PUMPING IRON

Live 20 Oct 1995 version


[Spoken intro:] Pump it, boys!

Jimmy was a rocker, oh, how he liked to rock
Combed his hair just right
And he practiced the way he talked
Gonna go out tonight and make a little noise
He was a steel-driving man just like his daddy was
Didn't have a choice, he's just doing what he's told
If you can't be a man better be one of the boys
Going to meet little Joe at the corner
Hey, make sure he is dressed up just right
Little Joe has been acting like a goner
But tonight
It's all right!

Pumping iron, sweating steel
Hearts of stone, dressed to kill
Pumping iron, sweating steel
Well, you can never understand the way I feel

Jimmy's gonna meet Maria downtown at ten o'clock
Well, her old man don't like him, won't let him come to the house
Pop a pill, drink some whiskey, get a little wasted, baby, that's all right
'Cause that poor boy got to live his whole lifetime
In just one night, and that night'll be tonight
Can I hear you over there? Can I hear you?

Pumping iron, sweating steel
Hearts of stone, dressed to kill
Pumping iron, sweating steel
Well, you can never understand the way I feel

Here come Maria, man she looks really hot
Got to give her everything I got, at last
Slips in her Chevy beside little Joe
Steps on the gas and watch her go so fast, ah, she's so fast
Get it going!

Pumping iron, sweating steel
Hearts of stone, dressed to kill
Pumping iron, sweating steel
Well, you can never understand
Pumping iron, sweating steel
Hearts of stone, dressed to kill
Pumping iron, sweating steel
Well, you can never understand the way I feel
Well, you can never understand the way I feel

One, two, three, four!
Pumping iron, sweating steel
Hearts of stone, dressed to kill
Pumping iron, sweating steel
Well, you can never understand the way I feel
You can never understand the way I feel

Let me hear you say yeah!
Let me hear you say yeah!
Let me hear you say yeah!
Let me hear you say yeah!


[Spoken outro:] From Asbury Park, New Jersey! Houserocker for a week! I'm Joe Grushecky, we're the Houserockers, and we are living in American Babylon!


Intro

PUMPING IRON is a 1980 song by the Iron City Houserockers. See the original Iron City Houserockers version for more details.

Live 20 Oct 1995 version

The above lyrics are for the live 20 Oct 1995 performance of PUMPING IRON at Nick's Fat City in Pittsburgh, PA, during Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers' October Assault Tour. Bruce Springsteen plays guitar and sings backup vocals on this song.

October Assault Tour

In October 1995, Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers kicked off the release of their American Babylon album with a six-stop tour dubbed the "October Assault." Introduced as "honorary Houserocker of the week" on the first night, Bruce Springsteen joined the band for the majority of the set on all six dates, playing guitar and sharing vocals with Grushecky. At each show, Springsteen came out for American Babylon's WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE WAR and remained on stage for the remainder of the set. The fourth date of the mini-tour (20 Oct 1995 in Pittsburgh, PA) was broadcast on radio. Eight songs from the fourth date and two songs from the fifth date (21 Oct 1995 in Pittsburgh, PA) were officially released.

Official Releases

This live 20 Oct 1995 version of PUMPING IRON appears on three official releases.

Joe Grushecky -- Labour Of Love (Live)
Joe Grushecky -- Labour Of Love (Live)

CD EP - Pinnacle (PLR007-5) - UK, 1996

This is one of two UK-only EP's that were released simultaneously. The pair contains a of total five live recordings from the 20 and 21 Oct 1995 October Assault Tour shows and one studio cut from American Babylon.

01- LABOR OF LOVE [Live 20 Oct 1995 version]
02- NEVER BE ENOUGH TIME [Live 20 Oct 1995 version]
03- PUMPING IRON [Live 20 Oct 1995 version]
Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers -- Down the Road Apiece - Live
Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers -- Down the Road Apiece - Live

CD - Schoolhouse Records (SHR0009-2) - Honk Kong, 1999

Album is manufactured in Honk Kong for the USA market. Eight of the album's 13 tracks are live recordings from the 20 and 21 Oct 1995 October Assault Tour shows, including three songs (recorded on 21 Oct 1995) on which Bruce Springsteen appears: TALKING TO THE KING, PUMPING IRON, and DOWN THE ROAD APIECE.
Joe Grushecky -- A Good Life: The Joe Grushecky Story
Joe Grushecky -- A Good Life: The Joe Grushecky Story

DVD + CD - Virgil Films (670653) - USA, 2009

This is a documentary DVD about Joe Grushecky and his career. It includes October Assault 1995, Nick's Fat City, Pittsburgh, PA, a bonus CD containing eight live recordings from the 20 and 21 Oct 1995 October Assault Tour show.

The track was released in both an unedited version and an edited version. The unedited version can be found on the Labour Of Love (Live) EP, clocking at 8:34, and on the October Assault 1995, Nick's Fat City, Pittsburgh, PA CD, clocking at 8:44. The edited version can be found on the Down the Road Apiece - Live album, clocking at 6:10. That edited version has the sections above in bold and part of the guitar solo/duel edited out.

Live History

PUMPING IRON was performed 6 times during the 6-date-long October Assault Tour with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers. The live 20 Oct 1995 version was first officially released in 1996.

  1. 17 Oct 1995 at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
  2. 18 Oct 1995 at Tramps, New York City, NY
  3. 19 Oct 1995 at Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
  4. 20 Oct 1995 at Nick's Fat City, Pittsburgh, PA
  5. 21 Oct 1995 at Nick's Fat City, Pittsburgh, PA
  6. 24 Oct 1995 at Park West, Chicago, IL

PUMPING IRON was performed during the first (2000), third (2002), fourth (2003), twelfth (2012), fourteenth (2014), and fifteenth (2015) annual Light Of Day benefits. The song was played with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers.

  1. 03 Nov 2000 at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ (during the first annual Light Of Day benefit)
  2. 02 Nov 2002 at Tradewinds, Sea Bright, NJ (during the third annual Light Of Day benefit)
  3. 01 Nov 2003 at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ (during the fourth annual Light Of Day benefit)
  4. 14 Jan 2012 at Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ (during the twelfth annual Light Of Day benefit)
  5. 18 Jan 2014 at Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ (during the fourteenth annual Light Of Day benefit)
  6. 17 Jan 2015 at Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ (during the fifteenth annual Light Of Day benefit)

Bruce Springsteen also performed PUMPING IRON on several other occasions from 1995 onward, always with Joe Grushecky.

  1. 22 Jul 1995 at Tradewinds, Sea Bright, NJ (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  2. 02 Mar 1998 at Nick's Fat City, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  3. 09 Jul 1999 at Hooligans, Long Branch, NJ (with Joe Grushecky)
  4. 17 Jul 2004 at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  5. 02 Dec 2004 at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  6. 04 Nov 2010 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  7. 05 Nov 2010 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  8. 03 Nov 2011 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  9. 04 Nov 2011 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  10. 22 May 2014 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  11. 23 May 2014 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)
  12. 18 Jul 2015 at Wonder Bar, Asbury Park, NJ (with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers)

Credits / References

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

Info about the October Assault Tour is taken from Backstreets magazine issue #50/51.

Available Versions

List of available versions of PUMPING IRON on this website:

PUMPING IRON [Live 20 Oct 1995 version]
PUMPING IRON [Original Iron City Houserockers version]

Page last updated: 19 Aug 2015