The song tells the story of the formation of the E Street Band. The meaning of the title is unclear. Even Springsteen himself says in the Born to Run documentary Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run: “I still have no idea what it means. But it’s important.”
The song’s protagonist, “Bad Scooter”, is a pseudonym for Springsteen himself (as indicated by the initials they share). In the third verse, “Big Man joined the band” refers to the now deceased Clarence Clemons, the band’s long-time saxophonist.
As stated by Springsteen in the Wings for Wheels documentary, the idea for the composition of the horn intro was Steven Van Zandt’s. Despite all of this, the single was a chart dud, getting no higher than #83 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it has always had a strong following on album-oriented rock radio and amongst Springsteen’s fan base.