Story 1997-05-26 Paris, France

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Straight Time´
´´Thank you, thank you, thank you…..this is a song about, uh….uh, one second…..this is a song about, uh, trying to start your life over again after you´ve made some mistakes (someone whistles loudly) and a big mistake-maker out there, I guess (chuckles)….he wants that second shot (chuckles) but, uh, everybody´s struggled with a little straight time so….´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Highway 29´
´´Thank you….this is a song about the, uh…..cost of, uh…..insight, everybody´s had some insight, I hope….uh, what´s usually expensive is the cost of sudden insight and that, uh, usually only comes after you´ve, uh, fucked up very badly, unfortunately, that´s when (chuckles) that´s when a little light goes on, so this is a song about a shoesalesman and sudden insight, it´s called ´Highway 29´….´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Nebraska´
´´(someone yells) Aw, shut up (chuckles)….´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´For You´
´´(starts the intro) Ah, this is for my friend from last night…..´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Red Headed Woman´
´´(?) brunettes are fine…..and blondes (crowd: ´Are fun´) damn right (chuckles) but when it comes to getting a dirty job done…..´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Two Hearts´ (following ´Red Headed Woman´)
´´That´s right….ooh !….I gotta wait for my guitar, alright (chuckles) alright….that´s the entertainment you paid your money for right there (chuckles) damn straight….alright….yeah ….´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Dry Lightning´
´´This is a, uh, song about men and women….like I was telling the folks last night….I didn´t write about, uh, men and women very much for a long time….uh….wrote about men in the cars, you see….and that was going so good I figured I´d stick with that for a while…..then, uh ….I wrote for, uh, the men in the cars looking at the women….that worked out real well also ….uh, then I wrote about the men and the women in the cars….not that much communication going on…..then, uh, but I made a nice living at that for a long time, that kind of writing, uh ….then….I took the men and the women out of the cars…..uh…..that might´ve been where I fucked up, I can´t tell yet (chuckles) but uh…..commercially anyway, I guess…. but you gotta get out of the car someday (chuckles)(some woman yells) my dear, we both can´t carry on a conversation (chuckles)….you, you gotta be annoying to people that are around you, that´s my guess (chuckles)…..I can´t have that, I am the protector of your experience (chuckles)…. men and women out of the cars (chuckles)….´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Youngstown´
´´Thank you, this is a, uh, I haven´t sung this song in a little while, this is probably, this is our last night on this Tom Joad-tour for a while anyway….and uh, so I´m gonna sing this one…. uh…..this was a song, I got to Youngstown, Ohio over the course of the tour and uh, it was the center of the steel industry in the United States for the whole first part of the century and uh….and most of the steel mills shut down and a lot of the population has left town…..and uh, I guess this was a song about I don´t know what it would be like if you´d´ve somebody come up after 30, 40 years of doing, doing one job and tell you that, that there´s no work any more and that, uh, you´re gonna have to find some other way of supporting your family and….. getting a sense of yourself so…..anyway….I´m gonna do this, this is, uh…..the next group of songs´s from the Tom Joad-record and I wanna say that I, I´ve enjoyed myself playing this music as much as I´ve enjoyed any music I´ve ever played in, in my, uh…..and uh…..when I originally made the record, I didn´t know if there´d be an audience for it or if when I came out and played that that audience would be receptive, I just wanna thank you because you have been so receptive to this music beyond my wildest dreams, I appreciate it…..´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Sinaloa Cowboys´
´´Thank you…..I´d like to, uh, Kevin Buell, ladies and gentlemen (chuckles)….he, uh, it´s been you and me, pal, it´s just been you and me, you know (chuckles) he´s the only member of the Tom Joad orchestra, that´s right, that´s right…..(chuckles) we make a quiet but fiery sound (chuckles) but uh….this is, uh, these songs are set in the Southwestern part of the United States and uh…..I´ve traveled out there quite a bit and I have these three brothers that I´ve traveled with through most of Nevada and Arizona and, and uh….Utah….and I was in this little motel, it was in September and uh, it was a little desert town about, oh, 50 or 60 miles on the other side of the, east of the California border and uh…..I was in one of those little motels, like I say, where you can lay down on the end of your bed and if the door is open, reach out and touch your car in the parking lot, you know, it´s….(?) sits right there (?) ´Yeah, check on the car, alright ? did you check on the car ?´, yeah, that´s right, you know, usually that´s when things get stolen out of your car, though, it´s like when it´s that close to you, for some reason (chuckles) but uh, it was late at night, it was a beautiful fall night, I was sitting, uh, outside the room around 11.30 and these two Mexican men came in from the west, driving a truck and took the room next to us and (?) there was a young kid, one was a fellow about my age and uh….it´s, uh, an older kid and uh (chuckles) and uh (chuckles) he came over and started looking at the motorcycles that we were riding and, uh, he told me that he´d had a younger brother that´d died in a Southern California motorcycle accident and I was just about to become a dad and uh…..the, the world and its dangers are on your mind at that time, you know you´re bringing these kids into the world and you really can´t protect them the way you would like and uh…..for an hour this fellow talked about his younger brother very lovingly and his voice always stayed in my head and many years later I was writing a song about two brothers caught up in the Central California drug trade and his voice came back to me and I guess it found its way into this song someplace so I do this for, uh, my mysterious friend every night, wherever he may be, this is ´Sinaloa Cowboys´….´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´The Line´
´´Thank you, this, uh, this next song is, uh, set on the San Diego-Tijuana border and in Southern California you get a lot of young guys that come out of the army end up going to work for the California border patrol and it´s a confusing job…..I think, uh, the immigration issue was abused very badly in the last American election and I know that that happens here also (chuckles) and uh…..uh, so this is, in the States there´s always been people coming across the southern frontier, doing jobs nobody else wants to do and for a pay that nobody else wants to be, at the behest of American businesses and uh… return they get a little medical care if their kids got sick or their kids´d have a shot at a bit of better education but …..this is a song about a young, young border patrolman who…..finds himself in the, uh, in the middle of all this, I guess, trying to figure out where, where the line really is down there ….ok…..yeah…..´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Balboa Park´
´´Thank you…..thank you, this is a, uh, song about, uh, are you guys alright over there ? (chuckles) is she driving you crazy ? (chuckles)…..don´t do that (chuckles)….this is a song, uh (the rest of the intro is missing from the source tape)…..´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Across the Border´
´´Thank you….(some people have rushed to the front of the stage) get, get down, get down, get down, that´s what you get for rushing up here, now you see, now your knees are killing you (chuckles) get down so those people can see behind you, get down, get down, get down (chuckles)…..I ain´t going anywhere, what´s the rush ? (chuckles) this is a song, I grew up in a house, uh, where there, uh, uh, wasn´t a whole lot of talk about culture or the, or the job that culture was supposed to do in your life, you know, when I, the thing that I remember the most was, uh, the first thing that had any real impact on me was when I was a little boy, my mother was a young girl and, and she liked that rock and roll music, you know, and uh, every morning she´d have the radio on in the kitchen and I´d come down and I´d have my green tie on, my Catholic school uniform and my green pants and, like I say, I would feel like, you know, oppression, oppression (chuckles) and uh…..but all these beautiful records would be coming across the, coming across the radio and uh, it was something that…..from the, from that music, just the sound in the singers´ voices, there, there seemed to be an endless happiness and sadness and a sense of the possibility that was in the world and it was the first, those little records that everybody thought was junk was the first thing that gave me a sense that there was a world outside and other lives to be lived than the ones that I saw being lived in my little town and it gave me a sense of my own possibility and uh, what you could do with your life, you know, uh, those little junky records, for me, played the part of what culture was supposed to do in your life, you know….but then as I, I got older and a friend of mine showed me John Ford´s Grapes of Wrath, I was 26 and, uh…..for me, the film, and, and the book, the Steinbeck novel did for me what those great records did, you know, it gave me a sense of myself, a sense of the kind of, the kind of work that you wanna do and the kind of world that you wanna live in, you know, it was basically a story about, uh, someone who educates themselves and, and trying to….save their own humanity when it´s under attack and in trying to salvage their community, uh….there´s a scene at the end of the film where, that sort of…..nails the whole idea on the head, I guess, there was a scene where Tom Joad steps into his mother´s cabin late at night and he´s killed a security guard who´s killed a friend of his and he´s gonna have to leave his family after they´ve come thousands of miles and they have….nothing and they´ve lost their home, and he steps in and he wakes his mother and he says he has to leave and they step out underneath these dark trees and he says ´I gotta go now´ and, uh, his mother says ´Well, I knew this day would come but how am I gonna know ….if you´re alive, how am I gonna know if you´re well, how will I ever see you ?´….and he says ´Well, you´ll see me, you´ll see me because at night I´ll be in that darkness that surrounds you when you´re sleeping….and I´ll be in men´s voices when you hear ´em yelling because they´re angry….or the way that kids sound when they´re….laughing and coming in at night and they know that they got a safe place and food on the table´, he says ´You´ll, you´ll see me, Mama´…..and he disappears off into the night… this is a song about hope but the kind of hope that people continue to carry when sometimes the rational for that hope is no longer there, after the world has dealt its darkest blows, uh, that´s the hope that I think that defines people as human and keeps us alive so I wanna do this for you tonight saying, uh, I´ve been welcomed so warmly in France and in Paris on this tour, once again thank you and, uh (speaks French)…´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Diamonds By the Yard´
´´Alright….you´re not in any rush tonight, right ? (cheers)(?) alright, I wanna bring out a friend of mine who lives here in Paris…..he´s a great American songwriter, we´ve been friends for a very, very long time, I´m glad to have him here with me tonight, come on, Elliott, Elliott Murphy….´´

26.05.97 Paris, France, intro to ´Galveston Bay´
(the intro is missing from the source tape)

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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