Story 1995-12-09 Philadelphia, PA
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09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Adam Raised a Cain´
´´Thank you very much….this is, uh….where I give my little speech and I….(?)….uh, a lot of the music tonight was, uh, it was composed using a lot of silence so in order for me to….I need your collaboration and co-operation in order for me to give you my best tonight….and uh….so if you feel like clapping or singing along, you know, well, you´ll, you´ll be an embarrassment to your friends and family and you´ll be led out of here in handcuffs by a special squadron of New Jersey state police….so….generally during a tune I don´t need much encouragement, like I was telling the folks last night, I´ve done some drugs and I feel pretty confident up here right now so….anyway….thank you for your co-operation….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´(a man and a woman yell out ´Bruce, I love you !´) You guys ought to get together then….. this, uh….this is a song about a fella who gets out of prison and….trying to find his way back into his family and trying to find his way back into the world….and uh….(someone yells) what a polite way of saying ´You´re fucking up´ (chuckles)….and uh….and I think changing your old behavior, that´s a hard thing to do, it´s a hard thing for anybody to do, your old habits and the way you´ve done things always feel like your old friends and they feel how you define yourself….so what do you do when, uh….the worst in you feels like hope….this is called ´Straight Time´….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Highway 29´
´´Thank you, this is uh….I guess this is a song about how on any, on any given moment you´re really never quite sure what you might do or what you´re capable of….which always comes as a surprise….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Murder Incorporated´
´´This is a song about good old-fashioned American paranoia…..and how there´s a….part of the population, I, I´d appreciate if you guys´d like crush those little cameras under your left foot for a little while….´bout how there´s a, there´s a segment of our population whose lives and dreams are basically written off….and everybody, everybody knows it, everybody accepts it as a price of doing business….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Mansion on the Hill´
´´This is for you, Ginny….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´It´s the Little Things That Count´
´´Thank you very much….this next, uh….(people yell out requests) oh, shut up, please…this next song, this is sort of the part of the night where I like to, uh….entertain the audience with the tales of my, my life and my loves (people applaud) thank you, thank you, ladies and gentlemen, thank you, uh….so basically….uh, let´s get the rules straight : number one, I make all this shit up, alright ? (chuckles) and if I didn´t make it up, it happened a real long time ago ….so I´m in this bar….and uh, I´m suffering from….one of my usual bouts of low self-esteem which, uh….I don´t mind because it got me where I am, goddammit so uh….(?) a lot of money in low self-esteem, you see (chuckles) that´s uh, that´s uh, so, but, uh, and, so this girl comes up to me and, and, uh, and says ´Do you wanna do a shot of tequila ?´, so I say….´Ok´ and, uh, she orders ´em up and, and before I….I know it, I get my wits about me, she´s, she´s thrown the salt on my neck and licked it off and downed her shot….so….the best shot of tequila I ever had….I didn´t even drink mine…..didn´t wanna ruin it, you know (chuckles) uh ….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Born in the U.S.A´
´´Yeah….this is a, uh….this is a song that….(?) I´ve read many times was misinterpreted….uh, you know….that, uh, that gets under your skin after a little while and….but at the same time it is sort of in grand tradition of rock song misinterpretations as ´Louie Louie´….uh, ´This Land Is Your Land´….uh, so….and….I´m sure if it was misunderstood, it was only misunderstood by Republicans….and uh….I´m sure we don´t have any Republicans in the house tonight…..so (chuckles)….but if there are any misunderstanders out there, as I told the folks last night, my children thank you…..the songwriter always gets the last shot…..let´s see if I get it right….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´Thank you, this is, uh….I was telling the folks that, uh….that I´ve been, I had this one relationship that went on for about 30 years….and it was with all different women (?)….and uh, it´s funny how you do that…..and, you know, then at the end, you know, and they´re always, you know….lovely and at the end you go ´Hey, what happened ?….I don´t get it´…. and then, then the strangest thing is then you get married and convince yourself you´re doing it wrong….wow….uh, this is a song about almost getting it right…..but still not quite getting it right…..´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Spare Parts´
´´The world´s full of spare parts….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Youngstown´ (following ´Spare Parts´)
´´Thank you, uh…..we´ll continue in that theme there….this is a song about how….how quick we are at sort of abandoning our own…..you know….uh….when I was just about finished with the songs for most of the Tom Joad-record, I was staying up at night and had a little insomnia and went, went downstairs into my livingroom and pulled a book off the shelf and it was a book called Journey to Nowhere….and uh, with text by a fella named Dale Maharidge and photos by a fella named Michael Williamson and what they did was they ….they traveled across the country in the mid-80´s by train….uh, hopped in boxcars and all the way across into California and up into Oregon and they were sort of chronicling what they were seeing happening out there at the time, you know, as we were all kind of sitting home and hearing about ´Morning in America´….I was hearing from a lot of folks that I was seeing, people who worked with different foodbanks and they reported (?) that….that there were more people coming in that needed their services than ever before, that there were people coming in who’d never been in before…..there were people who previously, you know, held, held good jobs, had supported their families…..and uh (?) you know, I finished the book in one night and I put it, put it down and I remember thinking ´Well….I´m a guy, like, I know, I know one thing, you know, I know how to do one thing and what would happen if….you were doing, you´ve done something for 30 years….and something that´s built, built the buildings we live in and built, built the bridges that we cross….people who´ve given their sons to die in, in the wars for this country, who end up….thrown out like yesterday´s newspapers…..so, you know, what would I say to my kids if they came home at night and I couldn´t feed them or I couldn´t, if they were hurt and I couldn´t help them or I couldn´t make them safe, make sure of their health….you know….I don´t know….that strikes to such a central part of who you are…..this is called ´Youngstown´….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Thank you….thank you very much, I was, uh….I have these three, three brothers that have been (?) close friends of mine for 20 years, I guess…..on occasion we get a chance to….to get out across the country a little bit….and we were, took a trip….(?) through the southern, southre California desert out into Arizona and we ended up in this little desert town about, uh ….about 80 miles, I guess, east of California line….and uh…..and we sat, we were sitting outside this little motel and, you know, it was one of those towns where, there´s a lot of them out in that part of the desert where there´s like four buildings, there´s a bar and a grocery store and a little motel and uh….most of it´d been run by the interstate at this point but….you sit out there at night and (?) end of the summer and we´d, uh, you know, drink a little bit, play some cards and play some music…..and these two Mexican men came in from the west, I think they were driving a truck and they took the room next to us…..one was this young guy, a young handsome young guy who was really high and there was another fellow about my age…..and he was looking at our motorcycles and….and he started talking about, he had a younger brother that had recently died in a southern California motorcycle accident…..and we sat for about an hour and he talked about his, his little brother and there was something in his voice, the way he spoke about him that always, always stayed with me for a year and a half….and uh…..he´d come up to get the body and there´s something, I guess there´s something about family where that first line of family feels like it is to protect and to take care, to take care for….and….when that gets broken down….so I was writing a song about the Central, uh, California drug trade where these Mexican drug gangs come up to hire the migrant workers to do the dirty work, cook up the metamphetamine, it´s a really dangerous job….and uh….I was hearing his voice in my head at the time….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´The Line´
´´Thank you….this, uh….this next song is set at the, uh, San Diego border station, when I was a kid, I….I used to watch the Westerns and…..you know, they always try to, outlaws were always made a lot more interesting than the sheriff or something, you know….an unpopular job….but there was something that always fascinated me about the sheriff….trying to, trying to hold a certain line and….and uh….this is a song about a border patrolman who works at the San Diego, San Diego station….a lot of guys down there get, uh, discharged from the army and they end up working for the INS and, uh, the grey area, the moral grey area´s…. make it so you never know….where the line really is…..´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´Thank you, thank you very much….uh….this next song, this is about (?) kids, it´s set down in San Diego, there´s these kids that come hopping across the border and they´re….either running dope to this strip in San Diego or they sell themselves in this….in this part of the city called Balboa Park….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´The New Timer´
´´Thank you….reminds me of a fight I saw break out at the Randy Newman (?)….this is a…. song about a fellow who leaves the great state of Pennsylvania (cheers) mothers and state names (chuckles) and uh….he ends up looking for work, he heads west, gets lost…..when you get separated from your job, from your family….you don´t have much to give you much ground…..´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´Thank you….I was, uh….I was 26 the first time I saw this John Ford film, Grapes of Wrath and uh….you know, I grew up in a house where there wasn´t a whole lot of what you call culture, I was telling the folks last night that actually a black and white TV was suspected (chuckles) and uh….so, uh, a friend of mine said ´Hey, you should, should sit down and, and check this out´, you know, and (?) I sat and I watched the thing and it captivated me and, and it stayed with me forever, forever….I remember at the end of it thinking ´That´s, that´s what I wanna do….that´s what I wanna do´ and it´s a beautiful, it´s a lovely film and….there´s…. there´s a scene near the end where…..where Tom Joad is wanted for, for….killing a security guard that killed his, his friend….and….and him and his family have come such a long, long way and have suffered so much and he knows that he´s gonna have to leave now….and his mother who´s, who´s lost so much is gonna lose her son now….and they´re in this camp and there´s this dance scene that´s, that´s done, it´s so lovely….that….it´s a scene sort of that, I guess, that he used to hold out the possibility of beauty in the midst of, of suffering and injustice ´cause in beauty there´s, there´s hope….and the dance is, the dance is over and Tom goes inside the tent where his mother is sleeping and he touches her gently and he wakes her up and he says ´Ma, I gotta go´ and she gets up and they step outside underneath these trees ….and they sit down and he says ´Ma, I have to leave´….and she says ´Well, Tommy, I knew, I knew that I would lose you, I knew that this day would come….but how am I ever gonna know how you are ? how am I, am I ever gonna see you again ?….how will I ever know ?´….
and he says ´Well, Ma, I think I gotta go out and I gotta scratch around and I gotta see what´s wrong and….maybe if I could find out what´s wrong, there´s something I can do about it and make it right….and, and don´t you worry because I´ll be all around you, I´ll be around you in the darkness at night….you´ll hear me in the voices of guys yelling when they´re mad, you´ll hear me in, in, in the children´s laughter when they´re coming in at night to eat their, eat their supper and when they know that they´re safe….that they´re safe.´…and then he says ´Because maybe, maybe they got it wrong and maybe we all don´t have individual souls, maybe that´s a mistake, maybe we all got some little, small part of some big soul and that our fates are all in extricably linked and that we rise and we fall together in the end´….and he disappears into the, into the trees, the next scene is, uh….the Joads in their car heading north looking for work and the father says ´What are we gonna do ?´ and she says ´Well….we´re just gonna keep on going´….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Blinded by the Light´
´´Thank you, thanks….this is, uh….I always sort of say that this….actually not this song, this whole record was sort of an explanation as to why I never did any hallucinogenic drugs…. and uh, you know ….alas as I got older, you know, and I thought ‘Gee, you know, I…. should’ve done that LSD, man’….a friend, a lot of my friends did it and they….said it was a lot of fun….as I was telling the folks last night, the ones that didn’t kill themselves (chuckles) had the spiders crawling over their bodies….and uh….they all saw God of course…. couldn’t’ve been God unless He leaves the door open to anybody (chuckles) but anyway I said ‘Well’, so I thought later I said ‘Gee, you know’….I said ‘Nah, that´s nothing, that’s nothing’ (some people applaud) oh, it’s, that’s not a moral judgment…..I just don’t wanna see God, if I seen God, we’d pick a fight, you see (chuckles) so I’ll now go where an old man has rarely gone before….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´This Hard Land´ (following ´Blinded by the Light´)
´´That´s enough of that shit (chuckles)….good Lord….what was going through my mind ?…. what wasn´t going through my mind, I guess, right ?….(chuckles) ah, you´re a bunch of suckers, alright (chuckles) this is a song about hope, friendship, community, struggle, survival, every Western movie I ever saw….about how it ain´t over till it´s over….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Streets of Philadelphia´
´´Thank you…this a, uh….I guess this song sort of….sent me down a particular road here so ….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
´´Oh, thanks, first I wanna say thanks for, uh, your collaboration tonight….uh….there´ll be ten bucks for everybody on the way out, no (chuckles)….this is a, uh, been telling the folks that this, this group of music is music that means a lot to me and uh…..uh…since I´ve started (?) we´ve had such…..such good audiences and that´s a real gift to me and I just wanna say thanks….this song, uh, happened in Texas in the mid-80´s, based on events down in the Texas Gulf Coast….at the end of the Vietnam War, there were some, a lot of Vietnamese refugees come over into Texas ´cause it reminded them of home, they, they entered into the fishing industry and there was a lot of tension between the refugees and the Texas fishermen, this is called ´Galveston Bay´….´´

09.12.95 Philadelphia, PA, intro to ´My Best Was Never Good Enough´
´´Thank you, ladies and gentlemen….oh….well, this is a song….I wrote it in my kitchen with my wife and kids cheering me on….and uh (a lady yells) is that my aunt yelling out there ?…. jeez !….you ain´t getting them good seats again, I tell you that….anyway, here we go…..´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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