Them - Mystic Eyes

First performance: 22/04/1966


Bruce covered the song only once:
No other set details known. One show, a monster 'Battle of the Bands' orchestrated by promoter Norman Seldin, featuring 25 local groups. All the groups appeared at the same time in a large circle and performed three songs each. The winner was The Rogues (of Middletown), Second place was Sonny and the Starfires (featuring Vini Lopez on drums) and in third place were The Brew Masters. It was long thought that The Castiles placed third in this contest but in actuality, they did not place in the top five. The top three bands plus a selection of the other most popular acts were given an opportunity to perform at the Roller Drome the following week as part of a major concert headlined by The Dovells, The Ad-Libs and The Crystals. Springsteen, Vini Lopez and judge Vinnie Roslin (future Steel Mill bass guitarist) meet for the first time at this event. Lopez has recalled that The Castiles were the best band to play and should have won. In an interview on Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show, Bruce recalled that The Castiles performed Them's "Mystic Eyes" during a Battle Of The Bands event at the Matawan-Keyport Roller Drome in 1966. However, he also said that the prize for winning the Battle was to perform the following week with The Rascals, which does not tally with this event. It is possible that Bruce was mistaken, and perhaps was confusing this event with another - The Rascals did perform at the Roller Drome in early June 1966, but not as part of a Battle Of The Bands. Brucebase can find no information about another Battle at the Roller Drome in 1966 - certainly, none were advertised in the Matawan Journal. In that case, perhaps Bruce was mistaken about the prize, and it was this event he remembers.
Clinton Heylin wrote in his 2012 book E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band that "Springsteen's initial singing duties in his first proper band, The Castiles, would be on a Them US A-side ('Mystic Eyes')." Heylin also quoted Tex Vinyard, The Castiles' manager, saying: "Soon, we let Bruce sing 'Mystic Eyes' and The Who's 'My Generation'. That's how we got the booking in New York." Vinyard was referring to the extensive series of about 30 shows The Castiles played at Café Wha? in New York City between late 1966 and early 1968. 


"Mystic Eyes" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison when he was leader of the band Them. It was the opening tune for the band's first album, The Angry Young Them that was released in June 1965. It was released as a single in the US in October 1965 and in the UK on 12 November 1965. This song was featured in the HBO series The Sopranos, and appears on the 2000 release of the Soundtrack to the Sopranos.

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist


One Sunday morning
Oh, we went walking
Down by
The old graveyard
The morning followed
And looked into
These mystic eyes
Ah, mystic eyes
Mystic eyes
Mystic eyes
Mystic eyes
These mystic eyes
Mystic eyes
Ah, these mystic eyes
Mystic eyes