THUNDER ROAD

October 30, 2008 – 4:49 pm

For Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, recording Born To Run might have been tough but playing the songs live, it becomes a celebratory party.

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND
University of Iowa 1975 [Piggham, 2CD]

Live at Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa, Iowa City, September 26, 1975. Very good soundboard.

About a month earlier, on August 25, 1975, Bruce Springsteen had released his third album, Born To Run. A lot must have been riding on this album, since his earlier two albums did not exactly fly off the shelves.

In Born To Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story, Dave Marsh wrote about the recording process: “Occasionally, they all must have felt condemned to a lifetime in the Record Plant, endlessly waiting to complete just a little bit more. Unlike most delayed sessions, the production problems with Born To Run weren’t a matter of trying to get things musically correct or of searching for the right song. The task was lengthy and arduous because Springsteen had unleashed his drive for perfection; every note and nuance had to be perfect, exactly what he intended, with no possibilities overlooked. Occasionally, all that kept voices down and fists unclenched were long walks around the seedy block in the middle of the night.”

Perhaps with a bit of hindsight, Marsh continued: “The Born To Run tour was a triumph not just for Bruce Springsteen, but also for the E Street Band, to which people were beginning to pay special attention… Most important, the band was growing together musically, knitting into a genuinely individual sound.

“Springsteen himself had that much more flexibility, able now simply to sing on some songs where previously he had to play guitar, able also to accentuate his moves through Max Weinberg’s precision percussion, with [Clarence] Clemons and [Steve] Van Zandt standing by to lend dramatic support. The net effect was of a group of professionals who played for much more than money. The key factor in this transformation was Miami Steve Van Zandt, not because he led the band, but because he balanced its diverse tendencies.”

Even though this Iowa gig could be said to be early days on the Born To Run tour, the band was energetic and lively and must have been a joy to watch live. Listening to it now, a good part of the enjoyment comes from the very good sound on the discs. The show was available on the Meeting Across The River bootleg on the Piggham label and thanks to keef285, who shared this on the Dime site. As keef285 notes: “A nice recording with a few cuts, but I can live with that… maybe some day it will circulate complete.”

According to brucebase.org.uk, this contains one of the first known versions of Meeting Across The River to be played.

As anecdotes go (what Springsteen show doesn’t have its share of memorable stories), on Sept 20, 1975, the E Street Band played at the Darby Gym, Grinnell College in Iowa. In an article that appeared in the Grinnell Magazine, published by Grinnell College, Jacqueline Hartling Stolze wrote: “It was dubbed ‘The Springsteen Invasion.’ College officials were so worried that throngs of crazed Bruce Springsteen fans would crash the concert in Darby Gym that they hired extra security [Pinkerton guards, according to the S&B] to stand guard around the gym. Only 200 tickets were available for the public ($5 apiece), and no one knew how many people might show up.”

“It was practically a Red Alert for this small Iowa town.” Pinkerton guards were hired to put down rioting in case things got out of hand once the 200 tickets set aside for the invading hordes had been snapped up. Other highlights: Tense disputes broke out over the size of the stage and the sound system in Darby Gym. Student organizers made a trip to the college Treasurer’s office and withdrew US$3,500 - in cash - to pay the entire booking fee to Bruce’s road manager. One student phoned Bruce at his hotel out on the interstate, and invited him over for a spaghetti dinner. The concert started late, but peaceably (leaving the Pinkertons with nothing to do but patrol outside the Gym).

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.Disc One
Track 101. Meeting Across The River (cuts in)
Track 102. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
Track 103. Spirit In The Night
Track 104. It’s Gonna Work Out Fine
Track 105. Growing Up
Track 106. It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City
Track 107. Backstreets
Track 108. She’s The One
Track 109. Born To Run (end cut)
Track 110. The E Street Shuffle (start cut)

Disc Two
Track 201. Kity’s Back
Track 202. Jungleland (break in middle)
Track 203. Rosalita
Click here if you reisde in the United States
Click here if you reside outside the United States
Track 204. Detroit Medley
Track 205. (4th Of July Asbury Park) Sandy
Track 206. Quarter To Three

In 2005, a 30th anniversary edition of Born To Run was released (1CD and 2DVD). Click here to order the boxset.

  1. 11 Responses to “THUNDER ROAD”

  2. In 1988 Springsteen gave a concert in East Berlin.Bruce thought behinde the wall nobody would know him.When he entered the stage he saw how unknown he was.Infront of the stage stud
    160 000 people.And all have known every word of his songs.I thing he will never forget this day.

    By Joe "The Catman" on Oct 30, 2008

  3. I always wanted this performance especially for Meeting. Thanks

    By Matt on Nov 2, 2008

  4. There’s seems to be a problem with the Kitty’s Back in Town link at 4Share.

    But, I’m really enjoying the first half of this set. It’s got an intimate feel that is all but gone by the time Bruce had become BRUCE!!!!!! The last vestiges of a jazz sensibility can still be detected here. Thanks for the post!

    By Slidewell on Nov 3, 2008

  5. I Also still have a problem with the Kitty’s Back in Town link at 4Share, it seems it’s not available.

    I’ve listen to the first CD and it sounds very good, great concert !
    Thank you for this share !

    By Micounet on Nov 3, 2008

  6. could not download 109, nor either of the 4shared pages (110 & 201)

    By mrx on Nov 3, 2008

  7. Thanks for your feedback.

    We checked and the links and tracks are fine. It’s likely the server was very crowded. Please be patient and try again later.

    By bigozine2 on Nov 3, 2008

  8. Great concert. Bruce is the Boss

    By joan on Nov 4, 2008

  9. Hi, Thanks, for another gem. Have a nice day. Jim

    By Jim Gouveia on Nov 6, 2008

  10. This is a great show from the early days.

    I love this period of Bruce,and for the Detroit resident,what better than the detroit medley

    By Luis Torregrosa on Dec 12, 2008

  11. never had achance to download , was put up in morning ,and off before i went home from work

    By george stuski on Mar 16, 2011

  12. can you buy this. i was there and it was the first i even heard of him

    By kevin kalloway on Dec 15, 2011

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