Live 23 Mar 1977 version
[Spoken intro:] This is a song, this is a song my mother always makes me play it for my father when he comes home. Now, this is for all folks there that was uh, that came to see us when we were starting out over at Oliver's and Charlie's Place, and at Joe's dump (chuckles). Sorry, Joe. (chuckles)
Ah, Professor, please.
Let's see, how'd it go now? Oh yeah!
I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
And I combed my hair till it looked just right and commanded the night brigade, say it!
Well I was open to pain and crossed by the rain, I walked on a crooked crutch
Well I strode all alone into a fallout zone and came out with my soul untouched
Well 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
Well I had a jukebox graduate for first mate, she couldn't sail but she sure could sing
Well 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
Well I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "come down" I said "shut up!"
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
[Spoken:] There I was. It was me and Miami, the Big Man, we're riding down this dirt road down in the swamps. Just came back off this date where we had these three girls with us in the car that we got 'em to go out with us. All they kept saying all night, we took 'em out to eat, took 'em to the movies, all they kept saying was "we wanna go home, we wanna go home, we wanna go home," right? Alright, happens to everybody, you know, it's like... So we're heading home but we, we was drinking. We take 'em down this dirt road. There was no streetlights, no moon out. We shut off the headlights, all the lights in the car, we tried to scare 'em, you know. It's like I used to tell 'em like I was a mass murderer, you know, twelve axe murders. And like we'd park at the dark side of the road, try to scare the hell out of 'em so the night wouldn't be a total waste. And like, in this night, this night, we're riding down the road. I had my old man's, that '63 Impala. Riding down the road. And then man, that thing floored, we was screaming, we must've been doing 45, right? Yeah. It stopped there, right? Wanna do 40, uh... So we're trying to have some fun. All of a sudden, they're bitching, bitching, bitching at me, right? It's like, all of a sudden, out of the sky flying flashing light [weird guitar noise]. "Goddamn," I said. It's like uh, sideswiped the car, right? The car spins off into the mud, right? Spins off into the swamps, it's all messed up, the side all fucked up. My old man's gonna kill me, right? And like, it's like I hit my head on the steering wheel. That's how my nose got like this and then I looked off into the field and there was like, sitting over there in the field was this big silver thing there humming away, so it make, mmm, noise like that. And like, there on the side it had "Don Big Daddy Garlits, SDP, Chevy spark plug stickers, Hooker headers on the side, 327 fuel-injected", right? It's like uh, a competition clutch four on the floor. It's like (chuckles)... So we go over there, like, and we're feeling sorta mean, you know, because like the car is messed up and the girls they're really, they're really singing the blues now, you know. It's like (chuckles), their clothes all muddy and stuff. So we go over there and we knock on the thing, right? This guy has on the side big sign "Mars or bust". Sticks his head out, we explain him he ain't on Mars, we explain him that he's in New Jersey and that, not only that... So, he's in for some real trouble, and he's all out of luck and he just racked, smashed up my car, right? So the guy says "listen, just tell me how to get to the Jersey Turnpike so I can get out of here and get back to my home", right? So we sit, so we sit there and we're like, we said "nah, now we ain't telling you how to get no place till you fix the car". He says "I tell you what I'll do for you guys. I give you guys a wish. I'll give you guys one wish if you tell me how to get to the Turnpike". We thought about it for a while, he says "come on, what you guys wanna be? I can make you guys, wanna be emperors? You guys wanna be kings of the world? You wanna be, you wanna own your own Pizza Hut?", right. So we were thinking, like, like we're thinking of stuff so we said "ok we got it, we got it". So we talked out low, we came up and said "Mr. Spaceman, we wanna, our wish is we wanna, we wanna, we wanna be, we wanna, Mr. Spaceman, we wanna, we wanna, we wanna be Rock 'N' Roll stars.
I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, 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, 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
Well I hid in the mother breast of the crowd, they said "pull down" I pulled up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I said, let's do it!
The above lyrics are for the live 23 Mar 1977 performance of GROWIN' UP at Music Hall in Boston, MA, during what is known as The Lawsuit Tour. This was the second of four consecutive shows at the venue that concluded the tour. The song was played in a full-band, album-style arrangement, and featured a story in the break.
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]