Marvin Gaye  - Can I Get A Witness

First performance: 27/05/2017


Bruce performed the song 3 times (soundcheck included) in full:
Bruce performed the song at full together with Little Steven . Van Zandt and his Disciples of Soul were headlining at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre (for which Van Zandt and his wife Maureen serve on the board of trustees). Stevie invited Bruce, as a friend without work, to join him as a surprise guest for the last four songs. Among them was the duet on "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out". Bruce also performed on "It's Been A Long Time", "I Don't Want To Go Home" and the show’s encore, the Marvin Gaye hit "Can I Get A Witness".
2012-04-12 Palace Of Auburn Hills (The), Auburn Hills, MI
according to reports, the lengthy soundcheck included extensive rehearsals of Marvin Gaye's "Can I Get A Witness".
2007-04-29 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ 
Bruce performed the song as 'Can I get a witness - Everybody needs somebody to love' (with Southside Johnny) during a private benefit/fundraising gig for the Ranney School of Tinton Falls, NJ
  • Snippets
during SHOUT
2016-03-31 Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 


"Can I Get a Witness" is a song composed by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland and produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier as a non-album single for American recording vocalist Marvin Gaye, who issued the record on Motown's Tamla imprint in September 1963. Recorded at Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. studios on July 17, 1963, the song's lyrical writer Eddie Holland discussed going over the song once with Gaye, who had complained to the producers about singing their songs above his vocal range, something he would later complain about during recording sessions for his rendition of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". According to Holland, once Gaye heard Holland perform the song to him, he nodded and stated, "okay I'm ready" to a perplexed Holland, who often had to work over the song a few times with other artists who recorded their songs. According to Holland, Gaye recorded the song in one take, which impressed Holland, his brother and Dozier. Holland would later call Gaye "the most versatile vocalist I ever worked with." On the song, backed by a boogie woogie-styled piano riff played by Funk Brothers pianist Earl Van Dyke, Gaye performs the song in a gospel harmony with members of The Supremes and Holland-Dozier-Holland backing him up on background vocals. Gaye performs the song mostly in a tenor range but occasionally sings in both the baritone and falsetto ranges.

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

According to the BBC's 'Desert Island Discs ' one of the 8 songs, Bruce would take to a desert Island is one of Marvin Gaye's songs: What's Going On (1971)
Inspired by the witnessing of police brutality and violence during an anti-war demonstration, Marvin Gaye’s soulful protest song illustrated to Springsteen that music can have a message:
Bruce Springsteen and Kirsty Young in conversation:
"This entire record [the What’s Going On album], from start to finish, is a masterpiece. It was sultry and sexual while at the same time dealing with street level politics. That had a big influence on me. Along with the idea that it was a concept record without being cursed by that name. It was a record that had a thread you can follow from the first song to the last and it created a world that you could walk into and then come back out of. But bring along with you things that you learned and energy and a source that you’d found for living."


Now you're moving on up, pretty baby
You're leaving me behind
Everybody seems to love you
Oh, you're doing just fine, fine, fine
But take away your good looks
And all your fancy clothes
Why don't you just
Try it baby
Try it baby
Try it baby
Try it baby
You'll see
Nobody loves you but me
Now you tell me that you're so busy, pretty baby
You ain't got much time
Oh, how will I remember
When all your time was mine, mine, mine
Well move on back cross the track, baby
Where you came from
Why don't you just
Try it baby
Try it baby
Try it baby
Try it baby
You'll see
That nobody loves you but me
Nobody loves you but me
I really want to hold you, pretty baby
In my arms again
But I can't get close to you
For all your loving friend, friend, friend
But take your name from the bright lights baby
And tell me that you are all through
Come on and
Try it honey
Try it baby
Try it sweetheart
Try it honey
You'll see, nobody loves you but me