Sunday, December 20, 2009

Song of the Week - Growin' Up by Bruce Springsteen

I have 8,310 songs on iTunes. This is one of them.

Last week, Stan, an old friend of mine, whom I hadn't seen or even heard of since Christmas 1975 (that's almost 34 years ago for those of you keeping score), make contact with me over FaceBook. In his note, he reminded me of the Bruce Springsteen concert we had seen in August 1973 at Al's Earlton Lounge, a bar in Earlton NJ. Apparently I called him up and said $1 cover and $1 beers, want to go? Stan claims I introduced him to Bruce (musically, not personally), and the rest was history.

It's maybe hard to imagine but in August 1973, hardly anyone had heard of Bruce. His Greetings From Asbury Park LP had come out in January 1973. It got airplay on the local (at the time) alternative rock station WMMR, which is where I heard it. His second LP, The Wild, The Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle came out in September 1973. It would be two more years until his break-out record, Born To Run, was released.

It was a great show we saw that night, Bruce and the yet to be named E-Street Band. I was looking for a video of a song from that 1st album and found this. According to the notes on YouTube, this was recorded at Max's Kansas City in New York, in August of 1972. The recording quality isn't good, but marvel at a young Bruce Springsteen. In 1972, even I was young.

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 strolled all alone through 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
Ooooh, 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
Ooooh, 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
Ooooh, growin' up
Ooooh, growin' up
Alright, growin' up

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