HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN

Official studio version


(One, two three!)
Hoah!
Turn it up!
Come on Steve!

I was out driving, just a-taking it slow
Looked at my tank, it was reading low
Pulled in an Exxon station out on Highway One
Oh yeah!
Held up without a gun
Held up without a gun

Some damn fool with a guitar walks in off the street
Ain't got nowhere to go, ain't got nothing to eat
Man with a cigar says "sign here, son"
Watch out!
Held up without a gun
Held up without a gun

(Whoah!)
(Oh!)
(Oh! Oh! Oh!)

Now it's a sin and it oughta be a crime
You know it happens buddy all the time
Trying to make a living, trying to have a little fun
Look out!
Held up without a gun
Held up without a gun
Held up without a gun
Held up without a gun
(Oh!)


Info

HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and first released as the non-album B-side of HUNGRY HEART in 1980. The above lyrics are for the official studio version of HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN as released in 1980.

The official studio version of HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN was included on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set in 2015.

Composition and Recording

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

Single Releases

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection is a Bruce Springsteen box set released in 2015 on Columbia Records to celebrate the 35th anniversary of The River album. The 10"x12" box set contains four CDs, 2 Blu-Ray discs or 3 DVDs, and a hardcover 148-page coffee table book featuring 200 mostly unseen studio and live photographs, pages from Springsteen's notebooks, single covers, images and outtakes from the original album package, and other memorabilia documenting the album, plus a new essay by Mikal Gilmore. The box set was announced on 16 Oct 2015 and released to retail on 04 Dec 2015.

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (box set cover art)
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (box set cover art)

The first two discs consist of the 2014 remastered version of The River album. The third disc contains The River: Single Album, a 10-track album originally planned for release in 1979, under the title "The Ties That Bind". "The songs lacked the kind of unity and conceptual intensity I liked my music to have. So we went back in the studio," Springsteen wrote in his 1998 book Songs. He scrapped the project and went on to rework some of the songs and write and record some others, leading to the double-disc release the following year. All but one of these ten tracks were previously released.

1.THE TIES THAT BINDDifferent version previously released on The River
2.CINDYPreviously unreleased
3.HUNGRY HEARTPreviously released on The River
4.STOLEN CARPreviously released on Tracks
5.BE TRUEPreviously released as a B-side and on Tracks
6.THE RIVERPreviously released on The River
7.YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)Different version previously released on The River
8.THE PRICE YOU PAYDifferent version previously released on The River
9.I WANNA MARRY YOUPreviously released on The River
10.LOOSE ENDSPreviously released on Tracks

The fourth discs contains The River: Outtakes, a 22-track album collection consisting of outtakes from the 1979-1980 sessions that didn't make the cut for either the single- or double-album versions of The River. The CD is divided into two parts, "Record One" (the first 11 tracks) and "Record Two" (the remaining 10 tracks). The former consists of unreleased songs while the latter consists of previously released songs.

1.MEET ME IN THE CITYPreviously unreleased
2.THE MAN WHO GOT AWAYPreviously unreleased
3.LITTLE WHITE LIESPreviously unreleased
4.THE TIME THAT NEVER WASPreviously unreleased
5.NIGHT FIREPreviously unreleased
6.WHITETOWNPreviously unreleased
7.CHAIN LIGHTNINGPreviously unreleased
8.PARTY LIGHTSPreviously unreleased
9.PARADISE BY THE "C"Live version previously released on Live/1975-85
10.STRAY BULLETPreviously unreleased
11.MR. OUTSIDEPreviously unreleased
12.ROULETTEPreviously released on Tracks
13.RESTLESS NIGHTSPreviously released on Tracks
14.WHERE THE BANDS AREPreviously released on Tracks
15.DOLLHOUSEPreviously released on Tracks
16.LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLDPreviously released on Tracks
17.TAKE 'EM AS THEY COMEPreviously released on Tracks
18.RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWNPreviously released on Tracks
19.I WANNA BE WITH YOUPreviously released on Tracks
20.MARY LOUPreviously released on Tracks
21.HELD UP WITHOUT A GUNPreviously released as a B-side
22.FROM SMALL THINGS (BIG THINGS ONE DAY COME)Previously released on The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 3-disc edition)

The fifth disc contains the 60-minute documentary, The Ties That Bind, produced and directed by Grammy and Emmy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny. The documentary features an intimate interview with Bruce Springsteen as he reflects on writing and recording of The River. The film transitions between Springsteen telling the stories behind the music — and illustrating them with solo acoustic guitar performances — interspersed with period concert footage and rare photos of him and the band in and out of the studio.

The sixth disc (on the Blu-Ray release) or sixth and seventh disc (on the DVD release) feature(s) The River Tour, Tempe 1980, a new professionally shot film consisting of 24 songs from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's 05 Nov 1980 concert at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. The film uses four cameras and is recorded in multitrack audio and clocks at 2 hours and 40 minutes. The tapes were edited by Thom Zimny and the audio was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

  1. BORN TO RUN
  2. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT
  3. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT
  4. JACKSON CAGE
  5. TWO HEARTS
  6. THE PROMISED LAND
  7. OUT IN THE STREET
  8. THE RIVER
  9. BADLANDS
  10. THUNDER ROAD
  11. NO MONEY DOWN
  12. CADILLAC RANCH
  13. HUNGRY HEART
  14. FIRE
  15. SHERRY DARLING
  16. I WANNA MARRY YOU
  17. CRUSH ON YOU
  18. RAMROD
  19. YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)
  20. DRIVE ALL NIGHT
  21. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
  22. I'M A ROCKER
  23. JUNGLELAND
  24. DETROIT MEDLEY

The ten songs that are not included on The River Tour, Tempe 1980 (DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, INDEPENDENCE DAY, FACTORY, RACING IN THE STREET, CANDY'S ROOM, THE TIES THAT BIND, STOLEN CAR, WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY, POINT BLANK, and BACKSTREETS) were later officially released on Live.BruceSpringsteen.net.

The last disc also contains The River Tour Rehearsals, which consists of a 5-song 20-minute bonus footage from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's private rehearsals in late September 1980 at Clair Brothers Audio in Lititz, PA. Springsteen and the band can be seen working through live arrangements of what was then unreleased material from the upcoming album.

  1. RAMROD
  2. CADILLAC RANCH
  3. FIRE
  4. CRUSH ON YOU
  5. SHERRY DARLING

Bootleg Releases

A very slightly different mix of the official studio version of HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN (but same core recording) was released on The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 1 (E Street Records) [disc 2, track 11] bootleg.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 1 (E Street Records)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 1 (E Street Records)

Other Official Releases

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

In addition to its release as a B-side and its inclusion on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN also appears on one Bruce Springsteen promo-only sampler.

Bruce Springsteen -- Killer Bs (From The USA)
Bruce Springsteen -- Killer Bs (From The USA)

MC - CBS (CDNT 239) - Canada, 1985

Canada-only promotional cassette tape sampler compiling 10 Springsteen single B-sides.

Other versions of HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (album cover art)
The live 31 Dec 1980 version of HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN was first released on The Essential Bruce Springsteen compilation album in 2003.

Live History

HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN was performed once during The River Tour (138 dates, October 1980 to September 1981), on 31 Dec 1980 in Uniondale, NY. The live 31 Dec 1980 version of HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN was first released on The Essential Bruce Springsteen compilation album in 2003.

  1. 31 Dec 1980 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

In preparation for the Vote For Change Tour, HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN is known to have been practiced during one of the tour's three private rehearsals that took place from 27 to 29 Sep 2004 in Asbury Park.

  1. 28 Sep 2004 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)

HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN was performed 3 times during the Magic Tour (100 dates, October 2007 to August 2008).

  1. 21 Jun 2008 at HSH Nordbank Arena, Hamburg, Germany
  2. 28 Jul 2008 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
  3. 21 Aug 2008 at Sommet Center, Nashville, TN

HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN was performed once during the Wrecking Ball Tour (133 dates, March 2012 to September 2013), on 25 Oct 2012 in Hartford, CT.

  1. 25 Oct 2012 at XL Center, Hartford, CT

Covers

As far as it's known, no artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN.

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.

Available Versions

List of available versions of HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN on this website:

HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Official studio version]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #1]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #2]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #3]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #4]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #5]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #6]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #7]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Band rehearsal #8]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Home demo]
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]

Page last updated: 06 Dec 2015