Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
And I combed my hair till it was 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, 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
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
And 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, never once gave thought to landing
I hid in the clouded warmth of the crowd, when they said "come down" I threw up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Looking back, now!
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, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress
But my feet they finally took root in the earth but 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
I hid in the mother breast of the crowd, when they said "pull down" I pulled up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
GROWIN' UP is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1973 album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of GROWIN' UP as released in 1973.
The album version of GROWIN' UP was included on The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition) compilation album.
GROWIN' UP became a live favorite in the 70's and 80's, often including a long spoken story about Springsteen's youth and his problems with his father.
GROWIN' UP was written in 1971, as Springsteen recalled when introducing the song during his 09 Aug 1978 concert in Cleveland, OH. See the live 09 Aug 1978 version. ELOISE, a 1972 unreleased demo, shares similar music with GROWIN' UP.
GROWIN' UP was recorded during the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album recording sessions at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY. The track, as well as the whole album, was produced by Mike Appel and Jimmy Cretecos.
Two studio versions of the song are in circulation among collectors: the album version and an outtake version. They were likely recorded around Jul-Aug 1972 at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY. The Jul-Aug 1972 sessions at 914 Sound Studios were produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos, and Louis Lahav took the role of recording engineer. The above lyrics transcribed from the album version of GROWIN' UP. The album version and the outtake version are probably the same core recording, but a different vocal take. Bruce Springsteen plays guitar and sings vocals on this track (the album version), and is backed by Vini Lopez on drums, David Sancious on piano and keyboards, and Garry Tallent on electric bass. According to Sony's database of Springsteen recording sessions, GROWIN' UP was cut on 07 Jun 1972 (the first studio session for the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album) and on 27 Jun 1972 at 914 Sound Studios. It is not clear if the album version and/or the outtake version were from either the 07 Jun 1972 session or the 27 Jun 1972 sessions, or form a later session.
A solo demo of GROWIN' UP was performed and recorded during Springsteen's first formal studio audition for CBS Records on 03 May 1972, and was later published on the Tracks box set in 1998 and the 18 Tracks collection in 1999. It features Springsteen solo on vocals and acoustic guitar. See the 03 May 1972 demo version for more details. Another solo demo of GROWIN' UP was performed during an informal audition for CBS Records on 02 May 1972. See the "1971-1972 Auditions" section below for more details.
GROWIN' UP appears on two Springsteen handwritten song lists that were put up for auction in July 2012 (below left) and December 2013 (below right) on GottaHaveRockAndRoll.com. The auction site claims the first to be a setlist and the second to be a song list for Springsteen's first album, but they're both most probably lists of songs that Springsteen was considering taking into the studio at the very early stages of the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. recording sessions (June 1972).
The solo acoustic guitar version recorded during Springsteen's 1972 audition for CBS Records was released on the Tracks box set in 1998 and the 18 Tracks collection in 1999. See the 03 May 1972 demo version for more details. The studio outtake from the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. sessions is circulating on bootlegs. See the outtake version for more details.
On 04 Nov 1971, Carl "Tinker" West, then-manager of The Bruce Springsteen Band, drove Bruce Springsteen to New York City to introduce him to Mike Appel, a songwriter who carried on his songwriting activities jointly with Jim Cretecos. Appel was then employed at Pocketful Of Tunes Inc., Wes Farrell's publishing company in New York City, NY, and the meeting took place at Pocketful Of Tunes. Springsteen performed two or three songs, some on piano and some on acoustic guitar. Only Appel and West were present at this first meeting. Appel has stated in interview that he was not particularly impressed by what he heard at this initial audition but did see raw creativity in the lyrics of BABY DOLL. That performance was not recorded and the titles of the other song(s) performed remain unclear. Appel indicated an interest in promoting them in some way and the meeting ended with an agreement to keep in touch but no commitments from either party.
Meanwhile Springsteen continued gigging with The Bruce Springsteen Band in New Jersey and Virginia and visited his family in California for a few weeks around the holidays. The next meeting between Springsteen and Appel took place on 14 Feb 1972. Springsteen performed a set of seven songs at Appel's office at Pocketful Of Tunes. The songs were performed live solo on acoustic guitar to an audience of three: Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos, and Bob Spitz. Spitz recorded the performance on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY was performed a second time at the request of Appel who reportedly was dazzled the lyrics. After that performance Appel and Cretecos began putting the wheels in motion to sign Springsteen to a comprehensive range of contracts.
In March 1972, it was agreed that Appel and Cretecos would promote Springsteen's interests. For that purpose, Appel and Cretecos formed three partnerships owned equally by the two: Laurel Canyon Management to act as Springsteen's manager, Laurel Canyon Productions to cover his recording activities, and Sioux City Music Inc to cover his songwriting activities. In the meantime, Springsteen entered into an "Exclusive Management Contract" with Laurel Canyon Management and an "Exclusive Recording Contract" with Laurel Canyon Productions, but did not sign any songwriting agreement at this time, apparently wishing to think this matter over a bit longer. The two contracts were signed at Appel's office.
Appel wanted to sign Springsteen to Columbia Records. He could not arrange a meeting with label head Clive Davis but was able to arrange one with CBS A&R Manager and talent scout John Hammond. An informal private audition took place around 10:30 AM on 02 May 1972 in Hammond's office in the A&R Department at Columbia Records in New York City. John Hammond and Mike Appel were the only two present at the audition. All songs were performed on acoustic guitar and the performance, which lasted about 30 to 40 minutes, was not recorded but based on the collective recollections of the attendees at least the following four songs were played:
In a 1980 interview, Hammond mentioned he wasn't all that enamored with MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS, but that he loved all the other songs that Springsteen performed that morning. "It was a big, big day for me," Springsteen told Mark Hagen in an interview for Mojo magazine published in January 1999. "I was twenty-two and came up on the bus with an acoustic guitar with no case which I'd borrowed from the drummer from The Castiles. I was embarrassed carrying it around the city. I walked into [John Hammond's] office and had the audition and I played a couple of songs and he said, 'You've got to be on Columbia Records. But I need to see you play. And I need to hear how you sound on tape.'"
Springsteen said that he and Mike Appel "walked all around the Village trying to find some place that would let somebody just get up on stage and play. We went to the Bitter End, it didn't work out. We went to another club. And finally we went to the old Gaslight on MacDougal Street and the guy says, 'Yeah, we have an open night where you can come down and play for half an hour'. There were about 10 people in the place and I played for about half an hour." The performance took place at the Gaslight Au Go Go club in New York City. No recording has emanated from this club appearance which lasted about 30 minutes and included just 4 or 5 songs. Both Springsteen and Appel have mentioned these two tracks as having been played:
John Hammond was impressed. "The kid absolutely knocked me out," he told Newsweek in 1975. "I only hear somebody really good once every ten years, and not only was Bruce the best, he was a lot better than Dylan when I first heard him." As Springsteen recalled, Hammond said, "Gee, that was great. I want you to come to the Columbia Recording Studio and make a demo tape". He invited Springsteen back to CBS to make a studio demo audition tape the following day. Springsteen said, "A demo I made at Bill Graham's studio in San Francisco in '69 was the only other time I'd ever been in a real recording studio. Columbia was very old-fashioned: everybody in ties and shirts; the engineer was in a white shirt and a tie and was probably 50, 55 years old, it was just him and John and Mike Appel there, and he just hits the button and gives you your serial number, and off you go. I was excited. I felt I'd written some good songs and this was my shot. I had nothing to lose and it was like the beginning of something."
Springsteen's first "formal" studio audition for CBS took place on 03 May 1972 at CBS Studios in New York City. The session consisted of 12 songs. Click on any of the below links for more details.
Four of the tracks recorded during that demo session would be officially released in 1998 on the Tracks box set. John Hammond's introduction of the audition was kept intact at the start of MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS which opens the box set. Hammond was prepared to sign Bruce on the spot but administrative formalities within CBS meant that it would take several weeks for that to become reality. According to Clinton Heylin's 2012 book E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Hammond send Clive Davis a dub of the audition and a memo saying: "Here is a copy of a couple of the reels of Bruce Springsteen, a very talented kid who recorded these twelve songs in a period of around two hours last Wednesday... I think we better act quickly because many people heard the boy at The Gaslight so that his fame is beginning to spread." Davis responded the next day, "I love Bruce Springsteen! He's an original in every respect. I'd like to meet him if you can arrange it."
Springsteen told Mark Hagen, "I knew a lot about John Hammond, the work he'd done, the people he'd discovered, his importance in music and it was very exciting to feel you were worth his time. No matter what happened afterwards, even it was just for this one night, you were worth his time. That meant a lot to me. He was very encouraging – simply being in that room with him at the board was one of my greatest recording experiences."
According to Heylin, Hammond thought that Springsteen might be better off on the Epic subsidiary, but Mike Appel intercepted: "[Hammond] decided that Bruce should be with the younger people at Epic and not with the stodgier, older people at Columbia – and he got this in his head. I always felt that Columbia was the classiest label on the planet. I just always saw [Bruce's] record going round on that red label, just like Dylan's did."
About a week following the audition, Springsteen entered into an "Exclusive Songwriting Contract" with Sioux City Music Inc and a new/revised "Exclusive Management Contract" with Laurel Canyon Management. The two contracts were signed at the office of New York attorney Jules Kurz, a sole practitioner specializing in music and entertainment law who was then handling Appel and Cretecos' business affairs. This new management agreement replaced the one from March and made changes in remuneration and compensation rates between the parties; it was a better deal for Springsteen than the previous one.
Following the signing of the agreements, Springsteen began a series of demo sessions for Sioux City Music Inc in May and June 1972. The session took place at two locations in New York City: Wes Farrell's Pocketful Of Sounds Studios where Appel was then still employed, and the apartment of Jim Cretecos. There were multiple sessions held at each location and the session dates at the two locations may have actually intertwined. Cretecos' apartment was utilized due to the limited availability of the studio at Pocketful Of Sounds. Cretecos was an electronics engineer and was able to emulate a reasonable recording environment in his apartment, so much so that it is difficult to distinguish some of the recordings Bruce made in Cretecos' apartment from those made in a professional studio.
On 09 Jun 1972 Laurel Canyon Productions (describing itself as Laurel Canyon Productions Inc) entered into a recording agreement with CBS Records. This meant that Springsteen was not signed directly to CBS, but his services were subcontracted to CBS by Laurel Canyon. Under the recording agreement, all individual recordings made by Springsteen under the CBS agreement remained the property of Laurel Canyon Productions until such point that they were assigned and transferred to CBS. This contract was signed by CBS at CBS Records offices and by Mike Appel at Laurel Canyon Productions offices. Bruce Springsteen signed it too, on the hood of a car in a dimly lit bar parking lot in New York City. Appel had him sign it as a matter of courtesy and as a matter of endorsement – from a legal standpoint it was not necessary that Springsteen signs this agreement as the "Exclusive Recording Agreement" between him and Laurel Canyon Productions did not grant him the right to block or refuse this contract between Laurel Canyon Productions and CBS. The contract was varied in August 1972 to also cover the master tapes of certain songs which had been recorded prior to the date of the agreement.
Mike Appel and Jimmy Cretecos later decided to change their business structure and model. They wanted to cease the partnership model and incorporate their businesses with the two having a 50/50 split in shares of the new incorporated business entities. These matters did not involve Springsteen – his signature or permission was not required. Laurel Canyon Productions (the sound recordings partnership) became Laurel Canyon Limited (incorporated) on 28 Jun 1972, Sioux City Music Inc (the songwriting partnership) became Sioux City Music Limited (incorporated) on 05 Oct 1972, and Laurel Canyon Management (the management partnership) became Laurel Canyon Management Limited (incorporated) on 05 Mar 1973. The three new companies were incorporated in New York and Appel and Cretecos were appointed the first directors. Appel and Cretecos wanted to change the name of Sioux City to Laurel Canyon in order to have name consistency among their family of companies, so on 24 Apr 1973 Sioux City Music Limited changed its name to Laurel Canyon Music Limited. In January 1974 Jimmy Cretecos sold his 50% shareholding in each of the Laurel Canyon companies to Mike Appel, thus Appel becoming the sole owner of the companies.
After signing the contract with CBS Records, Laurel Canyon Productions was to receive an immediate cash advance from CBS and this money was to be used to pay for the studio time to record Springsteen' debut album. A delay by CBS in delivering the advance money to Laurel Canyon Productions resulted in delaying the sessions till early July 1972. During June Springsteen had finalized the selection of the musicians that would be used for the initial sessions. The musicians chosen, with an ok from Appel and Cretecos, constituted the entire line-up of the former Bruce Springsteen Band: David Sancious on keyboards, Gary Tallent on bass, Vini Lopez on drums, and Steve Van Zandt on quitar. Van Zandt ended up partaking in almost none of the 914 Sound Studios band sessions because of a prior commitment to tour as a member of The Dovells backing group.
The recording sessions for Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. spanned a period of five months, from early June to late October 1972 (the majority were in June), and they all took place at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY. The core "band" sessions were completed in only about two weeks. No unreleased band recordings from the debut album sessions have surfaced. Following these band sessions the various band members scattered. It should be noted that Springsteen had not decided to form a touring band at this stage.
Springsteen spent the next few weeks recording solo material. It was during this period that differences of opinion surfaced about what material was going to dominate the eventually released album. There were two sides in this disagreement: Mike Appel and John Hammond wanted a solo-dominated LP while Jim Cretecos was in favor of a band-dominated one. Springsteen was undecided at first, but soon sided with Cretecos. Appel later said that he was so impressed by Bruce's lyrics and told him, "Who needs a band when you can write lyrics like that?" In early August a compromise was reached and the album track selection was decided upon, featuring five band recordings (DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET?, GROWIN' UP, IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY, FOR YOU, and LOST IN THE FLOOD) and five solo recordings (THE ANGEL, MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS, JAZZ MUSICIAN, ARABIAN NIGHTS, and VISITATION AT FORT HORN). On 10 Aug 1972 Laurel Canyon transferred the sound recording copyrights to these ten songs to CBS. It seemed the album was finalized, but when then CBS president Clive Davis listened to the tracks he commented that not only did he prefer the band tracks, but he also felt the album lacked a potential hit single. In essence Davis was siding with Springsteen's vision of the album as being more rock-orientated.
In August 1972 Springsteen composed two more commercial-sounding songs, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT and SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT. Consequently a further "band" session was required. However both Sancious and Tallent, then-employed at Alpha Sound Studios in Richmond, NJ, were unable to return to New York to record. Bruce wished to incorporate saxophone in both new songs and contacted Clarence Clemons, a then-member of Norman Seldin & The Joyful Noyze. So the studio session line-up for these two songs was Clemons, Lopez, and Springsteen who played all other instruments, except for the piano on BLINDED BY THE LIGHT which was handled by Harold Wheeler. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT and SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT were completed by early September. These two band recordings bumped three solo recordings: JAZZ MUSICIAN, ARABIAN NIGHTS, and VISITATION AT FORT HORN. Therefore the final album was reduced from 10 tracks to 9, encompassing 7 band tracks and 2 solo tracks. Columbia Records' original intention was to release the album in late November 1972, but decided the album might get overlooked among the massive amount of pre-Christmas releases so the LP was held back for until early January.
Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. was released on Columbia Records on 05 Jan 1973. It was produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos. The album received mixed but mostly positive reviews and some critics found it under-produced, as Appel and Cretecos tried to spend as little as possible from Columbia's $65,000 advance and recording budget. The album sold 25,000 copies only in its first year of release and did not chart until the summer of 1975 when the hype over the BORN TO RUN single attracted buyers to Springsteen's earlier albums.
The album features 9 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 37:08.
The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a compilation album released as part of Sony BMG'S (previously Sony Music Entertainment) series of "Essential" sets. According to Springsteen's liner notes comments, the collection was intended as an introduction to his music for new fans who attended shows on The Rising Tour.
The collection is fundamentally a 2-disc set (clocking at 153:37) compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Live In New York City release. A 3-disc limited edition (clocking at 201:04) was also released. It includes a bonus third disc comprising of a selection of rarities and previously unreleased recordings.
The Essential Bruce Springsteen was released on 11 Nov 2003 on Columbia Records. It debuted and peaked at #14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart where it spent 13 weeks. It also reached #28 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was awarded certified gold and platinum records by the RIAA on 16 Dec 2003.
The Essential Bruce Springsteen was reissued on 16 Oct 2015, this time as a 2-disc set (clocking at 156:25) with an updated track list, compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Greatest Hits (1995 edition) collection. This 2015 reissue features remastered tracks not found in that form on other Springsteen releases.
The album version of GROWIN' UP was also included a very rare US-only promo EP in 1974. It can also be found on two Bruce Springsteen promo-only samplers.
Other versions of GROWIN' UP were also officially released.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least twice in Bruce Springsteen's early years (pre-October 1972). Very little is known about shows from this early period, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates. The live Aug 1972 version of GROWIN' UP was released on the John Hammond: From Bessie Smith To Bruce Springsteen home video in 1990.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least 5 times during what is considered the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour (October 1972 to September 1973). Many of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour. Bruce Springsteen opened for headliner Biff Rose in 1973 during a 6-night stand (from 31 January and 05 February, two shows each night) at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY. In the 17 Feb 1973 issue of Billboard magazine, Jim Melanson wrote a review on one of twelve shows Max's Kansas City mentioning five songs performed by Springsteen, including GROWIN' UP. The review could be for any of the twelve shows in the stand, but is more likely from one of the latter ones considering the late publication of the review. On this tour, the song was played in a full-band album-style arrangement which was somewhat slower than later versions.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least 20 times during what is considered The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour (September 1973 to March 1975). Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour. On this tour, the song was played in a full-band album-style arrangement.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least 33 times during the Born To Run Tour (73 know dates / 81 known shows, July to December 1975). Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Born To Run Tour. On this tour, the song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least 17 times during the so-called Chicken Scratch Tour (35 know dates, March to May 1976). Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Chicken Scratch Tour; it may have been a stable number during the tour. On this tour, the song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least 26 times during what is known as The Lawsuit Tour (62 know dates, August 1976 to March 1977). Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates during the Lawsuit Tour. On this tour, the song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement. Before the Lawsuit Tour, GROWIN' UP did not feature a story in the break. The instrumental after the second verse was heavily extended on the first two Lawsuit Tour performances, and the third performance (30 Sep 1976) was the first to include a full spoken story. See the below live versions for more details.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least 52 times times during the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour (111 dates, May 1978 to January 1979), all up to early September. A few setlists from that period are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates during the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour. On this tour, the song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement and featured a story in the break. The live 07 Jul 1978 version of GROWIN' UP was released on the Live/1975-85 box set in 1986. The live 09 Aug 1978 version of GROWIN' UP was released on The Agora, Cleveland 1978 official live download in 2014.
GROWIN' UP is known to have been performed at least 18 times during The River Tour (138 dates, October 1980 to September 1981). A few setlists from that period are incomplete, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates during The River Tour, but that's very unlikely. The song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement and featured a story in the break.
GROWIN' UP was performed 38 times during the Born In The U.S.A. Tour (156 dates, June 1984 to October 1985). On this tour, the song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement and featured a story in the break which evolved into a skit with assorted crew members in the cast. The live 05 Aug 1984 version of GROWIN' UP was released on the Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984 official live download in 2015.
GROWIN' UP was performed 12 times during World Tour 1992-1993 (104 dates, June 1992 to June 1993), all of which in the 1992 part of the tour. The song was played in a stripped-down arrangement featuring only Bruce Springsteen and Roy Bittan, and no more featured a spoken story after the second verse.
GROWIN' UP was performed 7 times during The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour (128 dates, November 1995 to May 1997), all in November 1996 in New Jersey and May 1997 in Europe. On this tour, the song was played solo on acoustic guitar. These were the first known solo versions of the song.
GROWIN' UP was performed 7 times during what is known as The Reunion Tour (132 dates, April 1999 to July 2000). The song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement on this tour.
GROWIN' UP was performed 7 times during The Rising Tour (120 dates, August 2002 to October 2003). On 02 Mar 2003 in Austin, TX, the song was played in a stripped-down arrangement featuring just Springsteen on acoustic guitar and Clarence Clemons on saxophone. See the live 02 Mar 2003 version for more details. On 24 May 2003 in Saint-Denis, France, the song was played solo on acoustic guitar, during a short acoustic set prior to a concert at the venue. See the live 24 May 2003 version for more details. For the remaining five performances, the song was played in its full-band album-style arrangement, sometimes with spoken bits in the break and sometimes without. See the live 22 Jun 2003 version.
GROWIN' UP was performed 13 times during the Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour (72 dates, April to November 2005). The first four performances were solo acoustic guitar renditions (see the live 11 Aug 2005 version) while the remaining nine were solo ukulele (see the live 22 Nov 2005 version).
GROWIN' UP was performed 11 times during The Seeger Sessions Tour (56 dates, April to November 2006), all during the final European leg. The song was played in a radically revamped full-band arrangement. Note that GROWIN' UP was among the songs practiced during a 90-minute sound-check before the 02 Oct 2006 show at Palaisozaki in Torino Italy, but the song was not performed on the regular show, reportedly because Springsteen was unsatisfied with the violin parts at this point. The live 17 Nov 2006 version of GROWIN' UP was released on the Live In Dublin album and home video in 2007.
GROWIN' UP was performed 11 times during the Magic Tour (100 dates, October 2007 to August 2008). The song was played in its traditional full-band arrangement, sometimes with a spoken bit in the break. The 21 Aug 2008 show in Nashville was the only time on the tour when GROWIN' UP featured a true story in the traditional spot. See the live 21 Aug 2008 version for more details. The first performance (11 Nov 2007 in Washington) was the last ever and only of the tour to feature Danny Federici.
GROWIN' UP was performed 14 times during the Working On A Dream Tour (83 dates, April to November 2009). The song was played in its traditional full-band arrangement, sometimes with a spoken bit in the break.
GROWIN' UP was performed 13 times during the Wrecking Ball Tour (133 dates, March 2012 to September 2013). On this tour, the song was played 6 times in a solo acoustic guitar arrangement (during the solo acoustic pre-show) and 7 times in a full-band arrangement.
GROWIN' UP was performed 6 times during the High Hopes Tour (34 dates, January to May 2014). On this tour, the song was played 4 times in a full-band arrangement and twice in a solo acoustic guitar arrangement, one of which during the solo acoustic pre-show (see the live 01 Feb 2014 version). Audio recordings for most High Hopes Tour shows are officially available for purchase. See the live 24 Apr 2014 version for more details.
GROWIN' UP was performed 12 times during The River Tour 2016 (75 dates, January to September 2016). On this tour, the song was played 11 times in a full-band arrangement (5 of which featuring a story in the break) and once in a solo acoustic arrangement (during the solo acoustic pre-show). Audio recordings for all The River Tour 2016 shows are officially available for purchase. See the below list for more details.
In 1973 and 1974, Bruce Springsteen performed GROWIN' UP on four radio performances. On all four occasions, the song was played in a full-band acoustic arrangement. See the individual versions below for more details.
GROWIN' UP was performed off-tour on 22 Sep 1992 at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles, CA, during the taping of MTV Unplugged. That performance was released on the In Concert / MTV Plugged home video in 1992 and the audio was released on the Streets Of Philadelphia maxi single in 1994. See the live 22 Sep 1992 version for more details.
GROWIN' UP was performed off-tour on 26 Jul 2002 at Sonny's Southern Cuisine restaurant in Asbury Park, NJ, when Springsteen played an intimate acoustic set for contest winners who were at the warm-up gig for The Rising Tour that took place on the afternoon of the same day at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park. All songs, except GROWIN' UP, were played by request of the contest winners.
GROWIN' UP was performed off-tour on 19 and 20 Feb 2003 at Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA, during the DoubleTake Magazine benefit shows. The song was played solo on acoustic guitar. See the live 19 Feb 2003 version and the live 20 Feb 2003 version for more details.
Since 2002, Springsteen has been playing private benefit shows for schools and colleges that his kids attended — Rumson Country Day School of Rumson, NJ, and Ranney School of Tinton Falls, NJ, and Boston College of Chestnut Hill, MA. GROWIN' UP was performed at 3 of these fundraisers, always at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, and backed by Bobby Bandiera and his band.
Since 2007 Springsteen has been playing the annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit shows. GROWIN' UP was performed during the eighth (2014) annual benefit.
Bruce Springsteen's album version of GROWIN' UP appears in two movies.
Bruce Springsteen's GROWIN' UP is mentioned in the Nora Roberts 2005 book Blue Smoke. The character Brad is driving in traffic and listening to GROWIN' UP playing on his radio. Next to him is a pretty woman driving a Chevy, listening to something on her radio and tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. From the rhythm of her fingers, Brad thinks she had the same station going.
Many artists have recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's GROWIN' UP.
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help. Thanks Atsushi Sakamoto for the "Spirit In The Night / Growin' Up / Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" EP label scan.
Please contact me if you have scans for or info about any official release containing Bruce Springsteen's album version of GROWIN' UP or a cover of it that's not mentioned on this page. I also need scans for the following releases:
Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.
List of available versions of GROWIN' UP on this website:GROWIN' UP [Album version]