JOHNNY 99

Live 18 Nov 2006 version


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
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

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

[instrumental]

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"
Son you got any statement you'd like to make
Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away

Now judge, judge, I had debts no honest man could pay
The bank was holding my mortgage, they taking my house away
Well now I ain't saying that makes me an innocent man
It was more and all this, judge, that put that gun in my hand

Well your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead
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

Yeah!

Say! Say!

[instrumental]

[Spoken outro:] Yes indeed! The mighty Sessions horn section right there!


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 19 Nov 2006 performance of JOHNNY 99 at Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, during The Seeger Sessions Tour. The song was played in a radically revamped full-band arrangement.

Ticket stub for the 18 Nov 2006 show at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
Ticket stub for the 18 Nov 2006 show at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
(Taken from Brucebase)

Official Release

The live 18 Nov 2006 version of JOHNNY 99 was exclusively released on the Bruce Springsteen With The Sessions Band PBS Exclusive EP in 2007.

Bruce Springsteen With The Sessions Band -- Bruce Springsteen With The Sessions Band PBS Exclusive
Bruce Springsteen With The Sessions Band -- Bruce Springsteen With The Sessions Band PBS Exclusive

CD EP - Columbia (88697 11292 2) - USA, 2007

This US-only promotional EP was issued in Spring 2007 as a unique bonus item given exclusively to donors supporting the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) programming with a minimum pledge of $90. The EP contains five live tracks recorded during the three-night stand in Dublin but left off the Live In Dublin album and home video releases. None of these five tracks has been officially available elsewhere.

01- BOBBY JEAN [Live 18 Nov 2006 version]
02- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Nov 2006 version]
03- JOHNNY 99 [Live 18 Nov 2006 version]
04- FOR YOU [Live 19 Nov 2006 version]
05- MY CITY OF RUINS [Live 17 Nov 2006 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: 02 Jan 2016