Elvis Presley - DON'T BE CRUEL

First performance: 20/09/1978


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song 2 times :
 
One performance in a small club and some sound-checks (20 Sep 1978). 

1978-09-20 - CAPITOL THEATRE, PASSAIC, NJ
The song was played during a fascinating soundcheck, taped from outside the venue. In the middle of a three-night stand at the Capitol, Bruce works through several Hank Williams and Johnny Cash classics, tackles the 1964 Hollies single "I'm Alive," Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and addresses new material as well. 
 
covers in Soundcheck:
 
 
1989-09-29 - MATT'S SALOON, PRESCOTT, AZ (Mile High Band)
Don’t be cruel was played with the Mile High Band, house band of the country-western bar. A newspaper article comments that Bruce arrived at the bar on his motorcycle before jumping on stage. He played for an hour - the band asked him to play "Pink Cadillac", but Bruce couldn't remember the words. Springsteen apparently told Mile High Band's rhythm guitarist Denny Orr that he was on vacation and on his way to the Grand Canyon. Barmaid Brenda "Bubbles" Pechanec must have made an impression - a week or so later Bruce sent her a cheque for $100,000 (some sources say $160,000) after hearing she was having some trouble with medical bills. Pechanec had just returned to work after undergoing cancer surgery.
 
 
 

Songinfo

"Don't Be Cruel" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley and written by Otis Blackwell in 1956. "Don't Be Cruel" was the first song that Presley's song publishers, Hill and Range, brought to him to record.]Blackwell was more than happy to give up 50% of the royalties and a co-writing credit to Presley to ensure that the "hottest new singer around covered it". But unfortunately he had already sold the song for only $25, as he stated in an interview of American Songwriter. Freddy Bienstock, Presley's music publisher, gave the following explanation for why Elvis received co-writing credit for songs like "Don't Be Cruel." "In the early days Elvis would show dissatisfaction with some lines and he would make alterations, so it wasn't just what is known as a 'cut-in'. His name did not appear after the first year. But if Elvis liked the song, the writers would be offered a guarantee of a million records and they would surrender a third of their royalties to Elvis'. Presley performed "Don't Be Cruel" during all three of his appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1956 and January 1957.

 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

Whenever he could, Bruce would mention the enormous influence, Elvis had on him and on his music. Elvis is the most covered artist by Bruce (23 times) together with Chuck Berry, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan. The Influence of Elvis on Bruce, is described in a documentary compiled from previously existing footage by Dennis P. Laverty, a former Old Bridge resident who now lives in Staten Island (and who calls Springsteen and Elvis Presley "my two favorite rock stars". He used concert footage and previously released interview segments with Springsteen and various rock experts to show just how important Elvis Presley was to Springsteen.
 
 
 

"It's a cliché story, but watching Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show changed Bruce Springsteen's entire life. "It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic," he said in 2012, "that you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self." He urged his mother to buy him a guitar after that, and in 1976 he went to Graceland after a Memphis show and even hopped the fence in a failed effort to meet the King himself. Elvis died during the recording of Darkness on the Edge of Town, right as Springsteen was hoping the King would cover his new song "Fire." Springsteen channeled his sorrow into "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)," which later morphed into "Factory."

keynote speech :

"In the beginning, every musician has their genesis moment. For you, it might have been the Sex Pistols, or Madonna, or Public Enemy. It's whatever initially inspires you to action. Mine was 1956, Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic, that you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self. A certain type of transformative self, that perhaps at any other moment in American History, might have seemed difficult, if not impossible. And I always tell my kids that they were lucky to be born in the age of reproducible technology, otherwise they'd be traveling in the back of a wagon and I'd be wearing a jester's hat. It's all about timing. The advent of television and its dissemination of visual information changed the world in the fifties the way the internet has over the past twenty years. Remember, it wasn't just the way Elvis looked, it was the way he moved that made people crazy, pissed off, driven to screaming ecstasy, and profane revulsion. That was television. When they made an attempt to censor him from the waist down, it was because of what you could see happening in his pants. Elvis was the first modern Twentieth Century man, the precursor of the Sexual Revolution, of the Civil Rights Revolution, drawn from the same Memphis as Martin Luther King, creating fundamental, outsider art that would be embraced by a mainstream popular culture. Television and Elvis gave us full access to a new language, a new form of communication, a new way of being, a new way of looking, a new way of thinking; about sex, about race, about identity, about life; a new way of being an American, a human being; and a new way of hearing music. Once Elvis came across the airwaves, once he was heard and seen in action, you could not put the genie back in the bottle. After that moment, there was yesterday, and there was today, and there was a red hot, rockabilly forging of a new tomorrow, before your very eyes."

Lyrics

You know I can be found
Sittin' home all alone
If you can't come around
At least please telephone
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true

Baby, if I made you mad
Somethin' I might have said
Please forget my past
The future looks bright ahead
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true
I don't want no other love
Baby it's still you I'm thinking of, mmm

Don't stop thinkin' of me
Don't make me feel this way
Come on, let me hear you love me
You know what I want you to say
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true
Why should we be apart?
I really love you baby, cross my heart

Let's walk up to the preacher
And let us say I do
Then you'll know you'll have me
And I know that I'll have you
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true
I don't want no other love
Baby it's still you I'm thinking of

Don't be cruel to a heart that's true
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true
I don't want no other love
Baby it's still you I'm thinking of