Story 2005-11-08 Philadelphia, PA
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08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “The Ties That Bind”
“Good evening, Philadelphia (crowd cheers) glad to be here…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “Long Time Comin’”
“Oh, thank you (crowd cheers) you know…gee, I guess I beat the shit out of everything that was on that table (laughs from the crowd) ah…the lamp…Patti’s gonna kill me (laughs from the crowd) that lamp was on loan (laughs from the crowd) oh boy, alright (chuckles) she’s gonna kill me…alright…this is for the moms and pops…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “Incident on 57th Street”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) thank you (crowd cheers) you can give me that (crowd cheers) yeah, thanks a lot, uh…love songs, I didn’t write a lot of love songs when I first started out because, uh…I kind of got some crossed signals at my house, my mom was kind of very romantic Italian-American, had on the AM-station in the morning with all the great doo-wop singers and all those, that was the era of romantic music, everything was, everything was romantic and the guys all sang like way, way high, they sang and it was kind of fascinating because you had a generation of young male singers who were trying to sound like beautiful women, you know, and, uh, it kind of made sense, they sang, I can’t do it but they sang up here (harmonizes to the tune of “Unchained Melody” for quite a while to demonstrate)(crowd cheers) so they sang way up in that high spot (crowd cheers) and I always thought (crowd cheers)(?) they were smart because they’re, they’re signaling to the woman like “I’m ready to come up to where you are, I’m ready to speak to you in your voice,” uh, you know, “and I’m, I’m here for you, baby, and will you take off your pants?” (laughs from the crowd) so that’s kind of, which is, is the subtext of, of all, uh, great popular music no matter what it was (laughs from the crowd) the, the message underneath is always, uh, “Will you take off your pants?” (laughs from the crowd) so don’t let anybody fool you about that (crowd cheers) and, uh, you even, uh (crowd cheers) yeah, you can even use it as the last line in any, any good pop song, like you can go like “It’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win – and will you please take off your pants?” (laughs from the crowd) so that’s like (crowd cheers) you know, it (crowd cheers) you know, “Tramps like us and baby, we were born to run – and will you please take off your pants?” (laughs from the crowd) see, it works because it’s in there already, that’s why it works (laughs from the crowd) it’s tricky, even, even, uh, all the great protest music, “It’s a hard rain gonna fall so will you take off your pants?” (laughs from the crowd) see, it, it’s all in there no matter what the song is saying, it’s actually saying that (laughs from the crowd) so, uh, uh …(?) at my point in my life, it’s, uh, “Will you please take off your pants just so I can look?” (laughs from the crowd) it’s changed a little bit for me but uh (crowd cheers) at any rate, love songs (crowd cheers) that’s right, now the idea is my father had the other point of view, he was into the post-taking your pants off-phase (laughs from the crowd) he believed that once the pants were off, then all love songs were simply government propaganda (laughs from the crowd) that were meant to get you like married and have babies and get your nose to the grindstone and, uh, uh, and, and, and slave your life away, uh, uh, that’s the post-pants off-phase, according to my Pop, you know, so, uh, I, I leave the individual listener up to decide who, who had that one right but, uh, anyway, this was, this was actually a love song, as I was telling someone earlier, this was one of my secret love songs in which the “take off your pants”-message is deeply embedded in the lyrics but it’s in there (laughs from the crowd) alright…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “Ain’t Got You”
“When I’m approached out on the streets…I’m often asked the same question…”Do you have any change, Sir?”…sorry (chuckles)… I’m often asked “What is it like to be the Boss?” (crowd cheers) I have a standard bullshit humble answer that I always give, it goes something like “It’s no big deal, somebody’s gotta do it, it’s just like anything else”…lies, lies, all lies (chuckles)(crowd cheers)…I could have said…(laughs from the crowd)…nah (chuckles)…I don’t wanna lord it over anybody, I like to do that in private (chuckles) but I did write about it once…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, after “Ain’t Got You”
“(Crowd cheers)(in a mock Elvis Presley voice:) Thank you very much, thank you very much (crowd cheers)…!

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “Be True”
“Thank you very much, alright (crowd cheers) yes, thank you, gentlemen, thank you, fellas…uh, got the words to, uh? oh yeah, grazie, grazie, yes, yes, uh, my glasses, please – no (laughs from the crowd)(chuckles) not yet – soon (chuckles)(laughs from the crowd) but not yet (chuckles)…alright…alright, I’m gonna do this tonight for you, kid, here we go…I may remember all the chords, I may not, there’s a lot of chords and they come fast in this song so, uh, let’s see what happens…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “Drive All Night”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) thank you very much, alright… alright, ladies and gentlemen, alright…we got something just for Philadelphia tonight (crowd cheers) yes, never been done…in a long fucking time (chuckles)(laughs from the crowd) if ever – I’m sure somebody out there can tell me when but uh (laughs from the crowd)(chuckles) but I don’t remember that so let’s see how we do …alright…this is for, uh, the folks from Badlands, uh (people from Badlands cheer) alright, you’re out there, yeah, where are you guys from?…Espana…is it Espana?…alright, here we go…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “Jesus Was an Only Son”
“Thanks a lot…I grew up in a…on this little block where I was surrounded by my relatives and, uh…it was kind of a little L-shaped street that had, uh, there was my grandmother’s house that I lived in with my grandpop and my dad and mom and my sister and, uh, there was a little field and there was a nuns’ convent, there was the priest’s rectory, was the Catholic church on the corner, across the street was the Catholic school, next to the Catholic school was my aunt’s house with, uh, with a woman cousin and a couple of little cousins in it and then next to them was my other aunt’s house, my aunt Jane’s house with my uncle Pat and three grown man cousins in it…they were very big and, and hairy and frightened me quite a bit but I never, my cousins somehow, and then a couple houses down was my great-grandmother’s house and, uh, then across the street – that was the Irish side of the family (some cheers) and, uh, across the street there was a lone, the lone Italian outpost (crowd cheers) it was, uh, “Fort Zirilli,” “Fort Zirilli” was (chuckles) the house that, uh, uh, that was my aunt Dora and my cousin Margaret and uncle Warren and then around town we had another series of three or four houses filled with people and somehow or another it, it was decided that the Irish side of the family, oh, the Irish and the Italian side of the family never went to each other’s homes and I never saw any of the Italians at Irish relatives’ or vice versa and somehow it was decided that the, the Italians, I think, were better off but, uh, they were just across the street so I don’t know how that, you know, how that exactly worked but, but, uh, but I was kind of, I was brought up really by the, by the, my father’s Irish relatives and uh (crowd cheers) and, uh, uh, and it was very strange, they were very old, old-fashioned people that – I suppose they’re out there but, but I don’t know if they make them any more, you know, and, and they were very religious and very superstitious simultaneously and when, when it would thunder and lightning, my grandmother would drag me up the street to her sister’s house and all the old ladies would gather in the living room and, uh, they would pull the shades down, assuming that for some reason lightning cannot pass through shade material (laughs from the crowd) uh, if that’s true, they should start advertising that, that would be (laughs from the crowd) well, they thought so, so the shades would come down and when it really started lightning and thundering very badly – as I seemed to remember doing quite a bit in the summers down there – they, my aunt would, first they would tell lightning horror stories (laughs from the crowd) of, you know, things like Mr. Smith was walking his dog and the lightning hit a tree, went down the tree and to the sewer pipes, ran along the sewer pipe and came up and struck him in his ass, you know (laughs from the crowd) that’s not exact but it was something like that (laughs from the crowd) and, uh, they would, uh, they would then, uh, the next step would be a lot of fretting and, and oh-ing when the lightning really and the thunder really started hitting and then the final step, which was the piece de resistance, my aunt would break out the bottle of holy water (laughs from the crowd) and she would start spraying it over all of us (laughs from the crowd) in the room…now, being that water actually conducts electricity (laughs from the crowd) I wasn’t sure about if that was such a good idea but, uh, but I thought that was going on in all the houses around town was what I, what I assumed, so they were, they were strange but, but, but nice people and, uh, uh, scarred me for life and, uh (laughs from the crowd) let me see, and, uh, so I grew up surrounded, immersed, immersed in this Catholic neighborhood with, uh, you know, and, and Catholic imagery ended up kind of filling my songs and it’s a reservoir of a lot of beauty and, and poetry, uh, and, and abject horror and terror so (chuckles)(laughs from the crowd) and so I was thinking, I was writing a song about parents and children and of course my mind wandered to Jesus as, just as someone’s son and, and how, how would you respond as a parent and, uh, this is called “Jesus Was an Only Son” (crowd cheers)…
(…) As He lay reading the Psalms of David at His mother’s feet…the first thing you realize when you have your kids is that there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to keep them safe and also that you, you are tied to their destiny and it’s a life sentence…
(…) That no shadow, no darkness, no tolling bell will pierce your dreams this night…now, I always figured what gives our choices weight and meaning are the things we sacrifice and I always figured Jesus had to be thinking about the part of life that He was… that He was going to lose…that it’s really beautiful this time of year down in Galilee…and that there’s this little bar across the street from the beach and they need a manager…and Mary Magdalene could tend bar (laughs from the crowd) and they could have a bunch of kids and save the preaching for the weekends, to hell with it…and get to see the sun fall on their kid’s face and watch their lungs fill with air at night…get to see the next day…and the day after that…and the day after that…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “The Hitter”
“Thank you very much, uh…(strums his guitar)…well, we’re kind of built so that with one hand…we build and with one hand we burn, you try to keep the building in front of the burning…it doesn’t always work out, uh…it’s how God planned it, I guess, or the way He let it be – this is the burning…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “Matamoros Banks”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) thanks a lot (crowd cheers) I, uh, wrote this next song, it was a sequel to a series of songs that I wrote while I was living in California in the, uh, early nineties and, uh…my, my folks moved out to the Bay Area about thirty, thirty-five years ago, I was nineteen and, uh, and later on I lived in southern California, I’d, I’d go visit them, you know, I’d drive up to Central Valley and stop in the little farm towns and, uh, it was just a fascinating place to write about, there was a series of songs on “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and, and, uh, this was, uh, this was something I wrote short, shortly thereafter, each year there’s hundreds of people who die trying to come across the southern border, they die from dehydration in the deserts and drowning in the river, uh, in the backs of vans and, uh, if you eat strawberries or, or, or lettuce or eggplants or tomatoes or, or any foods that those things are on, those things don’t get harvested by machines, they’re too delicate, and all those things are still handpicked and so their hands are in your home and at your table and we’re in need of some sort of humane immigration policy so, uh (crowd applauds) I wrote this song backwards, this song starts, starts at the, it starts at its end with the body at the bottom of the river and traces a man’s journey back across the desert to the banks of Matamoros…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “I Wanna Marry You”
“There I was…in the, uh, Trump penthouse suite in Atlantic City where I woke up with, uh, two hookers and a ukulele (laughs from the crowd)…”

08.11.05 Philadelphia, PA, intro to “The Promised Land”
“Thank you, Philadelphia (crowd cheers) thank you, Philly, you’ve been a wonderful audience tonight, thanks so much, I appreciate it (crowd cheers) thanks, it’s, uh (crowd cheers) it’s a lot of fun to be able to come out and play like this, it’s, uh, it’s really, it’s just, it’s a great privilege and you need a great audience to do this so I just wanna say thank you, appreciate it (crowd cheers) got some friends out there in the house tonight, we got folks from Philabundance, they work to end hunger here in Delaware Valley (crowd cheers) they get that surplus food and they distribute it to the organizations serving folks that are in need out there, Philabundance, you see them on the way out, check out what they’re doing, if you can support them in some fashion, that would be, that would be great, I’m gonna send this out to them and to you, once again Philly, thank you (crowd cheers)…”

Compiled by Johanna Pirttijärvi

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