‘I Don’t Want to Go Home,’ Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes with Bruce Springsteen

Southside Johnny and Bruce Springsteen sing together, in 1978.

Southside Johnny and Bruce Springsteen sing together, in 1978.

Some might argue for “Having a Party.” But I think “I Don’t Want to Go Home,” the title track and opening song on the first Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes album, is the quintessential Jukes song.

“Having a Party” is fun, of course, but the Steven Van Zandt-written “I Don’t Want to Go Home” has more depth and soul. And it’s also a perfect concert song, since it’s about transcending the problems in your life, even if momentarily, through music, and finding a sense of community in a theater or nightclub.

As great as the Jukes’ version of “Having a Party” is, it’s a cover of a Sam Cooke song that was already a big hit for Cooke. But their “I Don’t Want to Go Home” is so definitive I don’t think any other artists have ever even tried to put their own stamp on it. (I can’t think of one, anyway).

Below is a great 1978 performance of it, with an enthusiastic Bruce Springsteen guesting, at the Agora in Cleveland (the Boss was in town for an E Street Band show at the Richfield Coliseum).

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.

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Henry April 11, 2015 - 9:49 am

A lot of Jersey rock and roll history happened in Cleveland thanks to Kid Leo. Southside was royalty there already in the mid 70’s and of the so many noted performance by Bruce had already taken place. Kid Leo’s moniker for SSJ and the Asbury Jukes was “The Bum and his Chums.”


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