JOHNNY BYE-BYE

Live 24 Aug 1981 version


[Spoken intro:] This is uh... Tom, I wanna do this for you, you know, if you're out there, this is a song that uh... I wrote uh... about Elvis Presley. You know, it's uh... I remember he was kind of... I mean when I was nine years old and my mom had on the Ed Sullivan Show and I first seen him come on, you know... And I made my mother go out and, and rent me this guitar so I could try and learn how to play it. But I only played it for about six months and then I gave up... till I was about 13. But after uh... to me, he was like, he was like the father of my country, you know, he, he showed me a lot. And uh... after he died I thought a lot about what had happened to him and how, how you can, how somebody who had so much could end up, could end up that way because, uh, he deserved a lot better than he got.

Well she drew out all her money from the Southern Trust
And she put her little boy on a Greyhound bus
Leaving Memphis with a guitar in his hand
On a one-way ticket to the promised land

Now hey little girl with the red dress on
There's a party tonight down in Memphis town
I'll be going down there if you need a ride
Come on, come on, let's go tonight

How many have fallen with their dream denied
Now tell me baby are you lonesome tonight
'Cause a man on the radio says Elvis Presley died
Come on, come on, let's go tonight

Down in Dixie tonight the sky is hard and black
Come on up over the ridge one long white Cadillac
People standing on the roadside waiting in the heat
Bound together forever in the promise of an endless sleep

Well they found him slumped up against the drain
With a whole lot of nothing running through these veins
Now bye-bye Johnny, oh Johnny bye-bye
You didn't have to die, you didn't have to die


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 24 Aug 1981 performance of JOHNNY BYE-BYE at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, CA, during The River Tour. The song was played in a stripped down band arrangement. It was dedicated to Tom Waits who later made a guest appearance during the show. During this tour JOHNNY BYE-BYE featured lyrics different from the known studio versions of the song. See the official studio version for more details.

Ticket stub for the 24 Aug 1981 show at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
Ticket stub for the 24 Aug 1981 show at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
(Taken from Brucebase)
Pass for the 24 Aug 1981 show at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
Pass for the 24 Aug 1981 show at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performed a series of six concerts in August 1981 at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. At first four concerts were announced (20, 21, 23, and 24 Aug 1981) and two more were later added (27 and 28 Aug 1981). The first of the six shows was a benefit concert in support of the Vietnam Veterans Of America, an organization founded by former U.S. Marine lieutenant and disabled Vietnam veteran Bobby Muller.

Promotional ad for the August 1981 six-night stand at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
Promotional ad for the August 1981 six-night stand at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
(Taken from Brucebase)

Available Versions

List of available versions of JOHNNY BYE-BYE on this website:

JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Official studio version]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Unofficial studio version 1]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Unofficial studio version 2]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Unofficial studio version 3]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Live 13 May 1981 version]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Live 24 Aug 1981 version]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Live 13 Sep 1981 version]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Live 16 Aug 1984 version]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Live 02 Nov 1984 version]
JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Live 14 Dec 1984 version]

Page last updated: 25 Oct 2015