GROWIN' UP

Live 07 Jul 1978 version

[Spoken intro:] This is for a fellow sent me a note backstage. Said he's here with his son who's six years old. Are you here any place? The cat that sent the note? Is that you? It was a fine note, and, uh, this was his son's first rock show or something, rock concert? I forgot his name. [chuckles] It was Jason or something. And uh, this is for him and this is for everybody else that's still growing up.
There I was... Gotta get my buttons straight. There, I got it.
There I was one night, just a normal guy. And then, there I was the next night -- goddamn it I was still just a normal guy. I was...


Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
Then I combed 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
I strode all alone into a fallout zone and 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
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
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:] I think, I ain't sure, but I think my mother and father and my sister, they're here again tonight. Hey, are you guys out there? You're over there? For six years, they've been following me around California, trying to get me to come back home. Hey Ma! Give it up, Ma! Give me a break! They're still [chuckles] [someone in the crowd: where are they?] I don't know. They're over there somewhere. But, [audience voice: get them to take a bow] you know, they're still trying to get me to go back to college. Every time I come in the house, "You know, it's not too late, you can still go back to college," they tell me. I say, "Alright, alright, Ma". But it's funny, 'cause when I was growin' up, there were two things that were unpopular in my house. One was me, and the other one was my guitar. And my father, he used to sit in the kitchen. And we had this grate, like the heat's supposed to come through, except it wasn't hooked up to any, any like, heating ducts. It was just open, straight down to the kitchen. And there was a gas stove right underneath it. And when I used to start playing, he used to turn on the gas jets and try to smoke me out of my room. I'd end up out on the, out on the roof or something, you know. And he used to always refer to this guitar, you know, never "Fender guitar", "Gibson guitar", it was always the "goddamned guitar", you know. Whenever he stuck his head into my door, that's all I'd hear: "Turn down the goddamned guitar." You know. He used to try to get me to be a lawyer. And it was funny 'cause I was in a motorcycle accident when I was 17. And like, this cat just, you know, ran head on into me and then got out and yelled at me for ruining his Cadillac. And we had like a suit, a legal suit. And my father took me down to this lawyer in town. His name was Billy Boyle, and he later became mayor, which, uh, and anyway, I went down there, and he looked at me, he said, "Oh man, I gotta defend this?" I looked about, just about exactly the same way I look right now. And uh, and like I remember, we were going to court, right? The day of the suit. Like I got, I'm like in the right! I just got hit, and my leg's messed up. And I remember my lawyer telling me, "If I was the judge, I'd find you guilty!" You know? I don't know for what. For being, just for being there, I guess, you know. And I said... But anyway, my father always said "You know, you should be a lawyer. You know, you get, get a little something for yourself." You know? Then my mother, you know, she used to say "No, no, no, no. He should be, he should be an author. He should write books. You know, you should... That's a good life, you can get a little something for yourself." Well, like, what they didn't understand was, was that I wanted everything. [some woman in the crowd: you got it!] And so you guys, you, one of you guys wanted a lawyer, and the other one wanted an author. Well, tonight, youse are both just gonna have to settle for Rock 'N' Roll.

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 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 "sit down" I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Growin' up
Yeah!

It was bye bye New Jersey, we were airborne!


Page last updated: 19 Sep 2010

Info

The above lyrics are for the live 07 Jul 1978 performance of GROWIN' UP at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA, 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.

This concert was originally broadcast live on the now-defunct local KMET-FM radio station, and later became one of the main source concerts for the Live/1975-85 box set which includes eight recordings from this show, including GROWIN' UP, but the recording of the song has been altered prior to the official release:

  • The spoken intro is shortened; the part in red was not included. On the box set, the track starts from "There I was one night, just a normal guy..."
  • For legal reasons, the "Lawyer" rap was slightly cut and shortened; the "His name was Billy Boyle..." part in red was edited out.
  • The "It was bye bye New Jersey, we were airborne!" line at the end is not from the original source tape; it was added from another show.

The Live/1975-85 Box Set

With the Born In The USA album and tour, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band reached the highest level of rock stardom. Columbia Records was expecting a follow up studio album and tour that would, like it's predecessor, achieve a huge commercial success. Instead, Springsteen released Live/1975-85, an over-three-hours-and-a-half-long live compilation album consisting of 40 tracks recorded at various concerts between 1975 and 1985.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge/reduce artwork]

The set was produced by Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, and Bruce Springsteen, and hit the stores on 10 Nov 1986. It was released as a box set with either five vinyl records, three cassettes, or three CDs. Live/1975-85 is the first album to be credited to "Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band" instead of "Bruce Springsteen" only.

The highly-anticipated live album generated advance orders of more than 1.5 million copies, making it the largest dollar-volume pre-order in the history of the record business at the time. Record stores around the country found fans waiting in line on Monday morning before opening and one New York store reportedly sold the album right off the back of the delivery truck. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart and also became the first five-record set to reach the top 10 and the first to sell over a million copies. Live/1975-85 is the second-best-selling live album in U.S. history based on RIAA certification. It has been certified by the RIAA for 13 times platinum, trailing only Garth Brooks' Double Live.

Live/1975-85 disc 1 track list (CD format):

1.THUNDER ROADRecorded live on 18 Oct 1975 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
2.ADAM RAISE A CAINRecorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
3.SPIRIT IN THE NIGHTRecorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
4.4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY)Recorded live on 31 Dec 1980 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
5.PARADISE BY THE CRecorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
6.FIRERecorded live on 16 Dec 1978 at Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
7.GROWIN' UPRecorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
8.IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITYRecorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
9.BACKSTREETSRecorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
10.ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)Recorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
11.RAISE YOUR HANDRecorded live on 07 Jul 1978 at The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
12.HUNGRY HEARTRecorded live on 28 Dec 1980 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
13.TWO HEARTSRecorded live on 08 Jul 1981 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ

Live/1975-85 disc 2 track list (CD format):

1.CADILLAC RANCHRecorded live on 06 Jul 1981 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
2.YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)Recorded live on 29 Dec 1980 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
3.INDEPENDENCE DAYRecorded live on 06 Jul 1981 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
4.BADLANDSRecorded live on 05 Nov 1980 at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
5.BECAUSE THE NIGHTRecorded live on 28 Dec 1980 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
6.CANDY'S ROOMRecorded live on 08 Jul 1981 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
7.DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWNRecorded live on 29 Dec 1980 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
8.RACING IN THE STREETRecorded live on 06 Jul 1981 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
9.THIS LAND IS YOUR LANDRecorded live on 28 Dec 1980 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
10.NEBRASKARecorded live on 06 Aug 1984 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
11.JOHNNY 99Recorded live on 19 Aug 1985 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
12.REASON TO BELIEVERecorded live on 19 Aug 1984 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
13.BORN IN THE USARecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
14.SEEDSRecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

Live/1975-85 disc 3 track list (CD format):

1.THE RIVERRecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
2.WARRecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
3.DARLINGTON COUNTYRecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
4.WORKING ON THE HIGHWAYRecorded live on 19 Aug 1985 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
5.THE PROMISED LANDRecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
6.COVER MERecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
7.I'M ON FIRERecorded live on 19 Aug 1985 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
8.BOBBY JEANRecorded live on 21 Aug 1985 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
9.MY HOMETOWNRecorded live on 30 Sep 1985 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
10.BORN TO RUNRecorded live on 19 Aug 1985 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
11.NO SURRENDERRecorded live on 06 Aug 1984 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
12.TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUTRecorded live on 20 Aug 1984 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
13.JERSEY GIRLRecorded live on 09 Jul 1981 at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ

Other Official Releases

The live 07 Jul 1978 version of GROWIN' UP can also be found on one Bruce Springsteen promo-only sampler.


Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Live 1975-1985 Digest CD

CD-R – Sony (no catalogue number) – Japan, 2005

Japan-only promotional "Digest" CD-R advance sampler tying in with the release of the Japanese 2005 "mini-LP"-style CD album reissue of Live/1975-85. This disc comes in a plain slimline jewel case with no artwork.

Available Versions

List of available versions of GROWIN' UP on this website:

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake).