Story 1996-11-26 Asbury Park, NJ

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´For You´
´´Greetings from Asbury Park…..´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´Thank you….thanks…..this is a, uh, this is a song about, uh….how it’s hard to be a saint in the city, I guess….this is, uh, a fellow gets out of prison, trying to find his way back into his family and back into the world, trying to learn how to be new….I think everybody reaches a place where their old answers run out on ´em and….their old ways of doing things, but it’s hard to let those things go….sometimes those are the things that just feel like you, they’re how you know yourself even if they´re the things that are killing you, so everybody´s done a little straight time….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Tougher Than the Rest´
´´(?) two lovely young ladies….any red headed women in the house ? (?)(chuckles)(Patti and Soozie come onstage)….(a guy yells) hold on now, buddy, hold on (chuckles) I´m not that excited (?) of course….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Johnny 99´
´´(someone yells: ´Thunder Road´) I ain´t gonna play that old warhorse now ! (chuckles)….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´All That Heaven Will Allow´
´´Thanks, oh, got a friend of mine, gonna play with me, where are you, Rich ?….bring that drum out….this is a, this is a friend of mine, Richard Blackwell, we grew up, grew up in the same neighbourhood….Richard played on the, uh, on the Wild and the Innocent-record back in the mid-70’s….we had a weird, a weird experience the first time I was ever out of New Jersey, I hadn’t seen Richard in a long time and I…..went to California, drove from New Jersey to California in three days and I ended up in Big Sur which, this place called Esalen Institute which was sort of some early new-age-kind-of whammy jammy but, uh (chuckles) but, uh….I was in the middle of this big redwood forest, you know, and had no idea where I was, drove three days straight, 72 hours, we got out and I got up the next morning, I started to wander around and I heard these drums in the woods and uh (chuckles) yeah, you know what’s coming, I followed the sound of these drums in the woods, I’m going into this big redwood forest, I don’t know where I am and….you know, and all of a sudden in the clearing, there’s this guy playing the drums, you know, I go like….´Richard ?´ (chuckles) he goes like ‘Bruce ?’ (chuckles) well, so we meet again (chuckles)….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Wild Billy´s Circus Story´
´´I can’t, uh, explain you what a twisted state of mind I must’ve been in when I wrote this next song but I’ve got just the man to help me with it, come on (chuckles) come on out (Danny Federici comes onstage)….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Red Headed Woman´
´´Thank you….thanks…..I've been, uh, travelling around the country promoting cunnilingus on this tour (chuckles) and, uh, it´s the least I can do for my country (chuckles) I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly….and the chances are, if you can pronounce it, you can probably do it, that´s right, try it, cunnilingus! see, cunnilingus! you´re ready ! (chuckles) I got a lot of theories about cunnilingus, I got a political theory which is that if Bob Dole hadn't pushed that 15 percent tax cut and instead promoted cunnilingus in the place of it, he might be president now….(?) ´This is Bob Dole, Bob Dole stands for a strong America, prosperity in every home, Bob Dole stands for cunnilingus´….see ? he would have, uh, he would´ve had it ….you know Ross Perot, he ain´t about to promote no cunnilingus….he may wonder what it´s about, ´Let´s open the hood, check under the hood and see what all that cunnilingus is about´ (chuckles) it´s, uh (?) Pat Buchanan, he´d be ´Cunny-what ?´ (chuckles) so my theory is that´s how Bill Clinton got elected, he´s the only candidate people could actually imagine practicing cunnilingus and, uh, that´s good for the country, I don't care what anybody says, I do mean practising though because it's not as easy as it looks….no! takes a little practice, takes a while to get that down, takes, uh (a woman screams) (chuckles) what ? can´t do that ! (chuckles) no volunteers please ! (chuckles) oh, look out, baby, you´re taking your life in your hands up here tonight ! (chuckles) but, uh, (?) takes a lot of (chuckles) a lot of practice, a lot of attention and craft and a lot of detail, it takes a lot of, uh, patience, patience and more patience, unfortunately (chuckles) the upside is you score a lot of points with the missus, next time you do something stupid, you can always stand back and say ´Darling, remember that lovely evening when we practiced cunnilingus ?´….and she´ll say ´If you think that makes a difference….that was pretty nice, let´s do that again´, alright, so !….I got a mission in life….(chuckles) come on now….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Two Hearts´ (following ‘Red Headed Woman’)
´´I burned !….all those nasty thoughts burned that guitar right up (chuckles) oh, are there any red headed women in the house ? (Patti and Soozie return) uh, uh, who put that in the setlist ? you’re fired ! (chuckles)(mumbles)(chuckles) I was feeling real cocky there for a minute (?) feeling my mojo (chuckles) uh, alright, Terry, fire the man that put that in the song, alright (chuckles) it’s a metaphor for true love, darling (chuckles) just a metaphor (Patti: ‘Right !’) (chuckles) now I´m gonna get the bow where it ain´t supposed to go in a minute (chuckles) that’s alright ´cause I’ll put my money where my mouth is, alright (chuckles)….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´When You´re Alone´ (following ‘Two Hearts’)
´´(some guy yells) Good for you ! (chuckles) I’m glad (some woman yells) yeah, but that one before that, that’s a divorce song (chuckles)…..´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Shut Out the Light´
´´(?)….we had a, uh, couple of weeks ago was Veteran’s Day, it’s one of those holidays that sort of gets lost in all the shopping (chuckles) and uh, it’s kind of a shame because, uh…. people forget….what those days are supposed to mean, I guess, I remember when I was, I was a little kid and there was…..a park on the edge of town and it was, uh, just a little tiny, tiny park right where the, our main street forked and it was always filled with all these little white crosses and when I was young, I used to think that was so beautiful, you know, I used to wanna get out of the car and, and run all through ´em, you know….and uh, uh, and it was always, whenever we came past that park I always knew we were coming home and, you know, you always had that, that, that feeling of feeling safe or something, and as I got older, I said (?) there was something on all of ´em…..and I said, you know, ´What´s, what´s on those crosses ?´, you know, she said ´Well, those are the names…..of all the men that, uh, that died in the war from our town….you know, like, your uncle’s there and´….and, uh, this is a song I wrote, I guess, early-80´s about a fellow coming back from Vietnam….this is for any of the veterans out there tonight (?)….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´This is Kevin Buell (?)….a hometown fellow from up in Wanamassa… of those great New Jersey names in the great tradition of Hohocus, (?), Secaucus (chuckles)…(someone yells out a town name) that´s nice, that´s nice, very good (someone yells out another town name) lovely (another town name) oh, wonderful (chuckles) alright, alright (chuckles) but, uh, I used to live in Wanamassa up in the industrial park (chuckles)(someone claps) oh, that´s, the man´s been here two nights in a row, the, uh, the other person, the other person that lived in the industrial park in 1969 (chuckles) couldn´t´ve been more than two….I lived in a, uh, I lived in a surfboard factory….and, uh, that´s what the, uh, how I took up surfing and ended up at the (?) Bay, that´s right, you didn´t know that, did you ?….and I went over to the pipeline after that (?) Beach, right around five, five at night and that was it for my surfing career (chuckles) figured I´d done it all by then (chuckles) but, uh, oh…..this is a song, I was in, uh….uh, used to take some trips out around the Southwest was always the part of the country that really fascinated me, something about, I don´t know, the size of the sky (?) ´bout six years ago I was on this trip with some friends of mine and, uh, we were in this little desert town, it was, uh, late at night and if you get off the interstates, um, you can always, you can tell, you know, when you´re starting to get out towards the middle of the country, there´s a sign that says ´No more 7-11s after this sign´….that´s supposed to scare you and send you running back (chuckles) but we were in this little motel in this little four-corner desert town, they´re all the same, there´s a gas-station, there´s a motel, there´s a grocery store and a bar, all the necessities for human life to flourish, that´s right (chuckles) and, uh, uh, it was… was in late fall and we were in one of these little motels where you can sort of lay down at the end of your bed and if the door´s open, you can see your car parked right outside (chuckles) very comforting a sight….motels where for some reason you´re always asking ´Yeah, yeah, yeah, check on the car, will you ? did you check the car ?´….but, uh, it was late at night, you know, those lovely, lovely fall nights, it was probably about 85 degrees, it was, I think, late September and, uh, we were sitting outside and playing some cards and these two Mexican men came in from the west and took the room next to us and one was a young kid and one was a fellow about my age…..mature side, you know (chuckles) and, uh, he come over and looked at our motorcycles, we were on motorcycles, and he started talking about his brother, he´d had a brother that´d died in a Southern California motorcycle accident and, uh…..there was something in his voice that always stayed with me, always stayed with me after that, I think partly ´cause we were about to have our own kids and… know, along with all that….wonderful stuff, there comes a whole extra dose of fear, you know, of putting all your heart in one place that in the end you know you don´t have much control over….you know, I was worried about protecting ´em and I think that first line of family is always how to protect the ones that come after you…..and you know that the world doesn´t really set itself up so you can do that no matter what…, uh….
I was writing this song about, about the drug trade in Central California…..and uh….these Mexican gangs come up and, and hire migrant workers to work in the druglabs where you can make as much in a night or two as you would in a year of real hard labor….and a song about two brothers…..I had my friend´s voice in my head…..I don´t know how people, when they suffer that kind of loss, put themselves back together or, or get the world to, uh, feel right again….ok….uh (?) tomatoes, alright….get a little hungry up here once in a while (chuckles) but anyway, I always send this song out to him every night, my mysterious friend, wherever he may be…..this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´The Line´
´´Thank you….this, uh…..this next song, this is set, set down in San Diego, right on the border and, uh….you get a lot of young guys that come out of the army, end up going to work for….for the border patrol and, uh, it´s a confusing job….uh…..(?) the issue was so distorted during, oh, if you could stop using those little flashcameras for a while, I´d appreciate it….I´ll stand here and shake my heiny at the end of the night (chuckles)….but uh…..that was an issue that was so distorted during the last election, you know, I mean, uh…..(?) the Republicans believing there were violent criminals in mass rushing across the border straight into the voting booths and voting for Bill Clinton (chuckles)(?) ´I´m telling you that that´s what´s happening´ (chuckles) but, uh… know, there´s been people for a long time coming across the border that are doing jobs that nobody else wants to do….they´re the people really who get the food on our tables….and, uh, working for wages that nobody else wants to work for at the behest of American businesses and in return their kids would have a shot at getting a little bit of an education and, uh, getting treated if they were, if they were sick…, but, anyway, this is a, uh, song about a young border patrolman trying to figure out where that line really is…..´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Racing in the Street´
´´Thank you….this next song, this was, uh….always one of my favorite songs….sort of, uh…. it came about….out of….some conversations I had in a bar right here in town with a young fella….back in, uh, I guess it was the 70´s….he used to come into town on the weekends and tow his car in and, uh….this was, uh….I´ll do this tonight for my good friend Matt and for Ed ….youse´ve been such good friends to me….there was always a lot of you guys in this too….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´Yeah…..when I was, uh…..I grew up in a, in a house where you weren´t exposed to a lot of culture or anything, there wasn´t a lot of talk about what novels you read or films you saw or art and, uh….everybody was pretty busy keeping their heads above water, I guess, uh….the first thing I really remember was, uh…..the radio on in the kitchen in the morning, you know, when I´d come down in my little green tie and my little green jacket on and (chuckles)….and I´d sit there, you know, sucking up my cornflakes with my sister and my mother was a young girl at the time and she really liked that rock and roll music and so she´d have the Top 40- station on in the morning…..and the first thing I ever remember was, uh, just the sound of the singers´ voices, you know, the, the excitement…..excitement, an excitement that I couldn´t imagine, you know, and after a while I started to hear like a message underneath everything, you know, and it was saying ´Well, there´s a party going on…´re missing it, little boy´ (chuckles) and, uh… know, it was just some feeling of all the happiness and the pain that the world could hold coming out of those, out of those little records, you know, stuff that people thought was junk ended up being really subversive because it made you think, made you dream, made you imagine a world bigger than the one you knew and a life that was worth risking things for, you know, worth seeking out, uh….(?) was a service from all those little 49 cent records that I´ll never really be able to repay in the end, you know, but, uh….it was, it was a real connection to the beauty and vitality of life, you know, and the mystery and for a long time all those records sustained me, they sustained me, you know, and, uh….. you know, a little town can be a pretty….tough and ugly place sometimes but you always had that, you could always go home and…..and put on that music…..but, uh, when I was 26, a friend of mine showed me John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath and there was something in the film that, I got something from that film that I got from all those records, I remember sitting there at the end of it watching the credits roll, thinking that that was what I wanted to do, I wanted to do work that would mean something….that was about something and I, I would…..I would try to inspire people, you know (chuckles) and, uh….uh….because, you know, I felt, ´cause I felt that inspiration and there was a thing, there was something in, in, in that record, in the, in the film and in the novel, the Steinbeck novel, and it was in the, really was in those records too, I found, I always found something, something heroic in them, you know, in a sense that people trying to make a connection, instead of hiding, coming out, showing themselves….and in The Grapes of Wrath particularly was an idea, there was somebody risking something, risking what they had for an idea that was bigger than they were, you know….and there´s a, you know, it sort of throws you back on all the questions of, of….is, is there such a thing as individual salvation or is everybody connected in the end in some fashion….there´s a scene at the end of the movie that really sort of hits it right on the head, uh, Tom Joad´s killed a security guard who´s killed a friend of his and he´s gonna have to leave his family and he knows he´s gonna have to tell his mother that after she´s lost her home and she´s lost family members and they´ve come thousands of miles and they have nothing that she´s gonna lose her son now and there´s nothing that anybody can do to change that…..but uh…..before that scene there´s a dance and it´s shot very lovely and people´s faces, the way people are holding one another on the dancefloor….and to me, that was always John Ford holding out, holding up beauty and saying….that even in a brutal world, you know, that that beauty exists and that it´s useful, it´s useful and it´s powerful in a sense that it leads you to hope and faith and, and divine love or whatever you like to call it, you know….uh….after that scene, Tom slips in, touches his mother, says ´I gotta go now´, they step out underneath the trees….and she says ´Well, I knew this day would come but… am I gonna know if you´re well, how will I ever see you again, how am I gonna know if you´re alive ?´….and he says ´Well, I don´t know, all I know is I gotta go out and I gotta kick around, I gotta see what´s wrong and see if there´s something that I can do about it…..and uh…´ll see me because at…..I´ll be in that darkness that surrounds you when you´re sleeping at night, Mama….I´ll be there and I´ll be in the way that men, in men´s voices when they´re yelling ´cause they´re angry or in the way that kids sound when they´re laughing and they´re coming in and they know they got a home and that it´s safe and there´s food on the table´….he says ´You´ll see me, you´ll see me there´….and he disappears into the night, the next morning the Joads are heading for work ….and the father says ´What are we gonna do without Tommy ?´ and the mother says ´Well, we´re gonna keep going´….so this is a song about….uh….a message that I heard…..I guess, in all the beautiful things that I´ve been lucky enough to have come into my life and about how people keep going, how even after the world deals its harshest blows….and reveals itself, people fall back on hope and faith and love and ultimately on each other because that´s all there is….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Spirit in the Night´
´´Alright….hey, Vini ! Mad Dog Vincent Lopez is in the house !….come on out, we got a fellow that, uh, this is the fella, I slept on his floor when I wrote most of the songs for Greetings from Asbury Park, my old good friend, all the way from Ireland tonight, Big Danny Gallagher !….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Rosalita´
´´Big Danny Gallagher ! (chuckles) he was kind enough to….he lent me his floor….we got dumped, we got evicted from our apartment on Cookman and Main and I walked past his house and he was sitting out on the porch and I said ´Man, I just got thrown out of my place´, ´Well, you can sleep here´, you know (chuckles) so it was me and my sleeping bag….over on Webb….good to see the man, he looks good (chuckles)….woah ! where are you, baby ?….are you out there, that´s what I wanna know…..well, there is a little cafe (chuckles) on the other side of the border….she was sitting there giving me food to make my mouth water….ooh ! ….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´This Hard Land´
´´Thank you…..I wanna thank everybody for coming out to the shows here in Asbury, thank you very much….we had such a great time, a lot of fun…..(?)….here´s a, uh, oh….thanks, we’re here tonight for the Asbury Park Fire Department and uh….that´s right….and for the Women’s Center of Monmouth County, yeah….they´re out there, they´re helping victims of domestic, domestic violence, they´ve got a 24-hour hotline and an emergency shelter, a family intervention program, they´re a good organization in this area, they deserve and they need your support so please check them out, the Women’s Center of Monmouth County…. this goes out to them….´´

26.11.96 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´Sandy´
´´Hell, let´s all do this one, come on, Steve….bring ´em out…..(chuckles)….(?) come on, Red, Sooz….well, this has been a hell of three days, we had so much fun….uh….we had so much fun, it was really, uh, great to have a chance, it´s great that this theater is here now in town, it´s lovely to be able to come back into the town and play…uh….I always say that Asbury was, uh, when I first came here, I was 18, it was a little more open than the towns surrounding it, you know, people sort of left you alone a little bit more and, uh, we were here, all here making our music and we were pretty invisible which suited us, suited us fine ….uh….you know, it was really, uh, a little bit of the taste of the city actually, there were so many musicians here…..uh, it was a place where you could, you could have time to find yourself and the kind of music you wanted to play, I met so many good people here…..Mad Dog Vini Lopez, Big Danny Gallagher, Garry Tallent, Southside, they´re all people I met here in Asbury, uh….you know, wrote a lot of my early work here on the beach or on Big Danny´s livingroom floor over on Cookman and Main and, uh….we put, really was the seeds of the band that really, that took us all, took us all around the world and, and friendships that have really lasted, lasted me a lifetime, it´s pretty amazing….uh….(?) I got a chance the other night just watch my kids running around the theater bringing the whole thing sort of full circle, uh….guess all I´m really saying is I´m a pretty lucky guy and, uh, I´m just glad to be here in town tonight and be able to play for you (?)…..this song was written, uh, as a goodbye song, I wrote it at the time when my life was changing and I didn´t know what was gonna, what was up ahead or what to expect…..uh, but it was a little more than a goodbye song, it was a, it was a love note too so, uh…..this is for Asbury, wishing that, wishing that the best may be yet to come…..´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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