THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD

Live 07 Apr 2008 version


[Spoken intro:] I've got a close friend of mine here with me tonight, gonna come up and do a song – Mr. Tommy Morello from Rage Against The Machine! Come on Tommy. Tommy also makes great acoustic records with the name of "The Nightwatchman". Let's try it.

Bruce Springsteen:Men walking 'long the railroad tracks
Going someplace, there's no going back
Highway patrol choppers coming up over the ridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretching around the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleeping in the cars in the southwest
No home, no job, no peace, no rest

Bruce Springsteen:Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kidding nobody about where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Searching for the ghost of Tom

Tom Morello:He pulls a prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waiting for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
You got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathing in the city's aqueduct

Springsteen and Morello:The highway is alive tonight
Where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Waiting on the ghost of Tom Joad

Bruce Springsteen:Now Tom said, "Mom, wherever there's a cop beating a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me, Mom, I'll be there
Tom Morello:Wherever somebody's fighting for a place to stand
For a decent job or a helping hand
Wherever somebody's struggling to be free
Look in their eyes, Ma, you'll see me"

Springsteen and Morello:Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kidding nobody about where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad
Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody's fooling nobody about where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad
With the ghost of old Tom Joad
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

[Spoken outro:] Tom Morello! Rage Against The Machine! The Nightwatchman!


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 07 Apr 2008 performance of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, during the Magic Tour. The song was performed as a duet with Tom Morello in a full-band rock arrangement similar to the 2014 album version. This live 07 Apr 2008 version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD was officially released on the Magic Tour Highlights digital EP in 2008.

Ticket stub for the 07 Apr 2008 show at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Ticket stub for the 07 Apr 2008 show at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Handwritten setlist for the 07 Apr 2008 show at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Handwritten setlist for the 07 Apr 2008 show at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

The entire live 07 Apr 2008 performance of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD was posted on Bruce Springsteen's VEVO YouTube channel on 02 Oct 2009.


The 07 Apr 2008 show in Anaheim, CA, was the first time that THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD was played in this full-band re-arrangement. In a December 2013 interview for Rolling Stone, Bruce Springsteen told Andy Greene:

My cousin Lenny [Sullivan] was a huge Rage Against the Machine fan and he said, "They did 'The Ghost of Tom Joad.'" I said, "Really?" But it sounds great. Then Tom came to a few shows, and he knows my sister in Los Angeles, and over a very long period of time we kinda became friendly. It was many, many years before we said, "Why don't you come up and play? Let's find something you can play on." In other words, "Let's find a way to take what you do and take what I do, [and] let's find the crossroads where they intersect." I can remember, it was in Los Angeles, and he came up and played the "The Ghost of Tom Joad" and the place exploded in probably one of the loudest crowd responses I've heard in all the years we've been playing. It was just like something explosive happened.

[...] That was something we worked out at the soundcheck that day. We probably played [the song] maybe two or three times at the soundcheck, and then played it live. And then if Tom came out, it became something we did together. So then it became, "Where does this lead? This is fascinating. It extends the power of the band. Where does it go?" That’s something that I've been thinking about for quite a while. And so this group of music was sort of like, "Let's put our feet in the water a little bit here and see what happens if we take that place where we intersect." It was kind of done very casually, and relatively quickly, but it was, once again, sort of just a place where lightning struck. We're getting close to that place, and bang: lightning strikes. Something exciting happens and something expanding happens. That's what he brings.

Magic Tour Highlights

On 15 Jul 2008, Columbia Records released Magic Tour Highlights, a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band download-only digital EP consisting of four live audio tracks and their accompanying videos. The performances were recorded in March and April 2008 during the Magic Tour, and feature guest musicians, as well as Danny Federici's last performance with the group. Bob Clearmountain mixed and Bob Ludwig mastered the songs. Frequent Springsteen collaborator and Grammy and Emmy Award winner Thom Zimny edited the videos.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Magic Tour Highlights (EP cover art)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Magic Tour Highlights (EP cover art)

The songs on the EP are not the Magic Tour's "highlights", but more of a sampling of some of the tour's best guest spots.

Magic Tour Highlights was not released commercially on a physical format, but some CD-R's were issued in the United States and Europe for promotional use.

Bruce Springsteen -- Tour Highlights
Bruce Springsteen -- Tour Highlights

CD-R single - Columbia (no catalog number) - USA, 2008

Promo release.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Magic Tour Highlights
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Magic Tour Highlights

CD-R single - Sony BMG (no catalog number) - Holland, 2008

Promo release.

The EP is available for download from all major digital downloads stores, including the iTunes Store and Amazon.com. The net proceeds from the sales of Magic Tour Highlights support The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund. These include the artists', the songwriters', and the music publishers' royalties, in addition to all Columbia Records' net profits. The iTunes Store donated their first year's net profits as well.

The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund was started shortly after Frederici's death, and is dedicated to the research and development treatments for melanoma through funding for clinical trials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The fund also aims to help raise awareness for the disease.

The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund
The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund

Other Official Release

The live 07 Apr 2008 version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD was also released on a Record Store Day exclusive single in 2010.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Wrecking Ball (Live)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Wrecking Ball (Live)

10" single - Columbia (88697 67195 79) - USA, 2010
10" single - Columbia (88697 67195 79) - EU, 2010

Limited edition single sold in North America and Europe exclusively at independent stores that participated in the 3rd annual "Record Store Day" campaign (17 Apr 2010).

A1- WRECKING BALL [Live 02 Oct 2009 version]
B1- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 07 Apr 2008 version]

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD on this website:

THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [1995 album version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2006 studio version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2009 (first) studio version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2009 (second) studio version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2014 album version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 28 Oct 1995 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 27 Nov 1995 (NBC Studios) version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 20 Feb 1996 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 23 Feb 1996 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 27 Apr 1996 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 26 Feb 1997 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 05 May 1997 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 22 Jan 1998 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 10 Dec 1998 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Mar 1999 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 10 Mar 2000 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [26 Jun 2000 rehearsal version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Feb 2002 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 16 Sep 2003 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 14 May 2005 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Nov 2006 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 07 Apr 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 04 Oct 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 05 Oct 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 06 Oct 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 15 Apr 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 03 May 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 07 May 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 29 Oct 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 15 Mar 2012 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 26 Apr 2012 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 11 Jul 2012 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 11 Feb 2014 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 16 Jul 2016 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 25 Aug 2016 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Rage Against The Machine's cover version]

Page last updated: 06 Sep 2016