in this town….so, uh….you know, I feel alright up here, I don´t need to be exhorted on, letting me know if I´m doing well or poorly during the evening and uh (chuckles) I appreciate your co-operation, thanks a lot, don´t make me come down there….I had to speak quite harshly to some supermodels in Los Angeles and I hope I don´t have to repeat that…..´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´Thank you, thank you….thanks a lot….this, uh…..this next song is about a fellow….a fellow who gets released from prison and, and uh….tries to….he´s in the process of trying to integrate himself back into his, into his family and into the world at large….and uh…..I guess breaking, breaking old habits is a really hard thing to do, those old things, those old ways of behaving, they feel like your friends, they feel like you….uh….I guess this is a song about what do you do when it feels like, when the worst of you feels like your only hope…..this called ´Straight Time´….´´

**06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Highway 29´ **
´´Thanks, uh….this next, I guess life, life sort of, uh….gets simpler as you get older, I think…. uh, in some ways (chuckles) uh….like, when I was….when I was young, I used to feel like I knew myself so well….´Hey, I´d never do that´….and as I got older, I said ´Hmmm´….and uh ….I have a book coming out in about a month or so, it's entitled, uh, ´How to accept yourself as a complete stranger and find happiness'…so….this is uh, I guess this is a song about little knowledge coming too late….and uh….how you never know what you might do until you, till you're doing it….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Murder Incorporated´
´´Alright (tunes his guitar) this is a challenge (keeps tuning) the wrong one (keeps tuning) (cheers) yeah, I can, uh, balance a ball on the end of my nose too…..this is a, I guess, this is a song about good old-fashioned American paranoia, uh…..and basically how we´ve sort of written off a whole segment of the population and their dreams and their lives and kind of just said ´Hey, that´s the price of doing business´….uh….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´It´s the Little Things That Count´
´´This is uh….this is the part of the night where I….I like to regale the crowd with tales from my, my life and my loves….of course I make all this shit up….but hey, that´s entertainment ! ….and uh, if I didn´t make it up, it happened a real long time ago….alright….so I´m in this bar (someone. ´Stone Pony !´) no, no, it´ll go unnamed, unnamed….do you think that´s the only place I go ?….(?)….uh…..I´m in this bar and a gal comes up to me during the course of the evening and asks, she says she would like to buy me a shot of tequila….so I say ´Ok´….so she, she gets the tequila and she´s (?) the salt but before I know what´s happening, she throws the salt on my neck, licks it off and downs her shot….the best shot of tequila I ever had….I didn´t even drink mine….uh….so….this is called ´It´s the Little Things That Count´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Born in the U.S.A´
´´Oh, this next song, this is a song….after I….after it came out, I read all over the place that nobody knew what it was about….uh….I´m not sure if that´s true or not…..I mean…..I guess if, if it is true, it sort of puts me in the great rock and roll tradition of ´Louie Louie´….or ´This Land Is Your Land´ for that matter….uh, I´m sure that, that everybody in here tonight understood it….uh….´cause if not, if not, if there were any misunderstanders out there….my mother thanks you, my father thanks you and my children thank you….since I´ve learned that that´s where the money is (chuckles) anyway….so, but the songwriter always gets, uh…. always gets another shot….to get it right….I don´t know if my good friend Bobby Mueller is here tonight but if he is, Bobby, this is for you…..´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´Thank you, uh, thank you…..uh….this next song is a song, I guess, about sort of just missing it….I´ve been telling the folks, uh…..I sort of, I had, I had this one relationship going for about 30 years….but it was always with different women….but uh….it was the same relationship, right….you know, always at the end, you´d go ´Hey, what happened ?….I don´t get it´ so then….then you get married to prove to yourself that you got it wrong, you see…. then somebody comes along and breaks you out and you get married again….then you sit around going ´What was I thinking ?….what was I thinking ?´….so this is a song about, uh, just missing it, almost….but uh, just missing it is, ´course, still missing it….this is called ´Dry Lighning´….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Youngstown´
´´(some guy yells ´Hey Bruce, we love you, man !´) Yeah, we’ll have to have some tea sometime….here’s, uh…’s a song, uh….I was just about finished writing the record, I had ten songs done….I was….kind of speeding in my head, that happens if you write a lot of songs fast sometimes and I was down, I couldn’t sleep, I was down in my livingroom and I pulled a book out called Journey to Nowhere….and uh….it’s a book with text by Dale Maharidge and photos by Michael Williamson and basically it’s these two reporters who hopped a train in St.Louis and, and, uh….took the rails across the country up into Oregon and reported what they were seeing in the mid-80’s…..uh….and at the same time I was meeting a lot of different people from different foodbanks and I was hearing the same story every city that I went….we were kind of hearing over the TV how everything was, you know, ´Morning in America’ and yet everybody that I talked to was saying that they had more people coming in that they’d had coming in before…..that they had people coming in who’d never been in, who’d made a go of it up till then and coming in with their whole families….uh….I guess this is sort of, partly it’s a story about how….how we abandon ourselves….and how, I remember I closed the book that night and I thought ‘Well….I only know how to do one thing, what if somebody told me I couldn’t do that thing any more or that thing wasn’t of any use any more or….and I didn’t have any way then to continue to feed my family and get my kids the things that they needed, I got three babies and I know that there’s nothing under the sun that I wouldn’t do to make sure they were all alright so where does that put me, where does that leave me ?’….so, uh….you know, people who built, who built the country, built the buildings we live in and the bridges we cross….who gave their sons….to the wars that we fought…..´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Uh, thanks, uh….this stool´s straight from my bar to you….oh !….this, uh….this is uh….this next stuff is all set on the California and Mexico border….and uh…..and California´s a, it´s a powerful place, just the geography of it….I guess it´s that last stop feeling or something…. but I met a fellow in Arizona, I was in Arizona in this little, little desert town….in the end of the summer and uh… was one of those towns where there´s a bar and there´s a grocery store and there´s a little motel where you park outside your door, me and my buddies, we sat outside at night and played cards and drink a little bit, played some music….and uh, these fellows, these two Mexican men came in from the west, they were driving a (?) truck and they took the room next to us, there was a young, young kid, he was really kind of high and there was an older fella, I guess about my age and he come over and he was looking at our bikes….and he had a brother who´d, uh, recently died and uh….he was a member of this, uh, biker gang called (?) which is a Hispanic motorcycle gang….in Mexico and the, uh, L.A.valley and I guess he come up recently and he´d gotten his brother´s body and he´d died on the highway and….there was something about the way that he talked about his, his brother that stayed with me, stayed with me for like a year and (?) after that I kept thinking about this guy´s face and something in his voice and I guess it was because, uh, (?) I was writing this song that´s sort of was about the drug trade in Central California, they have these Mexican drug gangs that come up and hire migrant workers to cook up metamphetamine which is a very hazardous occupation and uh, they get, they´re usually the ones that get busted or killed….and I kept thinking back about the way this fella talked about his brother because the first, there´s something about being the first line of family is to take care, is to protect, to protect, you know, that it´s just, it´s so natural, you know, (?) my kids if they get scared or anything, man, they come running, running and grab on your leg….and that´s, that first line of family is to protect, to take care of, what happens if that….if that gets lost or if that breaks down….this is a song about two brothers coming across the border, it´s called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´The Line´
´´Thank you, uh, this next song is, uh, also set in San Diego, down at the border station where there´s a lot of guys that when they get, get discharged and they´re looking around for work, they end up working for the, the INS in California border patrol…..I was always, when I was a kid watching the Westerns, I was, I was always kind of, I was interested in the sheriff than I was in the outlaw (?) the sheriff….the outlaws, you know….I think there´s something about the job of trying to find that line that keeps the society….I don´t know, straight….but uh….anyway, this is, uh, it´s a tough job, a confusing job…..this is called ´The Line´….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´This uh, this next song is also set in San Diego….it´s about these little kids that come hopping, come hopping across the river, end up running drugs over to San Diego Strip or coming ´cross to….to, uh….sell themselves outside this place called Balboa Park….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´(?) when I was, uh, I was about 26, a friend of mine showed a John Ford film, Grapes of Wrath and uh, I grew up in a house where there wasn´t, wasn´t a lot of culture, there wasn´t a lot of, uh, uh, books, a black and white TV was mistrusted (chuckles) and uh, it was, uh…. when I saw the picture, it was a real revelation, I remember looking at it and thinking ´That´s what I wanna do….that´s what I wanna do´….and, and it´s a beautiful film that today has lost none of its power (?) and….there was a beautiful scene near the end of it where…..where Tom Joad is, is wanted for killing a security guard who killed his friend….and the police are gonna be coming for him in the morning and he knows he´s gonna have to leave and he…. there´s this beautiful dance scene and at the end of the dance the camp closes down and he slips inside the tent where his mother is sleeping and he just touches her gently and he wakes her up and he says ´Mama, I gotta go´….and she gets up and they step out underneath these dark trees….and she says ´Well, Tommy….I knew this day was gonna come´ and they´ve come thousands of miles and they´ve suffered so much…..and now she´s gonna lose her son …..and she says….´How, how am I gonna know you´re alright ? how am I gonna know where you are, that you´re not dead ?´….and he says ´Well, Ma, I think, I think I´m just gonna go out there and I´m gonna start scratching around and I´m gonna try and find out what´s wrong and if there´s something I can do to make it right….that´s what I´m gonna try to do…..and don´t, don´t worry ´bout me because, because I´ll be in the dark here all around you…..I´ll be in men´s voices when you hear ´em yelling ´cause (?) I´ll be in the way that kids are laughing when they´re coming in, coming in for suppertime….or wherever there´s a cop beating a guy, I´ll be there….because maybe´, he says ´Maybe they got it wrong, you know, maybe they got it wrong and, and we don´t all have individual souls and our….our salvation is not just up to us, maybe all we´ve got is some tiny piece of some big soul´….and he disappears into the night and the last scene is the Joad family heading north looking for work and the father says ´Ma, what are we gonna do ?´ (?) and she says ´Well, we´re just gonna keep going´….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street ?´
´´Thank you, I was, uh, telling the folks last night how this next song sort of explains why I never did any hallucinogenic drugs….I sing this stuff now thinking…..´What was I thinking ?!?….what made me do that ?!?´….but uh….yeah, as, as I grew older, I sort of regretted not, not, not trying, uh, trying that LSD, you know, like my friends, my friends told me it was a lot of fun, the ones that didn´t kill themselves, of course, they said it was great….had spiders crawling all over their body (chuckles)….and uh, seeing God…´s crazy how many of my friends have seen God !….then I realised ´Nah, it´s not for me, not for me, I´ (?) don´t applaud (chuckles)….I just don´t wanna see God, you see, we´d pick a fight (chuckles)….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´This Hard Land´ (following ´Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street ?´)
´´Thanks….what was I thinking, right ? (chuckles) what was going through my mind ? (chuckles) well, actually, what wasn´t going through my mind ? (chuckles)(?) this is a song about friendship, comradeship, help, survival, strength….uh…..every old Western I ever saw (chuckles) alright….how it ain´t over till it´s over….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
´´Thank you….I want to say you´re great collaborators, thank you (chuckles)(?) I was telling the folks last night that, uh, uh….a lot of people keep giving me their shit….and uh (chuckles) I was telling the folks last night that, that, uh, this music, it means a lot to me and that, that you´ve shown it and me a lot of love and thanks for being a great audience, I really appreciate it….this next song, this is, uh, it´s based on some incidents that happened down in Texas ´round, in the, in the mid-80´s on the Texas Gulf, there were a lot of, at the end of the Vietnam War, there were a lot of Vietnamese refugees that came to the States and ended up settling down there because it reminded them a lot of home, they went into the fishing, fishing industry and there was a lot of tension and violence between the Texas fishermen and the Vietnamese fishermen….this is called ´Galveston Bay´….´´

06.12.95 Washington D.C, intro to ´My Best Was Never Good Enough´
´´Thank you, thank you, folks, I´ll now make my masterpiece, uh, I wrote this one in the kitchen with my wife and kids cheering me on…..a little boost never helps….hey, I haven´t lost it, man (?)….there´s dancing moves….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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