SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD

Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band's single version


Johnny's driving through the city tonight
Through the lights in a hot new rent-a-car
He joins the lovers in his heavy machine
It's a scene down on Sunset Boulevard

Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to my baby
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to my baby

Johnny's taking care of things for a while
And his style is so right for troubadours
They got him sitting with his back to the door
Now he won't be my fast gun anymore

Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to my baby
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to my baby

Moving on is a chance that you take everytime
You try to stay together (oh-oh-oh, oh, oh, oh)
Say a word out of line
You find that the friends you had are gone forever, and ever

So many faces in and out of my life
Some will last, some will just be now and then
Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again

Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to my baby
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye to my baby

Ohhh, oh-oh-oh
My, my baby
Ohhh, oh-oh-oh
My, my darling


Info

SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD is a song written by Billy Joel who originally released it on his 1976 album Turnstiles. Ronnie Spector, backed by the E Street Band, released her version of SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD as a single in 1977, with BABY PEASE DON'T GO on the B-side. The above lyrics are for Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band's single version of SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD as released in 1977.

Studio Recording

In January 1977, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band joined Ronnie Spector at CBS Studios in New York City, NY, for the recording of Billy Joel's SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD and Steven Van Zandt's BABY PEASE DON'T GO. Roy Carr wrote in the New Musical Express in July 1977 that "such was the empathy betwixt Ronnie Spector and the E Streeters that both 'Say Goodbye To Hollywood' and 'Baby Please Don't Go' were cut and dried in one evening and overdubs applied the next".

The E Street Band received its first official recording credit on GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD and BABY PEASE DON'T GO, and to date, it remains the band's only non-Springsteen credit. Both tracks were arranged and produced by Steven Van Zandt (credited as "Sugar Miami Steve"), who also wrote the B-side. The single's picture sleeve features an outdoor shot of Ronnie Spector, Bruce Springsteen, and the entire E Street Band, most probably taken during the January 1977 recording sessions in New York.

Bruce Springsteen appeared only on SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD, playing acoustic guitar. However, his involvement on the recording was not credited due to the lawsuit with Mike Appel that enjoined Springsteen from recording at the time. Both Steven Van Zandt and Ronnie Spector have later verified Springsteen's contribution on the recording of the track.

"['Say Goodbye To Hollywood'] was written specially for me by Billy Joel, and it really said what I was doing, leaving Hollywood," Ronnie Spector told Record Collector magazine in a 1999 interview. "The problem is that it came at a time that was really difficult for me. I had to keep going back to Hollywood to visit the kids in foster homes while things were in a difficult state. Bruce would call and want me to come and finish a track, but I'd have to say I couldn't. I couldn't give 100%, so that's one of the reasons that there wasn't an album at that time. I'm pretty sure that Bruce would still have some other unreleased tracks. I can't really remember exactly."

Dave Marsh's Liner Notes

Dave Marsh provided liner notes for the "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go" single, and they can be found on the rear side of the single's picture sleeve. He wrote:

"It's a great temptation to view Ronnie Spector as a rare and precious treasure that we once held but somehow slipped away. After all, so many of us fell in love the first time we heard her sing – 'Be My Baby,' 'Do I Love You,' 'Walking In The Rain,' or one of the half dozen other singles she made as Veronica, lead singer of the Ronettes, with producer (and later husband) Phil Spector, from 1963 to 1965. And since 1965, as Ronnie acknowledges, nothing has quite measure up to the magic of those moments."

"Well, it only takes about 15 seconds to realize that the magic is back – it happens in the introduction to 'Say Goodbye To Hollywood' with a mighty screech from the hot horn of Clarence Clemons. Clemons plays tenor sax, but it might as well be a herald's trumpet announcing the return of the queen of our hearts. And then Ronnie comes in, once more that invitingly ominous mix of innocence and temptation."

"She has, as usual, attended brilliant support. Miami Steve Van Zandt, who produced, played guitar, and wrote, 'Baby Please Don't Go' is devoted to expanding and developing rock and soul traditions. 'Steve is the first guy since Phil that knows how to handle me,' Ronnie says. 'And it's amazing, because I never thought that anyone could capture my particular sound on record again like Phil did, in the same way. But Steve did.'"

"Van Zandt had the aid of his cohorts in the 'E' Street Band on this record. 'Say Goodbye To Hollywood' is pure power, but listen also to 'Baby Please Don't Go,' where Roy Bittan's piano has a music box delicacy and Clemons' sax is used to soothe rather than scourge."

"Some of us have dreamed for years of a moment when Ronnie would rise again, the Teen Queen once more, to seduce us with the passion of her music. This is no imitation Ronettes record. Like all works of devotion, it is timeless. And that, I think, is the realization of our dream – and of Ronnie's. 'I'm here,' says Ronnie Spector. 'I never felt.' When you hear what's inside, you'll never doubt her."

Official Releases

Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band's "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go" single was released in April 1977 on Epic / Cleveland International Records. It was the first thing Cleveland International has released. The single was reissued in 2014.

Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Epic / Cleveland International (EPC 5185) - Holland, 1977

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Epic / Cleveland International (EPC 5185) - Italy, 1977

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Epic / Cleveland International (06SP 171) - Japan, 1977

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Epic / Cleveland International (S EPC 5185) - UK, 1977

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Epic / Cleveland International (S EPC 5185) - UK, 1977

Promo issue.

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Epic / Cleveland International (8-50374) - USA, 1977

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Epic / Cleveland International (8-50374) - USA, 1977

Promo issue.

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

12" single - Epic / Cleveland International (ASF 350) - USA, 1977

Promo release.

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD [Mono]
A2- BABY PLEASE DON'T GO [Mono]
B1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD [Stereo]
B2- BABY PLEASE DON'T GO [Stereo]
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Legacy (888 430 48027) - Poland, 2014

Limited edition single sold in North America and Europe exclusively at independent stores that participated in the 7th annual "Record Store Day" campaign (19 Apr 2012). This is the European issue, pressed in Poland.

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"
Ronnie Spector And The E Street Band -- "Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Baby Please Don't Go"

7" single - Legacy (888 430 480278) - USA, 2014

Limited edition single sold in North America and Europe exclusively at independent stores that participated in the 7th annual "Record Store Day" campaign (19 Apr 2012). This is the North American issue, pressed in the United States.

A1- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
B1- BABY, PEASE DON'T GO

Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band's single version of SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD was first released on compact in 1995, when it was included on a USA-only various artists compilation album and an Australia-only Ronnie Spector compilation album.

Various artists -- Cleveland International Records 1977-1983
Various artists -- Cleveland International Records 1977-1983

CD - Cleveland International / Sony Special Products (A26505) - USA, 1995
Ronnie Spector -- Dangerous 1976-1987
Ronnie Spector -- Dangerous 1976-1987

CD - Raven (RVCD-48) - Australia, 1995
Ronnie Spector -- Unfinished Business
Ronnie Spector -- Unfinished Business

CD - Lemon Recordings (CDLEM 18) - UK, 2003

Remastered reissue of Ronnie Spector's 1987 album, with one bonus track.
Ronnie Spector -- Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector
Ronnie Spector -- Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector

CD - Phil Spector Records / EMI / Columbia / Legacy (88843020712) - USA, 2014

This features the same tracks as the below release.

Ronnie Spector -- Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector
Ronnie Spector -- Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector

CD - Phil Spector Records / EMI / Columbia / Legacy (88875166092) - USA, 2014

This features the same tracks as the above release.
Ronnie Spector -- The Very Best of Ronnie Spector
Ronnie Spector -- The Very Best of Ronnie Spector

CD - Sony Music / Legacy / Phil Spector Records / EMI (88875166582) - Germany, 2015

Live History

SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD is known to have been performed at least once times during what is known as The Lawsuit Tour (62 know dates, August 1976 to March 1977). Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates during the Lawsuit Tour but that's unlikely. The song featured a guest appearance with Ronnie Spector and Flo & Eddie. See the live 17 Feb 1977 version for more details.

SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD was performed off-tour on 12 May 1977 and 13 May 1977 (early and late shows) at Monmouth Arts Center in Red Bank, NJ, with The Asbury Park All-Star Revue. The song was played with Ronnie Spector.

  1. 12 May 1977 at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ
  2. 13 May 1977 (early show) at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ
  3. 13 May 1977 (late show) at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ

Credits / References

Thanks Lars (L.B. at Greasy Lake) for the Record Collector magazine interview clipping and Tim (CountyTwoLane at Greasy Lake) for the corrections. Some of the above info about the studio recording is taken from Brucebase.

Request

Please contact me if you have scans for or info about any official release containing Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band's single version of SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD that's not mentioned on this page. 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 SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD on this website:

SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD [Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band's single version]
SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD [Live 17 Feb 1977 version]

Page last updated: 27 Feb 2016