Story 1996-04-20 Antwerp, Belgium

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Adam Raised A Cain´´
´´(speaks Flemish)….hoe is´t? [´´How do you do?”]….alles goed? [´´Everything´s fine?´´] (chuckles) that was it (chuckles) I don´t have any more (chuckles)….thank you….here´s a, uh, here´s where I make my sort of short disclaimer, uh, the music´s real quiet tonight so I sort of need your collaboration so if anybody around is you making too much noise, feel free to band together and very politely and in a very constructive spirit just ask them to shut the fuck up, alright? (chuckles) oh yeah (chuckles) aah….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Straight Time´´
´´Thank you….thank you very much….thank you, thank you….this is a, uh, this is a song about a fellow trying….trying to be new….you know, uh….I think we all reach a place where our old answers run out on us at some point, then you either sort of, I guess you either change or die….this is about a fellow who gets, uh, gets out of prison and he´s trying to find his way into his family life, trying to find his way into the world….trying to lead some resemblance of a normal life….but your old habits, those can be the things that feel like they let you know who you are, even if they kill you….this is called ´Straight Time´….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Highway 29´´
´´Thank you….thanks, this is a, uh, song about, I think when you´re a kid, you know, you, this is about self-knowledge and, uh, I remember when I was….22 or 23, I was filled with self-knowledge (chuckles) and then the older you get, you sort of, you learn to accept yourself as a complete stranger, it´s better off that way (chuckles) you know, but this is a song about self-knowledge coming a little bit too late….this is called ´Highway 29´….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Pilgrim In The Temple Of Love´´
´´Yeah?…oh really?…oh, it is? we´re debating sort of what to play next ´cause I have to, we have a collaborative effort on the songlist up here….(someone yells: ´Santa!´) oh Jesus….wait a minute! (chuckles) where did you guys hear ´Santa Claus´? (chuckles) it´s like it´s, I have this song, I´ve only played it once but it´s about meeting Santa Claus in a go-go bar (crowd cheers)(chuckles)….oh Jesus, alright, alright, I´m gonna blame you, though (chuckles) well, the only thing I can say about it is….if there´s any young children out there (chuckles) or radical Christian fundamentalists in some fashion….here´s the x-rated part of the program, alright (chuckles) I´ve only played it once so I hope I remember it….the only thing I can say about it, you know, is this is, most of my other songs, you know, writers hate to say that there´s a song that´s about them in any fashion, you know, even if it is, you always lie and say it´s not, you know, because you don´t want anybody knowing, you know (chuckles) and uh, uh, but this, this is a page, this is a page ripped right out of my diary, I´m gonna be honest with you tonight, this is (chuckles) if I kept a diary, which I don´t, you see, I don´t keep a diary because I fly a lot, if I crash and die that rock star death, I don´t want people reading all my thoughs after I´m gone (chuckles) and, uh, especially don´t let anybody into my house after I´m gone either, please, alright (chuckles) but, but, uh, but if I did keep a diary (chuckles) this would be a page torn right out of the torrid, my torrid life, alright, so, uh …ok, here we go, now this is a Christmas song ´cause I know it´s not Christmas and it´s not near Christmas (chuckles) and I know it´s very warm now, you know, but uh (chuckles) but I´m not gonna be here on Christmastime, you see, so I might as well sing this song now, you know, get it off my chest, uh….I can´t think of much else to say about it, I guess (chuckles) alright, alright, ok, ok (chuckles) it was, uh, get it over with, that´s about it (chuckles)….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Little Things That Count´´
´´Thank you very much….the voice of Santa (?)….bring him out….the voice of Santa Claus, he´s, he´s gone now (?) alright, the show´s taken a bizarre twist now (chuckles) so let´s keep going in this vein….that really wasn´t out of my diary….(chuckles) ok….I don´t know if I´ve had a go with this one (chuckles)….this was, uh, I was in a different bar on another night (chuckles) this was, uh, way, way, way, way before I was married or anything and, uh, it was, no, actually I make all this shit up anyway so it´s….it´s entertainment (chuckles) alright, so….a girl comes up asking me if I want a shot of tequila and I say ´Ok´…she buys a shot, she sets it on the bar, she takes the salt, she throws it on my neck, she licks the salt off my leg, neck and downs the shot of tequila….I don´t even drink mine after that (chuckles) I didn´t wanna ruin the moment, you know what I mean (chuckles) so….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Brothers Under The Bridges´´
´´Alright….well, that takes care of that part of the show (chuckles) who´s the guy that got it going? (chuckles)….this is a song that´s, uh….set in the San Gabriel Mountains outside of Cali, outside of Los Angeles, it´s a mountain range that sits in-between, uh….the San Fernando Valley and the Mojave Desert and uh….once you´re about 25 minutes out of L.A, you, you get into these mountains and you go a hundred miles and there´ll just be a store in one, there´s one little town….and the rest is just real….it´s national forest and uh…..there was a….these Vietnam Vets, these homeless Vets that set up a camp out there, they left the streets of Los Angeles….and this is a story about one of them that had a grown daughter who´s never seen her dad and she comes looking for her father….and what he says to her…. this is called ´Brothers Under The Bridges´….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Dry Lightning´´
´´Thanks, this is a, uh, song about men and women….Manner, Frauen….love, sex…..Liebe, Sex….(speaks Flemish)….very impressive, huh? (chuckles) yeah…..let´s go mad at the guy that got me to play the Santa Claus-song….I can see, you know, I can see like the reviews, you know, it goes like ´1975 - Born To Run, 1985 - Born In The U.S.A, 1995 - Santa Gets A Blowjob´ (chuckles) hey….you gotta keep that legend going, man (chuckles) but uh (chuckles) this is a song, everybody´s been in one of these relationships, I´d have imagined, I was in about 35 of them (chuckles) and I always tell the crowd that I was, actually I was, actually in one relationship for 30 years but it was just with a lot of different women, you see (chuckles) but it was the same one ´cause I kept doing the same things all the time (chuckles) (?) but uh….so this is, I guess, this is, you know, you´re with somebody and you´re trying or you think you´re trying and you, there´s something there but you can´t quite get to it….can´t quite….I don´t know….but….sometimes you get lucky - I got lucky….so now I´m in my second relationship (chuckles) with just one woman (chuckles)….this is about the first one (chuckles)….called ´Dry Lightning´….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Spare Parts´´
´´Thanks….yeah….this is a song, I remember I was 16 or 17….I grew up sort of amidst a generation that thought we could really change the world, I remember it felt like, man, if you wrote the right song or took the right stand….that you could change something….and uh….I think part of the danger of getting older is….when you realise that it ain´t so easy….you can forget about it at all, you know, and uh….this is about, this is a song about somebody that changes….saves the part of the world that they can touch, they can put their hands on…. that´s not so bad….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Youngstown´´
´´A few months ago I was in Youngstown, Ohio, it was one of the centers of the steel industry in the States for, oh, the first part of the century and uh….most of the mills closed down in the late-´70s and ´80s and the town lost two-thirds of its population and….thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs, and I played this little town hall and uh….it was kind of fun, I remember as I came out onstage and the first thing was a whole troop of boy scouts came in….I said ´Jeez, boyscouts….no ´Santa Gets A Blowjob´ tonight´ (chuckles) so (chuckles) so I had to edit the show but uh (chuckles) but uh….I came out onstage and it was just tremendously emotional, there wasn´t, uh, probably there wasn´t anybody there who didn´t have a brother or a father or, uh, a family member, a grandfather, that hadn´t worked in those mills and been affected by the shutdowns and these were all people that built the buildings that we lived in and the bridges that we crossed and…..gave their, their kids to the wars that country fought….and were sort of deemed expendable….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Sinaloa Cowboys´´
´´Thanks, buddy, this is Kevin Buell, my, uh….guitar tech, financial advisor, guru, yoga teacher, voice of Santa, no, no, Mr.keyboardist, uh, sexual counsellor, uh (chuckles) the man just does it all, folks (chuckles)….yeah….alright….these next four songs were all set on the California-Mexico border and uh, I guess over the past ten years I´ve spent pretty, quite a bit of time in the southwest, I was traveling through Arizona, I think it was 1989….and I was in this little desert town, I´d take all these little state- and county roads….where Mom and Pop still reign and uh….I was in this….this little town about 80 miles east of California border and they´re all the same, you know, about every 80 miles or 100 miles you come up to one, a little dot on the map and you come in and there´s a grocery store and there´s a gas-station and there´s a motel and there´s a bar….all the necessities of human existence (chuckles) and uh, this was in the fall, I guess, and it was really beautiful, the low desert in the fall is still very, very hot, at night it´s 85 degrees and the heat of the day comes back up at you out of the ground so 11.30 or 12 at night I was still sitting outside of this little motel and these two Mexican men came in from the west, driving a truck, and they took the room next to us….and uh….there was a young, young kid and there was an older fella, about my age and uh (chuckles) and, uh, it doesn´t even sound that funny any more (chuckles) and uh, uh, he come over and started to look at the motorcycles and started talking he had a younger brother who died in a Southern California motorcycle accident and he sat for about an hour and there was something in his voice and the way he talked about his younger brother that always stayed with me and I think that particularly once you have your kids, you know, you´re always worried about protecting them, you know, and uh….you´re always worried about if they´re safe….and uh….I guess that´s sort of the first line of family, you know, to protect the ones that come after you, in some fashion, and when that breaks down, whether it´s your fault or not, I don´t know how people live with that kind of loss or find ways to heal themselves…. but there was something in his voice that always stayed with me and, uh, a year or so ago I was writing a song about two brothers that get caught up in the Central California drug trade, Mexican gangs come across the border and hire migrant workers in Central California to cook up metamphetamine and they have a chance to make in an evening what they´d make in a year…uh….so it was a song about two brothers and I kept hearing my friend´s voice in my head so I dedicate this to him every night wherever he is, this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´…´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´The Line´´
´´Thank you….thank you, this is a, this is a song set on the San Diego borderstation and what you get in Southern California is a lot of, a lot of young guys that come out of, come straight out of the army and they come out looking for work and they end up working for the, the border patrol….and it´s a confusing job….you know, it´s, uh….Carlos Fuentes, a Mexican writer, said that California was Mexico till about 1848 so the border is more like a, it´s more like a scar than a border…so this is a song about a young border patrolman….trying to figure out where that line really is….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Balboa Park´´
´´Thank you….thanks, this song´s about kids….you know, before, I lived alone for about 35 years….and, you know, before you have your own kids, kids can just seem like….aggravating little bastards, you know (chuckles) then you, then you have your own….they´re aggravating little bastards but they´re yours, you know (chuckles) but uh, I always remember I used to hate it when I had some friends of mine that, you know, they´d just had kids and they´d come over to your house, they´d sit down and they talk and talk and talk about ´Oh, it´s so wonderful….today, you know, he ate his first food, he took his first piss,´ you know, it´s like (chuckles) it´s like, ooh, you gotta go ´Aah, ooh, that´s fantastic´ (chuckles) and what´s worse is they´d bring ´em along, you know….and then they either cry, cry, cry, cry or they run all around touching all your stuff….I don´t like that (chuckles) but then you have your own, you know, and you can get to seek revenge (chuckles) bring them over to their house ….´Yeah, yeah, go, go, go´….you know, ´get that,´ you know it´s like (crowd applauds) yeah, oh yeah (chuckles) and uh, people always ask you what, you know, what´s the main, how´s your, how´s your life changed the most, you know, because, uh….before I had ´em, I couldn´t imagine, I didn´t know how to live any other way, you know, but then all of a sudden, I remember the day my son was born….man, I walked out, outside, the sun felt different, the wind felt different on your face, all those clichés, you know, you wanted to yell at everybody to stop shopping or something, you know, for a while (chuckles) ´A shopping moratorium, please,´ you know (chuckles) ´A miracle has occured,´ you know (chuckles) then you flip to the other side and you get to bore thousands like this every night with these kinds of stories (chuckles) but, anyway, I guess the main thing they do is they bring, I always think kids have a window onto the grace that´s in the world ´cause they haven´t closed up yet and when they come, that window´s open and they bring that into, into your life, you know, and, uh, I think as you get older, that closes down, that gets smaller, which is why people, I think, go out to hear music or go to films or, or go to see art or engage in unusual sexual practises, you know (chuckles) to bring that grace back into their lives somehow (chuckles) and uh, but this is a song about kids, still kids, 11, 12, 13 years old down along the border and uh, they come across the river either running dope or end up selling themselves in this place called Balboa Park, they are unprotected….and uh….this is what I think happens when that grace is, is violated….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Across The Border´´
´´Thank you….when I was, uh, I grew up in a house where there wasn´t, wasn´t a whole lot of talk about culture or art or, or, there weren´t books and the first thing I remember that ever gave me a sense of, of just….possibilities of life, I guess, was music, it was always on in the morning, my mother always had the top40-station on…..and I always heard something in the singers´, those singers´ voices….that made me feel there was more to life than whatever it was I was experiencing at the time….and that sustained me for a long time….then when I was 26, a friend of mine showed me John Ford´s Grapes Of Wrath and, uh, it was a picture, I remember after I saw it, I sat there and I said ´Yeah, that´s….that´s what I wanna do´, you know, you do your work and you always hope that it means something to somebody….and it´s a film that resonated throughout the rest of my life and I go back to it all the time, that and the novel, the Steinbeck novel, and I think because it asks a real basic question about sort of who we are, you know….if, I think the question that like the film and the novel asked is is there such a thing as individual salvation, you know, can you just save your own soul in some fashion….or is everything linked and do we rise and fall collectively?….and uh…. there´s a scene at the end of the picture….that sort of hits this right on the head, I think…..but basically it´s Tom Joad´s killed a security guard that´s killed a friend of his and he´s gonna have to leave his family…and he´s gonna have to tell his mother that after she´s lost her…her home and they´ve come thousands of miles and they have nothing, that she´s gonna have to lose her son now….but this scene is set up by this dance scene, it´s this dance in this little workcamp and it´s shot very lovely and the faces and people holding one another, moving across the floor, and the music and I always thought it was Ford holding out a possibility of beauty even in a, in a world where, you know, brutality is compounded every day….´cause where there´s beauty, there´s hope, where there´s hope, there´s divine love or whatever you wanna call it, you know….so at the end of the dance scene, Tom slips into his mother´s tent, touches her gently and he wakes her up and he says ´Mama, I gotta go now´….and they step out under these dark trees….and she says ´Well, Tommy, I knew this day would come but, but how am I gonna know how you are, how am I gonna know if you´re well, if you´re alive, will I ever see you again?´….and he says ´Well, all I know is I gotta go out and I gotta kick around and see what´s wrong and see if there´s something I can do about it to make it right ….and you´ll see me because I´ll be there in the darkness when you´re sleeping, Mama, I´ll be in that darkness that surrounds you, and you´ll hear me in men´s voices when they´re yelling ´cause they´re angry….and wherever there is cop beating a guy….and wherever there´s kids coming in at dinnertime, laughing ´cause they know there´s food on the table and they got a home and that they´re safe and they´re protected,´ he says ´You´ll see me´….and he disappears off into the night…..and the next day the Joads are heading north looking for work and the father says ´How are we gonna, what are we gonna do now without Tommy?´ ….and the mother says ´Well, we´re just gonna keep on going´….so that´s what this song is about, this is a song about that mysterious part of human nature, why people keep coming ….why they keep on going, why they return to faith, hope and love because it´s the only thing you can get your hands on….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Bobby Jean´´
´´Thank you….(someone yells thank you for something) alright, alright, it´s ok, no big deal, alright (chuckles) hey, it´s my job, it´s what I do (chuckles) this is for excitable friend over there (chuckles)….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´This Hard Land´´
´´Thank you….alright….this was, uh….I always felt that this was one of my best songs that…. that didn´t make it on a record till recently….it´s a song about, uh….oh, faith, hope, love, brotherhood, sisterhood, possibility of community with a little tequila on the side, every, every Western I ever seen thrown in there somewhere (chuckles) and uh….and lifelong friends….and how it ain´t over till it´s over….there´s a job to be done….´´

20.04.96 Antwerp, Belgium, intro to ´´Galveston Bay´´
´´Thank you….I want to, uh, take a second and thank everybody for coming out to the show tonight, thank you very much….and uh….also I wanna say this is music that means a lot to me and to be able to come out and to do it like this, you´ve been a great audience and to have your collaboration, uh, is a gift that you´ve given me so I thank you for it….thank you very much….this is a song based on some incidents that happen in the Gulf Coast of Texas in the mid-´80s, there was, uh….at the end of the Vietnam War there were a lot of Vietnamese refugees that settled down in the Gulf Coast ´cause it was a lot like home and they went into the fishing industry and there was a lot of tension between the Vietnamese fishermen and the Texas fishermen, many of whom were, uh, Vietnam veterans and who fought and served alongside them in Vietnam….so this is called ´Galveston Bay´…´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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