Live 01 Sep 1978 version
[Spoken Intro:] Let me think. Where did this all begin? Well, I remember, it was the night after my 13th birthday, I looked outside, and there was a full moon. [crowd howls] Didn't think nothing of it, so I went to bed.
[Roy plays a bit of "Frère Jacques"]
I kept being woken by this strange sound. [crowd howls] I went into the bathroom, I looked in the mirror. I had on my football pyjamas. When I looked in the mirror, all of a sudden I realized that I had hair growin' all over my face. All over my body too, my fingers got longer and out the side, right around the goalposts, popped a gold guitar. Thought I was dreaming, went back to bed. I awoke the next morning to another strange sound, [crowd howls] went to school, ate my arithmetic, ate my book, and pissed in my desk. Got sent home, was told by the Sisters that I needed deep psychiatric attention. My mother took me over to my brother-in-law, he was a practicing nut, and in the basement of his mobile home we went through long scientific experiments until it was discovered that by some strange coincidence, I was a teenage werewolf. Now, this would scare some guys. I took it in stride. I passed out. This went on and on until finally they took me to a doctor. He strapped me down on this bed, I was growling and growling, they didn't realize that it wasn't I was sick, I was trying to get at the nurse. Anyway, the doc comes over to me, he says, "Kid, when did you start acting this way?" I said, "Doc, I'm glad you asked me that, because one night I looked outside my window, there was this big bright light, and Doc, as sure as I'm lying here strapped to this bed with this hair all over my face,...
I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
And I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade
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
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 wrath of the crowd, when they said "come down" I threw up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Big Man, assist me please!
[Spoken:] This went on for years. Every full moon I'd grow all this hair, this guitar'd come out, I used to haunt the arcades in Asbury Park. But one day, my mother and father got together with the local police and decided that I was now much more than a public nuisance, I was definitely a big fucking pain in the ass. So they tried to catch me, they tried to track me down. I was on top of the ferris wheel at the Palace Amusements, they surrounded it with a trove of cop cars, I jumped down onto the roof, down into the middle of Kingsley Avenue. Got on Asbury Avenue, started heading out towards the Route 35 Circle, hit the Route 35 Circle, got on Route 33 all the way into Freehold, hit the Freehold Circle, went straight out heading straight for the New Jersey Turnpike. But by now I had the Asbury Park police force, the Freehold local police, I had, I had, um, the state police, I had the United States Army, I had the United States Navy, I had the United States Marines, all on my trail. Well, I hit the New Jersey Turnpike and the motor cooled down, the heat cooled down, that's when I heard that highway sound, rain was blowing under my hood, knew that was doing the engine good. But they were catching up, and all of a sudden, a black Sedan pulled over on the side of the road. I looked through the front window and on the front seat I saw a saxophone.
[Clarence saxophone break]
The driver rolled down the window, said, "Kid, I don't know what you done, but how'd you get your hair that way? Step inside, I like your style." I got in the passenger seat, Clarence slammed it to the floor, we were in a Earl Scheib Special, we must've been doing, we must've hit, I don't wanna exaggerate, no, we must, we were, we were going, now we were going that fast, we were. We were going, I got, we got, we, we must've hit 55! Now I stuck my head out the window and something else too and all I could hear was the chief of the Asbury Park police yelling through the megaphone: "Somebody stop that son of a bitch with that gold guitar!" But it was too late!
I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, you know it's really hard to hold your breath
I swear I've 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:] Kept driving till we saw a sign that said, "Welcome to Detroit." It was bye-bye New Jersey -- I was airborne.
The above lyrics are for the live 01 Sep 1978 performance of GROWIN' UP at Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit, MI, 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.
The lines in red in the spoken rap are taken from the Chuck Berry song MAYBELLENE.
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]