The Wild, The Innocent, and. . . Wow!

So, my bus was on holiday schedule, taking the long way to and from work yesterday.  I had to listen to. . . what else?. . . The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, especially Sandy (aka 4th of July, Asbury Park).  I had forgotten how incredible the whole album is, though, from E Street Shuffle to New York Serenade.

Takes you back to Bruce on the Jersey shore and more innocent times.  OK, maybe not. . .

Sparks fly on E Street when the boy prophets walk it handsome and hot
All the little girls’ souls grow weak when the man-child gives them a double shot
Them schoolboy pops pull out all the stops on a Friday night
The teenage tramps in skintight pants do the E Street dance and everything’s all right

Younger times, without the weight of the world or life.

Little Angel steps the shuffle like she ain’t got no brains
She’s death in combat down on Lover’s Lane
She drives all them local boys insane
Little Angel says, “Oh, oh, everybody form a line
Oh, oh, everybody form a line”

OK, less pc times, too.  This is 1973!

Here’s Bruce and the E Street Band playing Sandy last year, with Danny one last time.

Well, not the most complete version, but full of emotion.

Sandy the fireworks are hailin’ over Little Eden tonight
Forcin’ a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of July
Down in town the circuit’s full with switchblade lovers so fast so shiny so sharp
And the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past darkAnd the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers along the shore
Chasin’ all them silly New York girls

Sandy the aurora is risin’ behind us
The pier lights our carnival life forever
Love me tonight for I may never see you again
Hey Sandy girl

I notice Bruce went back to the original (Wild & Innocent) version about on the lyrics “Sandy, the waitress I was seeing lost her desire for me. . .” rather than the later version on the website (and the live album) about the angels, umm, that’s Hell’s Angels. . .  I can’t decide which version I like more.

Then one of my favorite lines “the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin’ fortunes better than they do.”  Alas, I heard Madame Marie passed away, I think it was last year, too.

Kitty’s Back!  Now that I look at the lyrics, I’m not so sure this is about cat-like people:

Catlong sighs holding Kitty’s black tooth
She left to marry some top cat, ain’t it the cold truth

or people-like cats:

Catlong lies back bent on a trash can,
Flashing lights cut the night, dude in the white says he’s the man
Well you better learn to move fast when you’re young or you’re not long around
Cat somehow lost his Kitty down in the city pound

but it’s okay now:

Well who’s that down at the end of the alley?
She’s been gone so long

Kitty’s back in town, here she comes now
Kitty’s back in town

Even if she’s been unfaithful:

Now Cat knows his Kitty’s been untrue
And that she left him for a city dude
But she’s so soft, she’s so blue
When he looks into her eyes
He just sits back and sighs
Ooh, what can I do, ooh, what can I do?

Wild Billy’s Circus Story – favorite line: “Jesus send some good women to save all your clowns. . .”

Incident on 57th Street – another song about, what else, loving and fighting, though I’m with Jane:

Jane moves over to share her pillow but opens her eyes to see Johnny up and putting his clothes on
She says “Those romantic young boys
All they ever want to do is fight”
Those romantic young boys
They’re callin’ through the window
“Hey Spanish Johnny, you want to make a little easy money tonight?”

Vintage early Bruce.

Rosalita: Here’s Bruce in 1978 (it’s on the Video Anthology/1978–88).  Check out all the girls trying to get on stage! “I ain’t here on business, I’m only here for fun. . .” 

Of course, I’m wondering what happens these days when the young men must be calling for his teen age daughter. . .

Now I know your mama she don’t like me ’cause I play in a rock and roll band
And I know your daddy he don’t dig me but he never did understand
Papa lowered the boom, he locked you in your room
I’m comin’ to lend a hand
I’m comin’ to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man
Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny
But now you’re sad, your mama’s mad
And your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money
Tell him this is last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
Because a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance

New York Serenade is just so gorgeous with the music, and really interesting lyrics.

Billy he’s down by the railroad tracks
Sittin’ low in the back seat of his Cadillac
Diamond Jackie, she’s so intact
As she falls so softly beneath him
Jackie’s heels are stacked

OK, a bit wild!  Sometimes a bit serious. . .

It’s midnight in Manhattan, this is no time to get cute
It’s a mad dog’s promenade
So walk tall or baby don’t walk at all

Then this one:

Fish lady, oh fish lady
She baits them tenement walls
She won’t take corner boys
They ain’t got no money
And they’re so easy

And, oh yeah!  Anytime, Bruce!

I said “Hey, baby
Won’t you take my hand
Walk with me down Broadway
Well mama take my arm and move with me down Broadway”

But not her:

Hook up to the train
And hook up to the night train
Hook it up
Hook up to the train
But I know that she won’t take the train, no she won’t take the train
Oh she won’t take the train, no she won’t take the train
Oh she won’t take the train, no she won’t take the train
Oh she won’t take the train, no she won’t take the train
She’s afraid them tracks are gonna slow her down
And when she turns this boy’ll be gone
So long, sometimes you just gotta walk on, walk on

And this line:

Hey vibes man, hey jazz man, play me your serenade
Any deeper blue and you’re playin’ in your grave

And there’s even poetry with the trash collection:

Listen to your junk man
Listen to your junk man
Listen to your junk man
He’s singin’, he’s singin’, he’s singin’
All dressed up in satin, walkin’ past the alley
He’s singin’, singin’, singin’, singin’

Pure poetry and music!

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