Held Up Without A Gun

Album: Hungry Heart single (1980)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song contains a reference to Springsteen's difficulties in extracting himself from his his contract with his manager Mike Appel - hence the title. Appel could be the man with a cigar mentioned in the lyrics. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Graham - Australia
  • This does not appear on an album - It was released as the B-side of "Hungry Heart." This started a tradition of Springsteen using non-album tracks for B-sides.
  • Small wonder that this was a non-album cut; it's only one minute and fifteen seconds long. The studio version has never - repeat never - been released in CD form, so that's why there's so many live versions of it on YouTube and no original.

    While we're on live performances on YouTube, another band known as "Miami & The Groovers" are out there with a medley of this song together with the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated." It's alarming how well they go together.
  • In the 2012 elections, Springsteen, a staunch Democrat all his life, put a mighty effort into free publicity concerts around the United States in support of the campaign to re-elect US president Barack Obama. Former president (and fellow Democrat) Bill Clinton even came along with Bruce to stump for Obama as well.

    In the aforementioned rally tour, Springsteen told a Seattle Times interviewer: "For 30 years, I've been writing about the divide between the American dream and the American reality." Come to think of it, that does summarize his work quite well.
  • In the beginning minutes of the 1994 film Pulp Fiction, two criminal characters discuss a method used to hold up a bank without a gun, by robbing a bank with a telephone which supposedly had a hostage held remotely. Just for example.

Comments: 1

  • Steve from Ottawa, OnThe song also appears on Essential Bruce Springsteen - that version is from his well-known New Year's Eve 1980 concert at Nassau Coliseum.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

Paul Williams

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.