Story 1996-05-07 Barcelona, Spain

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Atlantic City´´
´´Hola, Barcelona….(speaks Spanish) alright, thank you, uh (speaks more Spanish)(chuckles) I can say that tonight (more Spanish, asks for quiet during the night)….(chuckles) so what I was saying was the music tonight´s real quiet so I kind of appreciate your silence, if anybody around you´s making too much noise, just band together and politely ask them to shut the fuck up (chuckles) alright….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Straight Time´´
´´Thank you, this is a, uh, this is a song about, uh….struggling to be new, to, uh….I think everybody reaches a point in their life when their, when their old answers run out on them and, uh, I think then either you sort of start to die where you´re standing or you figure, figure some other ways out, this is a song about a fellow who gets out of prison and he´s trying to, trying to find his way into his family and learn how to stay there, find his way into the world and learn how to stay there….and, uh, I think that can be tough when sometimes the things that make you feel most alive are the things that….that bring you down in some fashion…. this is called ´Straight Time´….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Highway 29´´
´´Thank you….here´s a, uh….song about self-knowledge, I always say….the funny thing about self-knowledge is the less of it you have, the more you think you have….that´s its blessing, you see, and, uh, you usually get a whole lot of it after you´ve really fucked up somewhere (chuckles) unfortunately it always seems to come a little late….so I guess that´s what this is about, this is called ´Highway 29´….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Pilgrim In The Temple Of Love´´
´´Thank you very much, this next song was a request, uh, it´s a song I haven´t recorded, usually, you know, songwriters don´t like to say that the music is directly about them, you know, it´s autobiographical in some fashion….so, but this next song - I´m debating whether to play it or not - but it´s a song that´s a page ripped directly out of my diary, this song is, uh, if I kept a diary, you know, which I don´t….´cause I fly around all the time, if I die, you know, in one of those rock star deaths, I don´t want everybody to know what I was thinking, you see (chuckles) I don´t want anybody going through my house (chuckles) but uh (chuckles) but I don´t keep, so I don´t keep a diary, but this song is actually a page out of diary so you get a little….I don´t want you to have to read about it later, you know, in some cheesy tabloid, you know (chuckles) so uh….this is a song, how can I put it? uh, let me see, let me see if I can….uh (speaks Spanish, says something about a Santa Claus and a topless bar)(crowd cheers) excitement is preceeding me on this number, I see (chuckles) alright, so, what I just trying to say (chuckles) was I´ll set the scene for you, alright, it´s Christmas Eve, I´m on Route 9, the deepest, darkest New Jersey, outside of this go-go bar, alright, here we go….wait a minute - I forgot how to play this (chuckles) there we go….ok….after this, you will believe in Santa Claus (chuckles)….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Red Headed Woman´´
´´Yeah, you will believe in Santa Claus (chuckles) oh, well, you asked for it, what can I tell you, my tawdry has been revealed (chuckles) so let´s get to do one for my wife after that I do that one (chuckles) alright! (does the wail) oh, I´ve got the question first, though, let´s see if I get it right (asks in Spanish if there are red headed women in the house)….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Brothers Under The Bridges´´ (following ´´Red Headed Woman´´)
´´I´m saved….oh, hallelujah, I´m saved….(chuckles)….oh, let me calm myself down (chuckles) here´s a song I wrote for the Tom Joad-record, it didn´t get on it for some reason, I don´t know why, but it´s set in the San Gabriel Mountains, which is a mountain range outside of, just outside of Los Angeles, uh, between the San Fernando Valley and Mojave Desert, Los Angeles is a funny town because you get about 25 minutes outside and….you get in the foothills of these mountains and you´ll go for a hundred miles and there´s nothing but, like, one little store….and they take you over, up seven thousand feet and over down into the desert….it was in the mid-´80s that there was a group of homeless Vietnam Vets that set up a camp in the San Gabriels´ to get out of the city, this is a story about one of them that has a grown daughter that he´s never seen, she grows up and comes looking for her dad and what he has to tell her, this is called ´Brothers Under The Bridges´….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Dry Lightning´´
´´Thank you, here´s a, uh, song about men and women, hombres, donas….love, sex…. amore, sexa….molt´ dificil, molt´ complicat….pero necesero….I always, uh, preface this song by saying I was in one relationship for 30 years….but with a lot of different women, you know (chuckles) but it was the same one, actually I never met most of those young ladies (chuckles) and get caught, you get caught and go running ´round and ´round and ´round…. you can be out and meet somebody one night and say ´Hi! We´re gonna be leaving each other in about six months´ (chuckles)….yeah, anyway, this is, uh….this is a song about one of those relationships where you, you can feel there´s something there but you can´t get to it, too scared….this is called ´Dry Lightning´….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Spare Parts´´
´´Thank you….when I was a kid and I picked up the guitar, I….I´d been so moved by music ….that I thought that you could do anything with it….(a part is missing from the source tape) ….but if you´re not careful, you can forget it´s possible, this is a song about a woman….who saves the part of the world that she can touch…..that´s pretty good….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Sinaloa Cowboys´´
´´Thank you….that´s, uh, by the way, that was Kevin Buell, he´s disappeared now, he´s the guitar man, financial advisor, guru, yoga teacher….sexual counsellor (chuckles) soon-to-be President of the United States of America (chuckles)….yeah….this is, uh, these next songs are all set on the California-Mexico border and, uh, I think that that´s (chuckles)(audience laughs, Bruce is adjusting his chair, I´m guessing) yeah, if it ain´t just right, you know (chuckles) I can get a little psychotic about it, I´m a little psychotic, you know (chuckles) but uh ….now you got me thinking about it (chuckles) this is, uh….I was in this little Arizona town in 1989, this little desert town, 80 miles east of the California border and, uh, I was sitting outside of this little motel and all these towns are the same once you get off the interstate, they´re four corners: there´s a gas-station, a grocery store, a motel and a bar….all the necessities for human, human life, you know, to flourish on this planet (chuckles) but uh, uh, it was late, it was about 11.30, 12 at night and, uh, it was a beautiful, fall, low-desert night, real hot and I was sitting outside of my room and me and my friends had these motorcycles parked in front, these two Mexican men came in from the west, one was a young kid, one was a guy about my age, you know, and, uh, they started looking over the bikes….we sat down and I started, we started talking and the older fellow told me that he had a younger brother who died a couple of months ago in, in a Southern California motorcycle accident and he talked about him for about an hour, we just sat there….and there was something in his voice that always stayed with me, I always thought back….back to it, for some reason, maybe because it was just a year later, you know, that my wife and I had our first, first baby and to think….I think the kids, along with all the happiness they bring, they bring all this new fear with ´em….´cause you´re always worried about ´em and worried about protecting ´em….and I suppose that first line of family always feels like it´s to take care of…. the ones that come after you….and I think that when that breaks down, whether it´s your fault or not, it´s hard to put it back together….put yourself back together….so I was writing a song about two brothers who get caught up in the Central Valley drug trade with Mexican gangs come up and hire migrant workers to work in the metamphetamine labs and they´re the ones that get busted or blown up….and I heard this sound of my friend´s voice in my head coming from way back, so I dedicate this every night to him and, uh, this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´The Line´´
´´Thanks, uh, this, uh, this next song´s set at the San Diego border station, what you get in Southern California is a lot of guys who come out of the army and end up working for the border patrol and, uh….that´s a confusing job, I think….and, uh, Carlos Fuentes, a Mexican writer, said California was Mexico till about 1848 so the border´s more like a scar than a borderline, it´s hard to know, so this is about a young man, a young borderpatrolman who´s trying to figure out where that line is….and how much it matters….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Balboa Park´´
´´This, uh, this next song is about kids, you know, and, uh….I have a bunch of little kids, they´re all under five and a half, three of ´em….took some getting used to….before I had ´em, my friends would come over my house and they´d bore me for hours with stories of their kids ….you have to feign interest, you know….and, uh, what´s worse, they run around and touch all your shit, you know….I lived alone for 30 years - I don´t like that (chuckles) but then you have your own….and that´s when you just kiss your shit goodbye (chuckles) and, uh, but somehow it´s alright (chuckles)….and, uh, people always ask what, what difference they make in your life and I always say ´Well, kids got a window onto the grace that´s in the world and that window´s wide-open….and it blows through them into your life….and, uh…. creates a certain fullness….that could never really be explained….uh, I think, as you get older, that window closes, you know, you get hurt and you cover up and, you know, you don´t wanna show yourself….and, uh, that´s why people, I think, go out and see art or go to the movies or listen to music or engage in bizarre and unusual sexual practises (chuckles) to bring that grace, get that grace blowing through their lives (chuckles) somehow….so, uh, this is a song about kids, you know, ten, fourteen, fifteen years old, still kids, that come across the border into San Diego, running dope or end up selling themselves in this place called Balboa Park, I think once you have your own….you know, you look at all kids differently after that….so this is what happens, I think, when that grace is violated…..´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Across The Border´´
´´When I was, when I was a kid (?) the first thing that really opened me up was, was music, my mother always had the radio on in the morning when I came down into the kitchen and there was always something in those singers´ voices and uh….(?) powered me for so long…. but I wasn´t exposed to a whole lot of other things that people would consider culture, everybody at my house was struggling to keep their heads above water….and in high school, you know, when they, they give you good books, you´re not quite ready to read ´em, I wasn´t anyway, but, uh, I was 26, a friend of mine showed me the film Grapes of Wrath, John Ford´s picture and then I found my way to the Steinbeck novel and there was something in those two things that resonated throughout the rest of my life, I remember sitting after I saw the picture and saying ´That´s what I wanna do´….and, uh, I think the book and the film ask a real fundamental question, sort of is is there such a thing as individual salvation, uh….or, as a friend of mine was saying last night, does life work? does it work?….you know, and are we all tied together somewhere so our fates rise and fall simultaneously….there´s a scene at the end of the movie that really gets to it….but before it, Ford shoots this dance scene at this work camp and it´s shot very lovely, you know, faces, people holding one another and the music spinning people around and uh….I always thought that was Ford´s way of holding out a possibility of beauty even in a, uh, brutal world and not only that but the usefulness of beauty, the usefulness of beauty, ´cause where there´s beauty, there´s hope and where there´s hope, there´s divine love or whatever you wanna call it….after that scene, Tom slips into his mother´s ten….Tom Joad, and he has to leave because he´s killed a security guard that´s killed a friend of his and he knows he has to tell his mother goodbye after she´s already lost their home and so much else, she´s gonna lose her son now….and he touches her gently and he says ´Mama, I gotta go ´ and they step outside and they sit under these dark trees….and she says ´Well, Tommy, I knew this day would come but how am I gonna know how you are, you know, how will I know if you´re alive, how will I, will I ever see you?´….and he says ´Well, I gotta go out and kick around and see what´s wrong and see if there´s something I can do about it….and you´ll see me, Ma, ´cause at night I´ll be in that darkness that´s all around you when you´re sleeping….you´ll see me there, and you´ll hear me in men´s voices when they´re yelling because they´re angry….and you´ll hear me in kids when they´re laughing ´cause they come in and they know that there´s food on the table, that they got a home and that they´re safe, you´ll see me´….and he disappears into the night….and the next morning the Joads are heading north for work and the father says ´How are we gonna get along without Tommy?´ and the mother says ´Well, we´re gonna just keep on going´….so this is a song about the mystery of human nature, how even after the world reveals itself….people return to faith and hope and belief in love ´cause that´s all there is…, uh, let me see if I get this right (speaks Spanish)….´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´No Surrender´´
´´Alright, this is for….you…..´´

07.05.96 Barcelona, Spain, intro to ´´Galveston Bay´´
´´(speaks Spanish)….thanks, I want to, uh, take a moment and thank everybody for coming to the shows I did here in Barcelona, thank you so much…..(?) to come out here like this and to have your silence and your, and your collaboration is, is a gift that you give me and so I thank you for it, thank you…..this is, uh….this is a song, this was the last song that I wrote for the ´Tom Joad´-record and, uh, I think, you know (a part missing from the source tape)….and in the end it comes down to the things that you do and the things that you don´t do….and I guess that´s what this is about, in the, uh, in the mid-´80s, uh, actually at the end of the Vietnam War, there were a lot of Vietnamese refugees that settled in the Gulf Coast of Texas and they went into the fishing industry and there was a lot of tension between the Vietnamese fishermen and the Texas fishermen, many of who´d fought and served in Vietnam….so this is called ´Galveston Bay´….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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