Bruce Springsteen Dusts Off Deep Cut For First Live Performance Since 1972
By Katrina Nattress
February 15, 2023
Bruce Springsteen treated fans in Houston to an extremely rare performance on Tuesday (February 14). Playing with his E Street Band, the singer-songwriter dusted off his deep cut "If I Was A Priest" for its first live performance since 1972.
“I wrote this song,” Springsteen said. “I was 22. Fifty years ago. I still don’t have a clue what the f**k it’s about.”
As Rolling Stone points out, the song pre-dates The E Street Band and Springsteen played it during two auditions in 1972: one for managers Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos and the other for CBS Records. He played it at least once during a live show that year too before retiring it from his setlist. Fifty years is by far the longest gap between live performances of a song during Springsteen's prolific career.
The track has been around as a bootleg; however, it didn't officially get released until Springsteen re-recorded it with The E Street Band for his 2020 album Letter to You. The surprising performance came just hours after Springsteen announced a summer run of North American tour dates. Watch him play "If I Was A Priest" and check out the full list of tour dates here.