Live 25 Oct 1976 version
Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
I combed my hair till it looked just right and commanded the night brigade, whoa!
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
I pushed B-52, bombed 'em with the blues, 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 wrath of the crowd, when they said "come down" I flew!
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
[Spoken:] There I was, driving down this old dark road, right? It's late, three in the morning, right? I'm with my girlfriend, right? All of a sudden, you know, like, I'm complaining, I'm like real depressed this night, right, because, because I don't have no money, this was, this was about five, six years ago, and I didn't have no money, and like I didn't have nothing, I was like seriously considering doing something very, very rash, like, like looking for work. But I said, "No!" Said "No, my hands, my hands, that's not my style," right? So, I'm sort of, I'm driving down this dark old road, I used to take these girls down this road and like shut off the headlights and shut off all the lights in the care and try to scare 'em, you know? And like I was getting down there and all of a sudden, from out of the sky... ssshhha!... came this big, shiny, silver thing, came shooting down, sideswiped my car, I jammed on the brakes, I went skidding into the swamp, right? Right? And like, and like, and I wake up and I look over in this field, you know, and there's this, this big silver thing sitting there, you know, just glowing and humming, you know, like they do, you know? And so, I got out of the car, right? Told my girlfriend, I was trying to, trying to impress her, you know, I told her not to worry, you know, I, I, I little, told her, I told her I know karate. I said... I used to say that. I didn't know karate! So like I went over there and the door opened up, door opened up, out came this guy in a silver jumpsuit, these big silver platform heels, and he started to lay this rap on me, you know? Like, this weird... couldn't understand, right? Couldn't get what he was saying, so he signals like this, like to bring out his interpreter, and out comes Ed Sciaky! Now, Ed comes stumbling out of the flying saucer, the first thing he asks me is if I have any food in the car! I said, "Ed, this is a flying saucer, this guy's a spaceman here." "I can't help it, man, I got abducted two hours ago and I ain't had a bite to eat since!" So, so I said, "Ed, tell this cat, see if he's got a towbar, he can tow me out of the mud." So Ed somehow, through his magical, mystical powers, lays this rap on this cat, gets in the spaceship, hooks up to my car, and tows me out of the mud. Just as we're sitting there, he says, "It's nice being here on Mars." So we explain to him that this was not Mars, this was New Jersey. And, and he granted, he granted me and Eddie, he granted us one wish. He said, he pointed to Ed and he asked him what he wanted. Ed said, "Mister Spaceman, I wanna have my own radio show." And like that, on the air the next day. Then he says, "Okay, kid, what do you want? You got one wish." I said, I thought real hard, thought about new transmission... a new paint job... I said, "Mister Spaceman, I wanna be... I wanna be... I wanna be... I wanna a rock'n'roll star!"
Took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, and you know it's really hard to hold your breath
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid
My feet they finally took root in the earth but I got me a nice little place in the stars
I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "pull down" I pulled up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, growin' up
The above lyrics are for the live 25 Oct 1976 performance of GROWIN' UP at Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA, during what is known as The Lawsuit Tour. The song was played in a full-band, album-style arrangement, and featured a story in the break.
This gig has traditionally been noted in books as Springsteen's first-ever large indoor Arena concert as a headliner. However, in reality it is the 26 Sep 1976 show at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ, that probably deserves that title.
Despite the marvelous reception received by both Born To Run and the tour which followed, the relationship between Bruce Springsteen and his now former manager and producer Mike Appel was deteriorating. In July 1976 the storm broke; Mike Appel wrote to Springsteen saying that he would not allow Jon Landau (Springsteen's friend and co-producer of Born To Run) to produce the next album, citing a particular paragraph from their original agreement. Springsteen replied on 27 Jul 1976 by firing manager Mike Appel and suing him and his management company Laurel Canyon Ltd. in Federal Court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, breach of trust, and undue influence. Appel counter-sued on 29 Jul 1976 in New York State Supreme Court, asking the court to prohibit Springsteen and Jon Landau from working together in studio. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band were slated to enter the studio that year for the recording of a new album, except that on 15 Sep 1976 the judge in the lawsuits case ruled that Springsteen was enjoined from any further recording with Columbia Records until Appel's suit was resolved. This would drag for about a year. Meanwhile, Springsteen continued gigging, and in the process broke his self-imposed rule of not playing the larger arenas. This was basically because he was not able to put a record out, and it was the only way his fans would be able to hear him at all. The tour became known as "The Lawsuit Tour" (62 know dates, August 1976 to March 1977).
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.
List of available versions of GROWIN' UP on this website:GROWIN' UP [Album version]