JOHNNY 99

Live 19 Aug 1985 version


[Spoken intro:] How you doing tonight, New Jersey? (cheers) Alright!
Whoa! I'm gonna get you. Alright. ???


[P]Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late that month
Ralph went out looking for a job but he couldn't find none
He came home too drunk from mixing Tanqueray and wine
He got a gun, shot a night clerk, now they call him Johnny 99

Down in the part of town where when you hit a red light you don't stop
Johnny's waving his gun around, threatening to blow his top
When an off-duty cop snuck up on him from behind
Out in front of the Club Tip Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99

Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was Mean John Brown
He came into the courtroom and stared young Johnny down
Said the evidence is clear, gonna let the sentence son fit the crime
Prison for 98 and a year and we'll call it even, Johnny 99

]Spoken:] ??? gonna like that!

Well a fistfight broke out in the courtroom, they had to drag Johnny's girl away
His mama stood up and shouted, "Judge, don't take my boy this way"
Well son you got any statement you'd like to make
Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away

Well judge, judge, I had debts no honest man can pay
The bank was holding my mortgage, they were gonna take my house away
Well now I ain't saying that makes me an innocent man
But it was more and all this, judge, that put that gun in my hand

Now your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead
So if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head
Then sit back in that chair and think it over, Judge, one more time
Let 'em shave off my hair and put me on that killing line

[Spoken outro:] Come on let's do it now!


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 19 Aug 1985 performance of JOHNNY 99 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, during the Born In The U.S.A. Tour. This live 19 Aug 1985 performance of JOHNNY 99 was included on the Live/1975-85 box set in 1986. The spoken intro is edited out on the official release.

Ticket stub for the 19 Aug 1985 show at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Ticket stub for the 19 Aug 1985 show at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed six concerts at Giants Stadium between 18 Aug and 01 Spe 1984. These shows later became one of the main sources for the Live/1975-85 box set which includes five recordings from these shows: four from 19 Aug 1985 and one from 21 Aug 1985.

The Live/1975-85 Box Set

With the Born In The U.S.A. 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.

Bruce Springsteen -- Live/1975-85
Bruce Springsteen -- Live/1975-85

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.

Disc 1 (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 "C"Recorded 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

Disc 2 (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 29 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 U.S.A.Recorded 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

Disc 3 (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

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Born To Run Live
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Born To Run Live

2x7" EP - CBS (BRUCE B2) - UK, 1987

UK-only box set containing two 7" singles, Born To Run Live and "Spirit In The Night / Because The Night", the latter being exclusive to this box set. All four tracks are taken from the Live/1975-85 box set.

A1- BORN TO RUN [Live 19 Aug 1985 version]
B1- JOHNNY 99 [Live 19 Aug 1985 version]
C1- SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
D1- BECAUSE THE NIGHT [Live 28 Dec 1980 version]

Available Versions

List of available versions of JOHNNY 99 on this website:

JOHNNY 99 [Album version]
JOHNNY 99 [Home demo version 1]
JOHNNY 99 [Home demo version 2]
JOHNNY 99 [Live 21 Sep 1984 version]
JOHNNY 99 [Live 19 Aug 1985 version]
JOHNNY 99 [Live 18 Nov 2006 version]
JOHNNY 99 [Live 28 Jun 2009 version]
JOHNNY 99 [Live 21 Sep 2009 version]
JOHNNY 99 [Johnny Cash's cover version]

Page last updated: 25 May 2014