INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET

Live 29 Jan 1974 version


[Spoken intro:] Here we go, Danny! Here's a song off our second album, which you can't find anywhere in town (laughs), but (laughs) it's out there somewhere, you know. Here you go.

One, two, three, four

Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
With bruised arms and broken rhythm in a beat-up old Buick but dressed just like dynamite
He tried sellin' his heart to the hard girls over on Easy Street
They cried, "But Johnny, it falls apart so easy and hearts these days are so cheap"
So the pimps swung their axes and they said, "Johnny, you're a cheater"
The pimps swung their axes and said, "Oh, Johnny, you're a li-li-liar"
So from out of the shadows came a young girl's voice
Said, "Johnny, don't cry"
And Johnny cried, "Puerto Rican Jane, yeah, won't you tell me what's your name
I want to ride you down to the other side of town
Where paradise ain't so crowded, there'll be action goin' down on Shanty Lane tonight
All them golden-heeled fairies in a real bitch fight, pull thirty-eights and kiss the girls goodnight"

And Johnny whispered, "Goodnight, it's all right, Jane
Ah, let the black boys in to light the soul flame
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe"

Well, like a cool Romeo he made his moves, ah, she looked so fine
And like a late Juliet she knew he'd never be true, but she did not really mind
Upstairs the band was playin', the singer was singin' something about going home
She cried, "Spanish Johnny, you can leave me tonight, but just don't leave me alone"
And Johnny cried, "Puerto Rican Jane, word is down the cops have found the vein"
Them little barefoot boys, they left their homes for the woods
Barefoot boys, they said homes ain't no good
They left the corners and they threw away all their switchblade knives
And kissed each other goodbye

Well, Johnny sat on the fire escape watchin' the kids playin' down in the street
He called down, "Hey, little heroes, summer's long, but it sure ain't sweet around here anymore"
Oh, Janey's asleep in sheets damp with sweat; Johnny'd watch her dream on, dreamin' on
And the sister broke down in the chapel last night after everybody's gone
And Janey woke up to see Johnny out of bed and putting his clothes on
She cried, "Them romantic young boys (them romantic young boys), all they ever want to do is fight"
Them romantic young boys (romantic young boys), they call in the window:
"Hey, Spanish Johnny, want to make a little easy money tonight?"
And Johnny whispered, "Goodnight, it's all tight, Jane
I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe"
Johnny cried, "Goodnight, it's all right, Jane
I wanna meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe
Ah, goodnight, it's all right, Jane
I wanna meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Well, we may walk until the morning light, maybe


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 29 Jan 1974 performance of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET at Muther's Music Emporium in Nashville, TN, during what is considered The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour. The song was played in a jazzy full-band version featuring Vini Lopez on drums and David Sancious on piano.

Promotional ad for the 29 Jan to 03 Feb 1974 shows at Muther's Music Emporium, Nashville, TN
Promotional ad for the 29 Jan to 03 Feb 1974 shows at Muther's Music Emporium, Nashville, TN
(Taken from Brucebase)

Bruce Springsteen performed on 29 and 30 Jan 1974 at Muther's Music Emporium, opening for headliner Freddie King. Springsteen played before King on both nights but was allowed to give a headliner-length performance. Freddie King was booked for a six-night residency, from 29 Jan 1974 to 03 Feb 1974. Bruce Springsteen was the opening act on the first two nights and Redd Snapper was the opening act on the remaining four nights. An excellent quality soundboard recording of Springsteen's performance from the first night circulates among collectors.

Springsteen's booking at this small, 300-seat club came about after Mike Appel became aware of a CBS sales convention taking place in Nashville and, additionally, that the entire CBS contingent would be staying in a hotel near this club. Appel conducted a handbill/leaflet drop to each room in the hotel, inviting nearly 200 CBS sales and marketing people to attend the shows. However, according to Appel, nobody from CBS turned up and the club was painfully empty. The audio evidence certainly backs up Appel's recollection. There doesn't sound like there are more than 100 people in the club for Springsteen's show. It is speculated this soundboard was recorded because Appel wanted to have material from the show to give to the CBS people that he anticipated would show up.

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help. Most of the above information is taken from Brucebase.

Available Versions

List of available versions of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET on this website:

INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Album version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Early draft]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Jan 1974 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 05 Feb 1975 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 11 Oct 1975 (late show) version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 07 Apr 1976 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 25 Mar 1977 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 20 Sep 1978 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 23 Oct 1999 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 08 Dec 2001 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 16 Oct 2002 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 27 Oct 2002 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 11 Aug 2003 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 08 Nov 2005 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 06 Oct 2007 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 31 Jul 2008 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 07 Nov 2009 version]
INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 26 Feb 2014 version]

Page last updated: 10 Jan 2012