STRAIGHT TIME

Live 09 Dec 1995 version


[Spoken intro:] (Some fans in the audience, men and women, start yelling out telling Springsteen that they love him). You guys ought to get together then. This uh, this is a song about a fella who gets out of prison and... trying to find his way back into his family and trying to find his way back into the world. But uh... (A man yells "But we still love you!") What a polite way of saying "You're fucking up" (chuckles). And uh... and I think changing your old behavior, that's a hard thing to do, it's a hard thing for anybody to do. Your old habits and the way you've done things always feel like your old friends and they feel how you define yourself. So what do you do when, uh, the worst in you feels like hope. This is called "Straight Time".

I got out of prison back in '86 and I found a wife
Walked the clean and narrow just trying to stay out and stay alive
Got a job at the rendering plant, well it ain't gonna make me rich
In the darkness before dinner comes sometimes I can feel the itch
I got a cold mind to go tripping 'cross that thin line
I ain't making straight time

My uncle's at the evening table, he makes his living running hot cars
He slips me a hundred dollar bill, and says "Charlie you best remember who your friends are"
I got a cold mind to go tripping 'cross that thin line
I ain't making straight time

Well eight years in, and it feels like you're gonna die
But you get used to anything, sooner or later it just becomes your life

Kitchen floor in the evening, I'm tossing my little babies high
Mary's smiling but she's watching me always out of the corner of her eye
Seems you can't get, can't get any more than half free
I step out onto the front porch and suck the cold air deep inside of me
I got a cold mind to go tripping 'cross that thin line
I'm sick of doing straight time

In the basement a hunting gun and a hacksaw
Sip a beer and thirteen inches of barrel drop to the floor

I come home in the evening, I can't get the smell from my hands
I lay my head down on that pillow and go drifting off into foreign lands


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 09 Dec 1995 performance of STRAIGHT TIME at Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, during The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour.

Ticket stub for the 09 Dec 1995 show at Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA
Ticket stub for the 09 Dec 1995 show at Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA

Columbia Records Radio Hour

A selection of four studio tracks from The Ghost Of Tom Joad album (see track list below) intercepted with interview segments with journalist Bob Costas were originally broadcast on the 21 Nov 1995 edition of the syndicated Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show which aired on U.S. album oriented rock stations. Costas conducted the interview with Bruce Springsteen that same day (21 Nov 1995) either prior to or following Springsteen's public warm-up show at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. A total of 35 minutes of the 90-minute interview were used in the radio show.

Additionally, two songs from Springsteen's 08 Dec 1995 show and eight from his 09 Dec 1995 show at Upper Darby's Tower Theater (see track list below) were broadcast on the 14 Dec 1995 edition of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.

The complete Columbia Records Radio Hour show was officially issued in December 1995 on cassette and reel-to-reel tapes for promotional use in the United States. Six of the ten live tracks from part 2 of the radio show (the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast) were never made available in commercial form.

Side A:

  1. THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [1995 album version]
  2. SINALOA COWBOYS [Album version]
  3. YOUNGSTOWN [Album version]
  4. STRAIGHT TIME [Album version]

Side B:

  1. THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  2. STRAIGHT TIME [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  3. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  4. BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 08 Dec 1995 version]
  5. YOUNGSTOWN [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  6. SINALOA COWBOYS [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  7. BALBOA PARK [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  8. DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? [Live 08 Dec 1995 version]
  9. THIS HARD LAND [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  10. STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]

Notes:

  • Side A is part 1 of the radio show: the 21 Nov 1995 broadcast. The tracks on this side are interspersed with segments from the interview with Bob Costas. Side B is part 2 of the radio show: the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast.
  • BORN IN THE U.S.A. is actually a mix of the live 09 Dec 1995 version (the spoken intro) and the live 08 Dec 1995 version (the song).
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour Part 1 & 2
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour Part 1 & 2

MC - Columbia (CAT 7698) - USA, 1995

Promotion-only cassette tape.

Side A: part 1
Side B: part 2
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour Part 1

MC - NOW! Recording Systems (no catalog number) - USA, 1995

Promotion-only cassette tape. This release contains only part 1 of the radio show (the 21 Nov 1995 broadcast) on one side, while the other side is blank.

Side A: part 1
Side B: blank
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour

2-reel-to-reel- Columbia (no catalog number) - USA, 1995

Set of two promotion-only reel-to-reel tapes, comes in two separate boxes featuring labels with company logos of the manufacturer "NOW! Recording Systems, Inc.". These are 10.5-inch reel-to-reel tapes, 1/2" wide, and run at 7.5 in/s.

Reel 2: part 1
Reel 1: part 2

Part 2 of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show (the 14 Dec 1995 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.

Bruce Springsteen -- 1995 Radio Hour - The Tom Joad Sessions
Bruce Springsteen -- 1995 Radio Hour - The Tom Joad Sessions

CD - Good Ship Funke (GSF020) - UK, 2016

This release contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.
Bruce Springsteen -- Upper Darby Theater '95
Bruce Springsteen -- Upper Darby Theater '95

CD - Rox Vox (RVCD2045) - UK, 2016

This release contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour

Digital album - Lilith Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2016

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.
Bruce Springsteen -- 1995 Radio Hour - The Tom Joad Sessions
Bruce Springsteen -- 1995 Radio Hour - The Tom Joad Sessions

2xLP - Parachute (PARA155LP) - UK, 2018

This release contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.
Bruce Springsteen -- Youngstown
Bruce Springsteen -- Youngstown

LP - Roxborough Music (ROXMB018) - UK, 2018

This release contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.

Available Versions

List of available versions of STRAIGHT TIME on this website:

STRAIGHT TIME [Album version]
STRAIGHT TIME [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
STRAIGHT TIME [Live 19 Mar 1996 version]

Page last updated: 05 Dec 2017