IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME

Live 31 Jan 1998 version


[Southside Johnny (spoken):] But this is home. Huh? What? Who? I'm stalling now. Three nuns walking to... no, I... Never mind. Bobby, tell a joke! No don't tell a joke. Let's sing. Laaaa...
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Laaaa...
[Southside Johnny (spoken):] What the hell are you doing? Where is Steven? I wanna kill him.
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Go ahead, go ahead. Go, let go.
[Southside Johnny (spoken):] I'm stalling here.
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Alright.

One, two, one two three

Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

We lived in a time and a world of our own
Making up the rules as we went along
Just one coat between us and we never felt cold
We will never gonna get old now

Playin' cards 'till the sun came up, rollin' the dice
Down to the club and listen
to the blues all night
The girls out on the corner got lonely now and then
We'd never be that free again, yeah

It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried, yeah
Raise your glass to the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been a long, long time

Southside Johnny!
Workin' just enough to pay some rent
???, money got made Johnny, money got spent
Sleeping when we had nothin' left to do
Under the boardwalk and up on the roof

But we never quite fit and we're still alone now
Came out exploding like a runaway train
Yeah up all night talkin' about dreams of better days
Ain't it funny how some things don't change

It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried
Raise your glass to the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been, long time, yeah

Bobby Bandiera baby!
Bobby Bandiera!

[Guitar solo]

Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

We lived in a time and a world of our own
Making up the rules as we went along
Just one coat between us and we never felt cold
Yeah we will never gonna get old

It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried
Raise your glass to the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been a long, long time, whoaaa

It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried
Raise your glass to the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been a long, long time

Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

It's been a long, long time
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
It's been a long time baby
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
??? baby
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Ooh yeah
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
I know it's been a long, been a long, long time
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
It's been a long time baby
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
I know, I know, whoa I know
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
???
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
???
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
It's been a long, long time
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Raise your glass, raise your glass
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Can you testify?
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] The man, the number one man, right here
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] ???
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] The man, the number one New Jersey man right here, yes he is
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Are you worth it?
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Yes he is, yes he is
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] No
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Bruce's the number one man right here
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] No
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Good God almighty
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] No
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Good God almighty
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] I'm not worth it, I'm not worth it, I'm not worth it
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] It's you, it's you, it's you. Good God, good God almighty
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Are you worth it?
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] ???
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] You're not worth it?
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] No, no baby I'm not worth it, no
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Are you worth it, to be the king?
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] No, no, noooo
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] You're not worth it? Who is worth it? Who's worth it to be the king...
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Number one New Jersey man
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Who's ready to be king?
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Number one
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Who's ready to be king?
[Bobby Bandiera(?) (spoken):] Number one, number one. Ohhh, that's easy
[Bruce Springsteen (spoken):] Alright, he's worth it

One two three four

Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa


Info

The above lyrics are for live 31 Jan 1998 performance of IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, during the "Come Together: Jon Bon Jovi & Friends" benefit concert.

The song was also rehearsed the previous day at Count Basie Theatre.

The 31 Jan 1998 Show

The "Come Together: Jon Bon Jovi & Friends" benefit concert was organized by the Long Branch Police Department, The Asbury Park Press, and FPI Concerts, along with Jon Bon Jovi. The concert was to honor slain Long Branch police officer Sgt. Patrick King and raise money for the Sgt. Patrick King Memorial Fund to provide for his family. King, 45-year-old father of two young boys, was fatally shot on 20 Nov 1997 by a fugitive who had vowed to kill himself and a police officer rather than be captured and returned to jail.

Twenty musicians with ties to the Jersey shore music scene answered Jon Bon Jovi's call, including Bruce Springsteen and several members of the then-disbanded E Street Band (Clarence Clemons, Danni Frederici, Patti Scialfa, Steven Van Zandt, and Max Weinberg), Southside Johnny, Bobby Bandiera, and Richie Sambora among others. Actor Danny DeVito was the event's MC. Tickets, which were priced at $125, went on sale on 17 Jan 1998 noon and sold out in just eight minutes. The concert that was organized in short order raised more than $112,000 for King's widow and his two sons.

Promotional poster for the 31 Jan 1998 show at Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ
Promotional poster for the 31 Jan 1998 show at Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ
Ticket stub for the 31 Jan 1998 show at Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ
Ticket stub for the 31 Jan 1998 show at Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ

"It was a chance to forget about [the murder] a little bit," Long Branch police Sgt. Bruce Johantgen, one of about 50 city police officers who attended the show, told The Asbury Park Press. "The outpouring of love from the performers to the audience was unbelievable". Johantgen said he found it ironic that Bon Jovi and other performers thanked the audience for coming to the sold-out show. "From the police perspective, I kept thinking, 'We should be thanking you for giving your time'," Johantgen said.

This was a near-reunion of the fabled E Street Band and Springsteen's first full-length electric gig following the acoustic The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour. Springsteen spent much (or possibly all) of the night onstage, singing or playing guitar only. Soundboard recording for the complete concert is available among collectors.

  1. THIS TIME IT'S FOR REAL (with Southside Johnny, Jon Bon Jovi, and Steven Van Zandt)
  2. TWO HEARTS (Bruce Springsteen with Steven Van Zandt)
  3. BAD MEDICINE (Jon Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny)
  4. UNTIL THE GOOD IS GONE (Steven Van Zandt)
  5. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT (Bruce Springsteen with Jon Bon Jovi)
  6. BROKE DOWN PIECE OF MAN (Southside Johnny and Bon Jovi)
  7. HARD TIMES COME EASY (Richie Sambora)
  8. LOVE'S GLORY (Patti Scialfa)
  9. THERE GOES MY BABY (Southside Johnny)
  10. THIS TIME BABY'S GONE FOR GOOD (Bruce Springsteen with Southside Johnny and Steven Van Zandt)
  11. YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME (Bruce Springsteen with Jon Bon Jovi)
  12. THE PROMISED LAND (Bruce Springsteen)
  13. ALL I NEEDED WAS YOU (Southside Johnny and Van Zandt)
  14. SOMEDAY I'LL BE SATURDAY NIGHT (Jon Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny)
  15. BOBBY JEAN (Bruce Springsteen)
  16. BLOOD ON BLOOD (Jon Bon Jovi)
  17. THE FEVER (Bruce Springsteen with Southside Johnny and Clarence Clemons)
  18. I'VE BEEN WORKING TOO HARD - LITTLE QUEENIE (Southside Johnny and Jon Bon Jovi)
  19. I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME (Bruce Springsteen with Southside Johnny, Jon Bon Jovi, and Steven Van Zandt)
  20. IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME (Bruce Springsteen with Southside Johnny and Van Zandt)
  21. WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE (Bruce Springsteen with Jon Bon Jovi)
  22. BACKSTREETS (Bruce Springsteen)
  23. FOREVER (Steven Van Zandt)
  24. LIVIN' ON A PRAYER (Jon Bon Jovi)
  25. BADLANDS (Bruce Springsteen)
  26. I PLAYED THE FOOL (Southside Johnny and Jon Bon Jovi)
  27. KEEP THE FAITH (Jon Bon Jovi)
  28. BORN TO RUN (Bruce Springsteen)
  29. ROCKIN' ALL OVER THE WORLD (Bruce Springsteen with all performers)
  30. TREAT HER RIGHT (Southside Johnny and Jon Bon Jovi with all performers)
  31. THUNDER ROAD (Bruce Springsteen with Southside Johnny, Jon Bon Jovi, Steven Van Zandt, and all performers)

The 31 Jan 1998 show at Count Basie Theatre was commercially released in the UK. Since 2005 some enterprising record labels in the UK have been releasing Bruce Springsteen radio and TV broadcasts (and some soundboard recordings) from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Though these releases are not authorized by Bruce Springsteen or his record company, they are lawful due to a legal loophole in the UK.

Bruce Springsteen & Bon Jovi -- Live On Air
Bruce Springsteen & Bon Jovi -- Live On Air

2xCD - Laser Media (1143272) - UK, 2016

This release contains part of the 31 Jan 1998 show at Count Basie Theatre.

Available Versions

List of available versions of IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME on this website:

IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME [Southside Johnny's album version]
IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME [Live 24 Jun 1993 version]
IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME [Live 31 Jan 1998 version]

Page last updated: 22 Oct 2015