Gary U.S. BondsĀ  - NEW ORLEANS

First performance: 2/09/1972


Bruce performed the song 8 times :  
A twelve hour 'end of summer' outdoor show, billed as the first annual Highlands Art / Music Fair. Headlining acts include the Tinker West managed local band Odin, as well as New Jersey-based folk rock band Montana Flintlock, who were also signed by Mike Appel, trading as Laurel Canyon Ltd. Columbia were briefly interested in signing the band to their label, before changing their minds. Springsteen (who at this point had completed his first album but had still not put together a touring band) makes an unscheduled guest appearance near the end of the show after an invitation from Odin's Tom Cohen, singing and performing several songs with the band. First song appears to be a Springsteen composition, perhaps titled "This Is My Confession". Cohen and Springsteen exchange guitar solos on this track. Next up is "Down The Road Apiece". After a few moments the power goes out, and they restart the song once power returns. A Springsteen original, called "Water Station", is next up, with the music and lyrics made up on the spot. Four minutes in the power goes out again, followed by an amusing interchange between Tinker and the band. Power is restored, and the band perform Big Joe Williams' "Baby, Please Don't Go". Apparently Springsteen only knows lyrics for the first verse, so fills in with lyrics from "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City". A soundboard tape of the entire Odin performance (including Bruce’s segment) recorded by Tinker West survives in private hands but is not in circulation. Songs in Odin's set include Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" and Gary U.S. Bonds' "New Orleans".

A very rare performance of the Gary U.S. Bonds early 60’s classic “New Orleans” (incorrectly listed as “Mississippi Queen” by many sources).

1976-10-22 - THE HANGER, HAZLET, NJ 
Bruce played the song 1 time together with Gary U.S.Bonds. He played that night other Bonds songs like :
Complete setlist details are not known. Brucebase has placed the venue as The Hanger in Hazlet on the basis of a newspaper advert from the Red Bank Register on the day of the concert. Previous information suggested the venue was Fat City in Seaside Heights. A discreet Springsteen turns up (apparently as just another paying customer) at a gig by one of his early '60s musical favourites, Gary U.S. Bonds. About half way through the show Bruce takes the stage, borrows a guitar and provides duet-background vocals for the rest of the show. According to Bonds, Bruce played for nearly an hour. This was the first time Springsteen and Bonds had ever met. Afterwards Springsteen invites Bonds to guest at his show on October 29. In an early 1980s interview Bonds commented: "I was playing down along the Jersey shore. One night the owner of the club came over to me during the show and mentioned that Bruce Springsteen was in the audience and wanted to come up and play. Bruce who? I didn’t recognize the name! But the guys in my band did, so I said OK. When I introduced him the place went crazy… and I’m saying to myself, "gee, what on earth is happening here" ? After the show Bruce gave me an invitation and about a week or so later I sang during one of his shows".
1981-06-15 - OLD WALDORF, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Gary U.S. Bonds)
With Gary U.S. Bonds. Also first Springsteen performance on "This Little Girl" and his only known performance on "School Is Out".

During the final leg of the river tour, Bruce used a snippet of  "New Orleans" in the "Detroit Medley".

"New Orleans" again included in "Detroit Medley".

1989-07-02 - THE CAFE BAR, LONG BRANCH, NJ (Gary U.S. Bonds)

1989-08-16 - CHEERS, LONG BRANCH, NJ (Bobby Bandiera)


"New Orleans" is taken from the album "Dance 'til Quarter to Three" with U.S. Bonds (1961)

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

Bruce on Gary U.S. Bonds :

Gary U.S.Bonds was one of Bruce’s 25 all time hero’s : RollingStone
"No musician on earth was less cool in 1981 than Gary U.S. Bonds. It had been 20 years since the dance classic "Quarter to Three" fell off the charts and the singer had been largely forgotten. But Bruce Springsteen knew the guy had more life in him, and together with Steve Van Zandt he wrote and produced the LP Dedication for Bonds. It was an amazing labor of love that introduced Bonds to a whole new generation of rock fans. They remain close and in 2012 Bonds sat in with the E Street Band at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium. "

Bruce helped Gary U.S.Bonds improving his carrier with producing the album "Dedication" and "On the line".
  • Dedication
An album released by Gary U.S. Bonds in 1981, the first of two on which he collaborated with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, the second being On the Line, released the following year, 1982. The musicians accompanying Bonds on the album include many members of the E Street Band and the Asbury Jukes.The album includes three songs written by Bruce Springsteen, one written by Steve Van Zandt, and several covers of songs from the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, and others. It also features a duet between Bonds and Springsteen on the track "Jole Blon". Bonds' early 1960s sound had been a major influence on both Springsteen and Van Zandt. The songs written by Springsteen, including the cover of "Jole Blon", were originally intended for his 1980 album, The River, but he felt they fitted better with Bonds and his versions of them have never been released although he has performed most of them live, often featuring Bonds as a special guest. The album produced several singles. The Springsteen-penned "This Little Girl" was a major success. The album was re-released in 1994 on the Razor Edge label of Razor & Tie music, and then again in 2009 on BGO Records, paired with On the Line.
In a 2016 career retrospective interview with Pods & Sods, Gary revealed that a few additional songs and outtakes recorded during this time may eventually be released.

  • On the line
On the Line is an album released by Gary U.S. Bonds in 1982, the second of two on which he collaborated with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, the first being Dedication, released the previous year, 1981. The musicians accompanying Bonds on the album include many members of the E Street Band. The album includes seven songs written by Springsteen, one written by Steven Van Zandt, and two written by Bonds himself . Three other songs were recorded for the album but not present on the final release including Springsteen's "Action In the Street", "Lion's Den", and "Savin' Up". Springsteen's version of "Lion's Den" was eventually released in 1998 on his boxset Tracks and "Savin' Up" appeared on Clarence Clemons' first solo album Rescue (1983); " Springsteen's version of "Rendezvous" was finally released in 1998 on the four-disc box set.
Interview with Gary U.S.Bonds about his autobiography : "That's My Story" by Gary U.S. Bonds and Stephen Cooper.


I said, a-hey-hey-hey-yeah
(I said a-hey-hey-hey-yeah)
I said, a-hey, a-hey-hey-yeah
(Said, a-hey, a-hey-hey-yeah)
Well, come on ev'rybody
Take a trip with me
Well, down the Mississippi
Down to New Orleans
They got the honeysuckle bloomin'
On the honeysuckle vine
And a-love is a-bloomin' there
All-a the time
You know ev'ry Southern Belle
Is a Mississippi Queen
Down the Mississippi
Down in New Orleans
I said, a-hey-hey-hey-yeah
(I said, hey-hey-hey-yeah)
I said, a-hey-a-hey-a-hey-yeah
(Said, a-hey-hey-hey-yeah)
Well, come on take a stroll
Down to Basin Street
Yeah, listen to the music
With the dixieland beat
A-where the magnolia blossoms
Fill the air
Yeah, an if you ain't been to heaven
Then you ain't been there
They got the French moss
Hangin' from a big oak tree
Down the Mississippi
Down in New Orleans