INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET

Live 29 Dec 1980 version


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 said, "Ah, Johnny, it falls apart too easy and you know that hearts these days are cheap"
And then the pimps swung their axes, said, "Johnny, you're a cheater"
Yeah, and then the pimps swung their axes, said, "Johnny, you're a liar"
And from out of the shadows came a youfng girl's voice
Said, "Johnny, don't cry"
And Johnny sighed, "Puerto Rican Jane, oh, won't you tell me what's your name
I want to drive 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 the barefoot boys in a real street fight, they pull thirty-eights and they kiss the girls goodnight"

Well, goodnight, it's all right, Jane
Now let the black boys in to light the soul flame
Well, we may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the morning light, baby

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

Now, Johnny sat out 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"
Now, Janey sleeps in sheets damp with sweat; Johnny sits up at night and watches her dream on
And the sister breaks down in the chapel after everybody's gone
And Janey moves over to share her pillow but she sees Johnny up and out of bed and putting his clothes on
And she sighs, "Them romantic young boys (them romantic young boys), all they ever want to do is fight"
Them romantic young boys (them romantic young boys), they shout through the window:
"Hey, Johnny, why don't you come on out and make a little easy money tonight?"
And Johnny sighs, "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"
And Johnny sighs, "Goodnight, it's all right, Jane
Well, I'll meet you tomorrow night on Lover's Lane
Well, 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, maybe
Whoa, we may walk 'til the morning light, maybe


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 29 Dec 1980 performance of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, during The River Tour. The song was played in a full-band album-style arrangement and featured a number of unique lyrical variations. This was the only performance of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET on The River Tour.

This live 29 Dec 1980 version of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET was first officially released on the War European EP in 1986, but the recording of the song has been altered prior to the official release, with reworked ending featuring a fake applause overdub.

The 29 Dec 1980 Show

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band rounded up the 1980 leg of The River Tour with three concerts at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on 28, 29, and 31 Dec 1980. The three shows were recorded live in the Record Plant Remote truck by Toby Scott, assisted by David Bianco and Jim Scott, and later became one of the main sources for the Live/1975-85 box set which includes six recordings from these shows. Four additional recordings were released as B-sides and on compilation albums.

Promotional poster for the 29 Dec 1980 show at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
Promotional poster for the 29 Dec 1980 show at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
(Taken from Brucebase)
Ticket stub for the 29 Dec 1980 show at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
Ticket stub for the 29 Dec 1980 show at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
(Taken from Brucebase)

  1. NIGHT
  2. OUT IN THE STREET
  3. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT
  4. WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN
  5. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  6. FACTORY
  7. INDEPENDENCE DAY
  8. TWO HEARTS
  9. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT
  10. THE PROMISED LAND
  11. THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
  12. THE RIVER
  13. BADLANDS
  14. THUNDER ROAD
  15. CADILLAC RANCH
  16. SHERRY DARLING
  17. HUNGRY HEART
  18. MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY
  19. FIRE
  20. CANDY'S ROOM
  21. BECAUSE THE NIGHT
  22. 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY)
  23. FOR YOU
  24. STOLEN CAR
  25. WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY
  26. POINT BLANK
  27. THE TIES THAT BIND
  28. RAMROD
  29. YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)
  30. INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET
  31. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
  32. SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN
  33. JUNGLELAND
  34. BORN TO RUN
  35. DETROIT MEDLEY

Official Releases

The live 29 Dec 1980 version of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET was released on the War EP in 1986 in Europe and Mexico.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War

12" EP - CBS (650193 6) - Greece, 1986

A1- WAR [Live 30 Sep 1985 version]
A2- MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War

12" EP - CBS (650193 6) - Holland, 1986

A1- WAR [Live 30 Sep 1985 version]
A2- MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War

12" EP - CBS (BS-650536) - Mexico, 1986

This was pressed on both black and red vinyl.

A1- WAR [Live 30 Sep 1985 version]
A2- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
B1- BORN TO RUN [Live 19 Aug 1985 version]
B2- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War

12" EP - CBS (650193 6) - Spain, 1986

A1- WAR [Live 30 Sep 1985 version]
A2- MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War

12" EP - CBS (650193 6) - UK, 1986

A1- WAR [Live 30 Sep 1985 version]
A2- MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- War

12" EP - CBS (650193 8) - UK, 1986

This limited issue comes in a fold-out poster sleeve.

A1- WAR [Live 30 Sep 1985 version]
A2- MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]

The live 29 Dec 1980 version of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET was also released on the B-side of the Fire (Live) single in 1987 in North America and the Philippines.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Fire (Live)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Fire (Live)

7" single - Columbia (38 06657) - USA, 1987

A1- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- "Fire / Incident On 57th Street"
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- "Fire / Incident On 57th Street"

7" single - Columbia (13-68706) - USA, 1988

"Hall Of Fame" reissue.

A1- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Fire (Live)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Fire (Live)

7" single - Columbia (38 06657) - Canada, 1987

A1- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- "Fire / Incident On 57th Street"
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- "Fire / Incident On 57th Street"

7" single - CBS (CS-10166) - Philippines, 1987

A1- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
B1- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]

In 1987 the live 29 Dec 1980 version of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET was also included on Live Collection, a Japan-only EP released to promote the Live/1975-85 box set. The EP was released in both 12-inch vinyl and CD formats.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection

12" EP – CBS/SONY (20AP 3326) – Japan, 1987

This Japanese pressing did not come with an obi strip.

A1- FOR YOU [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
A2- ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
B1- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
B2- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection

CD EP – CBS/SONY (28DP 777) – Japan, 1987

This is the first of three CD issues of this EP.

01- FOR YOU [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
02- ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
01- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
02- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection

CD EP – CBS/SONY (23DP 5248) – Japan, 1988

This is the second of three CD issues of this EP.

01- FOR YOU [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
02- ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
01- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
02- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live Collection

CD EP - CBS/SONY (23DP 5248) – Japan, 1989

This is the third of three CD issues of this EP.

01- FOR YOU [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
02- ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
01- FIRE [Live 16 Dec 1978 version]
02- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET [Live 29 Dec 1980 version]

Credits

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

Request

Please contact me if you have scans for or info about any official release containing the live 29 Dec 1980 version of INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET that's not mentioned on this page. I also need complete scans for the following releases:

  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- [I]"Fire / Incident On 57th Street" || 7-inch single - CBS (CS-10166) - Philippines, 1987

Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

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: 11 Jan 2012