PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE)

Live 29 Sep 1996 version


Well the crops are all in and the peaches are rotting
The oranges are found in their creosote dumps
I'm flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To take all their money and wade back again

Goodbye my Juan, goodbye Rosalie
Adios mis amigos, Jesus e Maria
You won't have a name when you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be "deportee"

Now my father's own father, he waded that river
They took all the money that he made in his life
Six hundred miles to the Mexican border
Chased us like rustlers, like outlaws, like thieves

Goodbye my Juan, goodbye Rosalie
Adios mis amigos, Jesus e Maria
You won't have a name when you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be "deportee"

Well, the sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon
A great ball of fire, well it shook all our hills
Who are these dear friends who are fallen like dry leaves?
The radio said they are just deportees

Well, is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can raise our good crops?
To fall like dry leaves and rot on the top soil
And be known by no name except "deportee"

Goodbye my Juan, goodbye Rosalie
Adios mis amigos, Jesus e Maria
You won't have a name when you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be "deportee"

[Spoken outro:] Thank you! Thank you. They asked, uh, me to do one of my own songs, so... So... This is, uh, I dunno, I guess, ah, there was always some spiritual center at the middle of Woody’s songs, in the midst, the midst of all the fun, and the tough optimism, and uh, he always projected a sense of good times, in the face of it all. And the thing he did the most, I think, was he always got you thinking about the next guy, took you out of yourself. Out of yourself, it’s hard—that's something to be able to do. And he, uh, just got you thinking about your neighbor, in some sense. And uh, I guess, it’s that idea that, uh, salvation isn’t individual, and that, uh, we sort of, maybe we don’t rise and fall on our own, you know? Anyway. So I want to do this tonight for Harold Leventhal, and Arlo, and Nora, and especially for Pete Seeger, people who have kept Woody’s flame burning and alive for so long. And so many others.


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 29 Sep 1996 performance of PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) at Severance Hall in Cleveland, OH, during a Woody Guthrie tribute concert. The song was played in a solo acoustic guitar and harmonica arrangement. This live 29 Sep 1996 version of PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) was officially released in 2000 on the various artists album 'Til We Outnumber 'Em. The spoken outro at the end of the song, which led into ACROSS THE BORDER at the original concert, is not on the official release.

Ticket stub for the 29 Sep 1996 show at Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH
Ticket stub for the 29 Sep 1996 show at Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH
(Taken from Brucebase)

The 29 Sep 1996 Show

In September 1996 Cleveland's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum and Case Western Reserve University cohosted "Hard Travelin': The Life And Legacy Of Woody Guthrie", a 10-day conference of panel sessions, lectures, and concerts to remember, honor, and celebrate the songs of Woody Guthrie. The conference became the first in what would become the museum's annual American Music Masters Series conference.

The conference concluded on 29 Sep 1996 with an all-star tribute concert at Severance Hall in Cleveland, OH. Billed "Hard Travelin': A Benefit Concert", the Sunday night concert was a collaboration between the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum and the Woody Guthrie Archives. It was hosted by Tim Robbins and featured several performers who came to pay tribute to Woody Guthrie, including Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Billy Bragg, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, and David Priner.

  1. TOM JOAD (solo)
  2. BLOWIN' DOWN THIS ROAD (with Joe Ely)
  3. OKLAHOMA HILLS (with Joe Ely, Arlo Guthrie, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
  4. RIDING IN MY CAR (solo)
  5. PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) (solo)
  6. ACROSS THE BORDER (solo)
  7. HARD TRAVELIN' HOOTENANNY (with all performers)
  8. I'VE GOT TO KNOW (with all performers)
  9. HOBO'S LULLABY (with Pete Seeger)
  10. THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (with all performers)

The first six songs feature Springsteen solo or in the lead role while the last four songs feature Springsteen in a support/background role.

In 2000, Ani DiFranco's record label, Righteous Babe, released a selection of 11 songs from the Severance Hall concert, along with snippets of spoken words by and about Guthrie from the conference, on the various artists Woody Guthrie tribute album 'Til We Outnumber 'Em. DiFranco produced and mixed the album, with proceeds going to benefit the Woodiy Guthrie Archives. Bruce Springsteen appears on four songs on the album: HARD TRAVELIN' HOOTENANNY, RIDING IN MY CAR, PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE), and THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND.

Various artists -- 'Til We Outnumber 'Em (album cover art)
Various artists -- 'Til We Outnumber 'Em (album cover art)

Nora Guthrie, the curator of her father's archives, told Backstreets magazine, "I had been trying to get a couple of record labels to record the concert, because I had a feeling it was going to be something really special. And everyone was rejecting me, telling me I didn't have a show." According to her, the assistance of Springsteen and his entire sound and lighting crew, as well as the persistence, tenacity and funding of Ani DiFranco and her manager Scott Fisher, made it possible. "We were taping the show, thanks to Bruce," Guthrie explained, "who had given us all of his sound equipment and technicians to use. He brought his whole crew, and they did the lighting, the sound. They did everything. It would have cost us a lot of money. I can't tell you how much money he saved us. He basically produced the show. And a light bulb went off, and I realized that this was going to be such an incredible night, and we owned the tapes. As soon as the concert was over I ran to Ani and from that moment, we knew this was going to be a CD."

Credits

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

Available Versions

List of available versions of PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) on this website:

PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) [Live 28 Aug 1981 version]
PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) [Live 29 Sep 1996 version]
PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) [Original The Byrds version]

Page last updated: 27 Apr 2015