Story 2005-11-21 Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton, NJ

Intro to “Rumble”
“This is for Link Wray…”

Intro to “Atlantic City”
“Good evening, everybody (crowd cheers) thank you…thanks, the only thing I ask tonight is I need as much quiet as I can get during the songs, that way I can give you my best…and, uh, it’s good to be back in Trenton, haven’t played here in a while (crowd cheers) the War Memorial, is that thing still standing? (crowd cheers) alright…alright…”

Intro to “Long Time Comin’”
“Thanks a lot (crowd cheers) alright, for the moms and the pops out there…”

Intro to “Fade Away”
“Thank you very much, thank you very much…(?)…alright, audible… grazie (some cheers)…”

Intro to “Meeting Across the River”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) thanks a lot (crowd cheers) thank you, boys…alright…let me get myself wired, alright…here’s a little, uh, happy anniversary…”

Intro to “All the Way Home”
“Thank you very much, thank you (crowd cheers) alright, if, uh, if anybody out there’s having trouble folks being quiet around, you can grab the usher and go fire off a warning shot and (chuckles) then they get the hook…it is a community event…and I’m kind of, besides a fellow citizen, I am the mayor and sheriff (chuckles)…”

Intro to “One Step Up”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) alright, a little, uh, echo to this one too…”

Intro to “Two for the Road”
“Yes, yes, yes…oh, here comes…we have our little Marx Brothers routine here (chuckles) it takes three grown men to set up this next song, that’s right (chuckles) but, uh, I kind of, I write two kinds of songs, songs of hope and songs of eternal damnation (chuckles) and I don’t like to pussyfoot around in the middle, alright (chuckles) so let’s move on to…this one…(?) I’ll do that right now, goddamn it, “Two for the Road” (some cheers)(?)(chuckles) there it is, alright…an obscure ditty…I assume favored by some of these folks that’ve been following me around for a while so, uh…I know a lot of folks came from Europe, I guess for these last series of shows, man, that’s a hell of a haul, I gotta say…damn, this is for you, goddamn it…I can’t get off my couch to go to freaking Asbury Park (chuckles)(laughs from the crowd) I gotta salute you, alright (chuckles)…”

Intro to “Santa Ana”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) “Santa Ana”…thanks a lot (crowd cheers) this is, uh, this is a song I’ve been doing, this was an outtake, I think from “The Wild and the Innocent” (crowd cheers) and, uh, it’s one of those songs that just, you know, I’ve had it around a long time, we actually played it a lot back in 1973 or 4 and, uh (crowd cheers) you know, but, uh, and, uh…I can’t believe that many people can remember back that far – I don’t believe it…uh, so, uh, at any rate this is for those folks that know more about me than I know about myself so, uh (crowd cheers) yes, you know, I have, I have my own radio station now and that’s quite exciting (crowd cheers) and, uh… if I need to know anything about myself, I just tune in right there, right (laughs from the crowd) I don’t trust my own actual self anymore with the information so I gotta call the people that know, that know so (chuckles) anyway…alright, here we go, let’s get, alright, come here, what do you gotta say? you say “Try me, Boss,” alright, here we go…”

Intro to “Drive All Night”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) thanks a lot (crowd cheers) alright, if we got any lovers out there tonight, this is going out for lovers only, ladies and gentlemen, that’s right, get your baby close to you, put your arm around your honey, here we go…”

Intro to “Jesus Was an Only Son”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) I grew up in a little, on this one block we had about seven houses on and, uh, it was kind of unusual… somebody, so that I could explain this appropriately, some fine Canadian lady brought this to the show the other night…it is a visual aid of my neighborhood…now, this would be my house right here and, uh, I lived there with my grandparents and, uh, my mom and pop and my sister and some dogs and cats and, uh, this was a field, the field was actually in here and across the field right on the corner – correct, here – was the church and as you can see this isn’t quite drawn to scale (laughs from the crowd) no…but this is emotionally accurate, this is how big the church felt (laughs from the crowd) compared to my house…uh, I suppose these were the non-believers across the street, I don’t know (laughs from the crowd) they’re either, they’re worse than we are…so, uh, next to the church was the nuns’ convent and the priests’ rectory, uh, uh, I don’t even go, go into that but, uh, and, uh (chuckles) then there was the big car that doesn’t go in reverse – that is accurately, that is my father’s car accurately described…up the corner, just about half a block just right on, uh, it’s kind of reversed here but it doesn’t matter, this is, uh, my Aunt Jane’s house and in my Aunt Jane’s house was my Aunt Jane and my Uncle Pat, uh, with three grown man cousins, uh, it was always kind of strange, there was these three big men living in the house besides my Aunt Jane, uh, but anyway, next to them was my Aunt Anna and my cousin Joan and I had a couple of other younger cousins, then up the street was my great-grandmother’s house so this was all the Irish side of the family (some cheers) yes, then across the street was the lone Italian outpost, fort Zirilli (some cheers) yes…and in fort Zirilli was my Aunt Dora and my cousin Margaret, who’s here tonight, that’s right, this is, uh, I’ll dedicate this to you, Margaret (crowd cheers) and, uh, my mother’s mother so we all lived literally within a few houses of another on this little street, it was kind of an unusual way to grow up, I guess when I was very young, I spent a lot of time with the Irish side of the family and for some reason these people – and I don’t know, Margaret, maybe you can (?) – these people never crossed the street to these people! (laughs from the crowd) and these people over here never came across the street to see those people and that’s just it, it was so, uh, at any rate it was an interesting childhood, my, the Irish side of the family, particularly my grandmother and aunt, they were very suspicious and they would, uh, they were kind of religious and superstitious too just in case, you know, and when it would thunder and lightning, my grandmother would haul me up the street to my Aunt Jane’s house and I would sit in the living room with all the old ladies in the afternoon and I’ve kind of been telling the people this every night but it’s, it’s bizarre so I’ll continue, uh, and they would pull the shades down assuming that lightning cannot pass through shade material (laughs from the crowd) and, uh, and, and they would be fretting like you couldn’t believe, I mean the worrying and the, you know, the shaking was just, I don’t under-, I don’t understand it, I can’t imagine what I made of it at six years old except “Shit, this is serious!” you know (chuckles) (laughs from the crowd) so (chuckles) when it got really, they, plus they would make it worse by telling lightning-horror stories, you know (laughs from the crowd) they would like psyche themselves up into a worse fit of despair by telling these lightning-horror stories about lightning, you know, storing itself in a closet and somebody opened it up (laughs from the crowd) and it came out or striking someone’s television and, and, uh, or there was this one of my favorites was lightning struck a tree, went down into the sewer system, ran along the sewer pipes and, uh, up through a crack in the concrete where it struck one Mr. Smith in his ass while he was walking his dog (laughs from the crowd) and killing him and that was, that’s right, this is the Earth and you can just be gone at any time, let’s get this straight, so that was, that was the general drift of, of terror and paranoia going on around…my gang, but anyway, I was…but in the middle of it all was the Catholic church and, you know, the steeple and the cross and so I grew up with a lot of, my writing ended up filled with a lot of Catholic imagery, which is filled with a lot of beauty and, and, and poetry and, uh, uh, twisted horror and terror, you know (laughs from the crowd) and, uh (chuckles) so, uh, uh, you know, the, uh, at any rate, uh, I, I was writing a song about parents and children and I was trying to imagine, uh, what it would be like for Jesus as a son, having kids of my own, I know how you are just, you are tied to their destiny and, uh, for better and for worse and so, uh, their choices are your choices in some fashion so, uh, and, uh, this is called “Jesus Was an Only Son,” alright…”

Middle of “Jesus Was an Only Son”
“Soon as those kids show up…so does this enormous fear in your stomach that you won’t be able to protect them…and of course you pray for ‘em…Mother prays sleep tight, my child…
(…) Now, if you figure that the choices…the choices we make get their weight and their meaning by the things we sacrifice for them, the things we give up, you choose something and you let some part of life go…I always figured Jesus had to be thinking about the life that He would lose…and how it’s beautiful this time of year down in Galilee and how there was this little bar across the beach that needed a manager and Mary Magdalene could tend bar, He could’ve saved the preaching for the weekends (?)…He could’ve had a bunch of kids and got to see the sun fall on their face…you’d get to watch their lungs fill with air at night when they’re sleeping and you’d just got to see the next day and the day after that…and the day after that…and the day after that…In the garden at Gethsemane…”

Intro to “Song for Orphans”
“Thanks a lot (crowd cheers) come on out, Mr. Fitz…I’m gonna introduce you to the mysterious Mr. Fitz, he pokes his head out on occasion, there he is (chuckles)(crowd cheers) and, uh, takes care of all the keyboards and…very little one and, and, and, this phantom ambiance you hear on occasion out there…so…this is his stage debut, don’t make him nervous (chuckles) this is a song, uh …I’ll throw you now, this thing was, uh, I think it was an outtake from “Greetings from Asbury Park” (chuckles)(crowd cheers) and, uh, never released, never sung (chuckles) so you’re not gonna know this bastard, let’s put it like this (laughs from the crowd) though some of you may…some of you actually may, I, I, I…so, uh, this was a song I wrote called “Song for Orphans” (crowd cheers)…”

Intro to “Matamoros Banks”
“Thanks (crowd cheers) yeah, that was pretty good, that one (?)(chuckles)…alright, uh…grazie (chuckles)…alright…shut the fuck up (chuckles) let the man think, alright (chuckles) this was a song that I wrote as a sequel to a series of songs I set in California that I ended the “Tom Joad”-record with and, uh…a fascinating place to write about, uh…I was on the “Tom Joad”-tour, I’d come back to the hotel at night and it was the first time I played all acoustic like this on a tour and, and, uh, it was very satisfying and it’s been very satisfying and I’ll take this moment to, uh, thank the great audiences that I’ve had on this tour (crowd cheers) and, uh, it takes, it takes, uh, uh, a good audience to come up here and, and, uh, give me room to do this kind of work so I just, I’ve got a lot out of it and I hope you have too (crowd cheers) so I was going home at night and I was taking the guitar out and I was just continuing to write in that sort of short story, in the short story vein, and, uh, I wrote three or four songs set in California and this one came along, each year there’s hundreds of people that die trying to cross our Southern border, they die of dehydration in the deserts and they die crossing the rivers and, uh…really it’s, it’s, it’s time we need some sort of humane immigration policy and, uh (crowd cheers) ‘cause if you, if you eat strawberries or, or, or, or peaches or apples or, or plums or tomatoes or lettuce or all those wonderful foods, they cannot be machine-harvested, those are, uh, uh, hand-picked and so when they come into your home, those hands are at your table so…I’m gonna, this was a song I wrote as a story, I told the story backwards so the song begins at its end, there’s a body floating up from the bottom of the river, then it traces a man’s journey back across the desert to, uh, the banks of Matamoros, which is a town across from Brownsville, this is “Matamoros Banks”…”

Intro to “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?”
“There I was…in a dream…landed alongside the New Jersey Turnpike…with two hookers and a ukulele (chuckles)(laughs from the crowd) woo!…”

Intro to “Thundercrack”
“Thanks a lot (crowd cheers) this was, uh, this was our first show-stopper before, back before we had “Rosalita,” at the end of the night back in, we used to, we used to play this then…I may need some help (crowd cheers)…”

Intro to “The Promised Land”
“Thanks a lot (crowd cheers) thanks a lot, we, uh…got some friends in the house, we got the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean County with us tonight (some cheers) yes!…and, uh, they can use your support and they can use your help, those are the folks that are out on the frontline doing, uh, doing a good work and, uh, I’ve been, uh, you know, as I’ve gone around, I’ve spoken to a lot of folks working for foodbanks, they’re having a bit of a tight season, I think there’s all the giving you people did for Katrina which was great but, uh, uh, they could really use your help right now, on the way out if you check ‘em out and give ‘em some support or your time or your hard, cold cash, the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean County, they’re here in our counties helping, helping struggling citizens in Monmouth and Ocean (crowd cheers) so, uh, I’m gonna send this one out to them…and I wanna thank everybody for coming out the show tonight, it’s great to be here in Trenton (crowd cheers) and I appreciate it (crowd cheers) and thanks for being such a fine audience, a pleasure to play to (crowd cheers) this one’s to you…”

Intro to “Dream Baby Dream”
“Thanks, Jersey, happy birthday, Joad (chuckles) one more for Jersey…”

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi.
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