Calling President Trump “a delusional, broken carny barker of a president, who knows allegiance only … to himself,” Bruce Springsteen shared his thoughts on the Jan. 6 insurrection on the 17th show in his “From My Home to Yours” DJ series on SiriusXM satellite radio.
The show, which premiered Jan. 20, was subtitled “Lawyers, Guns and Money: An Inaugural Special” and also featured music by Leonard Cohen, Jay-Z, Link Wray, Green on Red and others, as well as Springsteen’s own “Land of Hope and Dreams,” “Reason to Believe” and “House of a Thousand Guitars.”
Springsteen said that while watching television coverage from the Capitol on Jan. 6, “my responses went from ‘What?,’ to ‘Huh?,’ to ‘Whoa!,’ to surprise, to shock, to becoming infuriated, to depression, to deepening anger as the days passed by and what had actually happened, most of which we barely knew yet, began to seep in.
You can read what Springsteen said here, and see videos for the songs that were played. In some cases, a version of the song may have been played that is different from what is embedded in this post.
“Welcome, E Street Nation. Fans, friends and listeners from coast to coast, and around the world. Welcome to our first show of 2021, and our first broadcast after the Jan. 6 attempted insurrection at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. This is Vol. 17, titled ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money: An Inaugural Special.’ So let’s get started.”
“Lawyers, Guns and Money,” Warren Zevon
“First We Take Manhattan,” Leonard Cohen
“That was ‘First We Take Manhattan,’ by Leonard Cohen. And we started, of course, with ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money,’ that masterpiece of paranoia, perfect for this moment, by my departed friend and outlaw songwriter, Warren Zevon.
“Now, I don’t know about you, but sitting in front on my TV on the afternoon of Jan. 6, my responses went from ‘What?,’ to ‘Huh?,’ to ‘Whoa!,’ to surprise, to shock, to becoming infuriated, to depression, to deepening anger as the days passed by and what had actually happened, most of which we barely knew yet, began to seep in.
“Now, I’m curious: What kind of narcissist are you that thinks you have the right to trash our People’s House, stop the wheels of our democracy, while we are in the process of performing one of our most sacred duties, the peaceful transfer of power, in the most powerful nation on Earth, and to act based on a cheap, easily disproven lie of a stolen election, a lie that has been reviewed, disproven, debunked and rejected by every court in the land, including our own Trump-filled Supreme Court. I mean, who do you think you are to desecrate the halls of our democracy purely on the word of a delusional, broken carny barker of a president, who knows allegiance only … to himself. He is a dime store seditionist and a low-rent traitor to the Constitution, and to the United States of America.
“I ask my good American brothers and sisters to value yourselves and your allegiances more deeply. Donald J. Trump does not deserve your good soul and your honest and heartfelt commitment. Your country, your real country, awaits and needs you. So I say this with pain and love in my heart: Don’t waste your compassion on those who do not deserve it. You are better and worth much more than that. In this world, God’s world, no infallible truth resides in just one man. There is only one truth, God’s truth, and it is a truth of deep inquiry, humility in the face of facts, and it is grounded in the faith and love and respect you carry for your neighbors and your country. Let us all pray to God we have the strength to see clearly with our mind, heart and eyes, and that we may hold our faith high, humbly, and in service of our country and the truth.”
“Land of Hope and Dreams,” Bruce Springsteen
“There’s a valuable piece by (New York) Times opinion writer David Brooks that inspired some of my last spoken piece, and I want to bring to your attention. It’s called ‘Trump’s War Within the Church.’ It’s really good reading. And I’d advise you to check it out.”
“Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love),” Jay-Z
“Thursday in the Danger Room,” Run the Jewels, featuring Kamasi Washington
“That was ‘Thursday in the Danger Room,’ by Run the Jewels, and before that ‘Heart of the City’ by Jay-Z, rapping over Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland’s classic blues, ‘Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City.’ Well, we’re gonna send this next one down to Mar-a-Lago.”
“You Couldn’t Get Arrested,” Green on Red
“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” Link Wray
“That was the visionary guitarist Link Wray, the man who also gave us ‘Rumble,’ and invented the power chord. Ask Pete Townshend. And that was his majestic, deadly version of ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,’ by Bob Dylan. Link was an American Shawnee rock ‘n’ roll guitarist and vocalist who first came to popularity in the ’50s, but I met him in the ’70s, I think, when he was playing with Robert Gordon. A great guy. Just a beautiful guy. And a deep, deep rock ‘n’ roll heart. We love and miss you, Link.”
“All Along the Watchtower,” Neil Young
“The Future,” Leonard Cohen
“That was ‘The Future,’ by Leonard Cohen, off his great album The Future, recorded in 1992. Recorded as the Berlin Wall was falling, and the Los Angeles riots of the early ’90s were occurring. They were all influences working at that time. Coming up, once more, my good friend Warren Zevon, with ‘I Was in the House When the House Burned Down.’ ”
“I Was in the House When the House Burned Down,” Warren Zevon
“Reason to Believe,” Bruce Springsteen
“We are creatures whose veins pulse with hope, and faith, and love. I’ve made most of my life’s work the pursuit of that hope, faith and love, and its evidence and power here in this world. We need shared beliefs and common values, to give us the ties that will bind us into a country and a people that will define our character and deepen our national soul. These days, I know those things are hard to come by. But they’re there, and today is a day to celebrate them. So I’d like to send a small prayer out to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, to you and our country.
“That’s our show for today, folks. Go in peace.”
“House of a Thousand Guitars,” Bruce Springsteen
You can read transcripts of what Springsteen has said on the previous 16 shows, and see YouTube videos of all the songs he has played, via these links:
APRIL 8 (a tribute to the late John Prine and more)
APRIL 24 (thoughts on life during pandemic, New York songs and more)
MAY 6 (when the pandemic is over, he promises, “50,000 people will once again scream their heads off somewhere in New Jersey”)
MAY 20 (a tribute to the late Little Richard and more)
JUNE 3 (protest songs and more)
JUNE 17 (a “rock ‘n’ roll requiem” for those who have died from coronavirus)
JULY 1 (discussion with and songs by Southside Johnny and Steven Van Zandt)
JULY 15 (summertime songs and memories)
JULY 29 (discussion with and songs by Patti Scialfa).
AUG. 14 (“In Dreams,” nocturnally themes songs and memories)
SEPT. 2 (songs about work, in honor of Labor Day)
SEPT. 16 (end of summer)
OCT. 7 (songs about cars)
OCT. 28 (Election Day and Halloween preview)
NOV. 25 (Election Day victory, “music about music”)
DEC. 16 (“Hits of the Week”: music that he has been listening to lately)
Also, click here for some of my thoughts on this ambitious series in general.
Springsteen has been doing these shows regularly since April.
The shows have lasted between one and two hours each, and are being broadcast on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio channel (channel 20), with repeats and on-demand availability following the initial broadcast. “Lawyers, Guns & Money” will also be played Jan. 20 at 6 p.m.; Jan. 21 at 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Jan. 22 at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; Jan. 23 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Jan. 24 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Jan. 25 at 7 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; and Jan. 26 at 8 a.m.
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of $20, or any other amount, to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.