Live 31 May 1973 (WGOE-FM) version
[Bruce Springsteen:] Hey. Um...
[Unknown voice:] Janey?
[Bruce Springsteen:] Nah, we'll do, uh, New York City. Okay? Let's do that. Yeah. All right? Is that good? All right. Everybody in time and everybody's ready? All right, that's good.
Shotgun Black, he's down by the railroad tracks
Sittin' low in the back seat of his Cadillac
Diamond Jackie, she's so intact
She falls like an angel beneath him
Now, Jackie's heels are stacked
She got cleats on her boots
Together they're gonna boogaloo down Broadway
And come home with the loot
Because it's midnight in Manhattan, this is no time to get cute
It's a mad dog's promenade
Hey, New York City serenade
Well, now, ain't Jackie pretty? Ain't Jackie sweet?
Her faith lies at midnight, between her teeth
She got a dirty old daddy, who through all of the years
Has kept her in faith and kept her in fear
Well, now, he's a lone privateer, he works down on the docks
He was born in 1943 and almost died from the shock
Now, he comes home and drags her to some deep side joint
Where all night long, those punks, they rock
Until she breaks, falling softly, like a child
Crying, "New York City, you're so wild"
In the night air you hear crying
Well, the girls say, "Ain't he thin?"; the girls cry, "Ain't he fine?"
He's born on the border of that Kansas line
When he broke into town, was the summer in '63
Swore he'd bust that monster to its knees
Now, folks said he was master of the universe
Some kid said he was holder of the cosmic keys
Oh, and his throat was choked with lightning from a childhood disease
With a burnt gun tommy blast, he had the people running from the streets
Till he lies helpless in Times Square just like street scum
Crying, "New York City, kill their young"
He was crying, "New York City, kills young"
From a tenement window, I heard sighing
[Spoken outro:] Oh!
The above lyrics are for the live 31 May 1973 radio performance of NEW YORK SONG as broadcast on Richmond's WGOE-FM. The song was played in an arrangement featuring Bruce Springsteen on piano and vocals and Clarence Clemons on saxophone.
As Springsteen took his seat to perform a song solo on piano, someone's voice can be heard asking "Janey?", apparently thinking that Springsteen was going to perform JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER, to which Springsteen replied that he'll do NEW YORK SONG instead.
Bruce Springsteen's 31 May 1973 radio performance was broadcast live on Richmond's WGOE-FM. The show took place at Alpha Sound Studios in Richmond, VA, and the radio station broadcasted it via remote hook-up. While all his other radio shows were merely recorded inside the DJ broadcast room, this was the only time that Springsteen ever played for a radio broadcast from an actual recording studio. Besides the WGOE DJ, the small audience heard inside the studio with the band includes Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos, and David Sancious who had yet to join the band but was employed at the studio at the time.
After the show, Mike Appel took possession of the master tape, so none of the performance was ever re-broadcast by the station. The complete radio show was taped by a listener and has since circulated among fans, but the sound quality is weak. A low generation copy of the entire original master tape first surfaced in very limited hands in the early nineties. The complete master tape in perfect sound quality finally emerged into the wider collector community in early 2007.
The 31 May 1973 WGOE-FM radio broadcast was commercially released in Europe. Since 2005 some enterprising record labels in Europe (mostly 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 Europe.
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake). Most of the above info about this radio performance is taken from Brucebase.
List of available versions of NEW YORK SONG on this website:NEW YORK SONG [Live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) version]