COMING HOME

Studio rehearsal version


Well the living ain't easy on this side of the highway
Trying to get a holdout line
The thing that you want is to have your fun
First they show you the gun and then they show you the line
Ah but things are gonna change
Things are changing every day

I'm just a lone boy on the highway
I'll try to make my own
I'm just a lone boy on the highway
Oh God I feel so alone now
But I'm coming home

I don't wanna go back to Kansas
I don't wanna go there no more
I don't think I could stand it
First they show you the gun and then they show you the door
Ah but things are gonna change
Things are changing every day

Well I don't wanna go back
I don't think I can ever go back again
I don't wanna go back
I don't know if I can ever see a face again
Mama I'm going home
I won't talk about it
Hey!

[5-minute instrumental break]

Well now living ain't easy on this side of the highway
Trying to get a holdout line
If you think you're the one and to have your fun
First they show you the guns and then they show you the line
Yeah but things are gonna change
Things are changing every day

I don't wanna go back to Kansas
Don't wanna go there no more
I don't think I could stand it
I'm just a boy trying to get on foot in the door
Mama I'm coming home, get me

I just wanna say no
I don't know
Alright!


Info

COMING HOME is a song written by Bruce Springsteen. He performed it live with The Bruce Springsteen Band between late 1971 and early 1972. The song is also known under the titles "I'm Coming Home" and "Mama I'm Coming Home".

The above lyrics are for a Bruce Springsteen Band studio rehearsal of COMING HOME that took place in early 1972 at Challenger Eastern Surfboards in Highlands, NJ. See the below section for more details.

Challenger Eastern Surfboards Rehearsals

Bruce Springsteen wrote numerous songs in 1971 but did not record any material in a professional recording studio during that period. However, studio rehearsal sessions were frequently conducted at the Challenger Eastern Surfboards factory in Highlands, NJ, in 1971 and early 1972. The primary purpose of the sessions was not to make audio recordings, but to prepare for live shows. So only a fraction of this extensive body of rehearsal sessions was ever recorded, and when they were, it is an unfortunate reality that the reel-to-reel tapes made at Challenger Eastern were often erased and reused to record live shows.

Fortunately, high-quality audio of one Challenger East session is known to exist – a continuous 8-song / 83-minute segment of a rehearsal that took place in early 1972 at Challenger Eastern Surfboard. The recording was engineered and produced by Carl "Tinker" West. The session line-up was Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, David Sancious, Garry Tallent, and Vini Lopez.

  1. THE BALLAD OF JESSE JAMES
  2. IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE
  3. WHEN YOU DANCE
  4. LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND
  5. I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY
  6. FUNK SONG
  7. COMING HOME
  8. DO IT WITH A FEELING [a partial take and a full take]

The recording is on three reel-to-reel tapes. The first two, which contains the first six songs listed above, is in circulation among collectors. The third reel, which contains the last two songs listed above, is no in circulation and remains in the hands of a private collector. This third tape may have been recorded before the other two.

The original tapes note the audio as emanating from 1972 but do not mention the exact date. However, according to Brucebase, this session is most definitely from very early in the year, prior to Springsteen's March 1972 contract signing with Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos. Bearing in mind that The Bruce Springsteen Band had been idle for over a month due to Springsteen's trip to California, it's likely that this rehearsal took place in order to prepare for the numerous shows scheduled for late January thru early March. Indeed, the arrangements of these songs are remarkably similar to those that have surfaced from live gigs during this specific period. Brucebase lists the recording under its 14 Mar 1972 entry.

In addition to 76 minutes of music, the recording contains nearly 7 minutes of between-song studio chat, much of it between Springsteen and Tinker West. The discussions seem to indicate that the primary intent of the session is for rehearsing, not recording, with the recording merely being done because West wanted to test some new recording equipment. The sound quality is uniformly excellent. Although all the audio is from the same day, it is evident from the discussions that the rehearsals had been going on for some hours before the recording started. It should be noted that this is not Challenger's more famous Wanamassa, NJ factory location, the one that Springsteen had lived at and rehearsed in during the 1969-1971 Child and Steel Mill era. Tinker West had relocated that factory to Highlands, NJ in mid-1971 and had then constructed a more professional rehearsal room (which included a control room like a regular studio) for the various bands he managed.

Live History

COMING HOME is known to have been performed at least 3 times in Bruce Springsteen's early years (pre-October 1972). Very little is known about shows from this early period, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates.

  1. 23 Oct 1971 at University Of Richmond, Richmond, VA (with The Bruce Springsteen Band)
  2. 11 Dec 1971 at Student Prince, Asbury Park, NJ (with The Bruce Springsteen Band)
  3. 25 Feb 1972 at The Back Door, Richmond, VA (with The Bruce Springsteen Band)

Covers

As far as it's known, no artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's COMING HOME.

Credits

Most of the above info about the Challenger Eastern Surfboards rehearsals and the song's live history is taken from Brucebase.

Available Versions

List of available versions of COMING HOME on this website:

COMING HOME [Studio rehearsal version]
COMING HOME [Live 23 Oct 1971 version]
COMING HOME [Live 11 Dec 1971 version]

Page last updated: 10 Feb 2017