The wait is finally over. Passaic 9/19/78 arrives in its glorious entirety, newly remixed by Jon Altschiler from multi-track, Plangent Processed master tapes. It offers a fresh take on the familiar broadcast version, crackling with energy and putting Bruce and the band so close you might reach out and try to touch the Big Man’s sax. It’s not a first-row seat; it is a first-row seat directly in front of the PA speakers.
-Erik Flannigan (nugs.net)
The September 19th 1978 concert at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, in Bruce’s home state of New Jersey, is arguably Bruce Springsteen’s single greatest live performance. I’ve listened to quite a lot classic Springsteen bootleg concerts over the years.. this remains my favourite. Now it has finally been released on live.brucespringsteen.net and the b&w footage on youtube with OK/good sound is being replaced (by fans) with new the new stellar sound.
[about touring only for the money] They always say that. There are more important things in the world than money. It means that to the people who write these articles, the most important thing in the world is money. They could be saying I’m doing the tour to meet girls or to see the world. Actually, it’s all I know how to do. Ask Muhammad Ali why he fights one more fight. Go ask Marlon Brando why he makes one more movie. Ask Mick Jagger why he goes on the road. See what kind of answers you come up with. Is it so surprising I’m on the road? What else would I be doing in this life – meditating on the mountain? Whatever someone finds fulfilling, whatever his or her purpose is -that’s all it is.
-Bob Dylan (Jonathan Cott Interview, Portland – Sept 17, 1978)
Facts from Wikipedia:
A year-long world tour, performing 114 shows in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe, to a total audience of two million people. For the tour, Dylan assembled an eight piece band, and was also accompanied by three backing singers.
North America, Europe,
February 20, 1978
December 18, 1978
No. of shows
Los Angeles, California
7 June 1978
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Billy Cross (lead guitar)
Alan Pasqua (keyboards)
Steven Soles (rhythm guitar, backup vocals)
David Mansfield (violin & mandolin)
Steve Douglas (horns)
Jerry Scheff (bass)
Bobbye Hall (percussion)
Ian Wallace (drums)
Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris, Carolyn Dennis (background vocals)
One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
I didn’t mean
To treat you so bad
You shouldn’t take it so personal
I didn’t mean
To make you so sad
You just happened to be there, that’s all
A concert perhaps best known for the outstanding video footage available. “Growin’ Up” features the teenage werewolf story. “Backstreets” has some lines from “Pretty Flamingo” in the ‘Sad Eyes’ section. Tremendous versions of “Quarter To Three” (particularly the video) and “Prove It All Night” with the cab driver intro and an outstanding guitar solo. “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” includes a snippet of “Macho Man” during the band introductions. The show features a particularly loose and active Bruce, maybe because the next day he was going home to New Jersey for the first time in a year. The MC that can be heard introducing Springsteen before “Summertime Blues” is the legendary Washington-area DJ Don “Cerphe” Colwell.
I’m watching the video of this concert. I cannot help writing some lines on it. I don’t want to encourage the buying of unauthorized material, but if you already have all the official video items, you really got to have this. Performance like ‘Sandy’ and ‘Prove it all night’ as captured in this film make you understand how great he is, just in case there was any doubt left. All the show was great, but Sandy is above all… and this show was not better than all the other ’78 shows…. I’m just speaking of this because I just have this one…. This reminds me of an old phrase I saw written on some horrible shirt : “People can be divided in two halves; the ones who love him, and the ones who never saw him playing live…” Back here… the video is goin’ on…. I cannot write nothing on Growin’up and Backstreets. The ‘sad eyes-drive all night-pretty flamingo’ interlude in backstreets is simply one of the best things you may ever watch and listen to…. Also Because the Night is terrific…
This concert is one of the best from the tour I’ve heard.. and Yes, it helps that it was broadcasted on the famous rock station: WMMS-FM…
One of the reasons the 1978 Tour is so well-remembered, and often viewed as the peak of Springsteen and the E Street Band in concert, is that several complete shows were broadcast live on radio stations.