1988-04-25 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA
JOE HILL was sound-checked prior to the 25 Apr 1988 show in Los Angeles, CA, (as far as it's known) but it was not performed on any of the Tunnel Of Love Express Tour's regular shows.
The show opener was in honor of International Workers' Day. Keeping in the latest trend of opening with a cover song, Bruce picked "Joe Hill," made famous by Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, to pay tribute to the union workers of the world. This gorgeous rendition had Bruce front-and-center with the band lined up behind him, setting the stage for what was surely going to be an emotionally powerful night .
In 1936, Robinson
wrote and performed "Joe Hill", also known as "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night", a setting of a poem by Alfred Hayes.
The song was made famous by Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.
Bruce on the artist
was a Swedish-American labor activist and songwriter. Joe Hill was a native Swedish speaker, he learned English during the early 1900s, while working various jobs from New York to San Francisco. Hill, an immigrant worker frequently facing unemployment and underemployment, became a popular songwriter and cartoonist for the union. His most famous songs include "The Preacher and the Slave
", "The Tramp
" , "There is Power in a Union
" ,"The Rebel Girl
In 1914, John G. Morrison, a Salt Lake City area grocer and former policeman, and his son were shot and killed by two men. The same evening, Hill arrived at a doctor's office with a gunshot wound, and briefly mentioned a fight over a woman. Yet Hill refused to explain further, even after he was accused of the grocery store murders on the basis of his injury. Hill was convicted of the murders in a controversial trial. Following an unsuccessful appeal, political debates, and international calls for clemency from high-profile figures and workers' organizations, Hill was executed in November 1915. After his death, he was memorialized by several folk songs. His life and death have inspired books and poetry.
Well I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead", "I never died," says he
"I never died," says he
"In Salt Lake, Joe, by God," says I, him standing by my bed
"They framed you on a murder charge," says Joe, "But I ain't dead"
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead"
"The copper bosses shot you Joe, they killed you Joe", says I
"Takes more than guns to kill a man," says Joe, "I didn't die"
Says Joe, "I didn't die"
Standing there as big as life, smiling with his eyes
Joe says, "What they forgot kill went on to organize,
Went on to organize"
"Joe Hill ain't dead," he says to me, "Joe Hill he never die"
Where working men go out on strike, Joe Hill is at their side
Joe Hill is at their side
From San Diego up to Maine, in every mine and mill
Where working men go out on strike, says, "Here you'll find Joe Hill"
Says, "Here you'll find Joe Hill"
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead," "I never died," says he
"I never died," says he