THE E STREET SHUFFLE

Live 02 Oct 1975 version

[Spoken:] Are you loose?

[Spoken intro:] Sit back: I'm gonna have a heart attack! (chuckles) Oh, damn! Oh, damn. (chuckles) Ha! (laughs) There! Let's see if we get it cryin' here. Let the band do its thing. Give me the beat, Max! Oh, we're gonna get to that, don't you sweat it. (chuckles) All right? Don't sweat it. Ah, hell. (chuckles) All right, now. Wait a minute, the band's gonna do something here. Just got it like, yeah, that's it. That's nice. Oh, yeah. Hit me, Roy!

Bam!
Oh yeah
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Help me with it, boys!
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
Help, well, it's all right
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
Said, it's all right if it's all night (all right, now)
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
Says, it's all right if it's all night (it's all right) (it's all right)
That's it.
Now hit me again, here
Bam! (oh!)

[Spoken:] Listen up. Gonna tell you a story tonight. You know about it? I'm gonna tell you a story about, about four years ago, me and Steve, and, uh, Miami Steve here, me and Miami Steve and Garry, we had, Garry Tallent, the bass player. We had, we had a band, we had a band back in Asbury Park, we had, we had a band for a long time, you know? We're in the, we, we've had bands for like, like I've know Steve since he was like 15, he was 16... You know, yeah, way back years, you know? Who's from Jersey here? Well, who, who the hell's from Milwaukee then? (chuckles) All right, but it's like, we had a band and it was like, it was like in the summer time, and we were trying, we were trying to get (chuckles), we were trying to get a job, you know? Now at the time, it was rea-, we couldn't get any jobs because, like, at the time was this big thing coming down from Long Island, all these bands were coming down from Long Island, right, and they was gigging all down along the Jersey coast and it was hard for the local bands to get jobs, you know, unless, unless you was doing this Top 40 kind of thing, you know? So, but me and Steve and Garry, we had a band, and we figured we had to get a gig somewhere, in some club no matter what, you know? So, we figured we was gonna go searching club to club on Saturday night when they should be doing all the business and we was gonna find out the club, the emptiest club in town, and we was gonna tell the guy we'd come in and play for him, right? So, so it was a Saturday night, was, it was, it was, was about, was 11:30, was around 11:00, and, uh, we walked in, we walk into this place, place was called the Student Prince. We walk in, there was nobody in this place at all, there was like, there was like about ten people in the place, you know, it was like just ten people at the bar and there was some guy tending bar, right, some, some heavy, heavy cat, and we said, "Listen, man, where's, where's the bar owner?" Right? He said, that's what they do, you see, in Jersey, if they go like that, that means, that means he's down the end of the bar, you see, that's like, now, the, the bar owners in Jersey, these cats, the guys that ain't, that ain't got the big enough bars to have their own office, they always sit down at the dark end of the bar, you see, way down the dark end. So me and Steve was there, so we hustled down the end, and we're there and there's, he was sitting there, this cat, was a blonde-haired dude, name was Bob Reed, was a brick layer in the day time, he'd just bought this bar, and he was losing, losing his bar, had just bought this bar, he was losing all his money, you know? So we said, "Listen, man, we got a, we got a band and, uh, you know, we're looking for a gig, and you got nobody in here." We finds out this guy, this guy, he hates kids, he hates music, right, he hates, this, this dude hated everything, right? Except, except he didn't hate money, that's right. (chuckles) And so we told him we'd come in and we'd play for the door, so the next week he said, he finally said all right, we came in, we played for the door, came out to about 13 dollars or something, you know? And we split it up between us. The next week it came out to about 25 dollars, and it went on and on, took out all right, except we played there for about five months, right, like four nights a week, and we just didn't seem like, we just wasn't getting someplace, and you get real discouraged. How many, how many people played in a band out there? Right, you know? That's like, so we'd like, 4:00 in the morning, I'd be sitting at the table with him looking at his face, he'd be looking at my face, and we'd say, "Man, what's the matter with us, how come ain't we got records out, how come ain't we, you know, how come ain't we like doing all this kind of stuff, you know? We're as good as these cats, we're as good as those cats, so whatever, you know?" We'd go through this thing. So we decided we was missing something. Now, we couldn't figure out what it was, because we had guys in the band that could all play good, we could, they played pretty good, we had this guy named Mad Dog, used to, was, was playing the drums for us, he played on the first albums, and this cat Davey on the piano, we had all guys that could play, had the bass player, he had long hair, right? We had like, so we figured we, we had the teen appeal, we had everything covered, you know? But still we couldn't get no place, we couldn't get, like people telling us, "Man, I'm gonna bring down, tonight you guys better play good because, 'cause I'm gonna bring down the manager from the Byrds is gonna come to, come and see you, right?" Now, it's like nobody come to see you in Asbury Park, you know? It's like, so we'd be walking home one night, trying to figure out what we was missing, we'd be walking home down the street, and, it was cold, it was so nasty, it was raining. It was raining, it was snowing, and the wind was blowing, and, uh, the clouds were like just about touching the earth. (chuckles) It was bad, it was, it, it was all coming down on that night. So we'd be walking and, and was walking, Steve had his guitar with him. Steve would always carry a guitar. Because he practices, this guy here, he practices all the time, he don't ever stop. He prac-, he practices when he drives his car, practices in the shower, practices when he's kissing his girlfriend. So there we was, I was walking, and he was practicing... [Steve plays a bit] See, he's like, he even practices all during the show, bad joking, right? (chuckles) So we walk, all of a sudden we seen, we seen this white mist, a mist, just like the mist that was in The Crawling Eye, as I remember, coming down the end of the boardwalk. And slowly the mist opened up, and out from the mist walked this dude, walking like it was 85 degrees, like the sun was shining, walking cool and dressed in white from head to foot. So. And what was worse, it was four in the morning and I wasn't sure, but Steve said that he was definitely carrying a saxophone. This could trouble you at four in the morning, the seemingly insignificant things that... (chuckles) Now, I wanna tell you, (chuckles) [Steve: "Come on, tell 'em!"] I will! We figured, this must be some new implement of terror, this must be some new instrument of total destruction that was soon gonna rain upon our heads. [Steve: "What he's trying to say is this sucker gonna put a hurt on us!"] I was planning to sacrifice Steve to whatever. So, so, we ducked in this doorway, tried to keep out of the way, just stood in there, dark, raining. No, no, please, I can, uh... Then we heard the footsteps coming closer. (thump, thump, thump, thump, thump) And we heard the footsteps coming even closer than that. (thump, thump, thump, thump) I was feeling real bad, you know? It's like, you get that bad that you feel down in your stomach, and you know you're feeling bad. Soon enough, the way, this cat did not pass us by in the night, but he reached out the doorway, turns to look, looking right at me and Steve. Well, Steve was real scared. I think I, I wasn't scared at all, I was like, I was, I wasn't scared, I could've cared less, I walked right out of that doorway and ran so fast home. (chuckles) No, I didn't, I couldn't, you can't desert your band members. When you're the leader of the band, you've got show some moral fiber, you can't desert your boys. So, I look up to this dude. I figure I'd try to make some conversation, right? Talk about the weather, ask him where he got his suit. He wasn't too talkative. Was the silent type. All he did was, uh, put out his hands. Figured to strangle me and the other men. And... Uh... He took my hand... And, uh, and when we touched it was like:

Sparks light on E Street where the boy prophets walk it handsome and hot
The little girls, their souls grow weak when the man-child hits them with the double shot (hit me!)
Them schoolboy pops pull out all the stops on a Friday night
Sing it, band!
And them teenage tramps in skin-tight pants do the E Street dance and it's all right
Yes, it's all right
Well, they're either out there dancin' or hooked up in a scuffle
Dressed in snake-skin suits packed with
[Clarence:] East Coast muscle
Doin' the E Street Shuffle
Help me, band!

Well, them E Street brats in twilight duel them flashlight phantoms in full star stream
Down fire trails on summer nights chasin' little blonde girls pledged sweet sixteen
Power Thirteen said it's been bad since he gave a trooper everything he had in a late summer scuffle
Power's girl, Little Angel, oh, she's out there on the corner, tryin' to keep them crazy boys out of trouble
Oh, Little Angel dance that shuffle like she's got no brains
She's deaf in combat, she's a killer, she a murderer
She's a queen
The queen of Lover's Lane, yeah
Ain't she, Steve?
[Steve:] Go ahead!

Well, I said, hey everybody
(Hey, everybody)
Everybody form a line
Hey, baby
(Hey, baby)
Everybody form a line, one time

Sparks light on E Street where the boy-prophets walk it handsome and hot
And the little girls' souls grow weak when the Big Man hit 'em with the double shot
Little Angel works at Easy Joe's, that's this joint where the riot squad goes when they're looking in for a hustle
And them kids are still out there on the corner, the same faces, and the same old places
They're doin' that E Street Shuffle
And as summer nights turn into summer dreams
Little Angel picks up Power and he slips on his jeans
[Spoken:] Puts on his sneakers and his socks, and his shirt and his jacket. Puts on his hat. Down the corner, says, "Hey, Steve, come on!" What're we gonna do tonight? Yeah? (laughs) Where'd you find out about that? You sure? You think we can get it? Think we can get in? I got no ID!
And we moved on down to the scene
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Play it, sweet Steve!
Havin' a party (we're havin' a party)
Havin' a party (havin' a party)
Havin' a party (havin' a party)
Don't you know, don't you know? (havin' a party)
Sing with the band!
Havin' a party (havin' a party)
Havin' a party (havin' a party)
Say it again!
Havin' a party (havin' a party) (all night long)
One time, havin' a party (havin' a party)
Don't you know, hey, don't you know? (havin' a party)
Don't you know? (havin' a party)
That's right, take it easy!
(Havin' a party)
Say it again, say it again
(Havin' a party)
Don't you know, say it again, say it again
(Havin' a party)
Bring the band down a little bit!
Havin' a party (havin' a party)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(Havin' a party)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, now, that's all right
(Havin' a party)
Band, ain't that good? Ain't that good? (Yeah!)
(Havin' a party)
Sound just like a record, wanted to tell you! (laughs)
(Havin' a party)
Ah, don't you know, don't you know, don't you know it?
(Havin' a party)
Aaaah!
(Havin' a party)
Oh, let's... Havin' a party
(Havin' a party)
Hey C, havin' a party
(Havin' a party)
With the saxophone

Havin' a party
Havin' a party
Havin' a party
Saxophone
Party

[Spoken outro:] Hey, Steven? That's what we needed! A saxophone!

Yeah! You did good! You did good! Are you loose? Well, you better be.


Page last updated: 11 Sep 2011

Info

The above lyrics are for the live 02 Oct 1975 performance of THE E STREET SHUFFLE at Uptown Theatre in Milwaukee, WI, during the Born To Run Tour. The song was performed in a slow full-band arrangement and concluded with a snippet of Sam Cooke's HAVING A PARTY.

This show is famous for its bomb scare. Just 45 minutes into the concert, a bomb threat was phoned in to the theatre, and the night's MC Bob Reitman (disc jockey for WQFM) was forced to take the stage and inform the crowd of the threat, asking them to return in three hours time. The police searched the theatre and found no bomb, so the band returned at midnight for another two hours on stage. The band spent its time during the delay in a nearby bar and it's evident as the show got back underway that Springsteen had a few drinks.


Pass for the 02 Oct 1975 show at Uptown Theatre, Milwaukee, WI
[Taken from Brucebase]

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE E STREET SHUFFLE on this website:

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake). Some of the above info is taken from Brucebase.