Story 2005-05-10 Saint Paul, MN

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´My Beautiful Reward´´
´´Evening….thanks….just got a few announcements, one, you´ve got those cellphones, please, I don´t wanna hear any of those idiotic jingles wafting towards the stage, I´m gonna be, uh, driven to make a sweep through the audience with my chainsaw should that occur so, please, make sure your cellphones are off, I need as much quiet as I can get, uh, and don´t clap along, my rhythm is already somewhat tenuous when, when I´m doing this so enjoy the evening….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Long Time Comin´´´
´´Good evening again….nice to be in Saint Paul…´s nice to know where I am….(?) see a guy come out one night and ´Detroit!´ but he´s in Philadelphia….that´s a bad one (chuckles) we, we barely avoid Spinal Tap as it so (chuckles) alright, I´ll sing a lot of new songs tonight and I wrote a lot of songs about, uh, mothers and sons and parents and kids, uh….that your mom? alright, we´ll, we´ll get around to the mothers a little bit later on (chuckles) but, uh, this was a song, I´ve been telling the folks there´s three stages (?) kids´ life, they´re little and they look at you and they think you´re perfect, you know, and they get into high school and, of course, that´s the third stage, they think you´re an idiot, uh, the one in the middle is you´re a tolerable idiot and if you didn´t do it right, the next one is ´fucking idiot,´ I´m afraid (chuckles) so, uh ….(?) you can´t avoid the first three, first three, that´s part of the whole, the whole parenthood thing, the fourth one….see if you can get by that one (chuckles) but uh, this is a song I wrote shortly after….had, you know, had our, had our first kids and, uh, you know, you´re always thinking you´re gonna do a better job than your folks and that´s kind of how you honor your folks, you´re trying to, uh, you know, pick up the things that were good that they did and leave the rest if you can….of course you can´t, you make a lot of the same mistakes, it´s the old cliche, you know, uh, ´Turn the music down´ or something like that, it´s, it´s, it seems unavoidable, it´s, I used to feel embarrassed, now I don´t care when I say those things….it´s, uh, hey, I´m a parent! (chuckles) ´Turn the shit down!´ (chuckles) but not all the time, not all the time (chuckles) I don´t know, I should be ashamed, alright, but, uh, anyway, this is a song about second chances and, uh, trying to, uh, I lived in the West when we had our kids so I kind of set this song in the West, a nice place for a little re-birth and, uh, trying to get it right, this is called ´Long Time Comin´´….may, uh, may God be with you (chuckles)….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Silver Palomino´´
´´Uh, the last ten years I´ve….been around horses quite a bit and, uh, I suppose to make up for that pony I didn´t get when I was (chuckles) six years old (chuckles) but, uh, they´re, uh, the kind of animals with a big spirit, for some reason they seem to enjoy working in concert with the likes of us and a good horse really takes care of you, really takes care of you….this is a song about a young boy loses his mother and, uh, enviews her spirit in this horse that comes out of the mountains at night….this is called ´Silver Palomino´….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´The River´´
´´When I was starting out I didn´t write a lot of love songs, I´ve been telling the folks that, uh….you know, I guess, I just didn´t want to admit to a lot of love at that time (?) …so I had some bad experiences early on, which, I guess, who didn´t, you know?…. but, uh, but, uh, also (?) I didn´t have an encouraging atmosphere at home, half-encouraging atmosphere, my mom used to have the radio on and, uh, this was in the ´50s when all, all the songs on the radio were love songs, you know, everything was about you´re losing love, you´re finding love, you´re chasing love and it was all sung by, by men doing their very best to sound like beautifully singing women, you know, everything was like (sings in falsetto) everything was way up high, you know, and, uh, and I´m not sure how that happened but it was, uh (chuckles) but it was some of the most beautiful singing, beautiful popular singing that there´s ever been and occasionally PBS has one of those reunions where, uh, uh that guy, Mr.Lubinsky, I forget his first name, but Mr.Lubinsky gets all the old bands together and they have this doo-wop night where everybody, they got together all the doo-wop guys and they were all still so good, it was amazing to see 60, 70-year-old men come on stage and open up their mouths and out came, you know, eternalness, you know (chuckles) it was just a lovely and beautiful and, and supplicant, a supplicant, a sound of supplication, surrendering yourself, giving yourself over totally, you know, it was just, uh, this was pretty incredible and, uh, we haven´t seen the likes of it since (some people whistle) thank you doo-wop fans, uh, but. uh….at any rate I always remember I was sitting in the kitchen and, uh, and my mom, she loved all the songs and she was always, uh, uh, you know, listening to everyone and she had her favorites and ´Oh, that´s lovely, it´s that singer´ (chuckles) and I always remember my dad, I tell this story every night, you know, he´s, ´Bruce, all love songs are a government conspiracy ….that is, uh, it´s propaganda, don´t, don´t be fooled, don´t fool yourself….all those men are, are, are paid civil servants´ (chuckles) you know, the idea was to get you married and you would have to pay taxes, that was his theory….so when I started to, uh, write my love songs, I hid ´em, I hid them down, down, deep in other songs so, uh ….you´d have to dig to find them….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Book of Dreams´´
´´Thanks….(?)…if you can, uh, you can relax and like (?) the clapping if you recognise the song, that sort of, I always feel like I´m headed for Vegas when I hear that….it always makes, I wanna stop and play something else right away….uh, just, you know, if you could just (someone whistles) yeah, whistling - cut that shit out….uh….if you recognise something, just, just do this….just like that, I´ll, uh, it´ll get to me, I´ll feel that….the whole audience (?) something very, very familiar, which I later might, but, uh, (?) worked out fabulously….but, uh, I´ll do this for Sessi and Steve who are about to get married, oh, I´m gonna do a little wedding singing right now (chuckles) and, uh, I had a couple of wedding days, wedding days are a strain….and, uh, uh….you know, couple´s not bad (chuckles) you know, Clarence, he´s still out there swinging away (chuckles)….he´s working, he´s (chuckles) but this is a, uh, song for Sessi and Steve, wishing all the luck, this is a wedding day song, I wrote this one about that…I´ll see if I can figure this out….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Part Man Part Monkey´´
´´Evolution….well, the board of education in Kansas thinks it´s time to throw that one around one more time….the President says the jury´s still out on evolution….the whole thing is just too iffy….now, personally I think the President believes in evolution but he can´t say he does ….´cause the monkey vote did not put him in office (people applaud) oh!….no sycophantic applause either, please, it makes me feel like I´m preaching to the converted….I got a lot of nasty letters during the last election and I prefer that….let´s you know you were striking a chord….particularly my favorite was, uh, the box of smashed records with a dead chicken in it….where´d they find those records?….now, Karl Rove, I don´t know if he believes in evolution but I´m pretty sure he believes in Satan….and as far as, uh, movies, ´Inherit the Wind,´ the movie that they made about the Scopes Monkey Trial, couldn´t get made today - they´d picket that in the theatres ….couldn´t make the Flintstones today either….too controversial….they´d have to pass it by the board of evangelicals first….check out the whole Fred and Barney relationship…(someone yells) the Reverend Jerry Falwell, ladies and gentlemen….
(….) We´ve come a long way, baby….and we´re going back…..´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Maria´s Bed´´
´´(?) a love song, a love song of ecstasies, of fabulous evenings…that I played with a band but I will perform all six parts myself right now….(?)(people cheer) please, no, no fawning applause either (?)….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Nebraska´´
´´(?) one of my early songs, I tried to tell a story from somebody else´s shoes….the, uh, people always ask me how that´s done, as if it´s hard….uh….there´s something of you in everybody and something of them in you….and if you go looking for it….and as ugly as that is sometimes to admit….this was a song I wrote because I figured that everybody knew what it felt like to be condemned, which, of course, we all do….here´s ´Nebraska´….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Reno´´
´´This is a, uh, song from ´Devils&Dust,´ this is a record, uh, soon to be sold in, uh, Dunkin´ Donuts all across the nation….look for it there when you get your jellydonut ….this is a song about, a love song about not being able to handle the real thing so you try something else and that doesn´t work out so good either….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Paradise´´
´´(?) a little bit of furniture-moving going on here right now, this is a special piano, a very special piano, uh, it´s so special we can´t have it onstage too long (chuckles) on for a little while (chuckles) oh, there´s even parts of it missing still (chuckles)(?)…. well, there it is…. actually we rehearsed this routine all day long to make sure we got the laughs….(?) …alright, I´m gonna bring this delicate instrument closer, I think I can, if not, you´ll know all about it ….(?) oh yeah (chuckles)….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Jesus Was an Only Son´´
´´Thank you…I am a, uh, product of the Catholic school system, which, uh, means, of course, that Jesus is my homeboy….that´s about the size of it, that´s just the way it is and, uh, I used to think, you know (?) they had the Pope, they picked the Pope recently and it was such a big deal and it´s kind of like watching….a lot of high-end trading for a team you don´t play for any more…..but you´re still kind of interested in where they are in the standings….uh, the whole, the whole Catholic school thing is, it´s, I used to think, you know, once you´re gone, you´re gone but, but, I realised like Al Pacino said, you know, ´Once you´re in, you´re in, there´s no getting out! they just keep pulling you back,´ you can´t, you can´t get out….and, uh, so I gave up trying to get out and I kind of, I went, I went back a little bit, went back to my old school and I played a show and I go to the convent now and the nuns ply me with beer….which they didn´t, they didn´t have when I was a kid, now they, they´ve got beer there and they´ll give it to you if you go in and ask for it….give it a try….I don´t know if it´s the same here as it is in New Jersey but that´s how it is in there….and, uh, anyway, we´ve got the ballgame on and it´s a sanctuary now, you know (chuckles)(?) I used to go to strip clubs, now I just stop in at the convent….my mind rests for an hour or two but, anyway, I wrote this song, this is, uh….I was interested in the relationship between mothers and sons on this record and, uh, this is a song about the relationship between Jesus and Mary, I tried to imagine the story from Mary´s perspective because for her it was just, you know, she was just losing her boy and uh….I guess it´s kind of a song about what makes our choices mean something is the stuff that we sacrifice, the things we give up, the parts of our life we give up to, to, to gain something else, that´s what makes our choices have meaning, the things we sacrifice….so this is kind of a song about that, it´s also a song about a mother´s place….and a son trying to console his mother…upon the choices that he´s made, this is called, uh, ´Jesus Was an Only Son´….of course Jesus did have a lot of earthly brothers and sisters but, uh, not on this particular day….
(….) at his mother's feet….now, the first thing that strikes you when you have the kids is how there is nothing, nothing you wouldn´t do to protect them….for them to be safe from all harm….it´s a shock how strong it is after a self-involved life (chuckles)….´´
(….) distance cannot be breached….I always figured….you had to be thinking….right before that, you know….Galilee is pretty nice this time of year….a little bar down there you could manage, Mary Magdalene could tend bar, you´d have some kids….and feel the sun on your face….and feel the breath in your lungs….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Leah´´
´´This is a song about wanting to have those things, a life….and the things that make you open up in front of other people and….this is sort of a song about a guy….stuck in-between the seeds of his own destruction, which we all merrily carry, and, uh, the seeds that make things grow and just figuring out how to barely come down on the right side….looking for those other things, those life, that life….this is called ´Leah,´ took the title from a Roy Orbison song about a pearl diver, a beautiful Roy Orbison song….Roy was one of those guys who could sing about anything, uh, I met him and I went to his house one afternoon and he sang me this song about windsurfing and I said to myself, I didn´t say it to him, you know, said ´Gee, I don´t know windsurfing - it´s hard to pull that one off….surfing….it´s been done, it´s been big….but wind surfing´….it killed John Kerry in the election, you can´t pull that off, it´s hard to pull off….but the record came out and he had this beautiful song about windsurfing and it sounded, made me want to wind surf…so the title came from one of his records but there´s also a lady in the Bible….quite a hell-raiser, I believe….Leah….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´The Hitter´´
´´(?) this is a, uh….song, I guess, it´s a flipside of that equation, this is, uh….I always, uh….I don´t know, I desire to….to fuck things up (chuckles)(?)(chuckles) it´s tough to get out from under that one (chuckles) but, uh….so I wrote a lot of songs about people that can´t get out from under it because I lived around it a lot when I was a kid and, uh, the crushing hand of fate, I suppose that´s what it was….uh….it´s tough to get out from under….if you´re lucky, uh….this is a song about a fellow that gets in trouble, leaves home, becomes a boxer, becomes quite a champion and comes back towards the town at the end of his life and, uh…. the entire song is kind of a conversation that he has, through a locked door, with his mother …´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Matamoros Banks´´
´´Thank you….I wrote, uh, this next song as a sequel to a song I wrote, ´Across the Border,´ it was on the Tom Joad-record and it's kind of a….the same story where the man, man making a journey across the border fuelled….by the same hopes and, uh, you know, love for his family, in search of something a little better and, uh, each year hundreds of people die trying to get into the United, United States and, uh, they die in the rivers and in the deserts, in the mountains, uh, instead of vigilantes down along the border, what we need is a humane immigration policy so, uh….so I wrote this song backwards from the, uh, vantage point first of a body at the bottom of the river to the man journeying across the desert to the banks of Matamoros, which is the town across from Brownsville, Texas, this is called ´Matamoros Banks´….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Pittsburgh)´´
´´(?) when I sing this next song (chuckles) just joking (chuckles) sorry…got a, uh….got a letter before I came in tonight somebody sent to me, uh, I wanna do a song for Sergeant Gerald Vick who was, uh (people applaud) I just, uh, I, I just know, what what I read in the letter, said he was a very, uh, uh, just a good man and an important presence in town, leaves a family behind, was shot in the line of duty, uh….this is in memory of Sergeant Gerald Vick, this song….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´Land of Hope and Dreams´´
´´Also got some folks here tonight with us from the Second Harvest of Heartland fighting hunger for your community here in Saint Paul….they deliver food to more than 800 agencies locally in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin and directly serve individuals and families, struggling citizens of Saint Paul, they could use your support, use your help, on your way out check ´em out and do what you can….´´

10.05.05 Saint Paul, MN, intro to ´´My Best Was Never Good Enough´´
´´I wanna thank you all for coming out the show tonight, thanks a lot….(?)…I kind of got the best of all worlds here getting to play like this, uh, an audience like this is, uh, it´s a real gift and it´s a treat and I wanna thank you for it and I hope you enjoyed yourselves….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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