JOHNNY 99

Live 28 Jun 2009 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
He got a gun, shot a night clerk, they call him Johnny 99
Whoa!

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
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 and we'll call it even, Johnny 99

Sister Suzie!
[Soozie Tyrell violin solo]
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
[Roy Bittan piano solo]
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
Is there any intellectual in the house? [pointing at Roy Bittan]
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
[Nils Lofgren guitar solo]
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)

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

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

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
Sit down in that chair, think it over, Judge, one more time
And shave off my hair, put me on that killing line

Little Steven!
[guitar solo]
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
Give me some rock and roll guitar!
(Hoo-hoo)
Turn it up, Miami!
(Hoo-hoo)
Turn the ???
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
Come on Steve!
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
I hear a train!
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)

(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
Whoa!
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
[music stops]
[guitar snippet, crowd cheers]
[guitar snippet, crowd cheers]
[guitar snippet, crowd cheers]
[guitar snippet, crowd cheers]
[guitar snippet, crowd cheers]
[guitar snippet, crowd cheers]
One! Two! Three!
[music resumes]
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)
(Hoo-hoo)


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 28 Jun 2009 performance of JOHNNY 99 at Hyde Park in London, England, during the Working On A Dream Tour. This was during the Hard Rock Calling Festival, and the song was played in a full-band rock arrangement. The complete 28 Jun 2009 show was officially released in 2010 on the London Calling: Live In Hyde Park home video (see the below section).

Bruce Springsteen performing JOHNNY 99 on 28 Jun 2009 at Hyde Park, London, England (from the "London Calling: Live In Hyde Park" DVD)
Bruce Springsteen performing JOHNNY 99 on 28 Jun 2009 at Hyde Park, London, England (from the "London Calling: Live In Hyde Park" DVD)

London Calling: Live In Hyde Park

Hard Rock Calling is a music festival held at Hyde Park in London, England, around early summer each year since 2006, and spans the period of two or three days. The festival is organized by Hard Rock Cafe and Live Nation.

During their Working On A Dream Tour, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performed on the last day (28 Jun 2009) of the festival and their performance, was captured with High Definition (HD) cameras and was released in its complete form on DVD the following year. The film was officially released on 22 Jun 2010, though it premiered on the big screen in a 90-minute edited version on 05 Jun 2010 at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Museum in Cleveland, OH. The 90-minute cut was also screened in June 2010 various theaters across the United States, with benefits going either to the venue itself in the case of non-profit theater, of The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund.

Promotional poster for the 28 Jun 2009 show at Hyde Park, London, England
Promotional poster for the 28 Jun 2009 show at Hyde Park, London, England
Handwritten setlist for the 28 Jun 2009 show at Hyde Park, London, England
Handwritten setlist for the 28 Jun 2009 show at Hyde Park, London, England

The film is credited to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and is titled "London Calling: Live In Hyde Park". The release takes its name from LONDON CALLING, the Clash classic that Springsteen opened the show with.

In addition to the complete 28 Jun 2009 concert, the release also contains performances of three songs from other shows: an instrumental version of RAISE YOUR HAND from an unknown performance plays over the closing credits, and THE RIVER from Glastonbury Festival and music video for WRECKING BALL recorded at Giants Stadium are included as bonus tracks.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- London Calling: Live In Hyde Park (DVD cover art)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- London Calling: Live In Hyde Park (DVD cover art)

London Calling: Live In Hyde Park charted and peaked at #1 in several countries, including:

Country Chart Weeks at #1 Weeks in chart Charting period
USA 1
Canada 1
UK 1
Ireland 2
Germany 3
Austria 1
Switzerland 1
Denmark 4
Norway 5
Sweden 2
Finland 2
Australia 5
New Zealand 6

The video was directed by Chris Hilson and edited by Emmy- and Grammy-winner Thom Zimny, with audio mixed by Bob Clearmountain (including 5.1 surround) and mastered by Bob Ludwig. London Calling: Live In Hyde Park was released on 22 Jun 2010 on one Blu-Ray disc and as a two DVD set.

Disc 1 (2-DVD set format):

  1. LONDON CALLING
  2. BADLANDS
  3. NIGHT
  4. SHE'S THE ONE
  5. OUTLAW PETE
  6. OUT IN THE STREET
  7. WORKING ON A DREAM
  8. SEEDS
  9. JOHNNY 99
  10. YOUNGSTOWN
  11. GOOD LOVIN'
  12. BOBBY JEAN
  13. TRAPPED
  14. NO SURRENDER
  15. WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY
  16. THE PROMISED LAND
  17. RACING IN THE STREET
  18. RADIO NOWHERE
  19. LONESOME DAY

Disc 2 (2-DVD set format):

  1. THE RISING
  2. BORN TO RUN
  3. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
  4. HARD TIMES (COME AGAIN NO MORE)
  5. JUNGLELAND
  6. AMERICAN LAND
  7. GLORY DAYS
  8. DANCING IN THE DARK
  9. RAISE YOUR HAND [instrumental, under end credit sequence]
  10. THE RIVER [27 Jun 2009, Glastonbury Festival]
  11. WRECKING BALL [2009, Giants Stadium]

Blu-ray format:

  • All 30 tracks on a single disc

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