GROWIN' UP

Live Aug 1972 version


[Spoken intro:] [cut] ...about, becoming a man, which everybody's supposed to be on the way to be in. That is all you guys... it could be a song about becoming a woman too, but I don't know. For ya... a song 'bout growing up.

Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
And I combed my hair till it looked just right and commanded the night brigade
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain and I walked on a crooked crutch
I strode all alone into a fallout zone and came out with my soul untouched
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down" I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up

Well the flag of piracy flew from my mast, my sails were set wing to wing
I had a jukebox graduate for first mate, she couldn't sail but she sure could sing
I pushed B-52 and bombed 'em with the blues with my gear set stubborn on standing
I broke all the rules, strafed my old high school, I never once gave thought to landing
I hid in the clouded warmth of the crowd, but when they said "come down" I threw up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up

I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, and you know it's really hard to hold your breath
Swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, was the cosmic kid in full costume dress
But my feet they finally took root in the earth though I got me a nice little place in the stars
And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
Whoa, I hid in the mother breast of the crowd, but when they said "pull down" I pulled up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Oh, ah
Ooh, ooh, growin' up

[Spoken outro:] Thank you. Thank you very much.


Info

The above lyrics are for a live August 1972 performance of GROWIN' UP at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY. The song is performed solo on acoustic guitar.

Residency at Max's Kansas City

Bruce Springsteen was booked for a 6-nights/12-shows (two shows each night) residency at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY, from 09 to 14 Aug 1972. The shows were triple bills, with the bottom-billed Bruce Springsteen (solo) opening for headliner Dave Van Ronk and the second-billed folk stylist Doris Abrahams. Each of Bruce's shows was limited to about 30 minutes / 3-to-5 songs. These were Springsteen's first series of "official" public performances after signing with Columbia Records, although there was absolutely no CBS-sponsored promotion of the event.

The club's earliest promotional material for this residency only mentions Dave Van Ronk and not the two then-unknown acts. A later advertisement mentions Van Ronk and Abrahams, but not Springsteen. However an ad from the middle of the residency mentions Bruce Springsteen. It is likely that Bruce was a last-minute addition to the billing but performed at all the shows.

Advertisement for the August 1972 shows at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY
Advertisement for the August 1972 shows at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY
Advertisement for Dave Van Ronk's August 1972 residency at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY
Advertisement for Dave Van Ronk's August 1972 residency at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY

Springsteen's inclusion on the bill may have been arranged by John Hammond, a good friend of Van Ronk. Springsteen has briefly mentioned opening for Van Ronk, with his most well known comments coming during the 1990 Christic Benefit gigs. Shortly before Van Ronk died he also acknowledged letting Bruce open for him during his 1972 residency at Max's Kansas City; these wese Van Ronk's only appearances at the club in 1972. Promoter Victor "Igor" Wasylczenko has commented to Brucebase that he attended one of these Van Ronk dates, Bruce definitely was the opener, and he ended up giving Bruce a ride home to Asbury Park after the show (they lived near each other at the time).

Video Footage

Definitely one, probably two, and possibly several of Springsteen's shows during this residency were audio and video recorded in their entirety, utilizing the club's in-house video camera. It is believed the recording was carried out at the bequest of Columbia who wanted footage of Springsteen for potential promotional use.

Very brief audio-video excerpts of both HENRY BOY and GROWIN' UP from one of the 12 shows during this August 1972 residency at Max's Kansas City first surfaced on the 1990 documentary John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen. The documentary was first broadcast via PBS stations across the United States on 20 Aug 1990 and was subsequently released on VHS and LaserDisc (see the "Official Releases" section below).

The complete audio-video of both songs has since leaked out and is now in circulation among collectors. These complete takes represent what was originally supplied to the Hammond film producers by CBS. The producers were only allowed to use brief excerpts of the two songs in the documentary and were not supplied any footage of the rest of the show. HENRY BOY is the opening song of Springsteen's show and GROWIN' UP is the closing song. The remainder of the show (probably only a couple of more songs) exists in CBS's vault but has never surfaced.

Bruce Springsteen performing GROWIN' UP in August 1972 at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY (from video footage)
Bruce Springsteen performing GROWIN' UP in August 1972 at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY (from video footage)

Official Releases

The John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen documentary, which includes excerpts of Bruce Springsteen's live Aug 1972 versions of HENRY BOY and GROWIN' UP and an edit of his live 23 Oct 1987 version of FOREVER YOUNG, was released on VHS and LaserDisc in 1990.

John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen
John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen

VHS - CBS Music Video (19V-49057) - USA, 1990
John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen
John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen

Laserdisc - CBS Music Video ‎(ID7996CB) - USA, 1990
John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen
John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen

VHS - CBS Music Video (49057 2) - Australia, 1990
John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen
John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen

Laserdisc - CBS/Sony (CSLM 781) - Japan, 1990

Credits / Reference

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.

Most of the above info about Springsteen's 6-nights residency at Max's Kansas City is taken from Brucebase.

Request

The John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen was also released on VHS in the UK and Japan. If you have these two releases (or scans of them), or any other release of this documentary not mentioned on this page, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of GROWIN' UP on this website:

GROWIN' UP [Album version]
GROWIN' UP [Outtake version]
GROWIN' UP [03 May 1972 demo version]
GROWIN' UP [Live Aug 1972 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 31 May 1973 (WGOE-FM) version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 02 Jun 1973 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 31 Oct 1973 (late show) version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 09 Mar 1974 (KLOL-FM) version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 09 Apr 1974 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 05 Feb 1975 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 23 Aug 1975 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 13 Sep 1975 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 30 Dec 1975 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 07 Apr 1976 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 07 Aug 1976 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 30 Sep 1976 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 25 Oct 1976 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 27 Oct 1976 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 04 Nov 1976 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 13 Feb 1977 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 23 Mar 1977 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 24 Mar 1977 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 31 May 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 25 Jun 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 05 Jul 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 04 Aug 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 09 Aug 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 15 Aug 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 01 Sep 1978 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 20 Nov 1980 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 27 Nov 1980 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 26 Jan 1981 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 24 Aug 1981 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 20 Aug 1984 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 14 Sep 1984 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 02 Oct 1985 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 07 Aug 1992 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 08 Nov 1996 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 24 Sep 1999 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 19 Feb 2003 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 20 Feb 2003 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 02 Mar 2003 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 24 May 2003 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 22 Jun 2003 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 11 Aug 2005 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 22 Nov 2005 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 11 Nov 2006 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 17 Nov 2006 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 22 Apr 2008 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 27 Jul 2008 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 21 Aug 2008 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 21 Apr 2009 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 23 Aug 2009 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 30 Sep 2009 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 01 Feb 2014 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 24 Apr 2014 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 23 Feb 2016 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 29 May 2016 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 03 Jul 2016 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 05 Sep 2016 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 07 Sep 2016 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 11 Sep 2016 version]
GROWIN' UP [Live 14 Sep 2016 version]
GROWIN' UP [Any Trouble's cover version]
GROWIN' UP [David Bowie's cover version]

Page last updated: 22 Jul 2010