Live 24 Mar 1977 version
[Spoken Intro:] Boys are gonna beat me up when I've had this show. I auditioned with this song to be a Rock 'N' Roll star.
[Spoken:] Let me see how, how did I do that, uh, oh...
I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
When I combed my hair till it looked just right and commanded the night brigade, say!
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain, I walked on a crooked crutch
I strode all alone into a fallout zone, came out with my soul untouched
Hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, they said "sit down", I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Well 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
I pushed B-52, bombed 'em with the blues, but my gear sat 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 said "shut up"
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Oh Big, come on!
[Spoken:] There I was. It was me and Miami, and the Big Man. We was riding down this dark road, back home in Jersey. When all of a sudden, I was flat out doing thirty miles an hour, all of a sudden boom! Flat tire, right? And we're way twenty miles out of town, we're out on the back roads, it's dark. Course we ain't got no spare in this old car, right? So like we were trying to figure out what we're gonna do. So we see off in the woods, we see this little light shining. So we said, "Hey, let's head for the light, maybe somebody lives over there, we can uh, check it out, right." So we go off, we were walking through the woods. Man, it's dark and there's all the woods noise and stuff. And we are like, we are scared as we can be, right, we were all huddling together. All of a sudden, we walk about half a mile in, and we come into this little clearing. And it's this gypsy lady sitting in the middle of the woods, right? Sitting there, right, looking at us, says, "You guys got a flat tire out there, huh?" We said, "Yeah, yeah." She says, "Well, I tell you what. Tonight's your lucky night. You stumbled onto the old gypsy lady here. You know, I ain't been in business too long." Said, "What're you doing out here in the woods?" Said, "I used to work in town, used to make that Love Potion Number 9." This was the same gypsy, right? They finally, they caught her cutting it with Hawaiian Punch and, like, the Union threw her outside of town. So she's standing out there, she's saying, "Listen, come on. You guys you got, tell you what, you guys got three wishes," right, "three wishes, gypsy lady gonna be generous tonight, just gotta hurry up, I got a midnight appointment with my analyst, come on kid, you're gonna make me late." So we're thinking, right, she said, "Miami, you gotta wish first. You wanna, tell me what you want, you wanna, you wanna be a millionaire? You wanna break the bank in Las Vegas? You wanna, you wanna know the winning numbers down at the track tomorrow?" For some reason, Miami opted for a red suit, right? Which immediately guaranteed him a lifetime membership in the band, right? So, boom! The gypsy lady hits him and he's standing there in a red suit looking cool as he can be. Goes to the next, the Big Man. Says, "Big Man, you tell me what you want. You want a new car? A harem full of women? Wanna be king?" For some reason the Big Man opted for a tuxedo, right? Right. This guy's got haberdashery on the mind, I couldn't figure it out. Just like magic. So she comes to me next. She says, "Okay, Boss, [chuckles] forget about these other two jerks, what are you gonna wish for? You wanna be emperor? You wanna be king? You wanna own your own Laundromat down on 20th and 5th? Want a shot on the 20 thousand dollars Pyramid?" I was thinking real hard. I thought about wishing for a spare tire so we could get outta there for one thing. [chuckles] Then I changed my mind. [chuckles] I said, "Gypsy lady, I got a good number and I know what I want. I want... See if you can cook this one up, I think I wanna be, think if I had a wish, if I only had one wish and it was the only wish I was ever gonna have in my whole life, I think I would wish it and I think I would wish that I wanna be, that I wanna be, that I wanna be, that I wanna be a Rock 'N' Roll star."
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 but I got a nice little place in the stars
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
[Spoken:] You asked, so it was cool.
The above lyrics are for the live 24 Mar 1977 performance of GROWIN' UP at Music Hall in Boston, MA, during what is known as The Lawsuit Tour. This was the third 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]