The Promised Land Variations

YesterdayAthenae linkedto a fantastic post byJoe Posnanski about Bruce Springsteen andThe Promise. I saw the documentary of the same name, which is about the making ofDarkness On The Edge Of Town, ,a month or so ago on HBO. It embedded Bruce’s wonderful songThe Promised Land in my head. It also got me thinking about another classic song of the same title written by the great but sporadically psychotic Chuck Berry. Hence this edition of Friday Night Music.

First, Springsteen and the E Street Band at their creative and performing peak in 1978. The same year I saw them for the first time at Winterland in San Francisco. Shit, I am older than the fucking hills. Oh well, I still have my hearing (sort of) and some of my hair. Some day I’ll have to write a post about that memorable evening but all I got for you now is this video:

Chuck Berry’sPromised Land has been recorded and performed by oodles of artists. (Oodles is one of my favorite words, I’ve used it oodles of time.) The Grateful Dead used Berry’s tune as an opener <get ready> oodles of time. Here’s a clip from an unreleased film of the Dead rocking a field of hippies in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a clip that would have given Nixon, Colson and Haldeman a collective coronary. Rock on, Jerry, Bob, Phil, Keith, Mickey and Bill, you goddamn hippies:

UPDATE: Here’s John Fogerty with Springsteen at a gig in 2004 on the Vote for Athenae’s boyfriend tour:

2 thoughts on “The Promised Land Variations

  1. jim dunn says:

    what?? I like the Band’s version from Moondog Matinee. Levon nails it.

  2. Adrastos says:

    I like that one too but couldn’t find a performance clip online. The Band also wasn’t known for playing that live every often. But the Dead one is priceless…

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