Elvis Costello - The Comedians

First performance: 30/09/1987


Bruce performed the song 3 times at the same evening  
1987-09-30 Cocoanut Grove, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, CA 
Bruce (and others) join Roy Orbison for the filming of Roy Orbison & Friends: A Black & White Night, shot in beautiful black and white and broadcast on Cinemax in January 1988. The film is shot in the Cocoanut Grove, a nightclub in the now-torn-down Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Bruce plays guitar and shares vocals with Roy on "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)", and he also plays guitar on the rest of the songs (sitting on a chair behind Roy on the stage). Backing group is the TCB Band (who accompanied Elvis Presley between 1969-77) including James Burton, who exchanges guitar solos with Springsteen during the show-stopping "Oh, Pretty Woman". This particular performance won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.  The resulting film is later released on Roy Orbison & Friends, A Black & White Night (abbreviated to Black & White Night for the HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases) on multiple formats, including VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and in high definition on Blu-ray. Subsequently, an audio CD titled A Black & White Night Live is released in 1989. "Blue Angel" is cut from the television broadcast for time, along with "Claudette" and "Blue Bayou". However, the song is included as a bonus track on the HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the concert Black & White Night 30 will be released on February 24, 2017 on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray. The film has been completely re-edited and the concert restored to the correct order, which is represented in the setlist under. The set also includes a five-song "secret concert" performed by the full band after the show had ended, with no audience. Shooting only stopped after film ran out during "Claudette". Rehearsal footage and pre- and post-show interviews are also included. The crowd was mostly made up of music industry insiders. Billy Idol, Steve Jones, Patrick Swayze, Sandra Bernhard, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Dean Stanton, and Syd Straw were among the celebrities spotted in the audience. As the Los Angeles Daily News reported, hundreds of people, ranging from nightclub bookers and industry heavyweights to upcoming musicians, stood at the nightclub entrance an hour before the show waiting to get in.
Bruce on Roy Orbison : click here
Post show: 
After the show ended that night, Roy brought the band back to the stage to film a five-song mini "secret concert," and "The comedians was on the set list for that one too.  
Roy Orbison – guitar, lead vocals
The band:
Alex Acuna – percussion
T Bone Burnett – guitar
James Burton – guitar
Elvis Costello – guitar, organ, harmonica, vocals
Glen D. Hardin – piano
Jerry Scheff – bass
Bruce Springsteen – guitar, vocals
Ron Tutt – drums
Mike Utley – Keyboards
Tom Waits – guitar, organ
Backing singers:
Jackson Browne – male backup singer
k.d. lang – female backup singer
Bonnie Raitt – female backup singer
Steven Soles – male backup singer
J.D. Souther – male backup singer, guitar
Jennifer Warnes – female backup singer
String section:
Pavel Farkas – violin
Peter Hatch – viola
Ezra Kliger – violin
Sid Page – concert master
Jimbo Ross – viola 


The song is written by Elvis Costello and taken from the album "Goodbye cruel world". (1984).  The song was covered by Roy Orbinson for his 1989 album "Mystery Girl".

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen:
Their history together : www.njarts.net
2009-09-25 Apollo Theater, New York City 
Officially released on DVD and Blu-ray as Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… (Season 2). 
Appearing on the "Spectacle: Elvis Costello With …" television show in 2009, Springsteen said:
" Elvis’ first three records were a hurricane. He’s made great ones, since, all of ’em. But you had the perfect storm, the first three records … It was just like, ‘Whoah.’ "
Bruce performed 8 times live with Elvis Costello
Brucebase: click here

2012-10-16 Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City
2009-11-07 Madison Square Garden, New York City
2009-09-25 Apollo Theater, New York City
2006-02-08 Staples Center, Los Angeles
2003-02-23 Madison Square Garden, New York City
2001-12-08 Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ
1987-09-30 Cocoanut Grove, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles
1984-04-29 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco
Costello first released his version of Springsteen’s "Brilliant Disguise" as the B-side of his "It’s Time" single in 1996. It was also on the 2003 compilation, Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen.


I fell under such gentle persuasion
You can't refuse it's like a home from home
Meanwhile in the motorcar kingdom
They're finding all that glitters is not chrome
The social circle have these cardiac complaints
Their hearts are empty when their hands are full
All these new found fond acquaintances
Turn out to be the red rag to my bull

And I'm up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends instead of these comedians

I've looked into those eyes upon reflection
They've seen the face of love, they've seen a few
What kind of love is this upon inspection
You'll be the last to know who's fooling who

And I'm up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends instead of these comedians
And I'm up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends instead of these comedians