I just got off the phone with a friend who's not feeling well. No, it's not H1N1 flu, but he does have a fever, and it seems to get worse at night. Many Fridays I have no idea what I'm going to write about, but sometimes the inspiration comes from somewhere unexpected, like a friend's misery. If my friend has a fever, then I think it's only fair that we spread 'The Fever' around on this Friday, for everyone who's feeling under the weather today.
Hmmmm, I know that any flu is no laughing matter, but since having a fever tends to be one of the symptoms of flu patients, do you suppose there might be an opportunity for 'The Fever' to become the official song of the 2009/2010 flu season? Is it even possible to sponsor a flu season? You can sponsor the Olympics and they only last a couple of weeks. A good flu seaons lasts for months! Might be a great opportunity. You don't see Jon Landau coming up with gems like this. Hey Bruce, let's do lunch.
Bruce wrote 'The Fever' back in 1971 and considered releasing it on his second album, 'The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle'. He did record it in studio and his manager Mike Appel sent a copy of the recording to radio stations, perhaps including KLOL-FM in Houston. On a subsequent tour through Houston in 1974, Bruce recorded it at KLOL for broadcast the same afternoon. The next night, Bruce played it live in concert, for the first time following its only other live performances about a year earlier. Here is that second ever live performance, from March 10, 1974, at Liberty Hall in Houston.
Bruce never did release 'The Fever' back in those days and in 1976 he let his Jersey shore pal Southside Johnny record it for his debut album. This great song certainly helped Johnny launch his recording career. If you haven't already seen it, be sure to check out the great live video clip of Bruce joining Johnny on stage in August of 1978 to perform 'The Fever', which you can find in the July 24, 2009 edition of Your Friday Bruce Fix.
In December of 1978, Bruce played two shows at Winterland in San Francisco, site of The Band's 'The Last Waltz'. The clip is from the first of those shows, and is one of my favorite performances of this great song.
Happy Feverish Friday!