Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special You Can't Call Me Al Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental Groinal Aerodynamics consultant Fah Lo Suee and I will be heading for the hills now that Attorney General Eric Holder has made the New York City area a terrorist target again. Seriously, what was he thinking?

As a result, posting by moi will be sporadic for a couple of days, or at least until we find an abandoned bomb shelter from the 60s. Preferably in Dayton, Ohio, which nobody, let alone a terrorist, would ever go to.

But in the meantime, here's a fun little project for us all:

Most Memorable Post-Elvis Record Featuring the Name Johnny in the Title or Lyrics!!!

Totally arbitrary rules: I'm stretching this to include songs with the name John. Jack, however, is verboten. So bite me, Billy Joel and that "Captain Jack" shit.

And my totally top of my head Top Six are:

6. Devo -- Come Back Jonee

Probably the closest the Spud Boys ever came to a conventional rock song, or power pop for that matter. Great stuff in any case.

5. The Rolling Stones -- Bye Bye Johnny

Chuck Berry's sequel to "Johnny B. Goode", obviously, and the Stones have owned it for years, at least live. This early studio version is a little more raggedy than most of their Berry covers, but it does have a certain atmosphere.

4. X -- Johnny Hit and Run Pauline

You know, with the benefit of hindsight, the term punk rock seems a bit of a misnomer for these guys. I mean, they seem so utterly traditional in a lot of ways (Billy Zoom's hot rockabilly guitar, for example) and I mean that in a good way.

3. The Mystery Trend -- Johnny Was a Good Boy

One of the more obscure of the original San Francisco bands, but one of the best (you can read a very good bio on them here).

2. The Killers -- Uncle Johnny

Not actually nuts about this song (or the band, come to think of it) but since I can't find a Johnny song featuring Billy Corgan's pretentious cueball noggin, I thought it would be nice to have at least one entry recorded in this century.

And the numero uno tune about some young guy nobody calls Jack, at least in my presence, obviously is --

1. Warren Zevon -- Johnny Strikes Up the Band

The best "Let's get this show on the road!" song in all of rock. I hadn't seen this live version before, but it totally kicks ass, and in stereo, so you're welcome.

Alrighty then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- today's theme: respectable but awful films you really wish had been eviscerated on Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way to heading over there and leaving a nice snarky little comment, it would show management that I'm worth every penny of my truly exorbitant freelance rate. Thanks!]


The Kenosha Kid said...

A. You took all the best ones
B. My list:

Sloop John B - Beach Boys
Uncle John's Band - Dead
Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
Johnny Thunder - The Kinks

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

one of the survivors -- kinks (the continuing story of johnny thunder)

John Fowler said...

Here are some other good ones, I'll volunteer:

Starting with three (3!) from Liz Phair -

"Johnny Sunshine" from Exile in Guyville

"Dance of the Seven Veils", also from Exile
Bonus, a week late, includes an entry for last week's Listomania:
"He can probably skip the 'until death' part/ 'cause Johnny my love, you're already dead"

"Johnny Feelgood" from whitechocolatespaceegg
not up there with the first two, but not bad

Neville Brothers - "Brother John/ Iko Iko" from Fiyo on the Bayou - another two-song medley, to go with our early clue

Neko Case - "John Saw That Number" from Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

and, well,

The Beatles - "The Ballad of John and Yoko"

danny1959 said...

"Johnny and Mary" by Robert Palmer

Dave said...

Can't dis' Shelley Fabares and Joanie Sommers ("Johnny Angel" and "Johnny Get Angry").

I know it's corny, but I can't help but be moved by Dion's "Abraham Martin and John"

dave™© said...

Also somewhat corny: "Empty Garden," Elton John's tribute to John Lennon ("hey, hey, Johnny - can you come out to play?").

dave™© said...

Another good one: "Johnny 99" by Springsteen.

steve simels said...

Ooh -- I'd totally forgotten the Elton John. One of the few songs of his that I genuinely like, now that I think of it.

MBowen said...

John The Gun - Sandy Denny

The Day John Henry Died - Drive-by Truckers

Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers

Johnny's In The Mines - The Individuals

John Wilkes Booth - Donner Party

Johnny Can't Read - Don Henley

Little Johnny Jewel - Television

Johnny's Far Away - Richard Thompson

John Barleycorn Must Live - The Minus 5

The New John Agar - The Young Fresh Fellows

steve simels said...

The New John Agar - The Young Fresh Fellows

There's a song about John Agar?

I'm speechless....

Feral said...

Farmer John & Powderfinger - Neil Young

Number Nine Dream - John Lennon (backwards even)

And if you can't have Smashing Pumpkins you can have some Bowie - John, I'm Only Dancing.

David said...

Wow, so many good ones already mentioned, but here are a few oldies but goodies:
Johnny Guitar: Peggy Lee (1961, fyi)
Johnny Remember Me: John Leyton
The Rebel-Johnny Yuma: Johnny Cash
Johnny Come Home: Fine Young Cannibals
Johnny Appleseed: Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros
Johnny: Suicide

Gummo said...

Neil Young: My My Hey Hey ("This is the story of Johnny Rotten")

Jon said...

They came from the 80s:

" Johnny Are You Queer" Josie Cotton
"Be Good Johnny" Men at Work
"Geraldine & John" -- Joe Jackson

Anonymous said...

Prefab Sprout

Anonymous said...

Johnny's Gonna Die - The Replacements!

jeff said...

John Wesley Harding - Dylan

MJConroy said...

another one from Nuggets-
Farmer John - The Premiers

jeff said...

If I may add a few more favorites: Procol Harum's "Juicy John Pink" and "For Liquorice John", and the lovely "Spanish Johnny" by Waylon Jenkins & Emmylou Harris

steve simels said...

Well, since I'm allowing lyrics, obviously I have to pimp for Spanish Johnny in Springsteen's "Incident on 57th Street."

Kid Charlemagne said...

The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad

Libby Spencer said...

If John Barleycorn Must Live, then you have to also mention, John Barleycorn Must Die - Traffic.

Noam Sane said...

Detroit Johnny don’t wear no tie, ‘cause he says it hurts his neck
He’s got a chick from Ecuador tonight
She wants to talk about the moon, she says it used to be her friend
But the doctors put an end to all of that
(A part of me is lost for good, do you really understand?)
“I do” says Johnny as he grabs her hand

- Out Come the Freaks, first Was/Not Was Album.

Nora Charles said...

I love Bob Marley's beautiful "Johnny Was," especially the part when he sings:
"Ah, ah, la-da-da, Johnny was a good man..."

Skip said...

How could the greatest minds in American popular music have missed the unequivocally greatest "johnny song EVER:

"Charlie - Johnny Hold Back"

and "Patti - Land"

Unknown said...

You won't believe this (because I sure don't), but I'm currently ploughing my way through the 3-CD compilation by Booker T & The MGs, Time Is Tight. I'm on to CD 2 (don't worry, this anecdote will stop being boring shortly) and at the very moment I hopped on to this comments section to suggest a "Johnny" song -- this is the bit you won't believe -- Track 8 pops up. What is Track 8 on CD 2 of Time Is Tight, I hear you ask? It's "Johnny, I Love You".

Anyway, my suggestion:

10cc - "Johnny Don't Do It"

But back to Time Is Tight. Track 9 just played ("Lady Madonna" -- nice) but now I'm listening to Track 10, "Mrs. Robinson", and it's fabulous. (I hadn't heard this version before.) It's incredibly fun-kay and, for me, quite possibly an improvement on the original.

Incidentally, today's verification word is "towston" which sounds terribly, terribly English to me. Jolly good show, old chap.

steve simels said...

I"m making the appropriate Twilight Zone noises now, Peter.

Anonymous said...


Brooklyn Girl said...

From our generation's poet laureate's "Subterranean Homesick Blues":

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
In the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten

I think I'll go listen to it ...

Sinfonian said...

Are you kidding? No one went for "Angry Johnny" by Poe?

I rather like that song myself.

Libby Spencer said...

Oddly, one of my dear friends and a local Northampton musician is named Angry Johnny. And his old girlfriend and also a friend, Amy Fairchild wrote a song when they broke up called Johnny with the lyric, Johnny don't be angry.

Unknown said...

"the boy looked at johnny," the best libertines song.

and as long as we're including songs ABOUT johnnies, may i suggest ed sanders' "the iliad," the immortal tale of a redneck and his sour mash, johnny pissoff, who if he's still alive is probably planning a tea party appearance right now.