BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E-STREET BAND Live At The Main Point, 1975

Live At The Main Point, 1975 (2011)
Pre-Van Zant, With A Violinist!

This long-bootlegged show from 1975, a half-year before the release of Born To Run, is one of those classic boots that most fans know about in one form or another. This particular 2CD set, which surfaced online only a month or so ago, sounds great, and it also happens to be available as a hard disc bootleg, if you’re the collector type. Just go to Amazon (HERE), where boots are sold openly these days. Which still amazes me. I can’t compare this show to others, but it’s another typically inspiring Springsteen performance. Hearing Bruce tell the story of meeting The Big Man early in the set was a warming surprise, having just gotten this after Clarence Clemons’ passing. There’s a solid Dylan cover (“I Want You”), a 20 minute “New York City Serenade” and an early version of “Thunder Road” (“Wings For Wheels”). Remember, this is pre-Stevie Van Zant, when Bruce’s band had a violinist, Suki Lahav – who manages to lend E-Street’s carnival of soul atmosphere a tangible melancholy (except during “Jungleland,” when the dueling guitar/violin starts to sound like a messy “Layla” coda). As usual, Bruce plays the show like it’s gonna be his last night on Earth. Originally broadcast on WMMR in Philadelphia, February, 1975.


Intro (1:26)
Incident On 57th Street (9:15)
Mountain Of Love (3:16)
Born To Run (4:48)
The E Street Shuffle (12:57)
Wings For Wheels (Thunder Road) (6:53)
I Want You (6:26)
Spirit In The Night (6:21)
She’s The One (6:38)
Growin’ Up (3:19)
It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City (4:06)

Jungleland (9:54)
Kitty’s Back (11:47)
New York City Serenade (19:54)
Rosalita (12:34)
4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (6:46)
A Love So Fine/Shout (8:36)
For You (8:23)
Back In The USA (6:54)

 

 

51 Comments

  • 1
    Dave
    August 3, 2011 - 08:32 | Permalink

    Can’t wait to hear it ;)

  • 2
    Willard
    August 3, 2011 - 08:46 | Permalink

    This might help…

    Search HERE

  • 3
    courtney
    August 3, 2011 - 16:42 | Permalink

    Beats hell out of that tatty cassette copy I’ve nurtured all these years! Nice work from back in the days when real human beings worked at FM radio stations…

    Thanks!

    • 4
      Willard
      August 3, 2011 - 16:53 | Permalink

      Those were the days.

  • 5
    August 3, 2011 - 17:34 | Permalink

    Great show…I saw Bruce a lot when I lived in Maryland back in 1974…a couple of small theatre shows….a whole different experience than what you get now.

  • 6
    August 3, 2011 - 17:36 | Permalink

    Yikes! I just checked out that video! That Jon Landau really had a svengali hold on old Bruce (“Keed, ya wanna make it or what?”)

  • 7
    Art Ducko
    August 4, 2011 - 02:35 | Permalink

    Haven’t stopped grooving to the great show. Haven’t stopped laughing at Bruce’s workout video. Yow!

    • 8
      Willard
      August 4, 2011 - 03:26 | Permalink

      I thought Bruce was already pretty goofy acting in the the ‘original’ Dancing In The Dark vid. I’m just glad someone nixed this stuff.

  • 9
    Horst
    August 4, 2011 - 07:32 | Permalink

    LOL: “what young artists are forced to do.”

    He went from “the new Dylan” to “rock and roll’s future” to the disco king within a few albums. Now we know why he followed up Born In The USA with Nebraska: penance! Maybe Landau was convinced that Billy Squier’s “Rock Me Tonight” video was the new future of rock and roll.

    • 10
      Anonymous
      August 4, 2011 - 19:14 | Permalink

      Your timeline is off. He followed up Nebraska with Born In The USA.

      • 11
        Willard
        August 4, 2011 - 20:23 | Permalink

        Wiki is your friend.

  • 12
    G
    August 4, 2011 - 13:39 | Permalink

    Bruce At The Main Point – - brings back many memories – of that show and also of The Main Point – didn’t download the post – but the next night Springsteen played Widener College in Chester, PA – - and put on another great show. At the end of “…57th Street” – in the Main Point Broadcast – you’ll hear an fire-alarm. The Main Point was located directly across the street from a Fire House and during some shows the alarm would go off – and, in this case but some think the alarm might have been done with help from the sound men, this time it fit it all too perfectly. As to the comment on the radio – - that show was broadcast on ‘MMR and they used to do a lot of broadcasts from The Main Point – - another one that has been going around for years was the Jackson Browne Benefit For The Main Point …and all of it was broadcast over the radio. The Main Point was a wonderful place – used to go there more than a few times over the course of a month – at times, and I’m trying to think, you might be a little shocked to pay $10.00 (if that) for (at times) 2 shows (depending on the crowd or lack of one – - sometimes after the first show somebody would come up on the stage and ask people to stay so there would be a crowd for the performer’s 2nd set – they booked all sorts of musics – and it was a wonderful place to see music. And due to the fact that it didn’t have a liquor license – all you needed, since I lived around 20 minutes way, was a car!
    All the best
    G

    • 13
      Willard
      August 4, 2011 - 18:20 | Permalink

      Thanks for the insight. I was wondering about that siren. I thought it was outside my house when I first heard it. The second time, I thought it was a soundman trick, too.

  • 14
    Stephen G
    August 4, 2011 - 20:11 | Permalink

    I always thought the siren at the end of ‘Incident’ was a Bryn Mawr police car driving by on Lancaster avenue, which would account for the doppler effect…On another note, I thought I saw in a recent issue of Uncut or Mojo that this album was actually released in the UK…either way, this is definitely a true touchstone along the timeline of Springsteen’s career: the bridge between The Wild, The Innocent…and Born To Run. The opening moments of his cover of “I Want You” have an achingly beautiful feel that make me think Bruce was playing his Van Morrison records alot around that time. It’s also interesting to compare this Wings For Wheels with the Thunder Road it eventually becomes. The instumental coda that closes the song here is more of a bar-band good time jam, while it would later become – for my money – the ultimate musical distillation of Springsteen’s sound and message.

    Anyway, Willard, you’ve done it again!!! Thanks a million!

    • 15
      Willard
      August 4, 2011 - 20:25 | Permalink

      Thanks for the thoughts. I think you’re right about Bruce and Van.

  • 16
    Miles
    August 4, 2011 - 21:42 | Permalink

    i seem to recall my first physical encounter with springteen as being around this same time. ‘greetings from…’ and ‘the wild, the innocent…’ were all over fm radio but ‘born to run’ had yet to be released. it was in a college gymnasium somewhere in the american heartland. $7.50 admission possibly with no opening act that i can recall. i dug the records and simply wanted to see and hear what all the hoopla was about surrounding his well talked about live show. my crush & i had 6th row seats, center aisle — close enough reach out & touch the stage. the lights in the auditorium went down and bruce entered onto a blackened stage. a lonesome harmonica echoed through the hall as a single spot from behind silhouetted his then skinny frame which was draped in blue jeans, t-shirt & a black leather motorcycle jacket — guitar slung over his shoulder & behind his back. i was instantly mesmerized & could see that my date was too. the band members all looked like beach bums and raggamuffins but they collectively sounded like they had spent a hell of lot of time slogging it out in bars & dives, playing as though every note mattered even more that the last.

    midway through the show, they launched into ‘rosalita’ & bruce leap off the stage, ran up the aisle & stopped right beside the two of us. a spotlight hit him from the rear of hall and he fell to his knees. his hair was tossled and sweat was dripping from his brow and he smelled like a hard salami. his t-shirt clung to his torso and i could have sworn there was sand in the cracks if his boots. he looked directly into the eyes of my girlfriend and sang, “i know your mama she don’t like me ’cause i play in a rock n’ roll band…” and she nearly fainted from the palpable energy, excitement, & romance of it all. as for me, i was completely normalized, a mere spec in the presence of greatness. i thought for certain that after that night i would never see this girl again, so utterly marginalized was i in the shadow of this rock n’ roll god from asbury park, new jersey.

    3 hours later & after the show, we hardly spoke, speechless in the afterglow of our 1st time seeing springsteen & the street band. the viceral punch was overwhelming & powerful beyond either of imaginations. eventually she shyly said to me, “i wish you knew how to play the guitar.” i was crushed. how could i ever recover? i had to think quickly. i suggested we stop by the rehearsal room where my own band practiced in a lame attempt to regain some of my status with her. she agreed, and it worked despite my doubts. i showed her my piano, and later that night back at her place, she showed me her organ.

    true story.

    • 17
      Willard
      August 5, 2011 - 01:15 | Permalink

      A true story… up to that Redd Foxx punch line.

      Very cool tale, Miles. As usual, we’re kinda simpatico. My revelation was around this time and I had about 5th or 6th row seats. I went with a buddy of mine and we both shared the same thoughts on Springsteen. We didn’t get him. We considered ourselves musicologists and had seen it all before, sometimes in advance. We’d heard the albums and seen all the press – the Time/Newsweek combo had happened, I think. I remember liking the wordplay and some of the jazzier street elements of the music, but it just didn’t move me. My pal had the same opinion. So we got our seats early to – like you – see what all the hoopla was about. Cut to three hours later and we’re both standing on our chairs, pounding our hands red raw and screaming ourselves hoarse. The next day… both albums made total sense. I never understood how I didn’t get them the first time.

      So… the crush? She eventually took a walk?

  • 18
    Miles
    August 5, 2011 - 16:10 | Permalink

    willard…

    oh, that’s no punch line, she really did! it was a pump organ! (ba-da-boom!). there’s a great deal more to the story, and sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction, but for the sake of brievity let’s just say that it was me who walked. i had my own springsteen-esque fantasies going on at the time and decided to drop out of college and hit the road like i was jack kerouac or something. after a long while, i realized that living like that was no longer romantic at my advancing age, but just simply pathetic, so i settled down. now i’ve been married for 15 years and never once has my wife asked me what it is i do for a living. and for some reason, today i seem to channeling the ghosts of crazy guggenheim and henny youngman. go figure.

    • 19
      Willard
      August 5, 2011 - 16:44 | Permalink

      I stand corrected (somewhat).
      But… please don’t call my current lifestyle pathetic.

  • 20
    August 5, 2011 - 22:38 | Permalink

    I worked at the Museum of Natural History when Bruce and the E street Band taped a performance of “The Rising” for the MTV Video Awards. They spent all day setting up in courtyard outside the Hayden Planetarium, playing the song over and over again. Once they’d got it, they proceeded to play, unannounced, for an hour and a half in the rain for several dozen museum employees. Meanwhile the whole neighborhood could hear it, “Let It Be” style.
    I never listen to Bruce’s records, but when he’s on stage, I’m a fan.

  • 22
    Jerry Lee
    August 6, 2011 - 09:48 | Permalink

    So Bruce invented the Jersey Shore Fist pump! Looks like he has a perm, too. God, how embarrassing.

    Since when did Amazon sell bootlegs??

    • 23
      Willard
      August 6, 2011 - 09:59 | Permalink

      Been going on for a while now. From Amazon’s side, I can understand it to a degree. There’s so much stuff available now, and it’s not all limited to the big however-many record companies still existing. There are a million independents, now. Couple that with individuals being able to sell their own stuff, to on-demand printing for some titles, I can see where it might all get confusing and things might slip through the cracks. But, I’m starting to believe now that Amazon has adopted a policy like many other companies that deal in illegal product, they’re blind to it unless somebody complains. Corporate Deniability. All that’s understandable… just surprising.

      But the question remains… why hasn’t someone at Sony called Amazon and said simply, that’s not legit. Certainly Sony has the clout to make it disappear. There are tons of other examples at Amazon, too. I’m been mentioning some when I come across them for the last year or two. Personally I think it’s cool. Less savvy buyers may get burned on occasion, but that’s life. I’m just confused by it all and wondering if the labels have – to some degree – just given up the fight.

      • 24
        Jerry Lee
        August 6, 2011 - 20:09 | Permalink

        Maybe it’s selective enforcement by Sony, this one’s been out there forever. I’m sure they come down hard on sites that have downloads from the current catalog. It’s “let the buyer beware” on any bootleg purchase; like you say, if they get burned, that’s life.

        You’d think Sony, and other labels, might do a “Beat The Boots” type release- get a boot with good quality audio, clean it up, and release it at a discount price. Oh wait… that’s what might happen if human beings worked there.

        • 25
          Willard
          August 6, 2011 - 21:53 | Permalink

          Zappa didn’t care. He was willing to cut off his nose to spite his face (I remember chain stores like Camelot being stuffed with those Beat The Boots. Anyone trying to discover Zappa via those stores were certainly confused). But, the minute a label considers the idea you have artist involvement, fees, royalties, yada yada… just like any other release. Once it’s all legal, it gets expensive. Unless you’re a guy like Zappa – and I’d be curious to know if he paid royalties to outside songwriters and bandmembers (though I suspect he did). And the selective enforcement idea is suspect, too. This particular version of the Springsteen boot just recently surfaced. Maybe even first via Amazon (May 3), I don’t know. But, Disney sues the pants off of flea market vendors because “selective enforcement” is also a legal term, and having knowledge of infringement, and not doing anything about it, can cause legal problems for labels, too. So, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a fairly recent phenomenon and it will take a test case, someone like Bruce asking why, and something will get shaken up. I’m personally shocked that it’s this lax and high profile. Yet… think it’s utterly cool that it’s so easy to pick up a bootleg. I just checked and it reads ‘temporarily out of stock,’ but outside sellers have copies. So it was officially part of Amazon’s catalog – even called an ‘import,’ just like the old days of first publicizing boots. Weird scenes…

          • 26
            Jerry Lee
            August 7, 2011 - 12:29 | Permalink

            Interesting. A lawyer once told me about the “Statute Of Frauds”, where if you ignore enforcement of only one clause in your contract, it makes the entire contract invalid for everyone who signed it.

            I notice all the sellers are in the U.K., I would think if they’re just copying and reselling the same CD. Let’s see if Amazon restocks it.

          • 27
            Willard
            August 7, 2011 - 12:41 | Permalink

            That’s pretty harsh, but not surprising for a legal document. Sellers from anywhere can sell at Amazon once a title – and bar code number – is in Amazon’s database. However, if buyers get it in the mail and think it’s too cheap a copy (like a CDR) they can return it as fraudlent. Amazon will punish or block indivual sellers for those kinds of infractions, so there shouldn’t be much of that. Bottom line, though, is that Amazon accepted “the original” from someone, somewhere, into their database – and no one with any clout has complained about it (or the other boots that can seen @ Amazon). So you’re right, a re-stocking would be telling. Personally, I see it as busting down some walls a little bit… but, it’s still clearly illegal.

  • 28
    Mikey S.
    August 6, 2011 - 10:14 | Permalink

    Suspenders, a wifebeater, and a headband. He looks like a cast member of MTV’s Jersey Shore, all he needs is big ugly tattoos.

    Embarrassing and hilarious at the same time, maybe he needed money for the Mike Appel lawsuit. Good thing he came to his senses. He probably should have burned the tapes and had everyone involved whacked, I’m just sayin’.

    Thanks, Willard.

    • 29
      Willard
      August 6, 2011 - 10:32 | Permalink

      “He probably should have burned the tapes and had everyone involved whacked”

      Always sound advice.

  • 30
    August 6, 2011 - 15:21 | Permalink

    The suspenders make me think of Mork.

    • 31
      Willard
      August 6, 2011 - 15:53 | Permalink

      Everything makes you think of Mork. I’ll bet Robin Williams does, too.

  • 32
    August 6, 2011 - 18:20 | Permalink

    You have no idea how dead-on your reply is. I am haunted by a slight physical resemblance to Robin, and hear almost every time I’m in public,
    “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Robin Williams?”
    my reply:
    “Well, not today”.

    • 33
      Willard
      August 6, 2011 - 19:23 | Permalink

      So even YOU remind you of Mork.

  • 34
    August 7, 2011 - 19:52 | Permalink

    I did alot of things back in the 80′s that I am ashamed of. But nothing as bad as this.

    • 35
      Willard
      August 7, 2011 - 20:37 | Permalink

      Watch it… someone may have a video. You know Bruce had a few sleepless nights over this one getting out.

  • 36
    Jerry Lee
    August 14, 2011 - 21:38 | Permalink

    I just saw this on a Family Guy rerun, Peter Griffin called it the gayest music video ever made. Unfortunately, Mick and David didn’t shitcan these tapes. Might just be more embarrassing than Bruce.

    • 37
      Willard
      August 15, 2011 - 09:32 | Permalink

      I think the difference with Mick & Dave is that everybody already knows they’re both a couple of old queens at heart.

  • 38
    Goose
    August 15, 2011 - 22:49 | Permalink

    Wow, this is excellent! Thanks a lot Cap. Living outside Philadelphia my entire life, WMMR was, and to some extent, still is my favorite local radio station. I never made it to The Main Point (since it closed in ’81, I was too young) but have seen many a show at the Tower Theatre and Trocadero. Lots of great shows have come from Philly.

    Anyway, great post and thanks again… This will be a first listen.

    • 39
      Willard
      August 16, 2011 - 00:26 | Permalink

      Cool, thanks Goose.

  • 40
    Matt
    June 5, 2012 - 23:50 | Permalink

    Great show. Thanks for the share

  • 41
    Iggy
    October 31, 2012 - 16:04 | Permalink

    Been waiting to hear this one all my life. Thank you my friend.

    Iggy

  • 42
    zappahead
    July 18, 2013 - 10:29 | Permalink

    Great recording of a real early Springsteen show…..would have been great to have been there but alas…..I wasn’t but…this will go some way to making up for that point….thanks for the share Willard.

  • 43
    Supersonic75
    July 28, 2013 - 10:42 | Permalink

    Classic show; last time I heard it was off a cassette with at least 2 or 3 generations’ worth of hiss. And it still sounded great. Thanks, Willard.

  • 44
    Ace K
    September 15, 2013 - 21:53 | Permalink

    Thrilled to find this here, because just about 30 minutes ago I realized something had happened to my bootleg copy of this concert and so I then went into a mad dash around the Internet to replace it. Not as easy as you would think being a non-torrent person.

    Thank you.

    Great, great, great performance.

    Ace K.

  • 45
    Glenn
    October 25, 2013 - 15:33 | Permalink

    Willard – One of the Springsteen blogs did a Top 55 concert list, their favorite 55 Springsteen bootlegs up to 2003, when it stopped for whatever reason, along with comments, some set lists, etc, for those shows. I’ve hunted down about half of them and have links. Would love to be able to find the others. Would a list like that be something you’d want to include on your site?

    • 46
      Willard
      October 25, 2013 - 18:27 | Permalink

      Do I want a list? A list of places with links? Or a list of download links that you’ve upped?

      • 47
        October 25, 2013 - 20:32 | Permalink

        It would be a list of the top 55 concerts, with notes from the bloggers on most of the shows about why they’re special, and with links to a good chunk of the concerts to download. Not ones I’ve upped, but ones I’ve tracked down.

        • 48
          Willard
          October 25, 2013 - 20:37 | Permalink

          Thanks Glenn, but I’ll pass on that. That sounds more for a Springsteen page or forum. Posting links to other places sometimes causes issues here. Some don’t even want the attention and many links or pages go missing after awhile. If you want to share any concerts that you’ve upped, we have Readers Links near the top of the page. Thanks.

  • 49
    Erik
    April 10, 2014 - 23:01 | Permalink

    The links appear to be down. Is there any chance of a re-up?

    • 50
      Willard
      April 11, 2014 - 01:31 | Permalink

      new links up, thanks.

      • 51
        Erik
        April 11, 2014 - 19:48 | Permalink

        Thank you! You are my hero.

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