Story 2005-04-21 Asbury Park, NJ

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Devils and Dust´´
´´Evening….welcome, welcome to our, uh, our rehearsal show here so, uh, in theory I´m rehearsing so we´ll see how it goes….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Youngstown´´
´´Thank you….wanna say thanks…..wanna say welcome….let me see, alright, a few announcements: cellphones, make sure they´re off, make sure those things are off….I don´t wanna hear some stupid jingling in the middle of one of my tunes….(?) right now….basically, uh, the Tom Joad-rules apply, uh (chuckles) I can use all the quiet I can get during the songs, uh, if, if you feel like clapping along, please don´t (chuckles) and uh, if somebody around you´s making too much noice, feel free to band together and, uh, beat the living crap out of them so….only joking, only joking, of course (chuckles)….alright….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Black Cowboys´´
´´I got a, uh, bunch of new songs I´m gonna play tonight….you haven´t had a chance to hear so I´m gonna explain ´em a little bit before I get into ´em, uh….this is a song called ´Black Cowboys,´ (somebody claps) that´s, uh, which, I guess, hey, you ain´t supposed to heard that (chuckles) and uh, uh…..part of the song comes from my, my love of Western pictures, which, I recently saw a great one, they just re, released on dvd, Peter Fonda´s The Hired Hand, it´s not a, it´s not a picture many people have seen but it´s a picture he made after Easy Riders and uh, I picked it up and it´s a really lovely, a lovely little Western so it´s something to check out but uh, I kind of connected my feeling for Westerns with, uh, you know, we still pick up the papers and every day, you know, we see the reports of innocent kids, you know, shot on the streets of the innercity and it feels like, you know, just happens year after year, week in and week out, and we´ve pretty much decided that, you know, there´s no outrage and that that´s alright, I mean, uh, uh, it´s not the kind of outrage that´d be, say, if, uh, ´Desperate Housewives´ suddenly went off from the air for a few weeks but uh….. it´s, uh…´s, we do triage our citizens and we all do it, I do it, you do it, that´s the price of doing business, of getting ´Desperate Housewives´ on the air or records into stores, uh, we´ve accepted it as, uh, as part of the price of doing business so, uh, this is a song about a kid in the innercity and the relationship between him and his mom and she tries to get him home from school every day and get him into the house where she feels he´s safe and she doesn´t like him to go out and so she sets him on these Western pictures which plays every afternoon and uh….the song plays out and his mother fails him at the end and he, but he follows, he follows what he´s been feeling so, uh, let me play it for you, this is called ´Black Cowboys´….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Long Time Comin´´
´´Kids, my, uh, my kids are at an age where they´ve realised of course that….I am not perfect ….damn, I hate that…..uh, they´re quite a ways past that age over the past few years and I´m often a baffoon-like figure to them…..oh yeah, Dad, yeah, Dad, I´m the Dad and I sing them silly songs, you know, he´s a silly man….but they like me anyway (chuckles) and uh….I suppose I should grow up and get a real job….but uh, I also past the point of thinking I´m not gonna make some of the same mistakes that my folks made with me and, uh, uh….who the hell did I think I was? (chuckles) but kids are great because they do give you, uh, second chances of kind of sorting out the stuff from your childhood and we honor our parents by holding on to the good things and setting down the, uh, the things that may not have went so well for us, you know, that´s what this song is about, it´s a song called ´Long Time Comin´´ and uh….wrote this one a while back and it´s finally found a nice home on, on the new record and uh….I´ll dedicate this one to my lovely mother, this is for you… of course are perfect (chuckles)….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Silver Palomino´´
´´When I was a kid, of course, like all the other kids, I wanted a pony, I could not understand why I couldn´t have a pony in the backyard….and I really thought that I was gonna get that pony one of these days, you know, and, uh, the closest I got was, uh, there was a man that came around every summer and he had a, he led a little horse up and down the street on, on a line, (?) line and he would, he had the whole outfit, he had a cowboy suit and a cowgirl suit and he would come in your backyard and you would get dressed in the suit, uh, me and my sister, my sister´s a year younger, I think we both wore the same suit….´cause it fits me but it doesn´t, doesn´t quite fit you, I still got the two pictures, you know, we´re both like, you know, we´re both in the saddle and, you know, in, in (chuckles) in the backyard in Freehold, New Jersey with the hat and the whole thing but (crowd cheers) yes, yes, I thank you, let´s, let´s applaud for that, you know, but, uh (chuckles) but uh…..years later I, you know, we, we did end up with some horses and I´ve gotten used to living around horses for the past ten years or so and so I, this song came about through….we had a, we had a….two best friends of my boys had a young mother and, uh, passed away at a real young age and I wanted to write a song for the two of them…..uh, I wasn´t quite sure how to go about it so this is kind of a song that I set in Texas and, uh, it´s about a young son who loses his mom and he believes that she comes back to him at night in the form of this palomino that comes out of the mountains as he goes to bed, this called, uh, ´Silver Palomino´…..´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´For You´´
´´Thanks, uh, love songs, love songs, love songs, I didn´t write many of those when I first started, uh….(?) there were too many bad ones that I heard all the time and I remember my dad telling me those love songs were simply the government plot to get you married and pay taxes….this was his philosophy about love that he shared with me one morning at the kitchen table….uh, so I came to rather late in life, of course (chuckles) but I did write one pretty early on that, that sort of stayed, uh, kind of stayed as one of my best, I guess….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Tougher Than the Rest´´
´´About, uh….about 15 years later I got down to writing another one, it was amazing, incredible (chuckles) but, uh, this was kind of, this is probably my best country song, I think, this was, uh, covered by Travis Tritt and a few, some, a few other folks and, uh, uh, it´s just a great barroom-second chance-last-late at night-I´ve had enough to drink-everybody´s looking pretty good (chuckles) but, uh, a love song, a love song (chuckles) I wanna dedicate, send this one out to my baby (chuckles)….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Part Man Part Monkey´´
´´(someone yells ´Relax, Bruce, relax!´)….I thought I was relaxed (chuckles)….a little more guitar….(?)….evolution….President says the jury´s still out on that one….that´s right…. evolution is in doubt… the White House….they´re just not sure about it….it´s very, very iffy….you can´t count on that….they´re counting on it in the White House…..screw Miss Lucy and the old (?)….in the White House….if six ain´t enough time for you….fuck you, Elvis…. what´s your problem?….I´m with the monkeys….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Maria´s Bed´´
´´This is a song called ´Maria´s Bed´ and uh….it´s from the new record and, uh….it´s a merry old track (chuckles) played it with a whole band so I´m gonna have to see how, how I can do this tonight….I wanna try it but I don´t think I was (?) but uh….(?) I don´t know, you, you, you will decide (chuckles)….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Highway Patrolman´´ (following ´´Maria´s Bed´´)
´´Wo!….I don´t know (cheers) I surprised myself, I surprised myself (?)(chuckles)….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Used Cars´´
´´Gonna do, uh, do one more from Nebraska and uh….my family, my family are here tonight so these kind of connect up with (?) with, uh, some of (chuckles) the things we went through and, uh, I wrote Nebraska, it´s, it´s funny ´cause I, I told stories with characters, many of whom were outside of myself but the tone of the record always felt like, like my childhood, you know, lost somewhere back in time and this song was, uh….I´m gonna do this for my, in the memory of my dad tonight because, uh, he was, uh….the, uh, the one thing that, you know, you remember from being a kid was, is obviously all the cars you had when you were a kid, your car was, uh, was a big thing (?) I remember my, the first car I remember was my grandfather´s car, it had a runningboard on the side, you know (chuckles)(?) 30´s or, I don´t know what it was, a 30´s something, it had a big runningboard and the cool thing was every day he would come home from, from work and he would stop at the end of the driveway and we would all, everybody in the neighbourhood would get on the runningboard and he would gun that thing into the backyard (chuckles) you know, WEEEE! you know, OH MAN, this is the greatest! you know, and, and (chuckles) oh, you know, I always remember with those, those cars of the 30´s, those cloth, that cloth upholstery and they smelled a certain way and, and it´s, it´s a whole place in time and then later on we had a series of, a series of old cars, we never had a new car but we, one of my favorites was the car that would not go in reverse and uh (chuckles)(?) but, uh, this was, I don´t know what happened to it, it just refused to go in reverse and so I was in an age where I was, I don´t know, maybe I was 11 or 12, and wherever we went, we would, uh, uh, have to make sure that we did not park in a parking space that on a downhill slant because you couldn´t push it out, we had to park someplace where you, you, my father and myself with the assistance of my sister and my mother would be able to push this damn thing out into the road and also, it was also the car that had no muffler (chuckles) and I remember when my father would see a cop car, he would switch the engine off….it goes by (?)….(?)(chuckles) and, man, my, my, my room was right over the backyard and I felt bad for the old guy so many of those damn cold mornings, I´d hear like a hood (makes a weird sound) you know, the hood going up and ´God, goddammit, damn (?)´ but, anyway, so I wrote this one…..about those merry adventures (chuckles)…..(?) Ginny, I´ll do this for you tonight (chuckles)….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Jesus Was an Only Son´´
´´Wrote this song, uh….sounds kind of like a gospel hymn, I guess, I was talking to somebody other day, sounded like that to them, but this is a song from the new record called ´Jesus Was an Only Son´….and, uh, I kind of, I wrote a lot of songs on this record about, uh, mothers and sons, ´Silver Palomino,´ ´Black Cowboys,´ uh, this song, I was sort of interested in….in Jesus as somebody´s boy, Mary´s, Mary´s boy, what that…..was like, that particular loss and, uh, also about the way that will, the human will shapes the world and, uh….and as parents, of course we always wanna protect our children from all harm and we realise pretty early on that that´s an impossible job….you still do your best but, uh….I was trying to get at something…..something in the human side in the story of Jesus (?) called ´Jesus Was an Only Son´…..
(….) the cup of death from His lips….I always figured that, uh….He´d have to be thinking…. ´Gee, there was that nice little bar down in Galilee…..the weather´s pretty good this time of year down there too…..I could manage the place, Mary Magdalene could tend bar, we could have some kids….do the preaching on the weekends´….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Leah´´
´´Well, in life and in love we are moved to create and to destroy….and uh, you gotta get that balance right (chuckles) before anything starts working and, uh, this is a story about somebody just trying to get there, just trying to get to that place…..´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´The Hitter´´
´´Thank you….(someone yells)(chuckles)(?) these old theaters, it´s incredible….it´s like, like those old Hollywood movies where, you know, they´re down on the street and all of a sudden they´re singing and, like, there´s a whole orchestra playing *….it´s magic….you know, big theatrical magic, this was (chuckles) this is, uh (chuckles) uh….it´s a song off, off the new record, one I wrote a while back, uh, I like to write songs about people whose souls are at risk….uh….for some reason it momentarily puts my soul at ease when I do that (chuckles) ´I am not alone´ or something like that (chuckles) but, uh, this is a story about a young, young kid, he, uh, gets in some trouble and he leaves home, becomes a, a boxer and becomes quite a champion and uh….shorts himself, shorts himself in the end…..uh… know, we can keep it or we can throw it away….a lot of people throw ´em away, throw ´em away, uh….I suppose it´s easy to do that but, uh, anyway, so this is, uh….once again it´s a song about mothers and sons, the son, he comes back through town towards the end of his life….and, uh, he has no place left to go and he goes back to his mother´s house…..and the whole song is a conversation that he has with his mother through a locked door….this is called ´The Hitter´….´´
(* I´m guessing Bruce refers to the fact that there was a keyboard and tambourine backing on ´Leah´)

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´Matamoros Banks´´
´´Thanks, I, uh, back on the Tom Joad-tour, uh…..the mystery tambourine player, Mr.Kevin Buell (chuckles)….(?) back on the Tom Joad-tour I used to end the set with ´Across the Border´ and this song is, uh, really it serves as a sequel, uh…..a man makes the same journey and is fuelled by the same hopes and love for his partner, his family and his children, he´s in search of something a little better….a job, he´s able to send some money home…..and uh….. it´s going all around, all around us every day, uh…..also every year a lot of, a lot of, lot of folks don´t make it, they….they die of thirst in the deserts, they die…..of cold in the mountains and they die crossing the river….uh…..we are in dire need of a humane immigration policy….so, uh, this is a story about somebody….he gets to the banks of the river ….and I tell the story backwards, I tell it from the point of view of the body at the bottom of the river, the second verse, the walk across the desert, the third verse reaches the banks….as he is about to die there, this is called ´Matamoros Banks´….´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´This Hard Land´´
´´Thank you, want to, uh…..thank you, we´re here tonight, I wanna thank you for being a, uh, wonderful audience, may I be blessed with audiences as good as I continue on from here tonight, thank you very much…..(?) my man, my man (?) the whole damn show, very impressive (?) ´Highway Patrolman,´ you know the Nebraska-record?….yeah? a little bit? how, how old are you?….you´re nine??….damn, you are a warrior, my friend (chuckles) I wanna do this for you, alright….oh, we´re here tonight for World Hunger Year so I thank you ….more than 36 million people in the United States, 13 million children that live in households that struggle to put food on the table, World Hunger Year´s been out there for a long time now fighting hunger and supporting thousands of community organizations all across the U.S….trying to address the root causes of poverty and moving people into jobs and businesses, they have good after-school programs going, affordable housing and (?) local farmers who bring health food into schools (?) kids eat like crap at school (chuckles)(?) what´s going on? and, uh….they support a whole lot of other emergency feeding programs, they do great work, I´m glad to be here tonight for World Hunger Year, this one´s for you…´´

21.04.05 Asbury Park, NJ, intro to ´´My Best Was Never Good Enough´´
´´There is, uh…..there´s some bad words in this song…..just thought I´d mention that….(?)…´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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