Story 1995-12-16 Boston, MA

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Adam Raised a Cain´
´´Good evening….thanks, this is where I make my little speech, uh, a lot of the songs tonight were composed using a lot of silence and I really need that, that silence in the course of the songs to give my best to you so I´m asking for your help and your collaboration tonight in order to do that….uh….so, uh, oh gosh, if you feel like clapping or singing along, well, you´ll be led out of here in handcuffs, alright (chuckles) and uh, please, if you have any of those little cameras, please just crush ´em underneath your left foot right now….and if somebody around you´s making an excessive amount of noise, it´s a community event, feel free to band together and tell ´em to shut the fuck up, alright (chuckles)….(?)….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´Thank you…..uh…..this is a song about a fellow that, uh, gets out of prison and is trying to find his way back into his family life and back into the world at large and, uh, that´s hard to do, those old habits, you know how that is, it´s the thing where they feel like you, you´ve done something for a certain way for a long time… feels like who you are, it´s how you identify yourself….everybody´s laid in bed at night and….and had a night where the very worst in you felt like it was their, their only hope….their only chance….this is called ´Straight Time´….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Highway 29´
´´´Thanks….this is, uh, this is a song about, you know, when you´re, when you´re young, you feel, you feel like you really know yourself, you know what you might do, you know what you wouldn´t do….and, uh, I did, then as I got older, I learned to accept myself as a total stranger after a while so, uh, I guess this is a song about, uh….I don´t think we really know what we´re capable of, good or bad, until we find ourselves in a certain situation….so this is about little knowledge coming too late….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Murder Incorporated´
´´Thank you….uh, this is about, uh….I guess, the bodycount that we have incorporated into our way of life….and the people whose lives that we´ve deemed are expendable….and uh…. all we pay for it is our own freedom and alarms on our cars, alarms on our houses, mistrust of our neighbors….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´It´s the Little Things That Count´
´´Thank you, this is the, uh….this is the part of the show where I, I like to entertain the audience with tales of my lovelife….this is the nights when my wife´s not here….. no, no, I have her permission (?) ´cause that´s entertainment, folks (chuckles) and uh, alright, so….I´m in this bar (chuckles) now, first of all, first of all, understand, uh, I make all this shit up, number one….and uh….and what I don´t make up, happened a real, real long time ago….so, uh, I´m in this bar and I´m suffering from my usual bout of low self-esteem, you know….and, uh, which I don´t mind because it got me where I am, alright (chuckles)…..(?) but uh, so I´m in this bar and I´m feeling a little blue and a girl comes up to me and says ´Would you like a shot of Tequila ?´…I say, uh, ´Ok´ (chuckles) and uh….(?) drinks they put on the bar and before I, before I, I didn´t know what (?) I can´t protest, right (chuckles) she throws the, throws the salt onto my neck, licks it off and downs her shot….so….I didn´t even drink mine after that…..I didn´t wanna ruin it….best shot of Tequila I ever had (chuckles) uh….ok, this is called ´It´s the little things in life that count´….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Brothers Under the Bridges´ (following ´It´s the Little Things That Count´)
´´Strangers in the night….this is a song that I recorded for the last record that didn´t make it on the record….uh….I wanna play it tonight, I´ve never played it before, let´s see how I´ll do (cheers) ah, that always works, you know….and ´Gee, folks, I hope I don´t fuck up´ (chuckles) but uh….it´s a, it´s a song about there´s a group of Vets that lived up in San Gabriel Mountains in California and, uh…´s about a fellow who´s, uh, who´s daughter, who he hasn´t seen, comes looking for him….and it´s called ´Brothers Under the Bridges´….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´Here´s a, this is a song about men and women….wow ! (chuckles)….uh, yeah, I´m telling the folks that, like, you know, I was in this one relationship for 30 years….but it was all with different women….I never really got to meet any of ´em, I don´t think, I would´ve liked to, they were all great (chuckles) and uh….you know (?) run its course and you stand there at the end and you go ´Hey….what happened ?….I don´t get it´….and I could kind of set it, you know, I could write the beginning, the date, and the end on my calendar (?)….and, you know, that goes on and on and for some reason you don´t think anything about it (chuckles) uh…. then you get married, then you really fuck it up (chuckles) ouh, woah, you know….then you start to learn (chuckles) a little bit, uh….so if you´re lucky, you get married again (people applaud) are those applause for marital bliss out there ?….but, anyway, this is, uh, I guess this is about the first 30 years, this song so (chuckles)….this is called ´Dry Lightning´….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Spare Parts´
´´Thanks, this is, uh….this is a song, I guess it´s….kind of about what I like to think of as real life miracles, you know, people expect….I guess these are things that, that do happen every day….somebody has the opportunity to….whatever you wanna call it, I don´t know, to do the right things….like, just to….make some leap of faith….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Youngstown´
´´Thank you, this is, uh….I think I´d finished writing most of the Tom Joad record and I was down in my livingroom one night and I pulled a book down off the shelf when I couldn´t sleep…and went upstairs and….and I sat down with this book called Journey to Nowhere, uh….it´s, uh, currently out-of-print but it´s gonna be back in print about a month or so, uh, it´s a, basically it´s these fellows, Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson took a trip across the country in the mid-80´s on, on the rails from St.Louis out west to California up into Oregon….and basically reported on what they were seeing along the road….and it was sort of the time when we were all hearing about ´Morning in America´ but meanwhile, when I was talking to a lot of different people from different foodbanks, what they were saying was that the demand for those services were increasing and the country was splitting down in the middle and that people were coming in who´d made good livings their whole lives, who´d supported their families and their kids and all of a sudden were, you know, slipping through the cracks….so I remember I read, I read the book and I, and I sat in bed and I thought ´Well, gee, you know….I´m, I only know how, how to do one thing, I have one craft and I don´t know what I´d do if somebody told me that, that was no longer necessary, that was no longer useful, that it was obsolete and that I had to find something else to do, I don´t know how I´d come home at night and face my children if, if they needed food or clothes and I couldn´t give it to ´em….I don´t know what I wouldn´t do, you know´, uh…..I guess this is about how we abandon our own…this is called ´Youngstown´….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Thank you, thank you very much….alright, from my bar to you, this stool….this, uh, next series of songs are set on the California-Mexico border….and uh….I was traveling with…. these three brothers that I….that I travel with from time to time and we were, we went out through the….Southern California low desert out into Arizona a couple of years ago, I guess this was, and we ended up in this little desert town, uh, about 80 miles east of the California border…and uh, it was sort of, there´s a lot of these little towns out there on the state and county highway, you know, they´re, they´re, there´s a grocery store, there´s a bar, about 20 people at best, and there´s a little motel, you know, where you can sit out at night and you park your bikes out in front and you sit out and play some cards or listen to some music, drink a little bit….and, uh, these two Mexican men came in from the west….uh, they were driving a truck and they took the room next to ours and one was kind of….he was a real young guy, he was kind of high and having a good time and the other guy was, I guess, about my age and uh….he started looking at our bikes and we started talking and he sat down and told me he´d had a brother that´d died in a, uh, Southern California about…..a little while back, he´d rode with a group called (?)….and, I guess, he´d come up to get his body and there was something in his voice and in about the way that he talked about his brother that, that stayed with me for a year and a half in the back of my head….and I guess it was ´cause ….you know, and particularly once you have the kids (?) that first line of family is, is to protect, you know, to protect, to take care of….and I was writing about….I was working on a song about Central California drug trade where the, uh, Mexican drug gangs come up from Sinaloa and, and they, uh, hire migrant workers to cook metamphetamine and, and, uh…. they´re usually the ones that get blown up or busted by the DEA….and all the time I was writing this song I was hearing this fellow´s, this fellow´s voice in my head so…..this is for my mysterious friend wherever, wherever he might be, this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´The Line´
´´When I was, uh, when I was a kid, you know, I´d watch all the old Westerns and everybody was always kind of rooting for the outlaws, you know….(?) you know, but I always sort of fascinated, partly, by, by the sheriff, you know, I was, I was telling the folks last night, there was, uh, you know, Gary Cooper in High Noon and, and, uh, Henry Fonda in My Darling Clementine and, uh… know, they were, I don´t know, lawmen you understood, you know (chuckles) and….I had occasion to write about it a few times and this is a song about…..set in the San Diego border station, border patrol station…..and there´s a lot of guys that get out of the army and they end up working for the INS, for the border patrol….and they find themselves in the middle of what´s basically an impossible job…. where it´s….really hard to know….where all the lines really are….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´This is, uh….this next song is set in San Diego too and what you is you have these young kids, 12, 13 years old, 14, they come hopping across the river either running dope or, uh….. selling themselves in this strip in this place called Balboa Park….and, uh, they sniff this stuff called toncho which is octane boost, what happens is it keeps away the cold and keeps away the hunger…but rots your brain….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´Thanks, when I was, I grew up in a, in a house where there….(someone in the crowd: ´Wasn´t a whole lot of books or culture´)….the, uh, mistrusted, uh, black-and-white films, as a matter of fact (chuckles) and….when I was about 26, a friend of mine showed me John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath and it was a… know, that led me to the Steinbeck books and…. it was, it was a film that resonated, you know, throughout the rest of my whole life, I, I always go back to it, you know, and I think when I saw it, I said ´Yeah, that, you know, that´s what I wanna do, that´s what I wanna do´ and…..I guess this next song, this is sort of about the mystery of human faith, mystery of human faith….and there´s this…..there´s this scene at the end of The Grapes of Wrath where Ford films this, this dance scene and the Joad family have come across the country and…..and they end up in this camp and there´s this lovely scene after all this hardship in the film that holds out, at the end of the movie, it holds out the possibility of beauty, the possibility of beauty in the world…..and where there´s beauty there´s hope and maybe some sense of divine love or whatever you wanna call it…. but there´s this lovely dance scene and then at the end of the night Tom Joad, who´s wanted for killing a security guard that killed his friend, knows he´s gonna have to leave…..he´s gonna have to leave his family and he knows that his mother, after suffering so much loss, is now gonna lose her son…..and he slips into the tent at night and he touches her very gently and he says, you know, ´Mama´, you know, ´Mama, I have to go now´ and she wakes up and they step out underneath these dark trees and they sit down…..and she says ´Well, Tommy…. how am I, am I ever gonna see you again ? am I ever gonna see you again ?….how am I gonna know how you are, you know, how, how am I gonna know where you are ?´….and he says ´Well, Ma, all I know is I gotta go out and I gotta scratch around and I gotta see what´s wrong and I gotta see if there´s something that I can do to make it right…..and´….he says ´So ….so I´ll be around you, I´ll be around you everywhere, I´ll be in the darkness around you at night….when you hear guys yelling ´cause they´re mad, I´ll be in their voices….when you hear children laughing coming in to have their supper, knowing that there´s food on the table and they´re safe, you´ll, you´ll hear me in their voices´….and…..he disappears into the, into the darkness and he´s sitting there alone…..the next scene…..they´re heading north in the morning… look for some work….and the father says, you know, ´Tommy´s gone…. Tommy´s gone, what are we gonna do ?´….and the mother says ´Well….we´re just gonna keep on going´….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´This Hard Land´
´´Thank you…..this is a song about, uh, hope, hard times, happiness, community, brotherhood, sisterhood….uh, every Western I ever saw….uh, about, uh, you know, four and a half minutes long, I don´t know (chuckles) but, uh, alright, it ain´t over till it´s over, there´s a job to be done out there…..´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
´´(?) I wanna take a second and I tell you that you have been just a, a fabulous audience (?) ….I really can´t thank you enough, you know, it´s music that means a lot to me and, and the freedom to be able to do this is, is, is a wonderful gift that you´ve given me tonight and I appreciate it and I, I just wanna say I love you, thank you…..I´m gonna bus all you guys out into New York tomorrow, alright (chuckles)….here´s a song that was, uh….I was getting, I was towards the end of the record and, and…..I was looking for a song that, I guess I describe it as it contains a real life miracle, you know, and that´s where, uh….I don´t know, I guess it´s something that, that where somebody holds fate in their hands and…..and does the right thing, does the right thing….and in doing so….forever changed themselves, first of all, in, in not compounding to the brutality and the violence that´s out there, they change the world too, they change the world….this is called, uh….this is about an incident that happened in Texas in the mid-80´s where, after the Vietnam War, there were a lot of Vietnamese refugees that settled in that area, they went into the fishing industry and there was a lot of tension between the Texas fishermen and the Vietnamese fishermen, this is called ´Galveston Bay´…´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´The Promised Land´
´´Here´s one I ain´t done yet, let´s see what happens (chuckles)….(?)….´´

16.12.95 Boston, MA, intro to ´My Best Was Never Good Enough´
´´Yes, there I sat in the kitchen with my wife and children cheering me on…..´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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