Story 1997-05-06 Vienna, Austria

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Atlantic City´
´´Hallo !….thank you, thank you…..wie geht es euch ?….es freuht mich sehr (?) in Wien zu sein….thank you….that´s all my Austrian right there (?)(chuckles) but I´m glad to be here, uh ….(?) lay down a few ground rules: a lot of the music´s quiet tonight so during the songs I´d appreciate all the quiet I can get, community event, anybody making too much noise, you can band together and ask them very politely to shut the fuck up (chuckles) alright…. ”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´This is a song about a fella who….gets out of prison and is trying to find his way… back into his family life and….and back into the world….uh….but it gets pretty hard to break some of your old habits, I think….and uh….even if those old things are….are bringing you down…. sometimes our bad habits are how we know who we are….but uh …everybody´s struggled to do a little straight time so….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Highway 29´
´´This is a song about insight…uh, actually it´s a song about sudden insight, that´s always very painful….´cause usually…insight only comes along after you´ve fucked up very badly, unfortunately…that´s when it all becomes very clear so….this is a song about a shoe salesman and sudden insight….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Freehold´
´´I got a…I got a new song here, uh…the only problem is that….it´s got a lot of words in it and most of them are all English, you know, so (chuckles)…I´m not sure how big a problem that´s gonna be but I´ll start it out and….if it´s not working out….we´ll just say ´To hell with it´, alright (chuckles)….but, uh, I know this is a….got a lot of Catholics in this country, I was brought up Catholic and I went to a little Catholic grammar school…where the nuns with the black hats, you know, taught me and…. recently I went back to my Catholic school to do a benefit which, uh….shows that the older you get, you can get nostalgic just about anything, you know (chuckles) so….but it was kind of a big deal and, you know….´Hometown boy comes back´ and uh….´Hail the conquering hero´ and ´All is forgotten´ and (chuckles)….the usual kind of thing and uh….but I wrote a song….to play…about my hometown to play in my hometown so here I am, I am at my little Catholic grammar school….the priests are all out there and the nuns that taught me, they brought ´em back from….Nun-land or wherever they sent ´em….(?)…so, uh, then of course there´s every relative, you know, got all my relatives, my family´s there and all my old pals to….see if you´ve changed or not, you know (laughs)…. so….so anyway….I´ll take it from there…..this is called ´Freehold´ (cheers) you haven´t heard it yet, it might be a shitty song, you don´t know (chuckles)…let´s not get too excited, let´s not hype it out in front (chuckles)….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Red Headed Woman´
´´Then I went from, uh….then I went from that one to singing this next song, it´s a song that´s kind of an homage to cunnilingus, it´s a very…popular sexual act back in the States, I, I assume that also it´s here in Vienna (a woman yells) oh, wonderful (chuckles)….we like it…. we know that she likes it, right (chuckles)…but anyway, uh ….uh, what can I say, I hope there´s a lot of people out there practising cunnilingus as I sing this next song, not necessarily in the auditorium but out around town (chuckles)… make it a very happy Austrian village (chuckles)….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Brothers Under The Bridges´
´´Thank you, this is a….(?)…set in the, uh….San Gabriel mountains, that´s a mountain range just outside of…Los Angeles, on the edge of the San Fernando Valley, between the San Fernando Valley and the Mojave Desert, back in the….mid-80´s, there was a group of homeless Vietnam veterans that set a camp up out in the San Gabriel mountains, trying to get off the streets of L.A and uh….this is a song about one of ´em that had a young daughter that he´d never seen….and she comes into the mountains looking for her daddy…and, uh, what he has to say to her….this is called ´Brothers Under the Bridges´…”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´Thank you…here´s a song about, uh, let me see….Man, Frauen….Liebe…Sex….sehr schwierig…aber (?)…yeah, this is uh….nice to be here in, uh….Doctor Freud´s hometown, actually I feel kind of good about that, the man´s helped me out quite a bit (chuckles)…if you see any of his relatives, tell ´em ´Thanks´ (chuckles)…here´s a song about one of those relationships where you almost….had something going but not quite, guess you would have if you hadn´t been so busy fucking it up all the time, I guess, you know…but, uh, the only thing I did learn from, uh, Doctor Freud (chuckles) ….is, is that in love, uh….´almost´ don´t make it….this is called ´Dry Lightning´….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Long Time Coming´
´´I´d, uh, appreciate it if you didn´t use those little flash cameras, it helps me to…. makes it harder to concentrate so please put them out….this is a song about, this is a happy song and I don´t like to write those, you know, I´ve found that, uh….in general the public doesn´t like ´em, you know (chuckles)….but once in a while one comes out (chuckles)….I´m feeling in a good mood and I can´t stop myself (chuckles)….so here´s a song about, uh….making it, I guess….this is called ´Long Time Coming´….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Thanks, this is a, uh, uh, next group of songs were set in the Southwestern part of the United States and uh, when I have the chance, sometimes (?) I´ve taken a lot of trips around there and uh….I was in a little desert town in, uh, Arizona quite a few years ago and I met a fella at little motel, it was one of those….motels sort of sitting in the middle of nowhere, a little four-corner town where there´s a motel on one corner, a gas-station, a grocery store and a bar, all the elements necessary for life to flourish, you know (laughs) and uh, it was in the fall and it was, sitting outside, it was one of those little motels where you can lay down at the end of your bed and if your door´s open, reach out and touch your car in the parking lot, you know (chuckles) very standard ´cross the U.S of A and uh, I was, uh…..a fella came in, a couple of Mexican fellas came in late at night, we were sitting outside our room playing cards and one of ´em was a young fellow, he was kind of high, another one was an older fellow, about my age, I guess and uh (chuckles) and we started talking and he´d had a brother that died in a Southern California motorcycle accident a few months earlier and there was something in the way that he talked about his younger brother that always stayed with me for a long time and I guess it was five or six years later, I was writing this song about two brothers that come up from Mexico and get caught up in the Central California drug trade where the Mexican gangs come up and hire migrant workers to work in the drug labs and they´re the ones that usually get busted or killed and it was a song about two brothers and I kept hearing his voice in my head so I dedicate this to my mysterious friend every night wherever he may be, this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´…..”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´The Line´
´´This is uh, this next song is set in the San Diego, in the San Diego-Tijuana border and uh, you get a lot of young guys that come out of, come out of the army….in Southern California and end up going to work for the California border patrol and uh….a confusing job, uh….it was an issue that in the last American election was so abused, you know, there´d been people coming across the border….for a long, long time, doing work that nobody else wants to do for a pay that nobody else to take, at the behest of American businesses and in return their children might get some medical care or, or bit of an education….but uh, anyway, this is a song about a young border patrolman trying to figure out right where that line really is….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´This is uh, this next song is a song about kids….young street kids in San Diego that come across the border from Mexico and end up on this strip called Twelfth Street in San Diego, once you have your own kids….it´s….you feel in a funny place, whenever you pick up the newspaper or you see something or you hear something that´s about children….it´s hard not to….switch places and I met a lot of these kids down there and uh…..they´re not any different than your children or mine, if they had the, uh, if there was nobody there to watch over them, I suppose, I think that the children all have the little window onto to the grace that´s in the world and uh…..I guess it´s the parents´ job to protect that window for them…..and let them grow in that for a little while until, until they´re able to take care and protect themselves…. but there, there´s a lot of kids that don´t have that so…..anyway, this is called ´Balboa Park´, this is what happens when that grace goes unprotected…..”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´I always remember when I was a kid, I grew up in a house where there wasn´t a lot of books or talk about culture or, uh, everybody was sort of busy keeping their heads above the water and trying to, I guess….(?) the first thing I really remember that had a lot of impact on me was my mother would play the radio in the kitchen in the morning and she had it tuned to one of the Top-40 stations playing all rock and roll records and I was like a little boy, going to my Catholic school, had my little green tie and my green pants (chuckles) and I´d come down in the morning, me and my sister and we´d sit, we´d sit at the kitchen table and we´d listen to all those records, you know, and uh, after a while I started to feel like I was hearing a secret message and….it sort of said ´There´s a party going on, you´re missing it, little boy´ (chuckles) ´Don´t go to school´ (chuckles) but uh….but so I´d (?) off to school but that always stayed in my head, you know, and for the rest of my young life, those records and those singers lifted my spirit, you know, and gave me the first sense of the world outside my little town and the possibility of living a life that was different than the lives that I saw being lived around me….and uh, that lasted for a long, long time for me and as, as I got a little older, a friend of mine showed me, uh, John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath and I went out and I got the Steinbeck novel and I read the copy, there was something in the film and in, in the book that resonated for me like, like those great records did, something, I found some part of myself, myself in those things, I recognised something….and uh….I always go back to that book and that movie from time to time, I´m not sure, maybe it´s, it´s the story, I guess, of somebody being educated, becoming educated to the world around him, of a….. understanding the implications of his own life and the possibilities of his own blood and spirit….uh….there´s a scene at the end of….the movie that always stayed with me, you know, Tom Joad´s killed a security guard and police are gonna come and get him and uh….he has to leave his family, they´ve come thousands of miles and they have nothing and his mother has lost family members and her home and she´s gonna lose her son now….he comes in at night to her cabin and he touches her very gently and he, he wakes her and they step out underneath these dark trees….and he says ´I have to go now´ and she says ´I, I knew this day would come but how am I gonna know if you´re alive from here on and how am I gonna know if you´re well ?´ and he says ´Well´, he says…..´You´ll see me at night in the…..I´ll be there in the darkness that surrounds you when you´re sleeping, Ma, and I´ll be there in the way that kids sound when they come in at the end of the day and they got food on the table and they got a home and´….he says ´You´ll see me´….and he disappears off in the night, the next day the Joads are heading for work and, looking 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 how people keep going even after the world has….has dealt its harshest blows and after it´s revealed its senselessness, how people still…..fall back on love and family and ultimately on one another and, and that hope against hope, you know….how that stays, uh, stays inside you…….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´This Hard Land´
´´Alright, this is a song about brotherhood, sisterhood, faith, hope and hope against hope….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´There Will Never Be Any Other for Me But You´
´´Thank you….thank you, I´m gonna do this tonight for you (?) it´s a song about, uh, love, it´s a song about love, that´s my message tonight, is there anybody out there that´s soon to be married, do we have any, uh ? (some cheers) is there anybody out there getting divorced ? (some yells) oh, right there (laughs) that´s a happy divorce over there, ´Yeah, me !´ (laughs) alright, well, then this will be for you, alright, here we go, this is the song about the mysteries and the secrets of love, Liebe, Man, Frau, Liebe, Sex (chuckles)…that´s right…..sehr schwierig aber (?) alright (laughs)….”

06.05.97 Vienna, Austria, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
´´Thank you, I want to….thank everyone for coming out tonight, thank you so much for coming down to the show….this is my first time here in Vienna and uh, thank you for giving me such a warm reception and uh….I appreciate being able to come up here and play this music like this, it takes a lot out of the audience and it´s a gift that you give me and I appreciate that so (says something in Austrian) I won´t put you through any more of my Austrian (chuckles) this is uh (someone yells ´Thunder Road´) no, I´m not doing that old sucker, alright….here´s a song about, uh, it was set in the, uh, south of Texas, it´s a song about, uh, happening, based on some incidents that happened in the mid-80´s in the Gulf Coast, you had, uh, at the end of 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 alongside the Texas fishermen, many of whom had served in Vietnam and there was tremendous tension….this is, uh, called ´Galveston Bay ´….”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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