Live 15 Aug 1978 version
[Spoken Intro:] I remember, it was after long series of tests in the basement of my brother-in-law's mobile home that we discovered, when I was 13 years old, that I was a teenage werewolf. And this was okay for a while, you know, I'm 13, full moon, but the novelty soon wore off. And as the years went by, my mother and the sisters at the school decided that I needed psychiatric attention. So they sent me down to the doctor, and I laid on the couch and the doc got out his book, said, "Son, when did you first start acting like this?" I said, "Well, Doc, let me think back. Oh, I remember very well, it was around 1965, I was down along the boardwalk. I looked up one night, there was a full moon, the sky full of stars. All of a sudden this hair started growing all over my face, my fingers got longer, my pants got tighter, and a gold guitar stuck out of my left side. Thank you, Jesus. And I remember, Doc, before that, I remember," I said, "I felt like I was nothing; and after that night, I knew that I was nothing with a whole lotta hair. (chuckles)
And I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
I honed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade
Well, I was open to pain and crossed by the rain, I walked on a crooked crutch
Strode all alone into a fallout zone, 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
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
Well I pushed B-52, bombed 'em with the blues with my gear set stubborn on standing
Well I broke all the rules, strafed my old high school, never once gave thought to landing
Hid in the clouded warmth of the crowd, when they said "come down" I threw up
I will be assisted by my colleague!
[Spoken:] This went on all through high school, and it was then that my parents and the local police force decided that I was more than nothing with a whole lotta hair. I was definitely a big pain in the ass. So they decided to hunt me down, and they knew at the time I was haunting the arcades of Asbury Park, and one night, they cornered me up on top of the ferris wheel. I jumped down onto the roof of the Palace Amusements, jumped down out on the Kingsley Avenue, hit Asbury Avenue and started making a beeline to the Route 35 Circle. And by this time I had Asbury Park police force after me, and I had the state cops. Finally I got on the New Jersey Turnpike, and I was hustling down the road, remember that, and they called out, everybody, they called out the National Guard! I think they called out, they called out the Army, too! The Navy, the Marines, and any Cub Scout they could find. I had 'em all on my trail, and they were getting on me, they were getting on me, and all of a sudden, up around Exit 109, a black Sedan pulled over, and I looked through the window onto the front seat, and laying on the floor was a saxophone.
[Clarence saxophone break]
I remember he rolled down the window, he said, "Hey, kid, what did you do?" I said, "I'm a werewolf, man, teenage variety." He says, "Well, I don't know what that is but I like your style, and if you need a ride, hop in." So I hopped in, I said, "Man, put this thing to the floor." Clarence jammed to the floor and man, we must've, we must've, we must've been doing 55! (We've got to stop!) We were tearing it up! And all I heard from behind me was the chief of the Asbury police force sticking his head out the window of car number 1 with a megaphone saying, "Stop that man with the gold guitar!"
I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, you know it's really hard to hold your breath
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
Hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down"...
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
[Spoken Outro:] I said, bye-bye, New Jersey! I was airborne.
The above lyrics are for the live 15 Aug 1978 performance of GROWIN' UP at Capital Centre in Largo, MD, during the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour. The song was played in a full-band, album-style arrangement, and featured a story in the break.
Almost complete pro-shot video footage from this concert is in the hands of collectors.
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]