‘Johnny 99.’

Johnny 99, Bruce Springsteen

…Dammit, Bruce. Judge Brown may have been mean, but it was flat-out Murder 2 and everybody knew it. What the hell was the man supposed to do? Nobody forced Johnny to get drunk, grab a gun, and you know, shoot a night clerk. You remember the night clerk, right, Bruce? Where’s his song?

Sorry. This has been bugging me all damned day.

Moe Lane

PS: I concede that 99 years for Murder 2 is a bit much, but that’s artistic license: Johnny “Thirty Years to Life” (which would be the more likely sentence in New Jersey) doesn’t scan as well.

3 thoughts on “‘Johnny 99.’”

  1. 35 years later it astounds me not so much that Johnny Cash covered this and “Highway Patrolman” — these, I well understand — but that he never got around to covering “I’m On Fire.” Which is clearly an homage.

    1. To be fair, while “I’m on Fire” may indeedhomage “Ring of Fire”
      .. which was a June Carter Cash song written for Johnny Cash to sing …
      … the Springsteen protagonist, if you listen to the lyrics, is a serious mess ..
      I can see not wanting to sing that about myself.

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