INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET

Live 25 Mar 1977 version


[Spoken intro:] This is something from my time before... This is for the Cleveland Boys who will never die.

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
But they sighed, "Johnny, it falls apart so easy and you know hearts these days are cheap"
And the pimps swung their axes and said, "Johnny, you're a cheater"
And the pimps swung their axes and said, "Johnny, you're a liar"
And from out of the shadows came a young girl's voice, said, "Johnny!"
Said, "Johnny, don't cry"
And Johnny sighed, "Puerto Rican Jane, whoa, 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, they pull thirty-eights and they kiss the girls goodnight"

And Johnny sighed, "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 morning light, maybe"

Well, like a cool Romeo he made his move, yeah, 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' and the singer was singin' something about going home
She whispered, "Spanish Johnny, you can leave me tonight, but just don't leave me alone"
And Johnny cried, "Puerto Rican Jane, word's down the cops have found the vein"
Them little barefoot boys left their homes for the woods
Them little barefoot street boys, they say homes ain't no good
They left the corners and they threw away all of their switchblade knives
And they kissed each other bye-bye

Now Johnny sat on the fire escape watchin' the kids playin' down in the street
And he called down, "Hey, little heroes, summer's long, but I guess it ain't so sweet around here no more"
Janey sleeps in sheets damp with sweat; Johnny sits up all night and watches her dreamin' on
And her sister breaks down in the chapel late at night after everybody's gone
Janey wakes up and moves over to share her pillow, but she sees Johnny up and out of bed, putting his clothes on
And she sighs, "Them romantic young boys, all they ever want to do is fight"
Them romantic young boys, and they call in the window:
"Hey, Johnny, why don't you come on out and make a little easy money tonight?"
And Johnny cried, "Goodnight, it's all tight, Jane
Well, I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk 'til the morning light"
Say!
Goodnight, it's all right, Jane
I swear I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk 'til the morning light, maybe
Goodnight, it's all right, Jane
I swear I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk 'til the morning light, say it!

Now, say that whispering:
Goodnight, it's all tight, Jane
I swear I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
And we may... the small town light... Make... and say.... Say...
Goodnight, it's all tight, Jane, say it
Goodnight, it's all right, Jane, say it
Goodnight, it's all right, Jane, and say it
Goodnight, it's all right, Jane


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 25 Mar 1977 performance of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET at Music Hall in Boston, MA, during what is known as The Lawsuit Tour. This was the last of four consecutive shows at the venue that concluded the tour. The song was played in a full-band arrangement similar to that from the Chicken Scratch Tour, but including the since-traditional extended guitar outro by Bruce followed by a reprise of the chorus, not to mention some horrible harmonies from Steve Van Zandt on the choruses.

Promotional ad for the March 1977 four-night at Music Hall, Boston, MA
Promotional ad for the March 1977 four-night at Music Hall, Boston, MA
(Taken from Brucebase)
Ticket stub for the 25 Mar 1977 show at Music Hall, Boston, MA
Ticket stub for the 25 Mar 1977 show at Music Hall, Boston, MA
(Thanks Steve Hopkins)

Despite the marvelous reception received by both Born To Run and the tour which followed, the relationship between Bruce Springsteen and his now former manager and producer Mike Appel was deteriorating. In July 1976 the storm broke; Mike Appel wrote to Springsteen saying that he would not allow Jon Landau (Springsteen's friend and co-producer of Born To Run) to produce the next album, citing a particular paragraph from their original agreement. Springsteen replied on 27 Jul 1976 by firing manager Mike Appel and suing him and his management company Laurel Canyon Ltd. in Federal Court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, breach of trust, and undue influence. Appel counter-sued on 29 Jul 1976 in New York State Supreme Court, asking the court to prohibit Springsteen and Jon Landau from working together in studio. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band were slated to enter the studio that year for the recording of a new album, except that on 15 Sep 1976 the judge in the lawsuits case ruled that Springsteen was enjoined from any further recording with Columbia Records until Appel's suit was resolved. This would drag for about a year. Meanwhile, Springsteen continued gigging, and in the process broke his self-imposed rule of not playing the larger arenas. This was basically because he was not able to put a record out, and it was the only way his fans would be able to hear him at all. The tour became known as "The Lawsuit Tour" (62 know dates, August 1976 to March 1977).

Credits

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

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: 18 Jan 2016