Growin' Up

Album: Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)

Songfacts®:

  • The lyrics are based on Springsteen's adolescence. He did not fit in at school and was constantly at odds with his father, a factory worker who wanted him to get a real job.
  • Springsteen performed this at most of his concerts in the '70s and '80s. He would often lead into it with stories of his youth.
  • This was one of the songs that convinced Columbia Records to sign Springsteen. In 1972, he got an audition with John Hammond, who had also signed Bob Dylan to Columbia. What was supposed to be a short meeting turned into a 2 hour audition, with "Growin' Up" as one of the highlights.
  • Springsteen's backup band did not have a name when this album was released. On their next one, they were christened The E Street Band.
  • The version on his box set Live 195-1985 was recorded at the Roxy in 1978. Springsteen intros it with a rant about growing up in New Jersey.
  • David Bowie recorded this in 1974, but his version was not released until the 1990 CD issue of his covers album Pin-Ups. Bowie's version features Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones on guitar.

    Around this time, Bowie also recorded another song from the album, "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City," but didn't release that one either. This was a major bummer for Springsteen, who could have used the cash - 1974 was a tough year for him financially, as he put a lot of money into his band and was struggling to pay them.
  • This was used in the 1999 Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nicgolas - Brick, NJ

Comments: 6

  • Simen from Brumunddal, NorwayWhen I hear this song, I get that Freehold/Asbury Park spirit, and how it was to live there in the 50s, 60s & 70s! With the shore, boardwalks, bars, clubs, old houses with all those porches, rock bands, everything about Springsteen's childhood! I'm lucky enough to go there in April 2013 :-)
  • Simen from Brumunddal, NorwayOne of my favorites from Bruce! I was surprised when I heard this one on "Big Daddy."
  • Jill from Decatur, GaThis song was also used in the 2007 film "Gracie" which was inspired by the experiences of the Shue family (actors Elisabeth and Andrew)in 1970s New Jersey.
  • Kyle from Belleville, CanadaI love the stories Bruce tells during this.
  • Scott from London, Englandi think in these lyrics, Bruce has made the mistake of admitting to his old teachers that it was him all along, the gruff voiced guitar player, who that day got in a fighter plane and machine gunned down the school. They'd always assumed it was bad boy billy bob jones
  • Kimberly from Asbury Park, Njeddie vedder covered this song at the pearl jam show july 14, 2003 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
see more comments

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