At a concert in Los Angeles in 1990, Springsteen introduced the song with this story:
"I had this habit for a long time: I used to get in my car and drive back through my old neighborhood in the town I grew up in. I'd always drive past the old houses that I used to live in, sometimes late at night. I got so I would do it really regularly - two, three, four times a week for years. I eventually got to wondering, 'What the hell am I doing?'
So, I went to see the psychiatrist. I said, 'Doc, for years I've been getting in my car and driving past my old houses late at night. What am I doing?'
He said, 'I want you to tell me what you think you're doing.'
I go, 'That's what I'm paying you for.'
He said, 'Well, something bad happened and you're going back thinking you can make it right again. Something went wrong and you keep going back to see if you can fix it or somehow make it right.'
I sat there, and I said, 'That is what I'm doing.'
He said, 'Well, you can't.'"