You're Still A Young Man

Album: Bump City (1972)
Charted: 29
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was the first song Tower of Power sax players Emilio Castillo and Stephen "Doc" Kupka wrote together. It was the band's first hit, and Castillo and Kupka became the primary songwriters.
  • In our interview with Emilio Castillo, he talked about the real-life inspiration for this song. "It's about a guy that's going with an older woman and he's totally smitten with her," he said. "He's in love as you could possibly be and she loves him too but she says, 'You're a young man and there's so many women out there your age.'

    In other words, she's thinking by the time they get older he's going to look at her like some old woman and wish that he had been with a younger girl. So she's cutting him loose and she's saying, 'You're still a young man, don't waste your time,' basically don't waste your time with me, there's so many other fishes in the sea at your age.

    It's based on a true story. I had a girlfriend that was six years older than me. I was 18, she was 24 and that's actually what happened. She had kind of cut me loose because of the age difference thing and the whole plea in the story is the young guy's saying, 'I'm not too young, I'm not wasting my time and I do love you like a man can truly love a woman.'"
  • Tower of Power is known for their horn section, which has played on albums for many other artists. The horn intro for this was inspired by a song from an album called This Is My Country by Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions. Says Castillo, "On that album there's a song called 'A Woman's Love' that starts off with beautiful trumpets really high. When we heard that we wanted to write a song with a great trumpet intro like that."
  • At a Tower of Power show in Las Vegas on March 7, 2009, they made a special dedication of this song. The band had received an email from Tim Lorenzen, who was in the United States army and stationed in Iraq. His request was for the band to dedicate "You're Still A Young Man" to his wife Mona, who would be at the show. He wrote that TOP was their favorite band, and on their last day together they took a ride in his convertible, top down, listing to TOP music, despite the fact that it was raining. Tim was able to get a furlough, come to the show, and surprise his wife with roses when TOP frontman Larry Braggs called her to the stage.

Comments: 8

  • Eugene from Garden Grove, CaThe most played song by soul bands with a horn section since it first hit in July of 1972. That is the trumpet intro that shows off the beautiful power of a great lead trumpet sound. The song intro is a true test in whether the trumpet player has the sound power, endurance, control and musicality. Mic Gillette and Greg Adams were the trumpet players who started that sound for innumerable players to be inspired to get their musicianship together. I’m sure the current trumpet duo of Sal and Adolfo played the song multitudes of times in cover bands before joining Tower of Power.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 9th 1972, "You're Still A Young Man" by the Tower of Power entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #81; and on September 10th, 1972 it peaked at #29 (for 2 weeks) and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #24 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1972 and 1976 the Oakland-based group had eight Top 100 records, with "So Very Hard To Go" being their biggest hit, it peaked at #17 on the Top 100 and #11 on the R&B Singles chart.
  • Spence from Brooklyn, NyMic Gilette And Greg Adams' overture-esque intro is phenomenal!
  • Rockie from Oregon City, OrCheck out the live album by Little Feet , "Waiting For Columbus" .
    The tower Of Power horn section is on the album & were on tour with them .
    Note: "Spanish Moon" (tight!)
  • Scott from Palm Desert, CaThis is one of the most incredibly powerful emotional songs ever.
  • Bobby from Lagunitas, CaCoo coo coo choo Mrs Robinson
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaI'm not a big brass fan, but this is a fantastic demonstration of the power of horns. Tower of Power!
  • Evan from Flower Mound, TxThis is usually in Tower of Power's encore, and most of the time T.O.P.'s last song in their concert.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa CarltonSongwriter Interviews

The "A Thousand Miles" singer on what she thinks of her song being used in White Chicks and how she captured a song from a dream.

Jimmy Jam

Jimmy JamSongwriter Interviews

The powerhouse producer behind Janet Jackson's hits talks about his Boyz II Men ballads and regrouping The Time.

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."

Protest Songs

Protest SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know your protest songs (including the one that went to #1)?