Story 1997-02-05 Brisbane, Australia

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Adam Raised a Cain´
"Thank you, good evening…Hello….hello, Brisbane….nice to be back….(someone yells) I know, I know, I know, I was telling somebody last night I, I got married a few times and it got a little confusing in there (chuckles)….but, uh, been back and I….been in Brisbane a few days, got a chance to sort of, you know, do the tourist thing….went up to, uh, Lemington National Forest and uh (cheers) yeah, it´s very nice….got my, uh, picture taken in front of those kangaroo crossing signs there….gotta do that, that´s big back in the States, ´Kangaroo crossing ! I´m telling you, kangaroos crossing´ (chuckles) and it´s, uh….(?) got my picture taken with a koala bear, yeah….that´s big with the kids, gonna be big with the kids, right (chuckles) so, uh…. working on my Australian….G´day, mate (chuckles)(cheers) thank you, thank you, fed a, uh, bush turkey an ice-cream cone, that was fun (chuckles)….oh, alright, here we go….so, anyway, welcome, enjoy yourself….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Straight Time´
‘‘Thank you, this is a, uh….this is a song about a fellow….who gets out of prison and he´s trying to find his way….back into his family, back into the world and uh….I think he´s trying to figure out how to….how to be new, everybody reaches that point in your life where your old answers, they run out on you and uh, you gotta figure out how to be new…to get where you wanna go….but that can be pretty hard to do, particularly, I think, when all our old habits and things are the ways that we know ourselves….and uh, whether, even if those things are bringing us down….so, this is somebody caught in the middle of….of that, this is ´Straight Time´….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Highway 29´
‘‘Thank you, this is a, uh….song about uh….insight, I guess, guess it´s about the price of insight, insight´s always expensive, it seems….and uh, this is a song about sudden insight, I was telling the folks last night, sudden insight is very expensive because that only comes after you´ve fucked up very badly, unfortunately (chuckles) that´s when ´Oh ! Yeah, that´s ….that wasn´t me, it was somebody else, I know better now´ (chuckles) anyway….sudden insight for a salesman here, this is ´Highway 29´….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´It´s the Little Things That Count´
‘‘I was, uh….visiting my mother….and I met a friend of mine and he asked me to come over for dinner….so I borrowed my mother´s white Cadillac….and I get on the…..interstate of a…. can’t be mentioned right now for….uh, soon to be obvious reasons….uh, and I’m, uh…. heading in towards my friend’s house, about a 40-minute ride, but I get in a real, uh, lot of traffic, don’t really know where I’m going….and I decide I’m gonna practise some of my new-found maturity and I’m gonna pull over and I’m gonna find a phone booth and call ‘em and tell ‘em I’m gonna be late….so I get off the….the interstate and I pull into what seems to be like a big industrial area on the fringe of a major city (chuckles) and, and everything seems to be closed or boarded up and I’m getting a little frustrated and I look down and a few streets ahead, I see a bar on the corner….I pull up, I park the Cadillac, I go inside…. there’s a few people sitting around and I ask ‘em where the phone booth is and I realise that….I only have a 20-dollar bill… I go to the bartender and….I say ‘Gee, I gotta make a phonecall, can you give me change for a twenty ?’….he says ‘Well, we don´t really give any change around here’….I say ‘Oh, do you mean like….just nobody in this bar gives change or has the whole community sort of banded together and said ‘Fuck ‘em, no more change when they stop ?’…uh, he didn’t say anything but there’s a waitress watching all of this transpire, she comes over to me and…..holds her hand up like this and she’s got a quarter so I say ‘Thank you’ and take the quarter and go to the phone booth and I put the money in….dial my friend’s number….but it seems that I’m just a little bit outside the area code and it’s a 50-cent call….so I say to her ‘Gee’, I say, ‘this call’s 50 cents’, she says ‘Well….that’s too bad, isn’t it ? (chuckles)…but, uh….but I’ll give you another quarter if you give me a ride home’ (no response from the crowd) that’s the story (chuckles) this is the song……uh, oh, wait, before I start, this happened a….. very, very long time ago….actually, actually I, I’m, I’m making all this completely up….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Red Headed Woman´
´´Thanks, uh, speaking of tongues, I´d like to move on to a great song about a great subject right now….it may be a time, if there´s any young children in the audience, it may be a good time to take ´em to the pee-pee room, I´m not sure (chuckles) just a fair warning, we´re entering into the triple X part of the (chuckles)(?) just hold the ears, yeah, but, you see, it´s a great song about a great subject that I´ve been trying to promote on my current world tour, cunnilingus (audience laughs) that´s right, thank you, and I hope, thank you very much, thank you, I´m not sure, uh, if, uh, I´m pronouncing that exactly correctly or if there´s a particular Australian term or pronounciation, I….I asked, uh, one of my Australian friends backstage, I said ´Gee, you know, cunnilingus, he says ´Uh, uh, uh, they´re not gonna know what you´re fucking talking about, mate´ (chuckles) so, but I said ´No, I don´t believe that, they, they don´t call it ´Down Under´ for nothing, you know´ and uh (chuckles) so….so I assume that, uh, that right now as I´m speaking that the cunnilingus hopefully is being practised throughout Brisbane (chuckles) and uh, make it a very happy town, that´s right (chuckles) I was telling the folks last night, I do mean practise because, uh….as you fellas know, that´s not as easy as it looks, you know (chuckles) but it´s like riding a bike : once you get it down, you never forget it (chuckles) so, so, uh, uh, what can I say, it takes a lot of, you know, attention to craft and detail and you gotta have good cheer, you gotta go in there with a good attitude, you know, and uh (chuckles) and it takes patience, patience and more patience, you gotta have (chuckles) and the upside is you score a lot of big points with the Mrs. (laughter) yes (?) thank you, girls, thank you and uh (chuckles) the next time you get into a big argument or something, you know, and, and, like you´ve done something stupid, like all men are bound to do, you know, uh, you can stop and say ´Oh, but, darling, remember that lovely evening when we practised cunnilingus ?´ (chuckles) and uh, she´ll say ´If you think that that´s gonna make a, hmmm, that was pretty nice (chuckles) let´s try that again´, alright, so anyway….are there any red headed women in the house out there ? (cheers)(chuckles)….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Two Hearts´
‘‘Oh, wow ! yeah, I felt the Macarena coming on there for a minute (laughs) that was my mistake, you see, I should´ve called the record The Ghost of Tom Macarena, goddammit, I would´ve sold some records (?)(chuckles)….woh ! alright (?)….just tell her that ´cunnilingus´ is Latin for ´Be very kind to your parents´, right (laughs) very good….here´s for my red headed woman….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Brothers Under the Bridges´
‘‘Here´s a, uh… the mid-80´s there was a….a small group of Vietnam Vets, homeless Vietnam Vets in the States that set up a camp….in the San Gabriel Mountains, those are the, that´s a mountain range just outside of Los Angeles….uh….on the edge of the…..western Mojave Desert and uh….they got tired of living on the streets of the city and they set up this small camp way back in the mountains….and uh, this is a story about one of ´em who, uh, has a grown daughter that he´s never seen….and she grows up and twenty years later she, she comes into the mountains looking for her daddy and what he tells her….this is called ´Brothers Under the Bridges´….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´Oh, thank you….this is a, uh….a song about men and women (someone hollers) yeah, ain´t it wonderful ? (chuckles) and uh ….I didn´t write about men and women for a long time….I thought I was….ended up nothing being so….wrote about men in cars….I did pretty good with that for a while….and uh, men in cars looking at women….that worked out pretty well too….then I wrote about men and women in cars….but not really not talking that much….so, uh, it took me a while and a good deal of spare change to figure that out (chuckles) but goddammit, I, I, I still don´t quite understand it (chuckles) but uh, this is a song about, uh…. about one of those relationships where, gee, it´s pretty good, you know….there´s something going on and you really, you know, you care about the other person….and uh, it might work out if you sort of weren´t so busy like fucking it up all the time, you know (chuckles) might be alright…but uh….the only thing I did find out was, uh….in men and women, ´almost´ never counts….it´s gotta be all or nothing at all, so this is ´Dry, Dry Lightning´….sort of one of those relationships where you go ´Hmmm, wonder where that person is now ?´, not that you´d really wanna know, it´s just nice to wonder (chuckles)….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Long Time Coming´
‘‘Thank you, this is a, uh, sort of a continuation on that theme….this is uh….(?) and uh, but this is kind of a happy song, you know, I don´t too many of those because, uh, people generally don´t like ´em, you know (chuckles) but uh, this is sort of, they, they come back and bite you in the ass later too, that´s right (chuckles)(?) but uh, oh, but you gotta give it a, you gotta roll the dice and see what happens…..this is a new song called ´Long Time Coming´….(?)….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Thank you, this is, uh, I´d like to introduce Kevin Buell right there (chuckles)….my compandre, traveling companion, my guitar man, guru….yogi….financial counsellor….sexual advisor (chuckles) the Dr.Ruth of rock and roll, that man is, I´m telling you….very often I call him up (?)(chuckles) but uh….I was, uh….this is a, uh….before I had, we had our kids, I used to….I still do sometimes but I used to get away with these three friends of mine and we´d travel all through the United States and we´d, uh, it was about six years ago, we took a trip through, uh….uh, the Southwestern part of the country, out through Arizona and Nevada and, uh, uh, the California desert and….we´d stay off all the interstates and we´d just take all the little state- and county roads….and uh, it´s still very, very beautiful but uh….it was… the fall, I was in this little desert town in Western Arizona and uh….sort of classic little desert town, there´s hundreds of ´em out there every hundred miles or so….they have four corners and there´s a grocery store, a gas-station, there´s a motel and there´s a bar….all the, uh, elements for a human life to flourish, right (chuckles) in one spot, they, they´ve figured it out but uh….it was late at night, we were in one of these motels where, I was telling the folks last night, you can, uh, lay down at the end of your bed and if the door´s open, you can touch your car, you know, in the parking lot (chuckles) ´Yeah, uh, it´s still there´ ´Check the car´ but uh, but uh, and it was about 11.30 at night, these two Mexican men came in from the West, they were driving a truck, took the room next to us and one was a young kid, he was kind of high and, uh, the other was a fellow about my age and, uh, he come over and start looking at our motorcycles and ….we got talking and he had a younger brother that´d died in a….Southern California motorcycle accident a few months earlier….and he talked for about an hour about his….his brother, there was something in his voice that always sort of stayed in the back of my head, you know…..and uh….part of it is, I think, I was just about to….be, to be a dad and…..the first thing that happens, you know, is you´re always worried about protecting, you know, protecting ´em, you know that the world isn´t set up for you to really do that in the end….but uh….so this fella had, he´d suffered the loss of his brother and I, I was….I don´t know how people put themselves back together after that, how they get the world feel right again….you know….but I was writing a song on, uh….two brothers that get caught up in the Central California drug trade, Mexican gangs come up and hire migrant workers from the Central Valley to work in, in the drug labs, they´re the ones that, you can make as much in a night as you would in, in a year of traveling from Mexico to Oregon…. doing, you know, back-breaking work so….but they´re the ones that usually get busted or killed and….and uh….I kept hearing this fella´s voice in the back of my head so I dedicate this to him every night, my mysterious friend wherever he may be…. this is called, uh, ´Sinaloa Cowboys´…..”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´The Line´
‘‘Thank you, this uh, this next is set down in Southern California, right on the, uh….the border between San Diego and….and Mexico….there´s a lot of young guys that get out of…. they get out of the army and they go to work for the California border patrol and that´s a confusing job….it´s uh….you know, there´s a Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes said California was Mexico till about 1848 so the border sits there like a scar….and it´s been an issue in the States, the immigration issue has been so abused….during the last American election, you know, there´s always been people coming across the border, doing work that….nobody else wants to do for a pay that nobody else will take at the behest of American businesses….and in return they get some medical care if they got sick or, or their kids would have the chance of a better education than they had but uh….anyway, this is about a fella, fella, a young border patrolman trying to….trying to figure out where that line is down there….this is called ´The Line´….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´Thank you….here´s another, here´s another song that´s set on the border down there, uh…. it´s a song about kids….and uh, it´s a funny thing, you know, before I…..before I had my own kids, a lot of my friends had ´em first and so, you know, like they´d come running over and they had the baby pictures and that´s great for the first two or three weeks but then they keep coming in with the baby pictures and everything´s about the baby and the baby´s in the diaper, baby´s out of the diaper, baby´s pissing in the pot for the first time, uh, baby´s doing this, doing that and uh…. it gets a little tiring after a while….but uh, but then it´s worse ´cause they sort of, they get a little older and they bring ´em over….and uh… know, you can´t, like I was telling the folks last night, I lived alone for 30 years and I really don´t like anybody touching my shit so ….but they come over and they, they just start running around and you can´t really yell at somebody else´s kid so all you can do is sit there and go (snickers quietly) ´Ooh, he´s got a lot of energy´….´Ooh, ooh, yeah´ (chuckles) ´Oh, gee´, you know (chuckles) but the thing is that, it´s a funny thing, after you have your own of course, you know, you become sensitive to, to everybody else´s, you know, and uh, people always wonder what the main difference that the kids make in your life is, I always say, like, children got a window onto the grace that´s in the world ´cause they haven´t closed themselves up yet and that that grace comes through them and it comes into your life and it´s sort of like a bonus, I guess, you know (chuckles) and uh….that´s something that on your own, I think, as an adult, it can get harder to get a hold of….which is why I think people seek out art and films and uh, uh, music and engage in unusual sexual practises also (chuckles) it gets that grace back in (?) but uh….uh, this is a song about kids that come across the border and they´re 12 or 13 or 14, 15 years old and uh, the thing about that grace is it is the parents´….role to, you´re protective of that, you know, you shepherd that, that very thing….and uh, it´s your job (chuckles) and this is about kids that really don´t have anybody to do that for ´em and so they end up coming across the border, they end up in this strip called Twelfth Street….out on the street and uh, it´s a song about what happens when that grace….goes unprotected, gets violated…..this is called ´Balboa Park´….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´Thank you, I, uh….I grew up in a house where there wasn´t a whole lot of books or talk about culture or what it could do for you and uh….everybody was sort of busy working and keeping, trying to keep their heads above water….and uh, so the first thing that really had an effect on me was the, was the radio, my mother would play the radio constantly, you know, she was, when I was in grammar school, she was still a young gal and she really liked that rock and roll music, you know, and uh….so I´d come down into the kitchen in the morning and the radio´d be on and I´d listen to all those, you know, great Top 40-records and, and I´d be sitting there with my little Catholic school uniform on and my sister´d be there beside me, we´d be eating our cornflakes….and slowly I felt like I started to hear this message….it seemed to be saying ´There´s a party going….you´re missing it, little boy….don´t go to school´ (chuckles) and oh, man, there was just, there was something in those voices, there was this whole world of fun and, uh, and sex and danger and, and the idea like there was, you know, life was to be risked, you know, there was….and it was the first really, it was like the message from outside my little town, from outer space, for all intents and purposes, you know, and uh, uh, it really gave you a sense that there was a world to be won outside of just the world that you knew, you know, and in that way those records were truly subversive, truly subversive….and uh, they lasted, for me, they really resonated for me for a long time…. then I got a little older and a friend of mine showed me John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath….and that, for me, was sort of the second part of the puzzle, you know, uh….I found something in that film and in the Steinbeck novel that, that made some of those voices make sense, that there was a world to be risked and won for a reason, there was an old-fashioned sense of heroism in that story, somebody risking what they have for an idea that was bigger than they were….that was worth doing….but uh, there´s a scene at the end of the film that sort of encapsules the whole thing, you know, Tom Joad´s killed a vigilante man who killed his friend and he´s gotta leave his family and they´ve come thousands of miles and they have nothing, they´ve lost their home…..and he´s gonna have to tell his mother that she´s gonna lose her son now and there´s nothing they can do about it…. he steps into her cabin at night and he touches her real gently and they step out underneath these dark trees and he says ´I gotta go now, Ma´ and she says, she says ´Well, I knew this day would come but….how am I gonna know if you´re alive now ? how am I gonna know that you haven´t been hurt, that you´ll be alright ? Will I ever see you again ?´, he says ´I don´t know, I don´t know, all I know´s I gotta go out and see what´s wrong and see if there´s anything I can do about it….you´ll see me ´cause at night I´ll be in that darkness that surrounds you when you´re sleeping….and I´ll be in men´s voices when they´re yelling ´cause they´re angry and I´ll be in kids´ laughter when they´re coming in and they know that there´s food on the table and that they got a home and that they´re safe´….he says ´You´ll see me, Ma´ and he disappears into the night, the next day the Joads are heading north looking for work and the father says ´What are we gonna do without Tommy ?´, the mother says ´Well, we´re gonna keep going´ ….so this is a song about how people keep going, how even after the world deals you its harshest blows and reveals itself, as it will to all of us at some time or another, how people fall back on faith and hope and love and ultimately….on one
another ´cause that´s all there is ….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street ?´
´´Thank you….thank you very much….alright, this is for all my real old friends, old fans out there….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´This Hard Land´
´´(?) if you can hold those little flashcameras, I promise at the end of the night I´ll step on up and you can take all the pictures you want, alright ?….appreciate it, this is uh….when we came, uh, coming down to Australia, a local organization got in touch with me, they´re the South Brisbane Immigration and Community Legal Service and they´re a (?) for the asylum seekers and uh….they´ll be out in the lobby, now, basically they work here in the Brisbane area and they provide counsel and legal assistance to, uh, the refugee and the immigrant community and they sort of work to ensure that the right to justice doesn´t depend on how much money you have or the color of your skin or where you´re from so….they´ll be out in the lobby, they have some information, you could check them out if you like, I´m gonna do this for them….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ‘There Will Never Be Any Other For Me But You’
´´Thank you, thank you, gonna do a little more here, this is for all the….the lovers in the crowd tonight, ladies and gentlemen, that´s right, this is ´The Boss in….in a romantic mood´ (chuckles)….we got anybody out there about to get married ? (few yells)….about to get divorced ? (few yells) ….alright, this is for you too here, you know what I´m saying…it´s a song, kind of covers all the bases, uh….alright….meditation on love….my message….starts off a little….unusually….for a romantic piece….but, uh, don´t let that scare you, pull your girl close ….put your arm around her….give her a little kiss on the cheek….”

05.02.97 Brisbane, Australia, intro to ´If I Should Fall Behind´
´´Thank you very much….want to thank everybody for coming out to the shows we did here in Brisbane, thank you very much, uh….you know….you see, you know, I hadn´t, uh, it was so, it was such a long time since I´ve been back, I was a little nervous, I said ´Gee (?) they´ll pissed off or mad ?´ (chuckles) but, but, uh, I wanna thank you for making me feel so at home, it´s been, uh, I´ve had just great audiences here both nights, you´ve been very lovely and I really appreciate it and having the room to come up here and play like this is a, is a gift that you give you so thank you very much, I appreciate it….you´re beautiful (chuckles)….”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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