Story 1997-05-25 Paris, France

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´Thank you, this is a song about a fellow who comes out of prison and uh, trying to find, uh ….trying to find his way back into his family and back into….trying to learn how to live in the world….and trying to figure out how to be new, how to change yourself, that´s hard to do, everybody´s struggled with some straight time…..´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Highway 29´
´´This is a song about the cost of insight…..oh, uh, pas de photos (?) sil-vous plait….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Murder Incorporated´
´´Uh, in the States we got a part of our citizenry whose, uh….lives and dreams are considered expendable….we got murder incorporated….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´It´s Hard to Be a Saint in the City´ (following ´Highway Patrolman´)
´´Alright, thank you….this is, uh….I always wonder why people applaud when they hear the name of their state, their home or the land that they´re from…..and I´m always curious….if they´re sitting at home….and the newsman comes on and says ´Now news from Canada´…. do they jump up and go ´Yeah, that´s me !´ ? (chuckles) I don´t know….I´m gonna write a song with just the names of people´s places….I´ve been to Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, California, Can, Canada, alright (chuckles) wo ! swing it, baby ! (chuckles) voici un chanson pour mes vieux amis….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Red Headed Woman´
´´Oh, yes…..let me get this right….uh…..right, the other night in Lyon I think I asked ´Are there any women with red horses in the house ?´ (chuckles) it´s ´cheveux´, not ´chevaux´, cheveux (chuckles) alright….alright….(asks ´are there any red headed women in the house ?´ in French) I´m killing it, right, I´m brutalising the language (chuckles) weeelll, it´s alright, this is a song about cunnilingus, a sexual practise very popular in the States (some guy yells) thank you, Sir….alright….(?) ladies go home and say ´Everybody was yelling then but not a lot of action later, unfortunately´ (chuckles) alright, weeelll….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Two Hearts´
´´(?)….this is for my red headed woman…..´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Brothers Under the Bridges´
´´Thank you, merci….this is a song I wrote for the Tom Joad-record, it didn´t get on it for some reason but, uh, it was a song set in the San Gabriel mountains, a mountain range on the edge of the San Fernando Valley and uh….on the other side is Mojave Desert, it´s just outside of Los Angeles and in the, uh, mid-80´s there was a group of homeless Vietnam Veterans that set up a camp in the San Gabriel mountains to get off the streets of L.A….this is a story of one of ´em who, uh….had a young daughter that, who he´d never seen and 20 years later she grows up and she comes into the mountains looking for her dad and what he tells her….this is called ´Brothers Under the Bridges´….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´Thank you….this is a, uh….song about men and women….I´ve got this whole bit I do, you know, men, homme, woman, femme, love, l´amour, you know, sex, sex….tres difficile, you know (chuckles) but uh (someone yells) I´ll skip that tonight (chuckles) and uh….I didn´t write about men and women for a long time, wrote about men in cars (cheers) and uh, thank you, thank you, I did pretty good with that, thank you and uh….then after I wrote about men in cars, I wrote about men in cars looking at women….did real good with that one too, real good….then I wrote about men and women in the cars but not talking very much, you see…. uh, but I did real good with that….very good, made a nice living out of that….uh, then I took the men and the women out of the cars….that was where I fucked up (chuckles) but uh, you know, commercially speaking (chuckles) but uh, you gotta get ´em out, I mean, they gotta come out sometime, you know, and so….now is as good a time as any but uh, this is a song about the men and the women out of the cars and still not talking very much (chuckles) but they´re getting there (chuckles) so, uh, alright, here I go….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Long Time Coming´
´´This is a, uh, another song about men and women, this is one that´s very unusual, this is a happy song (chuckles) I don´t write too many happy songs because, uh, one, I found out that the public in general doesn´t like ´em, number one, and uh, uh, two, they come back and they bite you in the ass later, you know….you get real happy about something and you´ll see it comes back and gets you, ´Take that, Mister Happy Song Writer !´, you know (chuckles) that does happen, but anyway, uh, this is one I wrote in spite of myself (chuckles) and uh….uh….I guess this is a song mainly about sort of not doing unto others as was done unto you, I think, uh, which is a pretty good lesson to learn, I think we get our, our kids come along and uh, you have the chance to sort of….do it differently, you know, to, uh, I guess, correct or change some of the things about…..the way that you were brought up….and that´s really what this song is about, I guess, it´s about trying not to do unto others as´s been done unto you, uh, the bad stuff, that is (chuckles)(cheers) yeah, alright, so, uh, it´s pretty happy, I don´t wanna get too happy while I´m singing it if I do, just somebody come up and slap me (chuckles)….this is called ´Long Time Coming´….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Thank you, this is, uh, may I introduce Kevin Buell….that´s right, my compadre, mi ami, uh, the only member of the Tom Joad-orchestra (chuckles) it´s a small orchestra….uh, this is a song, the next four songs are set on the Southwestern part of the United States…I was, uh, I traveled out there quite a bit when I had a chance and uh….I was in a little motel in Arizona (someone: ´Yeah !´) yeah (chuckles) and we just came from, no (chuckles) and the next day we were going to (people yell) alright, alright (chuckles) and it was one of those little motels in a little desert town along the state and county roads, you know, a hundred miles from every place where, you know, there´s a grocery store, a motel, a gas-station and a bar, all the necessities for human life to flourish and uh, I was in one of those motels where you can lay down at the end of your bed and if the door´s open, you can touch your car in the parking lot, right, it´s right there in front of you, that´s right (chuckles) I like that, it makes me feel secure ….but uh, it was late at night and uh, ´round 11.30 so we were sitting outside, it was one of those beautiful desert nights and two Mexican men came in from the west, they were driving a truck, took the room next to us and the older fella come over, started to look at our motorcycles and….told me he had a younger brother that died in a Southern California motorcycle accident and uh….there was something in his voice that always stayed with me, he talked for about an hour about his younger brother, maybe it was because I was about to become a father and you….you know, you´re right away concerned about bringing children into the world that you know is….that you can´t really protect them in as you would like…. and uh, so there was something in his story that stayed with me for a very, very long time and I was writing this song on Central California drug trade about two brothers and he came back to me and his voice filled this song in some fashion so for him….I thank and I do this for him every night, for my mysterious friend, wherever he may be, this is called ´Sinaloa Cowboys´….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´The Line´
´´Thank you, this is a song set on the San Diego-Tijuana border, uh… get a lot of guys that come out of the army in Southern California, end up going to work for the border patrol ….it´s a confusing job….the whole immigration issue….is, uh, was abused very badly in the last election in the United States and uh, I know that happens here also, there´s always somebody, yeah (cheers) you know, there´s always somebody willing to spread, uh, hatred…. uh….for power or access to power and uh, that´s an old story, that just keeps happening….. but anyway this is, uh, in the States, there´s always been people coming across that southern border doing jobs that nobody else wants to do for a pay that nobody else wants to take and uh, at the behest of American businesses….and uh….in return they get some medical care or their kids would have a shot of, of, of a better education maybe….but uh….anyway this is a song about a young border patrolman trying to, he finds himself in the middle of all of these different….issues and forces and trying to figure out where that line really is down there, this is called ´The Line´….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´Thank you….this, uh, this next song is a song about kids and uh….I always say that kids have a window onto the grace that´s in the world and uh….I love, one of the things that I love about this city is that there´s so much beauty here and that beauty, I think living in the presence of that beauty and in the presence of the grace that that beauty brings is a special thing….uh….and all children sort of….that grace should be their birthright but uh….this is a song about, I think, I think when kids, that´s the adults´ job to protect that grace that, that the children bring with them and let them grow in it till they learn to protect themselves but this is a song about kids that don´t have somebody to do that for ´em….and uh….they come across the border, the Tijuana river into San Diego and end up on a strip called Twelfth Street and uh, it´s a song about what happens when that….living outside the presence of that beauty, when that grace is violated….this is called ´Balboa Park´….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´Thank you, thanks….I grew up, uh…I grew up in a house where there wasn´t a whole lot of talk about culture or, uh, art or the place that culture was supposed to (weird sound) oops, the place that culture was supposed to play in your life, you know, everybody was sort of busy keeping their heads above water and uh….the first thing that had any real impact on me was when I was a little boy, my mother was still a young girl and she liked that rock and roll music, I´d come down in the morning and she´d have the radio on in the kitchen and I´d hear all these great records….while I was sitting there in my little Catholic school uniform (chuckles) and, and uh, feeling oppressed (chuckles) and uh, uh….sucking up my breakfast so, but those records….actually they, they were the first thing that opened up, sort of, my eyes to that there was a bigger world than the world that I was living in and that there were other lives to lead than the lives that my parents or my friends had lived, if you were willing to risk yourself….and those little cheap records, for me that was, they did the job for me that culture was supposed to do, you know, open your, open your mind to, to life´s possibilities….and as I got older, I did get around to some reading and uh, and then a friend of mine, I remember a friend of mine when I was 26, I think, or 27, a friend of mine showed me John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath….and I went out and I got the Steinbeck novel, brought it home and read it and there was something in that film and in the novel that resonated for me the way that those great records did….there was something, uh….I recognised in them, I guess (?) something about the story of somebody who was risking himself for an idea that was bigger than he was and….and educating himself and was in trying to save his humanity and salvage his community and….uh….this is a song about that kind of hope, I guess….the kind of hope that people carry within them….even after the world has dealt some of its harshest blows, that kind of hope that simply keeps you alive in some fashion….that makes us human, I guess ….so, uh….I wanna do this for you tonight….uh….let me see (speaks French)…´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´This Hard Land´
´´Well, uh….this is a, uh, song, this is actually an immigrant song, this song….it´s a song about, uh….somebody traveling, looking for a home….uh….I guess when I wrote it, I thought it was just a song about….me and a friend of mine, really (chuckles) but uh….you know, it´s like (?) back in the States, I know, hey, you´ve got your election time over here now so maybe this is appropriate tonight, I don´t know….there´s always, uh, somebody, like I say, willing to spread hatred or (?) and so I wanna do this, I have a special dedication tonight, hope it´s not too over the top (chuckles) but I wanna say je dedicate ce chanson pour (?) Francais : liberte, egalite et fraternite….so….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´No Surrender´
´´(speaks French) this is for my young fans out there….´´

25.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
´´Merci….I wanna thank everybody for coming to the show tonight…..this is a, uh, the last song I wrote for the Tom Joad-record, uh…´s based in the, uh….the Gulf Coast of Texas, at the end of the Vietnam War there were a lot of refugees that came out of Vietnam and settled down in the Gulf Coast of Texas and went into the fishing industry….and there was a lot of tension between the Vietnamese fishermen and the Texas fishermen, many of whom had served in Vietnam….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License