Joe Tex - Hold on to what you've got

First performance: 04/11/1976


Bruce used the song only once as a reciting:
1976-11-04 Palladium, New York City, NY 
Final show of a six-night run in New York City. Bruce recites a tiny section of Joe Tex's "Hold What You've Got" after "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" :
"if you think no other man wants her..."
Also during this show Bruce delivers one of his his finest-ever performances of 'it’s my life ' because Carl D’Errico ( songwriter of It's my life ) is in the audience. A cover of The Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" is also featured, and to top it all off Ronnie Spector guests on three of her most famous Ronettes-era hits, all given inspired arrangements by the E Street Band. A pre-show bomb hoax results in Bruce jokingly asking the audience to look under their seats. "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" features a snippet of "Theme From Shaft" in the midsection.


"Hold What You've Got" is a 1964 single by Joe Tex. The single was his second chart release and first to reach the Billboard Hot 100. The song is noted for the two spoken recitations, between the refrains of the song, telling, first the men, and then the women to keep on supporting their loved ones and not take them for granted. 'The Hold on to what you’ve got' version is not to be confused with the 1982 version of Gary U.S. Bonds. It is a song co-written with Bruce for the 1982 album 'On The Line'. It's one of eight songs on the album that were produced by Bruce Springsteen with Steven Van Zandt. It was recorded in January or February 1982 at The Power Station in New York City, NY, during Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sessions for Gary U.S. Bonds from which the recording sessions Born In The U.S.A. flowed.

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

"I've seen Joe Tex do that a thousand fucking times ....Joe Tex used to do that with his closed.....I do that and I drop a fucking light.....oh, shit....I gotta practise that.....Joe Tex used to do it with his foot.....that thing about an inch from the ground.....biff, wham...."


You'd better hold on to what you've got
You'd better hold on to what you've got
Cause if you think nobody wants it
Just throw it away and you will see
Someone will have it before you can count 1, 2, 3
Yes they will, yes they will
Listen fellows, you know it's not all the time
That a man can have a good woman
That he can call his very own
A woman who will stay right there at home
And mind the children while he's gone to work
A woman who will have his dinner cooked
When he comes home
Where some men make mistakes is
When they go out and stay because they feel
No other wants his woman but him
Well listen, if you think no other man wants her
Just throw her away and you will see
Some men will have her before you can count 1, 2, 3
Yes he will, yes he will

Listen girls, this goes for you too
Because you know I've seen so man women
Who've had so many good men in life
Men who would stand by them thru thick and thin
Men who'd go to work everyday and
Bring home their hard earned pay
Men who'd give their woman anything
Their little hearts desired
Where some women make mistakes is
When their men go out and let em play they would stay
Because they felt that no other woman wanted him but her
Well listen, if you think no other woman wants him
Just pitch him out in the street and you will see
Some woman will have your man
Before you can count 1, 2, 3
Yes she will, yes she will