SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT

Live 01 May 1973 version


[Spoken intro by CBS Executive:] The first artist is being hailed all over the country as one of the most important new talents of the 70's. A warm welcome to Bruce Springsteen.

One, ah-one, two, three, four

Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley tradin' hands
Well, along came Wild Billy with his friend G-Man, all duded up for Saturday night
Well, Billy slammed on his coaster brakes
Said, "Anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake?
Well, it's about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight
I got a bottle of rose, let's try it
We'll pick up Hazy Davy and Killer Joe, and I'll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go
They're built like light
Ooh, and they dance like spirits in the night" (all night)
In the night (all night)
Whoa, baby don't know what she do to you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Whoa, stand right up and let it shoot through you

Well now, Wild Billy was a crazy cat and he shook some dust out of his coonskin cap
Cried, "Trust some of this, it'll show you where you're at, at least it'll help you really feel it"
Well, by the time we made it up to Greasy Lake I had my head out the window; Janey's fingers were in the cake
Well, I think I really dug her, but I was too loose to fake
Said, "I'm hurt," she said, "Honey, let me heal it"
Yeah, we danced all night to a soul fairy band
She kissed me just right like only a lonely angel can
Felt so nice, just as soft as a spirit in the night (all night)
Oh, in the night (all night)
Well, baby don't know what she do to you
She's like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Stand right up now and let it shoot through you
All ni-i-i-i-i-i-ight

Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

Ah

Now, the night grew bright and the stars threw light on Billy and Davy
Dancin' in the moonlight
They were down near the water in a stone mud fight
Killer Joe passed out on the lawn

Well now, Hazy Davy, he got really hurt, he ran into the lake in just his socks and a shirt
Me and Crazy Janey was makin' love in the dirt, singin' our birthday songs
And then Janey said it was time to go
So we closed our eyes and said goodbye, to, to gypsy angel row, felt so nice
Together we moved like spirits in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Well, baby don't know what she do to you
She's like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Well, stand right up and let it shoot through you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh in the night, yeah, yeah, yeaaahh
Come on now, baby, that's right
Like a spirit in the night
Oh, like a spirit in the night
Yes, like a spirit in the night
Oh, living and therefore I was... free


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 01 May 1973 performance of SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT at Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, during what is considered the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour. The song was played in a full-band, album-style arrangement.

Bruce Springsteen performing SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT on 01 May 1973 show at Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (from the "Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run" DVD)
Bruce Springsteen performing SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT on 01 May 1973 show at Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (from the "Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run" DVD)

The 01 May 1973 Show

Bruce Springsteen performed on 01 May 1973 at Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, as part of his Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour. This was a triple-bill show held in the sold-out 2,000-seat Ahmanson Theatre, with Springsteen opening for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show and headliner New Riders Of The Purple Sage.

The Ahmanson Theatre show was a public admission event, but incorporating an unusual format. Organized and promoted by CBS as "A Week To Remember", it consisted of seven consecutive nightly shows each featuring three different CBS artists. Springsteen and the band flew to Los Angeles on 20 Apr 1973 and stayed at the Hilton Hotel, performed on 01 May, and returned east on 03 May.

Ticket stub for the 01 May 1973 show at Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Ticket stub for the 01 May 1973 show at Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
(Taken from Brucebase)
Promotional ad for the 1974 'A Week To Remember' event at Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Promotional ad for the 1974 'A Week To Remember' event at Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
(Taken from Brucebase)

All seven nights from the "A Week To Remember" event were filmed in color by Arnold Levine Productions on behalf of CBS, whose intention was to have material to show to representatives at the CBS Sales Convention in July 1973. Springsteen's complete performance was shown several times at the Convention, but has never been shown anywhere else since, and now remains in CBS's vaults. Springsteen's set was 40-minute long and comprised of five songs:

Audio recording of WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY from this show was released promotionally (under the early title "Circus Song") on 07 Jul 1973 as part of Columbia/Epic Records' "Play:Back" EP series. Brief video snippets of WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY and THUNDERCRACK were utilized in mid-1974 as part of a promo-only video clip created by CBS to promote Springsteen's second album. This video clip readily circulated and was shown in the VH-1 Rockumentary. A brief video excerpt of SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT was shown in the 1998 Bruce Springsteen: A Secret History BBC documentary.

Videos for SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT, WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY, and an incomplete THUNDERCRACK were restored and officially released in November 2005 as bonus footage on the Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run documentary DVD, as part of the "30th Anniversary Edition" of the Born To Run album.

Bruce Springsteen -- Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run (DVD cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run (DVD cover art)

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help. Much of the above information is taken from Brucebase.

Available Versions

List of available versions of SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT on this website:

SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Album version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 02 Mar 1973 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 01 May 1973 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 06 Jan 1974 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 05 Feb 1975 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 15 Aug 1975 (early show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 18 Nov 1975 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 13 May 1976 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 13 Feb 1977 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 08 Dec 1978 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 15 Dec 1978 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 20 Aug 1984 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Oct 1992 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 06 Nov 1992 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 25 Nov 1996 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 26 Nov 1996 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 14 Nov 1999 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 08 Apr 2000 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 08 May 2000 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 16 Oct 2002 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 21 Jul 2003 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Aug 2003 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 19 Dec 2004 (late show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 22 Jun 2005 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 12 Dec 2006 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 20 Mar 2008 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 23 Aug 2008 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 16 Oct 2008 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 25 Aug 2009 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 20 Oct 2009 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 26 Jan 2014 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Manfred Mann's Earth Band's cover version]

Page last updated: 20 Apr 2011