THE PROMISE

Live 03 Aug 1976 version


Johnny works in a factory, oh and Billy works downtown
Terry works in a rock and roll band searching for that million dollar sound
And me I don't do nothing much, I spend a lot of time alone
Some nights I go to the movies and some nights I stay home
I followed that dream just like those guys do way up on the screen
Drove a cut down Challenger on Saturday night through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
But when the promise was broken, I cashed in a few of those dreams
Whoaaa

Well now I built that Challenger by myself, but I needed money and so I sold it
I lived a secret I should've kept to myself, but I got drunk one night and I told it
And once I had a girl who loved me so, I guess I'd loved her too if I had the sense
But somehow I can never let myself go, my love is no good in the end
'Cause it's a loser, I'm gonna sit by this window 'til things work out all right
It's a loser, there's somethin' burning down on the highway tonight

Well now I won big once and I hit the coast, but I paid a big cost
Inside I felt like I was carrying the broken spirits of all the other ones who'd lost
When the promise was broken I went on living, but man it takes something from down in your soul
When the truth is spoken and it don't make no difference, something in your heart turns cold
Because I followed that dream through the dusty towns and all the two-bit bars
And when the promise was broken, I was drunk and far away from home sleeping with a stranger in the backseat of a borrowed car
For it's a loser, here's one for the lost lovers and all the fixed games
It's a loser, here's one for the tires rushing by in the rain
It's a loser, and the way me and Billy we'd always say
It's a loser, we was gonna take it all and throw it all away


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 03 Aug 1976 performance of THE PROMISE at Monmouth Arts Center in Red Bank, NJ, during what is known as The Lawsuit Tour. This is the live premiere of THE PROMISE. This version features some different lyrics to later versions – note that the chorus is "It's a loser" rather than "Thunder Road".

This was the third of a six-night stand at Monmouth Arts Center.

Promotional poster for the August 1976 six-night stand at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ
Promotional poster for the August 1976 six-night stand at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ
(Taken from Brucebase)
Promotional ad for the August 1976 six-night stand at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ
Promotional ad for the August 1976 six-night stand at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ
(Taken from Brucebase)
Ticket stub for the 03 Aug 1976 show at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ
Ticket stub for the 03 Aug 1976 show at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ

Despite the marvelous reception received by both Born To Run and the tour which followed, the relationship between Bruce Springsteen and his now former manager and producer Mike Appel was deteriorating. In July 1976 the storm broke; Mike Appel wrote to Springsteen saying that he would not allow Jon Landau (Springsteen's friend and co-producer of Born To Run) to produce the next album, citing a particular paragraph from their original agreement. Springsteen replied on 27 Jul 1976 by firing manager Mike Appel and suing him and his management company Laurel Canyon Ltd. in Federal Court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, breach of trust, and undue influence. Appel counter-sued on 29 Jul 1976 in New York State Supreme Court, asking the court to prohibit Springsteen and Jon Landau from working together in studio. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band were slated to enter the studio that year for the recording of a new album, except that on 15 Sep 1976 the judge in the lawsuits case ruled that Springsteen was enjoined from any further recording with Columbia Records until Appel's suit was resolved. This would drag for about a year. Meanwhile, Springsteen continued gigging, and in the process broke his self-imposed rule of not playing the larger arenas. This was basically because he was not able to put a record out, and it was the only way his fans would be able to hear him at all. The tour became known as "The Lawsuit Tour" (62 know dates, August 1976 to March 1977).

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE PROMISE on this website:

THE PROMISE [Official 1977 studio version]
THE PROMISE [Official 1978 studio version]
THE PROMISE [Official 1999 studio version]
THE PROMISE [Unofficial studio version 1]
THE PROMISE [Unofficial studio version 2]
THE PROMISE [Unofficial studio version 3]
THE PROMISE [Live 03 Aug 1976 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 29 Sep 1976 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 30 Oct 1976 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 19 May 1978 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 23 May 1978 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 01 Jul 2000 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 20 Jul 2005 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 07 Dec 2010 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 08 Feb 2014 version]
THE PROMISE [Live 22 Apr 2014 version]
THE PROMISE [Graziano Romani's cover version]

Page last updated: 18 Jan 2016