Story 1997-02-17 Melbourne, Australia

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Atlantic City´
´´Good evening, thank you…..welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome¸ welcome, uh, let me see, last night here in Australia, I hate to go (chuckles) it´s been nice, been mighty nice….but uh, anyway, I´m just gonna continue on, a friend of mine said he heard somebody singing out here last night all night so, uh, I just wanna let you know it´s a community event, the songs are kind of quiet so if anybody´s, uh, making too much noise, feel free to band together and very politely ask them to shut the fuck up….and uh, yeah, cameras (some woman yells ´I love you´) oh !….and I´m sure if I knew you, I´d love you right back, you know, it´s (chuckles)….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´This is a song about, uh, trying to let go of your old….bad habits, I guess and uh….it´s funny, a friend of mine was talking backstage (?)…..plenty of people who´ve sort of been unable to do that end up with a lot of stories and nobody to tell ´em to (chuckles) but, uh, this is a song about a fella who gets out of prison, trying to find his way back into his family life, a way back into the world….but it´s hard to let your old way of doing things go, I think that´s sometimes, those are the things by which we know ourselves, how we feel comfortable with ourselves….and it´s not easy to let them go and learn how to be new….even if they´re killing you….it´s still hard to do that straight time…..”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Highway 29´
´´Thanks, this is a song about…..I guess, the price of not knowing yourself, you sort of go crazy….when I was, uh, when I was younger, I, uh…..I knew myself pretty well, like I say, it´s only evidence, uh, on how little you know yourself when you get like that (chuckles) so this is a song about the price of insight which gets more expensive the older you get and uh …..the cost of sudden insight, which is of course very expensive because it only comes after you´ve fucked up very badly, unfortunately (chuckles) you sort of get into the booby prize (chuckles)….this is a song about a shoesalesman and sudden insight…..”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Highway Patrolman´
´´(?)….alright, this is for, uh, Mike Wallace, if you´re out there (chuckles)…..”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Freehold´
´´This next song is a little unusual….uh….I´ve actually only played this song 17,000 miles from home (chuckles) but, uh, I went back and I….played at my Catholic grammar school on this tour….yeah, and, uh, which I guess was sort of (?) it just goes to show the older you get, you can nostalgic about just about anything ….so I sort of go back to where I got all these terrible memories and…..not sure why but I….I get there and it´s a big, big deal, a big deal, you know, ´Hail the conquering hero´ and all that crap and uh (chuckles) and uh, you know, everybody loves it and uh….and I go in and they´ve brought back all the nuns that taught me when I was little….they´re all there….from Nun-Land or wherever they go (chuckles) uh, so there, like, it´s hugs and kisses all around and the whole nine yards, you know, and then all the priests were there except for the one who died, you know….and then it´s such a big deal, a hometown boy, that the bishop comes from Trenton (chuckles) and he´s there, right, along with all my relatives that I, you know, that I ever had, you know, so the audience is filled with all these people, the nuns are all in a row and the priests were behind ´em and the bishop is sitting next to the pastor…..and uh, everybody hopes it´s gonna go well, you know, but trying to do something special for the occasion I wrote a song about my hometown….and uh, uh (people yell) you haven´t been there, obviously (chuckles) but uh, but uh…..anyway, I wrote it anyway and people´ve been bugging me to sing it so I´m gonna sing it tonight, it´s a song called ´Freehold´ and uh, that´s the set-up anyway, so there I am, I´m on my, on my little gymnasium stage and the nuns and the relatives and the whole town is out there in front of me that knew me since I was a little boy and, you know, Jesus is hanging on a crucifix behind me, alright (chuckles) so…..
(….)(sings the first verse) Now, I was having a few second thoughts….but I had committed myself so….I said ´Aw, fuck it´….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Red Headed Woman´ (following ´Freehold´)
´´Hell yes, I got my revenge ! (chuckles) but that was only a half of that actually and I sat there at the end of the song and uh…..I saw them (?)(claps his hands very slowly) ´Our boy´ (laughs)….and then I did this song which was, uh, uh, an important song, very important song, one of my best songs, uh, uh, it´s a great song about a great subject : cunnilingus….and uh, thank you, uh….I was a little hesitant to sing this one right after the one but….but I had something going, I might as well flow with it, you know…..I got a feeling that some of them nuns may have been a little more familiar with cunnilingus than…´s gonna get lonely in that convent, I don´t care what anybody says, you know (chuckles) anyway, I come here to Australia, landed in Brisbane and I, I was a little nervous so I said, I met an Australian friend of mine, said ´I´m gonna sing a song about cunnilingus´, he looked at me, I said ´You know, cunnilingus….the sexual act´ and he looked at me, I said ´Cunnilingus, is there an Australian term for it or is there something, you know ?´, he says ´They´re not gonna know what the fuck you´re talking about´….but I didn´t believe that, I said ´They don´t call it Down Under for nothing´….that´s right, and uh, like, you know, I´m having, uh, I made a small survey, I´m happy to report that they´re practising cunnilingus in Brisbane, in Queensland, uh, I know they´re, uh, practising it in Sydney, I´ve been there so I, I can bring good news about that and I took a ride the other day up to (?) on the, on the great Ocean Road, is that what they call it? ….and I stopped in a little shop there and I asked the woman ´Are they practising cunnilingus around here ?´….and she said ´I think so, I´m not sure´….so then I flagged down a passing policeman and I asked him what the statistics were on cunninlingus (?), he could only give me statistics on C.W.I, that´s ´Cunnilingus While Intoxicated´ (laughs)….anyway, I´m worried that by the time I leave Australia there´s gonna be big headlines saying ´Cunnilingus sweeps nation….All work stops….Grand Prix Cancelled´….John Howart goes on TV asking citizens to cease and desist….he is ignored….alright, anyway, like I say, I do mean practising, it´s not as easy as it looks but it´s like riding a bike, once you get it down, it works the same even if you change bicycles, alright (chuckles)….alright….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Two Hearts´
´´I did get tempted to bust into the Macarena right there… comes on me every once in a while (chuckles) yep, every wedding and bar mitzvah, I´m the first one in that Macarena-line (?)(laughs) like I say, it´s one of those, uh, things that are both simultaneously horrible and wonderous, you know (chuckles) and you find yourself….in front of the mirror late at night, you know….I´ve got the Macarena down, don´t worry about that !….I come to those things a little late, though, it´s probably over already (laughs)….alright, this is, this is for my red headed Macarena partner….oh, Macarena, honey !….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Brothers Under the Bridge´
´´(someone yells for ´Born to Run´) I ain´t playing that old bastard…..thank you for remembering, though….alright (chuckles)….this is a song that, uh…..that, uh…´s set in the San Gabriel Mountains, a mountain range outside of Los Angeles, on the western edge of the Mojave Desert….and uh, Los Angeles is a funny town ´cause you can get about 30 minutes outside of it and you head up into the mountains that (?) exception of a store or a small town, there´s really nothing for hundreds of miles….and uh, in the mid-80´s there was a group of homeless Vietnam Vets that left the streets of L.A, wanted to get off the streets of L.A and they set up a camp out in the San Gabriels….and uh, this is a song about one of them that has a grown daughter that he´d never seen and she grows up and 20 years later she comes into to the mountains looking for her dad….and what he has to say to her…..this is called ´Brothers Under the Bridge´….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´(some lady in the audience apparently throws her panties onstage) I feel a little Tom Jones coming on….well, I´m just glad tonight´s a warm night….woo….. what´s new, pussycat ? (chuckles)….this is a…..speaking of underwear….this is a song about men and women…..and uh….I didn´t write about men and women for a long time….figured why pretend, you know (chuckles) that I knew what I was talking about and uh…..I came around to it kind of slow…. I used to like to say that I was in one relationship for 30 years…..but it was with a lot of different women, unfortunately….but it was the same one I kept having over and over again ….I was very true to myself but uh….I first started out, I said ´Well, men and women…. alright, let me take it slow….first I´ll write of men in cars´….I did real well with that for a while….and uh, uh….but it was unsatisfying….so then I wrote about men, uh…..dreaming about women and fantasizing about women and the perfect woman and when that day comes and….in cars passing women by on the street…..and I made a nice living from that for quite a while….uh….then I went on to, I actually got the women into the car….so it was a man and a woman in the car….but, uh, uh, there was a failure at communicating (chuckles) not talking very much….and uh….then I went on, but that actually, I did very well with that and uh, then I went on, I took the men and women out of the car and uh…..financially, that´s where I fucked up (chuckles) uh….but these things happen (chuckles) so this is a song about men and women out of the car (chuckles) and one of those relationships that almost makes it, doesn´t quite….and, uh, like I´ve been saying, probably would have if you hadn´t been so busy sort of ….messing it up all the time but uh…..the only thing that I did learn was that with men and women…..´almost´ never counts so….stay out of those cars (chuckles)….this is called ´Dry Lightning´….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Long Time Coming´
´´(?) a song, a new song, uh…´s, uh, I wrote it for the Tom Joad-record but it didn´t get on ….uh, because it was just too damn happy, this song…..and uh, I don´t trust those happy songs, they come back and bite you in the ass later on and uh….I´ve also found that the….the public doesn´t like ´em, simple as that and uh (chuckles) so, this is a, uh…..but this is a happy song and uh…..I´m gonna dare to be happy right now (cheers) not, not that happy, just happy (chuckles)….but I invite you to join me….this is called ´Long Time Coming´…..”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´I´d like to, uh…..I´d like to introduce Kevin Buell, my friend…..he´s, uh….he´s recently defected from the Kiss Army….he has a spandex overload and he found his way over here so (chuckles)….yeah….(?) if you have those little cameras, at the end of the night I´ll come out and you can take all the pictures you want if you hold off till then, alright ? thank you, I´d appreciate it….anyway, this is a song, I was in Western, I was in a town in Western Arizona, a little desert town, about six years ago….with some friends of mine and we go out and we travel around the Southwest and….you know, just, just looking around and, and enjoying the country and I was in one, uh, I was in one of those little motels where you can lay down at the end of your bed and if the door´s open, reach out and touch your car in the parking lot…. and, uh, it was one of those little four-corner places, there´s a grocery store, a gas-station, a bar, of course, and a motel and it was late at night and uh…..I was sitting outside the room with, with my buddies around 11.30 at night, these two Mexican men came in from the West and one of ´em was kind of a young kid…..and he was sort of high, you know, and the other fellow was about my age, I guess, and he come over and start looking at our motorcycles…. and uh….and he started talking about his brother, he´d had a younger brother that´d died in a motorcycle accident in Southern California a few months earlier and uh, there was something about….what he said….like his voice or something that always stayed with me, I think…..I was just about to become a dad and uh…´re really, right before that you´re….you´re really aware of just, how, what a dangerous place the world is, you know, that you´re bringing your babies into….and you know that in the end you can´t really protect them the way you would like and uh….uh….so you´re sort of getting used to that fear and the idea that you´re gonna have to live with it now, that´s a part of….your kids just as much as all the great things that they bring, you know…..and uh, but there was something in his voice…..I, I don´t know how people put themselves back together again or get the world feel right again after they suffer that kind of loss….and uh, when you give up something that you love like that….. uh….he talked for quite a while, not, not in a sad way, just remembering…..and uh…..his voice stayed with me, six years later I was writing a song on the Central California drug trade, the Mexican gangs come up out of Mexico and hire the migrant workers to work in the drug labs in the Central Valley in California, they´re the ones that get busted or blown up and uh, it was a song about two brothers coming north and I remembered this fella´s voice and the way he spoke of his brother and I dedicate this song to him….every night, he found his, his voice found its way into this song somewhere so this is for him, wishing, uh….him and all of you safe passage…..this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´…..”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´The Line´
´´This is a….this next….this is a song, it´s a song set in the Southwest, it´s sort of a…..a powerful part of the country right now in the States, it´s really, there´s a lot of forces at work that are sort of defining what kind of country we´re gonna become and uh…..there´s a lot of young guys that get out of the army in Southern California and go to work for the California Border Patrol….and uh….confusing job….I think it´s, uh, immigration issue was abused very badly for political purposes in our last election, we had, uh…..there´s always been people coming across the border doing jobs that nobody else wants to do for a pay that nobody else will take at the behest of American businesses….risking their lives, uh….a week doesn´t go by when they don´t find somebody in the desert or frozen in the mountains or, uh….you get whole families coming across and uh….maybe they get a chance of a better education for their kids or some medical care if they get ill….but uh….anyway, this is a song about a young ….border patrolman…..whose job it is to hold that line and he can´t quite figure out exactly where that line really is down there so…..this is called ´The Line´….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
´´Thanks….gonna do, uh, something I don´t usually do in this spot and uh….(?)….yeah, alright, ok….here´s a song, uh….the last song I wrote for the Tom Joad- record (?)….yeah…. yeah ? you sure ? (chuckles) I´ll take your word for it (tunes his guitar)….yeah….here´s a song I….the last song I wrote for the Tom Joad- record and it was, uh….I was looking to bring some light into the record, I guess and uh….this is a song sort of about, uh, not selling yourself short, I guess….and uh (?)….in the, uh, after the Vietnam War there were a lot of Vietnamese refugees that came and settled in the Gulf Coast of Texas and they went into the fishing industry and there was a lot of tension and some violence between the Vietnamese fishermen and…..Texas, and the, uh, and the Texas fishermen, many of whom had….served in Vietnam so….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Across the Border´
”I grew up in a….in a house where there wasn´t a whole lot of books or….you know, people talking about what you were reading or about culture or the role that culture was supposed to play in your life….basically, it sort of opened your life up, you know….and uh, but everybody was sort of working hard and trying to keep their heads above water, you know….and uh, the first thing that, uh….that sort of did that for me was the music on the radio….and uh, my mom, when I was in grammar school, well, she was like still a young girl, you know and uh ….she liked that rock and roll music and she´d have it on in the car when we were driving around….and she´d have the kitchen radio on in the morning ….used to have a radio, used to sit on top of the refridgerator and I´d come down and I´d have my….little green, I was going to Catholic grammar school, had on my little green pants and green socks and a green tie, my green jacket…..feeling very, uh….oppressed, you know, most times (chuckles) and I´d sit down and, and….eat my cornflakes with my sister ….and slowly I started to notice the music that was on the radio, you know, first, when you´re a kid, you like all the novelty songs like, you know, ´Purple People Eater´ (chuckles) I thought that was like, that was like a masterpiece….´Mister Purple People Eater, what´s your line? Eating purple people and it sure is fine´….that song ! (chuckles)….you know I played that thing over and over, you know and uh, uh, so, all those kinds of songs that first get your attention, then you start to hear the other songs, the ones with all the sexual innuendo, you know, ´Hang on Sloopy´…..hang, hang on to what ?!? (chuckles)…but, but uh, and then you hear all sort of that excitement and happiness in singers´voices and….and then all that sadness mixed up in there and all the pain that the world, that you already have a hint that the world is going to deliver and uh, all of a sudden there´s world , you know, coming into shape, coming into focus…..that´s bigger than the world that you live in and the world that your parents seem to inhabit, or so you think, you know, bigger than your little town …..that´ll let you know that there´s something else out there, you know…..and uh, that music sustained me for so long….was such a beautiful part of my life….I….it´s something I´m always….thankful for, you know, I think…it´s amazing….it was just amazing….it was actually the very…. it was just stuff that was real important to me, real important…. and uh….then I got a little older and a friend of mine showed me John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath….and I remember sitting there at the end of the film, thinking that´s what I wanted to be and that´s what I wanted….my work to, to….feel like….to get into people´s lives and mean something, if it could, there was, I think….there was a sort of a question….asked in the….in the film and in the Steinbeck novel….that was a question that I also heard in all those rock records, I grew up in a town that was vey racially divided and there was a good deal of violence and….and, but yet on Saturday night when somebody played a Motown record….everybody danced together on the dancefloor…..and uh, uneasily but….there, you know, and uh….I think there was a…..a question in The Grapes of Wrath which basically , it´s a story about how we treat one another…..and also if….if people are connected or not….and if, if you come around to the idea that people….. do share connections, common…. common connections, then what do you do, what does that mean your responsobilities are, what are the implications for the choices you make in your life ?…. and for me, that´s what that film and that book gave, there was a scene at the end of it, it´s really, it´s a story about a character who comes out of prison….and it´s a long story about how he makes his way into that realisation…. and what he does when he gets there….and…. there´s a scene at the end of the film where….he´s committed a crime and he has to leave his family and his mother wants to know if she´ll ever see him again… . and he just takes her out into the dark trees at night and he says ´You´ll see me, Mama….but 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….and you´ll see me at night in the darkness that surrounds you when you´re sleeping…. then you´ll hear me in the men´s voices when they´re yelling ´cause they´re angry ´cause they don´t have work or in the way that kids sound when they´re laughing, coming in at night for dinner and they know that they´re safe, that they´re protected and they got a home´….he says ´You´ll see me´ and he disappears into the night….so this is a song about how people continue on….and how they fall back on faith and how they fall back on…hope against reason… the end, you know, hope where there should be no hope….. why people….have to continue on and carry that with ´em, how they hope that they can fall back on one another ´cause that´s all there is….I…wish you a good journey…..”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Working on the Highway´
´´Thank you….thank you very much, it´s my last night here and…..alright, wait a minute, I´ll come by, get your old cameras, go ahead…..alright, now cut that shit out, alright (chuckles) this is our last night here in Australia, had a great time, I can´t thank you enough for, uh….uh, you´ve made me feel so at home, we´ve had great, great shows here and fabulous audiences and, uh….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´This Hard Land´
´´Thank you….yeah, I wanna say, uh, this is a traveling song, I wanna (?) the night, wishing you all, uh….strength, fortitude, good times….and good luck on your, uh, on your journey, uh….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´No Surrender´
´´This is for all my young fans out there…..”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´There Will Never Be Any Other For Me But You´
´´Thanks, I´m gonna leave with a, this is a song of love, a love song that kind of sums up the entire evening this song and it gets a little romantic right now, it´s sort of where I, (?) if you brought your girlfriend, you can get, can get close to her, put your arm around here a little bit, give her a little kiss, uh, anybody getting married out there ? (a couple of yells) ah, I´ll do this for you, uh, anybody getting divorced ? (laughter) alright, I´ll do this for you too….(?) anyway, it´s a song about love, starts out a little funny, don´t let that throw you, uh, in the end, it´s about, uh…, love, love, my message is love, I´m a love man, that´s what my message is, that´s what I´m here for…..I´m here to love you (?) I´m glad to be here, alright….. (?)….(laughs) oh, this has gotta be so right, this has got to be so good, this next song (chuckles)….”

17.02.97 Melbourne, Australia, intro to ´Racing in the Street´
´´Oh, hold off on those little cameras, will you ? (?) I´m gonna do this, I did this last night, I´m gonna do this again because it´s a nice sort of a….I know you´ve got your summer here and man, I´m glad to be here because it´s winter and cold as hell back where I´m from (chuckles) it´s been so beautiful….(?)….(people yell for ´Thunder Road´) aw, shut up, I´ve already got my mind made up….(chuckles) oh, man, anyway….”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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