Springsteen’s ninth SiriusXM show is a birthday tribute to Patti Scialfa (READ TRANSCRIPT)

Springsteen scialfa siriusxm


Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen take their bows after “Springsteen on Broadway” on March 15, 2018.

Bruce Springsteen welcomed his wife Patti Scialfa — who was celebrating her 67th birthday — on his ninth SiriusXM DJ show, July 29.

The show was titled “Rumble Doll,” the name of Scialfa’s 1993 debut album, and was devoted exclusively to her music (including an unreleased song, “You’re a Big Girl Now”) and the music of her influences, such as Laura Nyro, The Ronettes and Wanda Jackson. Unexpectedly, Springsteen didn’t play any of his own songs on which Scialfa is featured as a duet or backing vocalist.

The 114-minute show featured lots of loving conversation between the two — Springsteen obviously has a deep appreciation of her solo music — and lots of stories I had never heard before. It was another gem in a series that has been full of them.

You can read what Springsteen and Scialfa said, here, and see videos for the songs that were played (with the exception of “You’re a Big Girl Now,” for which no video exists). In some cases, a version of the song may have been played that is different from what is embedded in this post.

And for another post on Scialfa, inspired by this show, click here:

Intro Music: “Tell Him,” The Exciters

Springsteen: “Hello, hello, hello, E Street Nation, fans and listeners from coast to coast. This is Bruce Springsteen, coming ‘From My Home to Yours, Vol. 9,’ titled ‘Rumble Doll,’ and I have as my guest today my lovely wife, the beautiful and the talented Miss Patti Scialfa.”

Scialfa: “Hi. That’s sweet, thank you.”

Springsteen: “It’s good to have you here.”

Scialfa: “It’s nice to be here.”

Springsteen: “Because today we will be featuring the music of my red-headed Jersey girl, and her great albums, from Rumble Doll, 23rd Street Lullaby, Play It As It Lays. And, uh, what do you say we get started?”

Scialfa: “Let’s go.”

“Rumble Doll,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “That was the first cut, Patti, from your first album. And, let’s start by you telling me where this song came from, where were you when you wrote it, and where did that title come from? One of my favorite (song) titles on that record. Just a great image.”

Scialfa: “You know, there was that movie, ‘Rumble Fish,’ do you remember that?”

Springsteen: “Yeah.”

Scialfa: “That was from the ’90s?” (Editor’s note: 1983, actually).

Springsteen: “Francis Ford Coppola.”

Scialfa: “Yeah. And I just liked the word ‘Rumble,’ and then, ‘Rumble Doll.’ I think that a lot of women are familiar with that kind of broken doll syndrome, so you’re kind of a cocktail of seduction and taking stock of your own limits, your personal limits.”

Springsteen: “I just love the image of the broken toy.”

Scifalfa: “Yeah.”

Springsteen: “And that’s why I love that first line, ‘Baby, take a walk in toyland.’ That’s a great opening line.”

Scialfa: “That’s why it’s seductive (laughs). That was Mike Campbell. He didn’t write that line, but, I mean, he produced the Rumble Doll record.”

Springsteen: “And the record is an interesting record because it really doesn’t reach to catharsis, the recording is built on a tension throughout. (makes percussive sound similar to the rhythm track of ‘Rumble Doll’). You know?”

Scialfa: “That triplet feel?”

Springsteen: “Yeah, and it never really breaks from that. Just very slightly. Michael’s arrangements, and your arrangements, were very austere …”

Scialfa: “Yeah.

Springsteen: “… on Rumble Doll.”

Scialfa: “But I liked that. I felt … and you know, we recorded on analog, in his garage, so we had, I felt, we just had a really organic approach to the record, which was really fitting, I think, for the material.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, and that record, to this day, stands out from your other two due to its particular sound. And I think it would be the only record of your three that I would call a pure rock record. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll record.”

Scialfa: (laughs) “Okay, I like that. He did a great job.”

Springsteen: “Oh!”

Scialfa: “Mike Campbell did a brilliant job, and he was just very sensitive to how I wrote the songs. So I would always play him the song, whatever we were doing, on the instrument I wrote it on, and basically he copied my … like that muted triplet on guitar. He was just very sensitive.”

Springsteen: “Not to mention, on top, the guitar sounds he’s got …”

Scialfa: “Yeah, he’s brilliant.”

Springsteen: “… which is his ace in the hole. He’s always incredible at that. So hey, speaking of sounds, let’s have a Rumble Doll doubleheader, and listen to the guitar sound this thing starts out with.”

“Lucky Girl,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “So how did the sound of your first record develop? Did you guys just get together, and something just chemically clicked, and that’s the sound that came out? Or was there a decision made, as far as, you know, having those …

Scialfa: “It’s interesting …”

Springsteen: “… jangly guitars and poetic lyrics?

Scialfa: Well, this a song that Michael Campbell handed me that track to, right?”

Springsteen: “Oh.”

Scialfa: “We recorded a lot of the record, and there was a lot of lament in the record. (laughs)

Springsteen: “Wow.”

Scialfa: And I needed a happy song. And I’m not great at writing happy songs, only because I find … it’s just easier to write something that … it’s always easier to write a sad song, whether you’re sad or not. It just is. (Springsteen laughs) So I just said, ‘Hey, do you have anything that is … I need some uptempo, and something that was positive.’ And he sent me that track, and it was completely done.”

Springsteen: “Really?”

Scialfa: “That was actually how the track is, and I fit the words and the melody inside the whole track.

Springsteen: “Wow.”

Scialfa: “I remember writing … and I wrote it in one night, because I was just like, ‘Oh, this is great. I need a song like this.'”

Springsteen: “Because that’s what he did it with … he did it with Don Henley, right? The track was ‘Boys of Summer.'”

Scialfa: (in unison with Springsteen) ” ‘Boys of Summer.’ ”

Springsteen: Right

Scialfa: Great, great

Springsteen: “And that worked out pretty well.”

Scialfa: “Yeah.”

Springsteen: “And this worked out fabulous.”

Scialfa: “Oh, his guitars. It was really … he’s just so talented, and it’s just very direct, he’s very emotionally direct with his playing, which is just a gift”

Springsteen: “He’s one of the few guys who has a distinctive identity, and manages to get a spiritual and richness out of guitar sounds, so it’s really pretty incredible, you know. The production on that first record is just so solid.”

Scialfa: “It was fun. You know, he has that Rickenbacker thing that he does ….”

Springsteen: “It was so solid.”

Scialfa: “…. and it was great.”

Springsteen: “I’m pouring myself some champagne, because …”

Scialfa: “Pour away, mon cher. You want to hear a story about Mike Campbell?”

Springsteen: “I’m interviewing my amore.” (laughs)

Scialfa: “I’ll tell you a quick, funny story.”

Springsteen: “Go ahead.”

Scialfa: “So … this is just before we did this song. So we worked at his house in the garage. It was a great little setup. And I was pretty introverted in those days. But I was very, very quiet. And one day, he said to me … I just remember this like it was yesterday. He said, ‘Do you like what I’m doing to your music? Do you like working with me? Because you’re just so quiet.’ I was probably looking pretty sullen. But I said, ‘No, no, I love it.’ And I hadn’t told anybody this … you knew, obviously. But I said, ‘I’m pregnant, and I’m in my first three months,’ and I was sick as a dog. When he found that out, it actually solidified our work process, because he has kids, and he understood not feeling well, and he used to make me cheese sandwiches.” (laughs)

Springsteen: “So Patti made this record while pregnant …”

Scialfa: “Oh yeah!”

Springsteen: “… while rushing home to cook some asshole musician dinner …”

Scialfa: “I’ll never do that again.” (both laugh)

Springsteen: “… while he sat his fat ass on the couch and watched television all night.”

Scialfa: “That’s actually very true. And you don’t eat leftovers. You’re pretty particular.”

Springsteen: “‘Hey, woman!'” (both laugh)

Scialfa: “Don’t even go there, Bruce. This is not a good thing.”

Springsteen: “No, it is not. But you ended up with a great record. That’s all I know. Let’s move on, and to … I know that one of your great influences was Laura Nyro. And so let’s hear, Laura Nyro with Patti LaBelle and Labelle.

“I Met Him on a Sunday,” Laura Nyro and Labelle

Springsteen: “Love that.”

Scialfa: “It’s just stunning. It’s beautiful.”

Springsteen: “Let’s follow that with ‘The Bells.’ ”

“The Bells,” Laura Nyro and Labelle

Springsteen: “So Laura Nyro was a great influence on you. She had a girl group sound, she had doo-wop in her music, she had an R&B, rather sophisticated urban sound, also.”

Scialfa: “Yeah. I think, you know, when I was kind of like sixth to eighth grade, every day we could go home for lunch, and my girlfriend … lived right across from the school, and we’d go and we’d listen to The Supremes. You know, ‘Baby Love’ … and ‘Where Did Our Love Go.’ You know, ‘Stop! In the Name of Love.’ All that. And it was just so vibrant and just so beautiful. I just loved all that Motown music. But I’m a singer-songwriter, so I really responded to … even though the Labelle record is covers, I really responded to how Laura Nyro took that urban soul and put it in a singer-songwriter’s clothes. So basically she wrote intricate lyrics, at times very evocative lyrics, but she had the soul with it. And I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a hell of a combination.'”

Springsteen: “Well, I can hear her voice in your beautiful song, ‘Young in the City.’ Let’s play that.”

“Young in the City,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “Well, that is just some incredible lyric writing.”

Scialfa: “Thank you.”

Springsteen: “And a beautiful, classic New York City urban arrangement.”

Scialfa: “Completely inspired by Laura Nyro. She had this song, ‘Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp,’ that was on her Christmas and the Beads of Sweat (album). It was just this beautiful song, and you felt the summer inside of it, and you felt the romance of the relationships, whether it’s a relationship with the city, or a relationship with a person, and how they age really gracefully, so it’s a really romantic love letter.”

Springsteen: “And those city songs of yours, remind me, of course, of who you were when we first met. (Scialfa laughs) You were a stone cold city girl, 19 years living in the city.”

Scialfa: (laughs) “I loved New York City. I had a massive love affair with the city.”

Springsteen: “I used to steal up there and sit on the park bench waiting for my gal to meet me with a six-pack of beer.”

Scialfa: “This is true. We got engaged on that park bench.”

Springsteen: “Yes we did! (both laugh). All right, I got a quiz for ya.”

Scialfa: “Okay.”

Springsteen: “Coming up next. Here’s a hint: Old Asbury Lanes. Here’s another hint: rockabilly.”

Scialfa: “Oh yeah.”

Springsteen: “Here’s your third hint: The female Elvis. (Scialfa laughs) I know you got this.”

Scialfa: “‘Fujiyama Mama.’ Wanda Jackson. Just rough joy and liberation.” (both laugh)

Springsteen: “Here it comes.”

“Fujiyama Mama,” Wanda Jackson

Springsteen: “Oh man! What a great night we had watching Wanda Jackson …”

Scialfa: “Asbury Lanes!”

Springsteen: “… at the Asbury Lanes!”

Scialfa: “So good.”

Springsteen: “She (a) still sounded absolutely fantastic …”

Scialfa: “Oh, her voice was perfect. And the fire was there, right?”

Springsteen: “Yeah. And she was a fabulous lady.”

Scialfa: “Lovely. We got to meet her.”

Springsteen: “And great to hang out with.”

Scialfa: “I was very excited to meet her, I have to say. Because, you know, at the time, women … I don’t think white women were singing like that at the time.”

Springsteen: “There were a few, but not many.”

Scialfa: “A few, but …”

Springsteen: “And not as good as she.”

Scialfa: “Not as good as she, which is great”

Springsteen: “She just had ‘Let’s Have a Party,’ ‘Fujiyama Mama,’ and she just says, ‘Hey, I’m the female Elvis. That’s what they called me at the time.’ ”

Scialfa: “She allowed herself to be sexual, she allowed herself to be tough, she allowed herself to growl. That wasn’t really happening that much back then. If you think of Patsy Cline, she had that, but then they asked her to sing the ballads. Do you remember that? She had that rough rockabilly thing going, and then I think her record company pushed her into the ballad end, where it was just more set in a smoother part of her voice, and that made her very famous. But women were not being encouraged to sing like that.”

Springsteen: “No. Wanda Jackson was balls to the wall.”

Scialfa: “Yeah, that’s perfect. Yes. (laughs) I didn’t want to say that.”

Springsteen: “She is immortal, immortal because of that fact. All right. We’re going to play ‘City Boys,’ now. A little bit of rock from Miss Patti Scialfa.”

“City Boys,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “Whoo! Well done, baby. Well done. All right, let’s have a doubleheader, with ‘As Long As I (Can Be With You).'”

“As Long As I (Can Be With You),” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “Yeah, now. I picked that one, particularly, because …”

Scialfa: “Because it’s written about you?” (laughs)

Springsteen: “Well, besides that. Because I knew that the ‘Oh, oh’s …” (plays intro to “Walking in the Rain”).

Scialfa: “Oh, wow. You surprised me.”

Springsteen: (laughs) “Well, let’s go there.”

Scialfa: “Yeah.”

Springsteen: “And then we’ll talk.”

“Walking in the Rain,” The Ronettes

Springsteen: “One of my favorite Ronettes records.”

Scialfa: “That’s stunning. She’s just amazing.”

Springsteen: “Well, the reason I brought that up is because the ‘Oh-oh’s from ‘As Long As I (Can Be With You),’ and along with the ‘Sha-la-la-la-la’s, were obviously, uh …

Scialfa: “Lifted. (laughs) Appropriated.

Springsteen: “From your girl group influences, and particularly Ronnie Spector, and I was just curious if you were a fan of Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes …”

Scialfa: “Of course.”

Springsteen: “… back in the day.”

Scialfa: “Of course. You know, it’s funny, because I actually became more aware of her when I auditioned for you, and I had to go to Mike Appel’s office and he said, ‘Sing “Da Doo Ron Ron,”‘ which I had just never heard of. (Springsteen laughs) And so I said, ‘Okay,’ and I was in New York, and I walk in, and Mike Appel was sitting behind a desk with his feet up on the desk, and just said, ‘Okay, sing.'”

Springsteen: “That’s my man.”

Scialfa: “Yeah. I said, ‘Where is the accompaniment?,’ you know. And he said, ‘No, no, no, no. Just sing.’ I think I was a little nervous before I went there, but I got so mad that he was being so …”

Springsteen: “Rude?”

Scialfa: “… rude and disregarding, you know, that I belted out that song, and I learned that song. You know, that’s a whole other story, when I came down to Jersey to sing with you the first time.”

Springsteen: “You came to the industrial park …”

Scialfa: “35? Route 35?”

Springsteen: “… in 1974, on Route 35, in Neptune, N.J. You wandered in.”

Scialfa: “I didn’t wander in, Bruce.” (laughs)

Springsteen: “Well, I mean …”

Scialfa: “I drove my Firebird.”

Springsteen: “That’s right.”

Scialfa: “I had the address. They had sent me there.”

Springsteen: “And there you were. And we rehearsed a little bit of, maybe, ‘Thunder Road,’ or something else. And then you sat down at the piano and you played me your own songs, which you were working on, already, back then. And they were good. I remember they were good. And we ended up not taking a woman singer out on that tour, but I recollect us meeting.”

Scialfa: “Oh, you were great. And the band was great, and it was completely respectful. I remember after I sang you said, ‘Hey, what do you do?’ And I said, ‘Well, basically, I write, and I want to make my own records.’ And you said, ‘Well, play me something.’ So I think I sat down at the Fender Rhodes and played a couple of songs.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, you did. And you were good.”

Scialfa: “I remember what you were wearing.”

Springsteen: “Really?”

Scialfa: “Which is so strange. And I remember what I was wearing. You were wearing a black semi … not a polo in the conservative kind of way, but that kind of shirt … and jeans.”

Springsteen: “I still have that shirt.”

Scialfa: “Are you kidding?” (laughs)

Springsteen: “I still have all my clothes from 1974.”

Scialfa: “Where are they?”

Springsteen: “They’re in the hangar. (laughs) I’m a pack rat.”

Scialfa: “And I had actually forgotten that had come down and sang with the band and you. Max (Weinberg) and Roy (Bittan) reminded me. I had literally forgotten. ‘Cause, you know, you’re young, you do a lot of singing, and you come here and there. And they said, ‘Oh, I remember you came in, and you had, like, this white hippie shirt on with coral beads.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t remember all that.’ And everyone was really great.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, we had some fun sessions.”

Scialfa: “Well, that turned me on to that whole delving into the girl group stuff.”

Springsteen: “Right. Because that was one of the things that, in our ad we placed for …”

Scialfa: “I read it in the Village Voice.”

Springsteen: “It was an ad saying you had to be in tune with all the girl groups, and all of the ’60s records. And (Phil) Spector stuff. But anyway, let’s go to ‘Talk to Me …’ … from ‘Walking in the Rain,’ let’s go to ‘Talk to Me Like the Rain.’ I’m gonna play this and then I want you to talk about it a little bit.”

Scialfa: “Okay.”

“Talk to Me Like the Rain,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “Mmm-mm. Absolutely one of my top three Patti Scialfa songs.”

Scialfa: (laughs) “Maybe because that’s because you play on it. I think you play every instrument on it.”

Springsteen: “I think I do. But I still think it is a great song, sexy as hell, lonely as hell, and yes, I had a small part in it.”

Scialfa: “I had trouble getting a version of it that I liked. I remember I came to you. It needed that deep sensuality. It needed a bigger picture than how I was doing it.”

Springsteen: “It was the baião rhythm. The sensual baião rhythm.”

Scialfa: “We needed that. That triplet. Tennessee Williams had a one-act play called ‘Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen …’ and I was just really taken by the beauty of that title, and the play itself is pretty unyielding in its desire for romance and solitude. And that was just so inspiring. You really knocked it out of the ballpark, I have to say. You gave it the depth and breadth that it needed. It needed to be clothed, seriously but sensually, do you know?”

Springsteen: “It’s a very sensually elegant piece of music, and you sang, and you did an incredible job on it.”

Scialfa: “Thank you. This is fun, I’m getting so many compliments. (both laugh) I’m glad we had this recorded, see?”

Springsteen: “All right. Let’s go to ‘Ruler of my Heart’…”

Scialfa: “Mmmm, Irma Thomas!”

Springsteen: “… because that is going to take us into ‘You’re a Big Girl Now.’?”

Scialfa: “Um, yes. A new song, yes.”

Springsteen: “Which is a debut, because it’s something that Patti is cutting for her new record. Yes, there is a new record, and yes, it is coming, and we are going to get a little peek at it today.”

“Ruler of My Heart,” Irma Thomas

Scialfa: “I love Irma Thomas. It’s so righteous, that song.”

Springsteen: “Some sexy New Orleans music. I love Irma Thomas.”

Scialfa: “I love Irma Thomas. It’s such a righteous tune. And there’s hardly anything on it, which is shocking, because it’s so powerful.”

Springsteen: “Lets go to ‘You’re a Big Girl Now.’ Talk a little bit about this before we hear it.”

Scialfa: “This is going to be on my new record. I always loved Irma Thomas. You know those backups (sings backing vocal part), it’s just really, again, it’s just evocative, and it pushes you into something and it’s quite beautiful. So I had this song lying around. I did it with (producer) Ron Aniello. It sounded good but it was missing something. Sometimes I have a tendency to push people back from making it dirtier, which is probably a control thing, but we had a nice version, and then I met Jack Antonoff and Ron and I were like, ‘Oh, let’s see what Jack thinks of this song, what he’d do,’ and Jack took it in, just roughed it up a bit, and just put some horns on it and made it earthier.”

Springsteen: “Yeah.”

Scialfa: “It was really fun.”

“You’re a Big Girl Now,” Patti Scialfa

(Note: No video is available for this song.)

Springsteen: “All right, you have heard it first! (laughs) ‘From My House to Yours.’ ”

Scialfa: ” ‘Our House to Yours’ “!

Springsteen: “You’re a Big Girl Now,” by Ms. Patti Scialfa. The debut of her soon-to-be-coming next album. All right, that’s beautiful, babe. I hear those Irma Thomas ‘ooh’s in there, and they sound great. Now, we’ve been concentrating mostly on Rumble Doll. Let’s move to your other records, now, because for your next two records, you took a bit of a turn. You embraced more southern soul and R&B influences, even some blues. I think you had a new producer.”

Scialfa:23rd Street Lullaby was Steve Jordan and myself. And Steve is just a genius drummer/musician. I’ve known him since I was actually a teenager, which is frightening. He’s just incredible, and I have a real shorthand with him, so he knows how I want the songs to sound, without a tremendous amount of explaining.”

Springsteen: “And he will create one of the most musical-sounding rhythm sections you’ve ever heard in your life. He makes music come out of the drums.”

Scialfa. “Yes. He plays the drums melodically, which is amazing. But really quickly, I just want to say … so Steve, we wanted to cut the whole thing live, and so we had Cliff Carter on piano, who’ve I’ve known, again, since I was 20 in music school, and Nils Lofgren, Steve Jordan, and Willie Weeks, who is just an amazing bass player, a Southern gentleman who has played with everyone. And Bruce, you came in the studio, too, and played on a lot of different stuff.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, I was a utility player. If they needed something, I’d sit down or stand up and play it.”

Scialfa: “You actually wrote the bass line to this. Are we doing ‘Like Any Woman Would’?”

Springsteen: “Yeah.”

Scialfa: “Okay, so you wrote the bass line in the demo, but then when Willie Weeks came in …”

Springsteen: “I got cut. But I’m so proud of the fact that Willie Weeks had to play my exact part.”

Scialfa: “He did the exact thing. It was beautiful.”

Springsteen: “I was flattered.”

“Like Any Woman Would,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “Love the groove on that, love the ‘doo-langs,’ and I love the breakdown. (sings breakdown and replays that part of the recording). There you go.”

Scialfa: “Love that.”

Springsteen: “Whoo!”

Scialfa: “That was fun.”

Springsteen: “Love that breakdown. Loved it.”

Scialfa: “I was listening to a lot of Al Green.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, funky record. Let’s go to Al and see where that groove came from.”

“Tired of Being Alone,” Al Green

Scialfa: “That’s so good. It’s so effortless.”

Springsteen: “Effortless groove, effortless groove, effortless groove.”

Scialfa: “That was … you know, you helped me with that, when you’re making a CD, you don’t want to get off topic, and there was a lot of great music coming out at the time. But you said, ‘No, no, no, no, don’t listen to anything. Stay on your intent.’ I just had such great players in the studio, so that Al Green movin’, just him, and the rhythm section is effortless, but it’s so cool. And Steve Jordan and Willie Weeks, they just nailed it.”

Springsteen: “They know that stuff like they know the back of their hands. All right, let’s go to the greatest woman rock singer of all time.”

“River Deep — Mountain High,” Ike & Tina Turner

Scialfa: “Bold and beautiful. Really, that’s one of my favorite songs.”

Springsteen: “‘River Deep — Mountain High’ is one of the greatest rock records, probably, ever made. And she’s simply one of the greatest rock singers, you know.”

Scialfa: “I feel the need to do right by that song. It’s just like a righteous declaration of love, and is so direct and powerful. She just ate that song up.”

Springsteen: “Oh yeah.”

“Town Called Heartbreak,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “Mm-hmm. Oh yeah.”

Scialfa: “Do you know what that’s from, that little organ part? It’s from, oh, (sings), ‘Come to my door, baby,’ um, Janis Ian.”

Springsteen: ” ‘Society’s Child.’ ”

Scialfa: ” ‘Society’s Child.’ Yes, ‘Society’s Child.’ ”

Springsteen: “That’s it. ‘Society’s Child.’ ”

Scialfa: “That was one of the first, most explicit interracial songs ever. It was just gorgeous. But ‘Town Called Heartbreak,’ you know, I used to love that song … I think it’s Gene Pitney, ‘Town Without Pity.'”

Springsteen: “Yeah!”

Scialfa: “So, I loved that title and I loved that song.”

Springsteen: “It’s a good title. It’s a good noir title.”

Scialfa: “Yeah, it’s a noir title.”

Springsteen: “All right, so let’s move to ‘Valerie,’ a very heavy song in our history, because my recollection was, I was visiting you in your apartment in New York, probably when I shouldn’t have been visiting you in your apartment in New York. In one of my early excursions there …

Scialfa: “We were actually rehearsing for Tunnel of Love … teaching me the guitar parts.”

Springsteen: “Under the guise of rehearsing for Tunnel of Love, I’m teaching you the guitar parts. But somehow, you got around to playing me this next song, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, this woman can write.’ And it totally made me twice as scared as I was anyway.”

Scialfa: “Oh, honey, that’s so sweet. Thank you.”

Springsteen: “It was like, ‘Whoa, I think I saw your talent for the first time,’ outside of just your voice.”

Scialfa: “Yeah, I remember that very specifically.”

Springsteen: “It was a pretty intense moment, so let’s hear ‘Valerie.’ ”

“Valerie,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “That’s a real beauty, a real beauty.”

Scialfa: “Thank you, baby.”

Springsteen: “Was that from the first record?”

Scialfa: “That’s from Rumble Doll. Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt covered that song as a duet, on Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions. I was so just completely touched and charmed that somebody actually heard the song (laughs). And they did a beautiful job on it.”

Springsteen: “Great singers.”

Scialfa: “Then we ended up singing on her Red Dirt Girl record, on ‘Tragedy.’ … I guess she had heard the Rumble Doll record, and she said, ‘Oh, I want you to sing on this.’ … I was a little shy, I was a little scared to go alone, even though she’s the loveliest woman in the world. And I said, ‘Can I bring Bruce along?,’ and she said, ‘Of course.’ And then we both ended up singing on the song. ”

Springsteen: “That was a good time, down in New Orleans.”

Scialfa: “Yeah, New Orleans, right.”

Springsteen: “Let’s go to Play It As It Lays. So who is producing Play It As It Lays.”

Scialfa: “Okay, so Play It As It Lays, … again, inspired by a book title. Joan Didion’s ‘Play It As It Lays.’ … It was Cliff Carter, Nils Lofgren, Steve Jordan and Willie Weeks, that whole album. We did it in the studio, we just cut the tracks live. And they’re just so musical.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, another album where the playing is just great on it. I mean, you knew these guys, they were friends of yours …”

Scialfa: “I’ve known them forever.”

Springsteen: “But when they came in, they just raised the bar on every track. If we had attempted to cut something, these guys came in and raised the bar so high on it, they were just incredible.”

Scialfa: “We had fun. And you came in a lot, too, because it was so much fun playing with them.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, once again, a utility player on whatever is necessary. Guitar, organ, bass from time to time. And we we had a lot of fun. This is ‘Looking for Elvis,’ a great spooky track, with, actually, an incredible harmonica.”

Scialfa: “Yeah, who played that part. He he was, like, so freaking on fire!”

Springsteen: “Let’s find out.”

“Looking for Elvis,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “Why do I remember cutting this in Asbury Park, for some reason?

Scialfa: “There was an Elvis special on, I guess, television or something, and they wanted to use this song, and we did a, oh God, it was like 105 degrees …”

Springsteen: “Yeah, It was Convention Hill.”

Scialfa: “Convention Hall. We cut it at Convention Hall.”

Springsteen: “I remember sweating and playing hard. But I remember that gig.”

Scialfa: “It was fun.”

Springsteen: “A lot of fun. And another great song. Another great song. Good writing.”

Scialfa: “I remember writing that in Rumson. And I had the title, which is obviously a metaphor for … you know, to me, Elvis was a metaphor for your more patriotic ideas and dreams for your country, and I had that, you know, ‘Babe, I don’t know if you can write a song titled “Looking for Elvis.” ‘ I said, ‘Trust me, I’ll finish it and I’ll show it to you.’ And the guys … everybody, you and everybody, played the hell out of it. It was actually one of my angriest songs.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, I can hear that. That whole record, I always used to compare it to, like, a Dusty in Memphis, because the grooves are all so low-down and funky. It just had a Southern soul to it that was just fabulous. I just loved it. 23rd Street Lullaby reminds me of New York City. Rumble Doll will always remind me of California.”

Scialfa: “Oh, it’s a love letter to you. Rumble Doll was just a complete love letter to you. You know that.”

Springsteen: “To me?”

Scialfa: “You know that. That’s not new information”

Springsteen: “Thank you, baby. But that always reminds me of California, and this one reminds me of the South, for some reason.”

Scialfa: “I think it’s just the players we had, and how we addressed every song.”

Springsteen: “Well, I’m going to play you something now that was a major song for the two of us when we got together, so I am going to send this one out to Patti Scialfa.

Scialfa: “Oh, I know what it is.”

Springsteen: “Happy birthday, baby.”

“Trouble in Mind (The Return),” Marianne Faithfull

Scialfa: “That makes me think of, in your blue Camaro, right? And also, you had an old Corvette, which was also blue, wasn’t it, that old Corvette? We used to play that, and never talk, just like in a daze of love.”

Springsteen: “And just play that song all the way back to New York City, where I dropped you off. Marianne Faithfull was our guardian angel in those days.”

Scialfa: “No kidding.”

Springsteen: “That’s a beauty. So now we’re coming up on, (a), I think this is your masterpiece. And I don’t know what to say about it, except …”

Scialfa: Well, this is the last song on Rumble Doll. And again, just to give a shout out, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell covered this on Old Yellow Moon. And it’s such a struggling love song (laughs).”

Springsteen: “It’s very true. It’s very true to itself.”

Scialfa: That whole Rumble Doll record was, really, again, these were all written for you (and about) how you feel at a time when love feels very dangerous.

Springsteen: “Oh, yes it did. So let’s play it. When I pass away, just take these lyrics and slap them up on my headstone. That’s all they need to know about me. That will be plenty.”

Scialfa: “Love you, baby. Thanks.”

Springsteen: “Love you too.”

“Spanish Dancer,” Patti Scialfa

Springsteen: “That’s our show for today. Thanks, Pats, thanks for being here, till we meet again, stay smart, stay safe, stay strong, and stay in love.”

Scialfa: “Ha! I like that.”

“Rose,” Patti Scialfa

To read transcripts of what Springsteen has said on the previous eight DJ shows, and see YouTube videos of all the songs he has played, click here for April 8, here for April 24, here for May 6, here for May 20, here for June 3, here for June 17, here for the July 1 show (which featured discussion with and songs by Southside Johnny and Steven Van Zandt), and here for July 15. Also, click here for some of my thoughts on this ambitious series in general.

Though Springsteen is not officially on a schedule for these shows, and there won’t necessarily be any more after today, he has been doing them once every other week for more than two months.

The shows have lasted between 70 minutes 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.

Visit siriusxm.com.


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