Band rehearsal #2
The above lyrics are for a band rehearsal workout of NIGHT FIRE recorded probably around late March 1979 at Springsteen's Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ, nicknamed "Telegraph Hill Studios". This wasn't a true studio; it was a converted barn that Springsteen and the band used to practice songs around the time The River was being cut in studio. Working out arrangements cuts down pricey hours at The Power Station where the album was recorded.
A significant amount of The River sessions audio that has surfaced unofficially comes from these Telegraph Hill sessions. Unfortunately the audio quality leaves much to be desired. It sounds as if a single boom recording mike was used and Springsteen's vocals are buried under the instruments on virtually all these recordings.
This band rehearsal of NIGHT FIRE can be found on The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2 (E. St. Records) [disc 2, track 12] bootleg. It's one of four band rehearsal takes of the song found on this bootleg.
Liner notes from The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2 bootleg:
Once again, Bruce has only part of the lyrics ready as the band begins to rehearse this new song, which seems to share some similarities to "Jackson Cage" and the outtake "English Sons" a.k.a. "Endless Night". [...] Here it seems that between this song, "Jackson Cage" and "English Sons", Springsteen was aiming for a particular sixties sound that might be summed up as a kind of spooky "Heart Full of Soul". Perhaps the title "English Sons" is a direct reference to all of those British bands of the sixties Bruce admired so much like The Searchers and The Yardbirds. In the end, he chose "Jackson Cage" to represent this kind of sound. While the lyrics and vocal to this song are largely lost, it does contain some nice guitar work and frenetic drumming. The partial takes that follow the first run through are also revealing. Listen for Bruce showing Clarence the kind of sax solo he wants.
Some of the above info about the Telegraph Hill sessions is taken from Brucebase.
The lyrics in band rehearsal take are very unintelligible, but if you can help transcribing at least some of them, or if you have any additions or corrections to this page, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.
List of available versions of NIGHT FIRE on this website:NIGHT FIRE [Official studio version]