Story 2005-10-15 Madison, WI

15.10.05 Madison, WI, intro to ´´Highway 29´´ (following ´´Long Time Coming´´)
´´Thanks, good evening. I always got to, uh, put a little disclaimer on the end of that song every night, actually that last line should´ve read ´I ain´t gonna fuck it up too badly this time.´ Or perhaps ´I´m not gonna fuck it up if I can help it but, uh, given the range of human behavior and, and besides for these few moments onstage I´m completely dysfunctional, I can promise.´ Those would´ve been the actual words, actually those would´ve been the words that´d been on my first album if that would´ve happened. I could´ve fit ´em all in there (chuckles)….´´

15.10.05 Madison, WI, intro to ´´All That Heaven Will Allow´´
´´Thank you…that´s right, uh, yeah, no, ´I´m not gonna fuck it up too badly unless I, uh, attend a Minnesota Vikings´ sex party,´ that´s right, those were the…I believe those were, those were the original lyrics….´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Incident on 57th Street´´
´´Thank you….thanks a lot….alright, somebody, uh, somebody asked for this one out back so ….well, the last time, uh…, shit (chuckles)(starts playing)…´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Ain´t Got You´´
´´(?)….very often I´m, uh, on the street people approach me and they usually ask me the same question and I usually have this schtick that goes with this bit that I´m gonna (?)….and the question is ´How you doing, what´s it, what´s it like to be the Boss?´ you know, and I have a ….and, and I have a bunch of stock answers that I´ve been giving over the years like ´Get the fuck out here!´….or….that one usually (?) but, but a lot of times I, I come up with this sort of, I have this kind of line of humble bullshit that works quite well, it´s, uh, and it´s got me long ways and I´m gonna stick with that for a while but, uh, ´cause I don´t wanna say the real answer would be sort of like, you know, ´Fabulous beyond your wildest dreams´ or, uh, or (?)….but, you know, I, I don´t usually say that, you know, because you can feel like you´re lording it over people and I, I´d rather do that in private myself….but, uh….it´s pretty good, it´s pretty good, you get invited to a lot, a lot of events, I got invited into the Parliament when I was in England and I didn´t wanna, I really didn´t wanna go (?) and I, uh, I got invited to the White House, though not lately, of course….so, uh….back when it was fun, I got an invitation….and, of course, I did, I did make the Minnesota Vikings´ sex party….(chuckles) and those guys, they know how to have a good time and….I hope they have a good season but, uh (chuckles)(some people boo) I mean it´s, uh….it´s, uh….I don´t know, it´s like, I couldn´t figure that out, was, is all that stuff illegal?….is fucking illegal, I´m not sure (chuckles) could be by now (chuckles) it might´ve got slipped in (?) ´Oh, and by the way, fucking´s illegal from here on end´….along with the Civil Rights´ cutback, they decided to cut back on the fucking….yeah, could be, could´ve happened already, you wouldn´t even know it….you wouldn´t even know it (chuckles) that´s how slick those guys are, but, uh, anyway (chuckles) anyway, I did, I did write one, uh, one completely autobiographical song (?) semi-autographical one so, uh, I´m gonna play that song right now, alright….´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Valentine´s Day´´
´´Thank you, thanks a lot….this was, uh, I´m gonna do this tonight for….Scott, I know this ain´t the song you requested but I´m gonna play this one for you and your, and your gal ´cause, uh, I haven´t played this one in a while and….uh (clears his throat) so I have a fellow named Scott, who, uh, doesn´t quite slip into the category of the stalker-category but, uh…. there´s, there´s others that fit that category, he´s (chuckles) he´s just, he´s a big fan (chuckles) he´s here with his wife so I´m gonna do this for them….´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Jesus Was an Only Son´´
´´Thanks…I, uh, grew up Catholic in this little town and we lived on this kind of L-shaped corner of a street, there was my grandmother´s house where I lived with my mom and dad and grandparents and, uh, then there was a field and then right on the other side of the field, this little field was the nuns´ convent and the priest´s rectory and then the church, Catholic church was right on the corner, this is all on about a quarter of a block, I guess, a half a block….and then right across the street from the Catholic church was my aunt´s house where I had a grown cousin and a couple of little ones, little cousins, my cousin Richie…..then next to them was my aunt´s house with my uncle Pat and three, uh, three grown man cousins…. and they were big and hairy and scary, to my recollection….uh, and Uncle Pat, he wore a white shirt, brown pants, brown belt, dress shoes, he would take the shirt off and sit on his porch in, uh, what was known as the, uh, (?) I guess ´the Italian t-shirt´ and uh (chuckles) but they were all Irish (?) then up the street, about two houses up the street was my great-grandmother´s house and, uh, that was all the Irish side of the family, that was my father´s side, then across the street, directly, was my, uh, grandmother, my mother´s mother and her daughter and two cousins who were slightly older than me, they were kind of the cool cousins, you know, they were the Italians (some people cheer) yes….and the weird thing was, which I never thought anything about, the Italians never crossed the street to the Irish side and the Irish never crossed the street to the Italian side as long as I was there as a kid, it was the most natural thing in the world, you know, to never see those people together (chuckles) and, uh, then scattered around town we had, uh, various other aunts and cousins and everybody was there, you know, and then when it would thunder and lightning, besides being religious, they were superstitious, when it would thunder and lightning, my grandmother would grab me by the hand, haul my ass up the street as fast as she could to her sister´s house where, once it really started rocking and rolling, uh, my aunt Jane would bust the holy water out and throw it on all of us….this was immediately preceded by lightning-horror stories, like, you know, ´Oh, yeah, Mamie opened her closet and a ball of lightning came out and struck her dead´….and at six years old - not that comforting….the holy water bath - not that comforting (?)(chuckles) so, uh, yeah, it was old school (chuckles) but I grew up surrounded with the Catholic faith and, and strange people, although not stranger, I suppose, than ourselves (chuckles) and, uh, uh, it was a faith that was filled with beauty and poetry and absurdity and terror, you know (chuckles) so, uh….anyway, you know, these are, these are the hands, this is the cards we´re dealt so I´ve written a lot of songs filled with a lot of Catholic imagery, when I was writing songs about parents and children, my twisted mind would of course drift back and try to think what would it been like with Jesus just as someone´s son and, uh, I wrote this song, this is called ´Jesus Was an Only Son´….
(….) at His mother´s feet….now, the first thing that strikes your kids, of course, is….it´s fear (chuckles) for their safety….and suddenly there´s this feeling in your stomach that there is no train you wouldn´t stand in front of and you realise ´Oh my God, this is a life sentence´ (chuckles)….
(….) will pierce your dreams this night….now, I always figured…..what makes the choices we make mean anything are the things we sacrifice for ´em….and I always wondered about Jesus thinking about what He was giving up….He had to be thinking ´Man, it´s really beautiful this time of year down in Galilee….and there´s a great little bar on the corner that needs a manager….and Mary Magdalene could tend bar, He´d save the preaching for the weekend….if that worked out, they could have a bunch of kids and watch the sun fall on their face…..see their lungs fill with air at night when they´re sleeping….and see the next day….and the next day….and the day after that…..and the day after that….and just the day after that….´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Land of Hope and Dreams´´
´´Alright, somebody asked for this one…´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´The New Timer´´
´´Thanks a lot…alright….yeah, I´m gonna play this pretty little thing, uh, I hope….wait a minute, gotta turn it on first, yes, I have no (?)(the autoharp makes a sound) oh-oh….there she goes, alright, uh….there was this book I read a few years ago, I met this fellow Dale Maharidge and Mike, Michael Williamson, writer and a photographer and they wrote a book called ´Journey to Nowhere´ and, uh, (tries the autoharp) yeah, there it is, alright, and, uh (chuckles) (?) and, uh, it´s a beautiful book that kind of chronicled the, the decline of, of the steel industry and the, uh, the, the impact ion the Rust Belt and, and on a whole group of people that had kind of helped build the country and then got marginalised, these guys actually traveled by rail across the country and, and, uh, this was something I wrote for them, this is called, uh, ´The New Timer´….´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Matamoros Banks´´
´´Thank you, I wrote, uh, I wrote this next song as a sequel, part of a sequel to a series of songs I wrote set in California, I´d been living out there for three or four years and, uh….uh ….there´s a lot of border-reporting in the newspapers and….this was, uh, every, every year there´s hundreds of people that die trying to get across the southern border and, uh, this was a particularly bad season and a hot summer and, and, uh, they die in the deserts from dehydration and trying to cross the river and drown, uh….and it´s just, we really need, if you eat strawberries or, or tomatoes or eggplants or, or lettuce, these are all crops that still need to be picked by hand, a machine can´t get those things and so they´re still picked by hand all across the country and, uh, if they´re in your house at all, then those hands are at your table is all I can say and, uh, uh….so we need, uh, some sort of humane immigration policy, a working program….so this is, uh….uh, a song I wrote this song backwards, it starts, it starts at its end with the body at the bottom of the river, tracing a man´s journey back across the desert to the banks of Matamoros, which is a town across from Brownsville, Texas, this is ´Matamoros Banks´….´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Growin´ Up´´
´´I got a little display for this next song. Uh, there´s a guy who´s been following me around for, uh, I think he´s from Germany, Richard, Richie! Alright, he´s, he´s famous, I guess, can you see this? This is Richie on top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. And, uh, if you notice, he´s unfurling his Bruce Springsteen-banner right there on top of Mount Kilimanjaro and then there´s, uh, here´s Richie on top of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina. He´s got his Bruce Springsteen-banner right there too. And here´s Richie, uh, in what appears to be Asbury Park, I suppose. Uh, I try stay as far away from these kinds of fans as possible. You know, seems to be a, uh, but anyway, but he´s here so I´ll do this for you, my friend (starts playing the melody) Be afraid, be very afraid…´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Wild Billy´s Circus Story´´
´´Alright, this is for the circus woman I met out back. Yeah, that you? Alright. Yeah? There was another one, there was two, there was one, she mentioned (?) and there was another lady (a woman yells ´Blinded by the Light!´) No, I´m not gonna do that one. You guys come back in 30 years, I´ll be back (chuckles) Somebody told me it´d been that long since I´ve actually been here (?) Alright, but this is gonna be for the, uh, alright, this is for Jeannie and for also the, the lovely lady who said she was married at the circus and knows the Flying Valentins and this for, uh, this is in memory of Herb/her…´´

15.10.05 Madison, Wisconsin, intro to ´´Blinded by the Light´´
´´Alright…thank you…..alright, I´m gonna do….I´m gonna do this for this gal here (?) they brought the damn sign so, you know….by the time you make the sign, it´s sung, but, uh, plus this is, this is tax for not being here in so long, this is a song tax….(somebody apparently asks Bruce when he´s coming back) I don´t know when….I don´t know, I have no clue….(?) but I´ll be back here more, I wanna thank all my fans in Madison….I´ll be back here with the whole E Street Band (crowd cheers) but in the meantime (chuckles) in the meantime, uh (someone yells ´When?´) when? I don´t, I don´t know when….If I knew when, I wouldn´t be me (laughs)(goes into the song, still laughing)…´´

15.10.05 Madison, WI, intro to ´´The Promised Land´´
´´Thanks very much, thanks for coming out tonight!….thanks a lot!….appreciate it….I wanna give a shout-out to the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, they´re in the hall tonight, please on your way out, stop by and give them a hand, they can use your time and your support….they work every day to achieve the goal of no hunger in Wisconsin, they´re here helping Wisconsin´s struggling citizens, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, please check them out, this is for you….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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