THUNDER ROAD

Live 19 Sep 1978 version


[Spoken intro:] There was this... there was this Robert Mitchum movie. And it was about these moonshine runners down south. And I never saw the movie, I only saw the poster in the lobby at the theater [chuckles]. And I... took the title and I wrote this song, but I didn't... I didn't think that there was ever a place that was like... that was like what I wrote in this song and all I know... didn't know if there was or not. And uh.... we were out in the desert over the summertime driving uh... driving to Nevada and we came upon this, this house on the side of the road, this Indian had built... had a big picture of Geronimo out front with "Landlord", said "Landlord" over the top, had a big sign said "This is the land of peace, love, justice and no mercy". And it pointed down this little dirt road that said "Thunder Road". This is for Matty.

The screen door slams, Mary's dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone again
Don't you run back inside, you know just what I'm here for
You're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore
Now sing!
[Crowd:] Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
[Crowd:] You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright
Alright!
And that's alright with me

You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets
Well I'm no hero, that's understood
Well all the redemption I can offer, girl, is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
The night's bustin' open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
Trade in them wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting down on the tracks

Oh come and take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh oh oh Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road,
oh Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it's late, we can make it if we run
Oh oh oh oh Thunder Road, sit tight, take hold, Thunder Road

Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make her talk
My car's out back if you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open, the ride it ain't free
And I know you're lonely, these words that I ain't spoken
Tonight girl we'll be free, all the promises will be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
In the lonely cool before dawn
You can hear their engines roaring on
You get to the porch, they're gone on the wind, so Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers, I'm pulling out of here to win
Oh yeah!


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 19 Sep 1978 performance of THUNDER ROAD at Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ, during the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour. The song was played in a full-band arrangement.

The 19 Sep 1978 Show

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performed a series of three concerts at Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ, during the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour, on 19, 20, and 21 Sep 1978. The three shows were recorded live in the Record Plant Remote truck, both on multi-track and live-to-two track.

The 19 Sep 1978 concert was broadcast live on ten FM radio stations in the Northeastern United States, including WNEW (now WWFS) in New York City, NY, WBCN in Boston, MA, WCOZ in Boston, MA, WIOQ in Philadelphia, PA, and WIYY in Baltimore, MD.

Promotional poster for the September 1978 three-night residency at Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ
Promotional poster for the September 1978 three-night residency at Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ
Ticket stub for the 19 Sep 1978 show at Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ
Ticket stub for the 19 Sep 1978 show at Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ
(Taken from Brucebase)

  1. BADLANDS
  2. STREETS OF FIRE
  3. SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT
  4. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  5. INDEPENDENCE DAY
  6. THE PROMISED LAND
  7. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT
  8. RACING IN THE STREET
  9. THUNDER ROAD
  10. MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER
  11. JUNGLELAND
  12. KITTY'S BACK
  13. FIRE
  14. CANDY'S ROOM
  15. BECAUSE THE NIGHT
  16. POINT BLANK
  17. SHE'S THE ONE
  18. BACKSTREETS
  19. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
  20. 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY)
  21. BORN TO RUN
  22. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT
  23. DETROIT MEDLEY
  24. RAISE YOUR HAND

The 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre was commercially released in the UK. Since 2005 some enterprising record labels 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 the UK.

Bruce Springsteen -- Live At The Capitol Theather, Passiac, NJ September 19th, 1978
Bruce Springsteen -- Live At The Capitol Theather, Passiac, NJ September 19th, 1978

3xCD - Klondike (KL3CD5001) - UK, 2014

This release contains the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre.
Bruce Springsteen -- Capitol Theather, Passiac, NJ September 19, 1978
Bruce Springsteen -- Capitol Theather, Passiac, NJ September 19, 1978

3xCD - Rox Vox (RV3CD1002) - UK, 2015

This release contains the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre.
Bruce Springsteen -- Capitol Theather, Passiac, NJ September 19, 1978
Bruce Springsteen -- Capitol Theather, Passiac, NJ September 19, 1978

4xLP - Rox Vox (RV4LP1002) - UK, 2015

This release contains the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978

3xCD - Leftfield Media (LFM3CD533) - UK, 2015

This release contains the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978 Volume One
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978 Volume One

2xLP – Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV315LP) - UK, 2015

This release contains part 1 of three of the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978 Volume Two
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978 Volume Two

2xLP – Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV316LP) - UK, 2015

This release contains part 2 of three of the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978 Volume Three
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Passaic Night 1978 Volume Three

2xLP – Let Them Eat Vinyl (LETV317LP) - UK, 2015

This release contains part 3 of three of the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Complete 1978 Radio Broadcasts
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Complete 1978 Radio Broadcasts

15xCD - Sound Stage (SSCDBOX10) - UK, 2015

This release contains the 09 Aug 1978 broadcast from The Agora, the 07 Jul 1978 broadcast from The Roxy Theatre, the 19 Sep 1978 broadcast from Capitol Theatre, the 30 Sep 1978 broadcast from Fox Theatre, and the 15 Dec 1978 broadcast from Winterland Ballroom.

Available Versions

List of available versions of THUNDER ROAD on this website:

THUNDER ROAD [Album version]
THUNDER ROAD [Early draft]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #1]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #2]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #3]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #4]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 05 Feb 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 20 Jul 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 17 Oct 1975 (early show) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 18 Oct 1975 (early show) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 18 Nov 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 31 Dec 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 Apr 1976 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 25 Mar 1977 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 13 May 1977 (early show) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 13 Sep 1977 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Sep 1978 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 08 Dec 1978 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1979 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 03 Oct 1980 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 03 Jul 1981 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 08 Jun 1984 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Nov 1984 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 27 Jul 1988 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 02 Sep 1988 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 16 Nov 1990 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 28 Sep 1992 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 24 Jun 1993 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 15 Feb 1995 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 05 Apr 1995 (Sony Music Studios) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 09 Jul 1995 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 05 May 1997 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 May 1997 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 31 Jan 1998 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 23 Oct 1999 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 27 Jun 2000 / 01 Jul 2000 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Oct 2001 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 29 Aug 2002 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Oct 2002 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 16 Oct 2002 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Feb 2003 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 29 Apr 2003 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Jun 2003 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 01 Nov 2004 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Apr 2005 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 12 Oct 2005 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 Nov 2007 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 09 Nov 2007 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 14 Mar 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 May 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 18 Jun 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 23 Aug 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Oct 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 16 Oct 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 30 May 2009 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 17 Nov 2009 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Nov 2010 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 15 Jan 2011 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 03 Nov 2011 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Nov 2011 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 14 Jan 2012 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 09 Mar 2012 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 06 Apr 2012 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 Nov 2016 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Greg Kihn's cover version]
THUNDER ROAD [Badly Drawn Boy's cover version]
THUNDER ROAD [Cowboy Junkies' cover version]
THUNDER ROAD [Kevin Rowland's cover version]

Page last updated: 11 Sep 2007