Friday is Boss’ Day: Live, Houston 1984

Photos by Art Meripol.  Visit his photo blog here.

In early October, 1984, it was announced that Bruce Springsteen was coming to The Summit on Nov. 29. Tickets were to go on sale at 6 a.m. at the Houston Astrodome, however, the line up was at 3 a.m. Yes, 3 a.m. This was before the days of the lottery, so where you were in line was where you were in line. Thousands of us braved an unusually cold October morning in anticipation of purchasing tickets to the hottest rock and roll show on the road.

Springsteen was riding an unbelievable wave of popularity. Born In The USA was a monster album, he was constantly being played on the radio (those were the days), and on MTV and he had quickly become one of my idols. I had to get a ticket to this show. There were no ifs, ands or buts, I had to get in.

Everyone made small talk in line, except for one student from Rice University, who decided to bring a lounge chair. The idiot fell asleep, and in the dog eat dog world of getting a Springsteen ticket, nobody woke him up. Before the putz knew what was happening, 150 people had passed him by. It was literally “you snooze, you lose.”

So I am two people from getting to the window, and this guy pops his head out and says “the show is sold out.” It was like John Candy telling Chevy Chase that Wallyworld was closed. If I would have had a gun, I would have killed him. However, as luck would have it, a second show was announced, and I was in. Upper deck, but I was in.

From the moment Bruce said “One, two, three, four” I was sold. I knew from then on that I wanted to be a musician. The show was phenomenal. His energy was incredible. We heard everything that night; “Jungleland,” “Racing in the Street,” “Thunder Road,” “Johnny Bye Bye, “Cadillac Ranch,” you name any of his best songs and we saw them that night. I thought the roof was going to come off the building when they went into the “Detroit Medley.” It was the best the concert I had ever seen, and still ranks in the top two, right behind the Magic tour at Madison Square Garden last year.

The next day my brother and I were in the garage with a couple of other guys putting a band together, and I was going to, not only play drums, but sing. While I haven’t come remotely close to the success Springsteen has had, I thank him for that night and for giving me the inspiration to do what I always knew I wanted to do, but never had the courage to try.

Here is the set list:

Born in the USA/Prove It All Night/Darlington County/Darkness on the Edge of Town/The River/Johnny 99/Reason to Believe/Johnny 99/Out in the Street/Glory Days/The Promised Land/My Hometown/Badlands/Thunder Road/Cover Me/Dancing in the Dark/Hungry Heart/Cadillac Ranch/No Surrender/I’m on Fire/Growin’ Up/Bobby Jean/Racing in the Street/Jungleland/Born To Run/Detroit Medley/Twist and Shout/Santa Claus is Coming to Town

MP3: Born in the USA (Live 1984)

MP3: Detroit Medley (Live 1984)

MP3: Jungleland (Live 1984)

MP3: Dancing in the Dark (Live 1984)

MP3: Thunder Road (Live 1984)

MP3: Growin’ Up (Live 1984)

Backstreets Magazine

Bruce Springsteen Columbia Website


2 Responses to “Friday is Boss’ Day: Live, Houston 1984”

  1. That was the same tour I shot those photos on, only a few weeks before my shoot in Memphis in December of 1984. I’d been to a lot of great shows, shot some amazing acts but that show blew me away too. FOUR! freakin’ hours he played. 2.5 hours in the band left and Bruce played 30 minutes solo and then the E street band returned and they played another hour. By the time the show ended I had lost my voice from screaming, singing and shouting BRUUUUUUUUUUCE! I was allowed the usual at that time first three songs to shoot. I somehow managed to load and shoot 13 rolls of the old TRI-X Kodak black and white film in those three songs. And there were so many different shots. They weren’t just frames but individual photos. Still one of my greatest concert experiences.

  2. 30daysout Says:

    Thanks, Art. And thanks for the use of your great photos. Hey, everybody, you need to check out Art Meripol’s concert photography blog. The link to his site is on our home page …


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