Chuck Berry - NO MONEY DOWN

First performance: 1/06/1974


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song  9 times from 1974 till 1980 : Done in monologue fashion that built the song. Mostly used as an introduction to 'Cadillac Ranch'.
 
1974-06-01 - MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, KENT STATE UNIVERSITY, KENT, OH
played at full : billing extravaganza, with Springsteen & The E Street Band headlining. Support acts were Michael Stanley, The Banky Brothers Band and 15-60-75 (aka The Numbers Band). 
 
played at full : noted on the pre-concert advertising material, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Comanor opened for Springsteen, performing a short set.  
 
1980-10-30 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
"No Money Down" is used for the first time as an introduction to "Cadillac Ranch" 
 
1980-10-31 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
used as introduction to Cadillac Ranch. The introduction was fuller than the night before.
 
1980-11-03 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
"Cadillac Ranch" again features the "No Money Down" introduction, which is now almost a full song.
 
used as introduction to Cadilac Ranch : One of the finest, most intense shows of the River Tour, perhaps related to the fact that Ronald Reagan had been elected president the day before 
 
1980-11-23 - CAPITAL CENTRE, LARGO, MD
used as introduction to Cadillac Ranch 
 
1980-11-28 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
Cadillac Ranch starts now off with only a few lines from "No Money Down"
 
1980-12-01 - CIVIC ARENA, PITTSBURGH, PA
as introduction to Cadillac Ranch

Songinfo

"No Money Down" is a song written and recorded by Chuck Berry in December 1955."No Money Down" features a repeating stop-time riff similar to the one that had previously appeared in Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man", Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" and Muddy Waters's "Mannish Boy". It tells a story, in great detail, of a man who enters a Cadillac showroom to trade in his Ford.
 
 
 

Other cover versions


Bruce on the artist

Bruce’s introduction to the song

05.11.80 Tempe, AZ, intro to 'Cadillac Ranch'

"We flew into town...sat down in my room, turned on the television set...on came a fella by the name of Tex Earnhardt...and Tex wanted to sell me a car...well I shut off the TV...and I laid down to get some sleep...but, I had a dream...you see, I was motivatin'...back in town...I saw a big Cadillac sign, it said no money down...I eased on the brakes...I pulled in the drive...I gunned my motor twice, then I walked inside...well Tex said to me, he said "Boss! Trade in that Ford, and I'm gonna put you in something that's gonna eat up the road. Now just step over here and sign your name right on that line, and I'll bring it over to the old motel in just, in just two hours time..." Well I said "Tex! I want a yellow convertible, four-door DeVille, a Continental spare...and wire chrome wheels. I want air conditioning, and I want some automatic heat now, and a full fold-out bed...in my back seat. I want a TV, a stereo, a eight-track tape deck, and I want a 'phone...so I can talk to my baby "
 
 
When Chuck Berry died Bruce tweeted :

"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived. This is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages."
Springsteen and Berry played together on at least two occasions. As back up at the University of Maryland in 1973. Springsteen asked what songs they were going to do. Berry said : " we're going to do some Chuck Berry songs." More than 20 years later, Springsteen again played backup for Berry, at a concert at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, celebrating the opening of the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.
 

Lyrics

As I was motivatin'
Back in town
I saw a Cadillac sign
Sayin' "No Money Down"
So I eased on my brakes
And I pulled in the drive
Gunned my motor twice
Then I walked inside
Dealer came to me
Said "Trade in your Ford
And I'll put you in a car
That'll eat up the road
Just tell me what you want
And then sign on that line
And I'll have it brought down to you
In a hour's time"

I'm gonna get me a car
And I'll be headed on down the road
Then I won't have to worry
About that broken-down, raggedy Ford

"Well, Mister, I want a yellow convertible
Four-door de Ville
With a Continental spare
And a wide chrome wheel
I want power steering
And power brakes
I want a powerful motor
With a jet off-take
I want air condition
I want automatic heat
And I want a full Murphy bed
In my back seat
I want shortwave radio
I want TV and a phone
You know I gotta talk to my baby
When I'm ridin' alone"

Yes, I'm gonna get that car
And I'm gonna head on down the road
Yeah, then I won't have to worry
About that broken-down, raggedy Ford

"I want four carbeurators
And two straight exhausts
I'm burnin' aviation fuel
No matter what the cost
I want railroad air horns
And a military spark
And I want a five-year guarantee
On everything I got
I want ten dollar deductible
I want twenty dollar notes
I want thirty thousand liability"
That's all she wrote

I got me a car
And I'm headed on down the road
No money down
I don't have to worry
About that broken-down, raggedy Ford