Live 14 Dec 1984 version
[Spoken intro:] This is uh... it's always kind of special when we come down here to Memphis because... it's hard and you can't come down to this town without thinking about all the great music that's come out of here. And uh... you certainly can't come down without thinking about Elvis. And... it was back in 1978, I came down here and we did a show and it was about 3 in the morning and I got into this taxi cab, me and uh... and my friend Steven. And we went out to Elvis's house. That was earlier, it was earlier, must've been right in the mid-seventies. And I remember I seen the light on in the window and for some reason I jumped over the wall and I tried to get to the front door (chuckles). And I got up there and, and I remember the guards came out and they said, "What do you want?" And I said, "Well, I wanna see Elvis." (chuckles) And, and they said, "Well, he's in Lake Tahoe." And you know. I said, "Oh, but no, see, like, I'm Bruce Springsteen, I was on the cover of Time and Newsweek." (chuckles) They said, "Oh yeah, sure you were. Oh yeah. Alright, well, just, just step out this way, please, here, so." (chuckles) But uh... I don't know, I don't know what I would've said to him if I had seen him. I guess, probably would've just stood there with a stupid look on my face. But uh... Anyway, I loved him. This is called "Bye Bye Johnny".
Well she drew out all her money from the Southern Trust
And put her little boy on the Greyhound Bus
Leaving Memphis with a guitar in his hand
On a one-way ticket to the promised land
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
The man on the radio says Elvis Presley's died
We drove down into Memphis, the sky was hard and black
Up over the ridge came a white Cadillac
They'd drawn out all his money and they laid him in the back
A woman cried from the roadside, "Johnny please come back"
They found him slumped up against the drain
With a whole lot of trouble just running through his veins
Bye-bye Johnny, Johnny bye-bye
You didn't have to die, you didn't have to die
Train I ride, sixteen coaches long
The above lyrics are for the live 14 Dec 1984 performance of JOHNNY BYE-BYE at Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, TN, during the Born In The U.S.A. Tour. The song was played in a full-band rock arrangement very similar to the official studio version and ending with a line from Junior Parker's (and Elvis Presley's hit) MYSTERY TRAIN.
List of available versions of JOHNNY BYE-BYE on this website:JOHNNY BYE-BYE [Official studio version]