I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Album: Bone Machine (1992)

Songfacts®:

  • This is a song about conformism - not wanting to participate in the world as it is: "I don't wanna live in a big old tomb on Grand Street." Waits has always been very non-conformist, eschewing publicity and taking long absences from recording. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Darren - Sunrise, FL
  • The Ramones covered "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" on their 1995 farewell album, ¡Adios Amigos!.
  • A pair of lines in the first verse may allude back to Waits's "Rain Dogs": "How do you move in a world of fog, that's always changing things/Makes me wish that I could be a dog."
  • Film director Jim Jarmusch used to consider music videos as a movie in miniature until he got into a fight with Tom Waits over the making of the one for this song. Jarmush explained to Uncut magazine: "He wanted me to cut it differently, and I said, that 'it's like a film I'm making, Tom,' and, and he said, 'no, it's a commercial for this song. If people are watching TV, I don't want them changing channel. If you can pop this crazy image in the earlier, it would help this, that, blah blah blah.'"

    "We had a big fight in which I dropped him in an enclosed parking lot behind a metal door in LA in the middle of the night," Jarmush added. "He was pounding on the door. I vividly remember the insult, which no one has ever said to me again. He yelled through the door, 'God dammit, Jim, I'm going to glue your hair to the wall.' At which point I let him back in. It was a fight between friends. We reconciled."

Comments: 1

  • Oldpink from Farmland, InThe video for this song is really strange, with a guy wearing a bad devil outfit riding a tricycle, and Waits "playing" a ukulele the size of a TV remote under a table.
    Beavis & Butt-Head's comments while watching the video were really funny, though.
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