SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT

Live 05 Feb 1975 version


Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley tradin' hands
When along came Wild Billy and 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?
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
Built like light
And they dance like spirits in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, baby don't know what it do to you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Stand up and let it shoot through you

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"
By the time we made it up to Greasy Lake I had my head out the window; Janey's fingers were in the cake
I think I really dug her; I was too loose to fake
Said, "I'm hurt," she said, "Honey, let me heal it"
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)
All the night (all night)
Baby don't know what it'll do to you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
All the night (all night)
Stand up and let it shoot through you
Whoa!

The night grew bright, 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

Now, Hazy Davy, he got really hurt, well, 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, "Hey, little brother, don't you think it's time we go?"
So we closed our eyes and said goodbye to gypsy angel row, felt so right
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Whoa, don't know what it do to you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
All the night (all night)
Stand up and let it shoot through you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
All the night (all night)
All that night (all night)
Oh, all night (all night)
Oh, all night (all night)
All right, ah
Like a spirit in the night
Oh, like a spirit in the night
Yeah, like a spirit in the night
Oh, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, doo, da, da, da, da, da, da, da


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 05 Feb 1975 performance of SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA, during what is considered The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour. The song was played in a full-band, album-style arrangement, and featured a jazzy piano and saxophone introduction.

The 05 Feb 1975 Show

The Main Point was a small coffeehouse venue on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA. It was formed in 1964 by Jeanette and William Campbell and four other couples as a small folk-based coffeehouse venue inspired by the Philadelphia Folk Festival. The venue was famous for its small intimate atmosphere, homemade food and home baked goods, and inexpensive ticket prices. Over the years, various styles of music were presented; the venue hosted many famous performers in its heydeys, including Bruce Springsteen who performed there on no less than 25 dates between 1973 and 1975. He started as an opening act during a 4-night residency in January 1973 and returned in April as a headliner.

The Main Point was only open for shows and seats were not reserved. The audience would queue up long in advance before the opening of the doors.
The Main Point was only open for shows and seats were not reserved. The audience would queue up long in advance before the opening of the doors.

Soon after The Main Point's opening, Bill Scarborough became co-owner and booking director from 1964-1975. When Philadelphia's Sunday Bulletin asked him in September 1973 how he made booking decisions, Scarborough cited several factors but admitted that occasionally his own musical tastes influenced him. "I think that the booking of a singer named Bruce Springsteen is the best example I can give you of personal taste and hunch entering into my final choice. Here was a new act out of nowhere, who happened to sign with a major label, and put out an album that reminded me of the best of Dylan. I decided to book him as a headliner, even though he was barely known. We did alright with him, but not as well as we'd hoped. I still feel, though, that he's going to be a big star."

The venue was popular among both musicians and listeners. Clarence Clemons commented in a special Main Point 10th anniversary publication, "The whole band had the flu. Bruce had 103 degree temperature. If it was any other place but the Main Point, any concert or club in the country, we would have cancelled."

The Main Point constantly ran into financial problems related to its intimate size. Ironically, it was its size that made it so popular. Musicians gave benefit concerts for the coffeehouse to help it out of its financial straits. Some of these concerts were broadcast over the local progressive rock radio station WMMR-FM, and many well known bootleg recordings have been made from these performances. Bruce Springsteen's 05 Feb 1975 benefit concert stands out as a particularly legendary event. The Main Point finally closed its doors in 1981.

At the request of Philadelphia's WMMR-FM disc jockey Ed Sciaky, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed a 05 Feb 1975 concert at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA. This was a benefit show held for the financially struggling club, with Bruce and the band being the sole act on the bill. The show was MC'd by Sciaky and was broadcast by WMMR-FM on the same night. The station solicited for donations to be made by phone during the broadcast.

Shortly before he passed away in January 2004, Sciaky told Backstreets magazine (issue #82, Spring 2005) that the now-famous broadcast almost never happened. After a promise from Bruce Springsteen and Mike Appel to do a broadcast of the 02 Feb 1975 Main Point benefit, Springsteen decided the day of the show that he didn't want it to air. He was playing some new songs, which would soon appear on his upcoming Born To Run album, and many of them were still unfinished. Sciaky had to call Springsteen, despite Appel's objections, trying to convince him to at least do a shortened broadcast. In the end, Springsteen decided to do the whole show on the radio.

The show was not broadcast live-as-it-happened. "We didn't have a phone line from The Main Point, so they had to tape the show in hour-long segments and then drive them to the station and put them on the air," Sciaky explained to Backstreets. "And after the final reel had played, Bruce's lighting guy, Marc Brickman took all of the tapes. So we never got a good copy of the show. But it was a classic show, and it's collected to this day, and I'm glad."

This famous Main point concert was taped off the airwaves and immediately started circulating among a number of fans. In the late seventies, an edited from of the broadcast became available on vinyl bootlegs. This changed in the digital era, when pioneering Italian label and Springsteen specialists Great Dane Records released the show in 1990 on the 2-disc CD bootleg The Saint, The Incident & The Main Point Shuffle.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Saint, The Incident & The Main Point Shuffle (Great Dane Records)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Saint, The Incident & The Main Point Shuffle (Great Dane Records)

The Saint, The Incident & The Main Point Shuffle utilized the commonly circulated recording of the broadcast, but a couple of years after its release, a 10-inch reel-to-reel tape containing the first 90 minutes of the pre-FM recording of The Main Point show made its way into collectors' hands. On this recording, the sound quality is far superior to the much more compressed off-air recording. The last 70-plus minutes of the performance, or what's presumably on a second reel, were never found from the pre-FM source. The discovery of the pre-FM reel-to-reel tape spurred a host of new bootleg releases, including the first "Masters Plus" reissue by Great Dane Records itself, which paired the new 90-minute pre-FM recording with the original FM-sourced remainder of the show.

The 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point 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.

Bruce Springsteen -- Live On Air
Bruce Springsteen -- Live On Air

CD + DVD - American Legends Ltd (AML2041) - EU, 2005

The audio CD contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point and the DVD contains various TV appearances from the nineties.
Bruce Springsteen -- Transmissions
Bruce Springsteen -- Transmissions

CD - Storming (SMC2447) - UK, 2007

This release contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point, plus two TV appearances from the nineties.
Bruce Springsteen -- Live On Air
Bruce Springsteen -- Live On Air

CD + DVD - Southworld (unknown catalog number) - UK, 2010

The audio CD contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point and the bonus DVD contains various TV appearances from the nineties.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Best
Bruce Springsteen -- The Best "Live On Air" Of Bruce Springsteen

CD - KM Records (KMR 0856-2) - EU, 2010

This release contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point, 1975
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point, 1975

2xCD - Leftfield Media (LFM2CD503) - UK, 2011

This release contains the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point 1975
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point 1975

4xLP - Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV035LP) - UK, 2011

This release contains the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point. It was released under exclusive agreement with Leftfield Media.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point 1975 Volume 1
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point 1975 Volume 1

2xLP - Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV190LP) - UK, 2014

This release contains part 1 of two of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point. It was released under exclusive agreement with Leftfield Media.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point 1975 Volume 2
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point 1975 Volume 2

2xLP - Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV191LP) - UK, 2014

This release contains part 2 of two of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point. It was released under exclusive agreement with Leftfield Media.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Spirit Of The Radio: Legendary Broadcasts From The Early 1970s
Bruce Springsteen -- The Spirit Of The Radio: Legendary Broadcasts From The Early 1970s

3xCD - Parallel Lines (PLCD022) - Europe, 2014

This release contains the 09 Jan 1973 WBCN-FM radio broadcast, the 24 Apr 1973 WMMR-FM radio broadcast, and part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen -- Live To Air
Bruce Springsteen -- Live To Air

2xCD - The Store For Music (SFMCD267) - UK, 2014

This release contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point and various TV appearances from the nineties.
Bruce Springsteen -- On The Crest Of The Airwaves
Bruce Springsteen -- On The Crest Of The Airwaves

Digital album - Rock Melon (no catalog number) - UK, 2014

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 09 Mar 1974 KLOL-FM radio broadcast, the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point, and various TV appearances from the nineties.
Bruce Springsteen -- Live Collection
Bruce Springsteen -- Live Collection

3xCD - Bandana (BAND1011) - UK, 2015

This release contains the 24 Apr 1973 WMMR-FM radio broadcast, part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point, and various TV appearances from the nineties.
Bruce Springsteen -- Fifth Of February, Bryn Mawr - WMMR FM
Bruce Springsteen -- Fifth Of February, Bryn Mawr - WMMR FM

LP - Bad Joker (BOSS 5-1975) - EU, 2015

This release contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Boss Live On Radio '75
Bruce Springsteen -- The Boss Live On Radio '75

CD-R - Peacock Records Ltd (unknown catalog number) - UK, 2015

This release contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Main Point
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Main Point

Digital album - BKC (no catalog number) - UK, 2015

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA. February 5th, 1975
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA. February 5th, 1975

Digital album - Doxy Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2015

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ultimate Main Point '75
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ultimate Main Point '75

2xCD - Rox Vox (RV2CD2055) - Europe, 2016

This release contains the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point, Pennsylvania, April 1975
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live At The Main Point, Pennsylvania, April 1975

LP - Smalltown (SMALLT 66) - Europe, 2017

This release contains part of the 05 Feb 1975 broadcast from The Main Point.

Credits

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

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: 18 Jan 2016