Tuesday, July 19, 2011

growin' up

I recently remembered how much I love the song "Growin' Up" by Bruce Springsteen. Here is a quieter live version as the recorded version is nowhere to be found on youtube:

My first concert was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on the "Born in the USA" tour in Chicago, 1984. My entire family attended. I was throw-up excited. My brother and dad have always been huge Boss fans and his albums were on heavy rotation in our household since I can remember. When "Born in the USA" came out, I finally really paid attention and sat with my first Walkman in the back of our family car on every family trip determined to memorize each word of that album. (That and Paul Young's "No Parlez"—my sister's influence.)

My bulletin board was plastered with images of the Boss along with my other muse, gymnast Mary Lou Retton.

The night we spent at Soldier Field watching all four hours of that concert I was never bored, even though Bruce was the size of an ant from where we sat. It was a general admission concert, meaning no assigned seating—controversial given The Who's free seating fiasco years prior. My brother went rogue and hit the floor of the stadium. The rest of us remained in binoculars-required distance.

It all worked out. I still have my program. My brother still has his baseball concert tee.

I was thrilled just to be included. The family affair music outing prior to that was my father, brother, and sister attending the Rolling Stones' "Tattoo You" concert in 1981. Today, I love the B side of that album with a lot of my heart. Back then, I didn't know that. I just knew I was left out of something important and cool that allowed them all to stay up way past bedtime. As a rule growing up, if my brother and sister were involved: I wanted in. No such luck for me that evening. My sister returned with this t-shirt:

...along with a copy of the album featuring the tattooed lady. My mind was blown, struck with the thought, "What on earth happened last night?! There was a DRAGON there?!?!"

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