RED HEADED WOMAN

Live 16 Nov 1990 version

[Spoken intro:] Oh yeah! It's funny, Jackson and Bonnie and I, we met about uh, almost 20 years ago. I was playing at Max's Kansas City (cheers). And this fella, David Blue came and pulled me off stage and said "Man, you gotta come downtown with me". And Jackson was playing at the Bitter End, and Bonnie was playing across the street at the Cafe Au Go Go, and I got up and I sang a song. And uh, when we couldn't get any jobs, Bonnie Raitt used to let me open up for her (chuckles). She was so nice, and she's so good, and now she's so sexy (cheers). Yeah, yesterday I came in, you know, I hadn't seen her in a while, and she kissed me right on the lips (cheers). It was just a little kiss, you know, it was very, very knowing (cheers). Life's little thrills (cheers). Anyway I'm gonna dedicate this tonight to uh, my two favorite red-heads (cheers).

Well brunettes are fine man
And blondes are fun
But when it comes to getting the dirty job done

I'll take a red headed woman
A red headed woman
Yeah a red headed woman
Sure can get that job done

Well listen up stud
Your life's been wasted
'Til you've been down on your knees on and tasted

A red headed woman
A red headed woman
Yeah a red headed woman
Sure gets a dirty job done

Yiii...
Whoaaa...

Yeah well tight skirt, strawberry hair
Tell me what you've got baby, waiting under there
Big green eyes that look like sun
They can see every cheap thing that you ever done

Well I don't care how many girls you've dated, man
You ain't lived till you've had your tires rotated

By a red headed woman
Whoa a red headed woman
Well a red headed woman
Sure can get the job done

Well now all you girls out there tonight sure look fine
But my heart and soul and this body of mine

Is a red headed woman's
Belongs to a red headed woman
Yeah a red headed woman
Sure gets the dirty job done
Amen

Whoaaa...


Page last updated: 03 Sep 2011

Info

RED HEADED WOMAN is a song written by Bruce Springsteen, obviously about his second wife and E Street Band member Patti Scialfa. It made its first appearance, in an acoustic form, during the two-night Christic Institute benefit shows on 16 and 17 Nov 1990 in Los Angeles, CA. The live 22 Sep 1992 version of RED HEADED WOMAN wasreleased on the In Concert / MTV Plugged home video in 1992 and the corresponding audio album the following year.

The above lyrics are for the live 16 Nov 1990 performance of RED HEADED WOMAN at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA, during the first of the two Christic Institute benefit shows. This was the world debut of RED HEADED WOMAN.


Ticket stub for the 16 Nov 1990 show at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA
[Taken from Brucebase]

The lyric "what you've got baby, waiting under there" can also be found in BLUE MOON TURNS TO GOLD, an unpublished song from the Human Touch / Lucky Town era.

Christic Institute Benefit Shows

Bruce Springsteen joined Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne on 16 and 17 Nov 1990 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA, for two acoustic benefit shows for the Christic Institute. The shows "were two of the most important and dramatic concerts of [Springsteen's] career", Backstreets magazine founder Charles R. Cross wrote. According to the Golden Globe, Springsteen and manager Jon Landau even considered making an album from these shows at one point.


Promotional poster for the 16-17 Nov 1990 Christic Institute benefit shows at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA

The Christic Institute was a public interest law firm whose most high-profile case was going to expose the CIA's involvement in the Iran-Contra drug smuggling scandals. The case was dismissed by the judge days before the trial was to begin, claiming that Christic's attorneys had failed to present some of the evidence. Christic was ordered to pay over $1 million in court costs for the defendants, effectively bankrupting the firm.

Official Releases

Other versions of RED HEADED WOMAN were also officially released:


The live 22 Sep 1992 version of RED HEADED WOMAN was officially released on the In Concert / MTV Plugged home video in 1992 and album in 1993.

Live History

RED HEADED WOMAN was performed off-tour on both Christic Institute benefit shows at Shrine Auditorium in November 1990 in Los Angeles, CA. See the live 16 Nov 1990 version and the live 17 Nov 1990 version for more details.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 1990 off-tour performances list]

RED HEADED WOMAN was performed 12 times during the 102-date-long World Tour 1992-1993, all during the 1992 North American leg.

[Click here to display/hide detailed World Tour 1992-1993 performances list]

RED HEADED WOMAN was performed off-tour on 22 Sep 1992 at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles, CA, during the taping of MTV Unplugged. That performance was released on the In Concert / MTV Plugged home video in 1992 and the corresponding audio album the following year. See the live 22 Sep 1992 version for more details.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 1992-1993 off-tour performances list]

RED HEADED WOMAN was performed 70 times during the 128-date-long The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour. The first appearance was relatively late in the tour, on 24 Apr 1996 in London, UK, but the song was performed at every single show from the 01 Oct 1996 in Normal, IL, and till the end of the tour. On this tour, the song as played on acoustic guitar and featured a new verse: "Well push come to shove / And shove come to push / And I was Moses kneeling for the burning bush."

[Click here to display/hide detailed The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour performances list]

Springsteen celebrated his 49th birthday on 11 Oct 1998 in a private outdoor party at his residence in Colt's Neck, NJ. The birthday, 23 September, has been postponed several times due to poor weather. New York City based Cajun-roots band The Gotham Playboys provided the entertainment, and Bruce joined them for a set that included RED HEAD WOMAN. Guests included Little Steven, Max Weinberg, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sheryl Crow. The Gotham Playboys, who also played at Springsteen's birthday the previous year, would form the core of the Sessions Band.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 1998 off-tour performances list]

RED HEADED WOMAN was performed 4 times during the 132-date-long The Reunion Tour. The song was played in a full-band extended version that also featured the extra verse from The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour. The 03 Sep 1999 performance in Washington, DC, featured guest appearances by Bruce Hornsby, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

[Click here to display/hide detailed The Reunion Tour performances list]

A snippet of RED HEADED WOMAN appeared several other times during The Reunion Tour, as part of TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT, during Springsteen's introduction of the band, particularly Patti Scialfa. See the live 27 Jun 2000 / 01 Jul 2000 version of TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT for an example.

In June 1999, at a Doug Flutie Autism Foundation fundraising gala held at Jon Bon Jovi's estate in Middletown, guests Anthony and Pam Diasco paid $60,000 during the evening's dinner auction for right to host a very private Bon Jovi band concert at their home. The performance took place on 04 Dec 1999 at the Diasco estate in Colts Neck, NJ. Although Springsteen's services were not part of the June auction, the Diascos got a bonus – Bruce Springsteen (as well as wife Patti Scialfa and Southside Johnny) attended the party and Springsteen, backed by Bon Jovi, performed a set of six songs including RED HEADED WOMAN.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 1999 off-tour performances list]

RED HEADED WOMAN was performed twice during the 83-date-long Working On A Dream Tour.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Working On A Dream Tour performances list]

Covers

Very few artists have recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's RED HEADED WOMAN, including:


Darren Coggan & Mitchell Shadlow -- Red Headed Woman

CD EP - ABC-Country / EMI (7243 887692 2 8) - Australia, 1999

This is a 3-track EP.

Hank Engel & the Hoosier Daddies -- Barrel Of Fun

CD - Indiana Records (unknown catalogue number) - USA, 1999

Pepi Hopf & die Buben -- Ans & Zwa

CD - unknown label (unknown catalogue number) - Austria, 1999

RED HEADED WOMAN is in Austrian and is titled "Rothaarigs Mädi".

Two Tons Of Steel -- Tuesday Live From Gruene Hall

CD - Big Bellied Records (unknown catalogue number) - USA, 2002

This is a live recording of RED HEADED WOMAN.

Mark Wright -- Real World: The Bruce Springsteen Project

CD - Revolver (REV XD 271) - UK, 2008

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.

Available Versions

List of available versions of RED HEADED WOMAN on this website:

References

Some of the above info about the live performances is taken from Brucebase. Info for some of the above RED HEADED WOMAN cover releases are taken from the Nebraska website.

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