26-Aug-1984 Landover,MD Capital Center, USA
Now this, this is a song about the golden roadway of the east, the New Jersey Turnpike…
I used to work up in New York City all the time, so I’d always have to drive home late at night and my girlfriend that lived farther down in south Jersey. I used to kind of like the ride, I’d get out there around 3:30, just start driving, the window down a little bit.
I never had too much trouble on the Turnpike, but if you get off at exit 8, that’s the Freehold exit, you’ve got to ride through Hightstown down 33 to the shore. Out in Hightstown, those guys, they don’t have nothing to do but sit around and wait for you all night long.
So I was driving home one night, I was thinking about seeing my girlfriend, thinking about raiding her refrigerator, seeing my girl and making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, seeing my girl and making a ham and cheese sandwich, and raiding the refrigerator, and going back in the refrigerator again…
Now, I know I wasn’t speeding, but I must’ve been going suspiciously slow because all of a sudden, I seen them red lights, I get pulled over, and he comes up and says ‘license and registration please.”
Now, I didn’t have any.
See, I always forget my wallet – one of them people who always leaves their wallet home. So, I give my name and he goes back and sits in the patrol car, and he calls me back in about five minutes and kind of looks at me and he says ‘Hey, uh… Are you… Are you that rock ‘n roll singer?’
So I said, ‘Yeah! yeah,’ you know, ‘that’s me! That’s me..’
He said, ‘Did you… you the guy that… You wrote that Born to Run song?’
I said, ‘yeah, yeah, that’s me! Yeah, I wrote that one! that’s me…’
He said, ‘Yeah, well you know,’ he says, ‘I got some of your albums at home…”
I said, ‘Yeah?’
He said, ‘yeah, and son, you’re in a lot of trouble.’
So, they took me in and impounded my truck.. But the weirdest thing about it was I had to go to traffic court. And when you go to traffic court, there’s generally three pleas that you can plead. One is innocent, which hardly nobody pleads that. The other one is ‘guilty,’ which not many people plead that. But the one that almost everybody pleads is ‘guilty with an explanation.’
If you sit in traffic court all night, you figure out that the whole world is guilty with an explanation. And what that means is that -- you really did what they said you did, but now you’ve got about five minutes to bullshit your way out of it.
So, like I’m sitting there, and somebody – some guy recognizes me and he comes over, and he’s one of them people who when they sit down, they sit so close to you that you got to, like, lean away… He was drunk. And he gets up before me, and he was caught doing sixty on a residential side street, and his explanation was that he was drunk and thought he was on the main highway.
So anyway, my turn came up , and I got up. And they got a little microphone and.. You know, you got to stand there, and everybody’s looking at you, and you feel like a complete jerk. And I said, ‘ Well Judge, now, let me start at the beginning…
“Well, I had the carburator, baby, cleaned and checked…
OPEN ALL NIGHT