Chuck Berry  - Bye Bye Johnny

First performance: 17/07/1982


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song 3 times off-tour :
 
1982-07-17 - BIG MAN'S WEST, RED BANK
Springsteen makes a guest appearance with Joe Grushecky. According to Grushecky, this was the first time he had ever met Springsteen, let alone jammed with him - the start of a long friendship.
 
2017-04-21 - PARAMOUNT THEATRE, ASBURY PARK
Bruce, Southside Johnny, Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, and more come together on stage as the Upstage Jam Band for a show that took place as part of the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival. In the afternoon the documentary Just before the Dawn, about the legendary Upstage Club, received its premiere. For this documentary Little Steven, Garry Tallent, Southside Johnny and Vini Lopez were all interviewed. For the show, Bruce mostly contributed guitar and backing vocals. He was not on stage for several additional songs not listed under. He took lead vocals for "Lucille" and duet vocals with Southside on "Something You Got". Vini Lopez takes lead vocals on the first performance since 1971 of "The Ballad Of Jesse James". 
 
 
 
 
2017-04-22 - PARAMOUNT THEATRE, ASBURY PARK
After the previous night's Upstage Jam, Bruce made another unannounced appearance at Little Steven's show. Stevie called Bruce out on stage with "My brother from another mother", for the encores.
 
 
  

Songinfo

"Bye, Bye Johnny" is a song written by Chuck Berry from the 1960 Rockin' at the Hops album. Berry wrote four more songs involving the character Johnny B. Goode, "Bye Bye Johnny", "Go Go Go", "Johnny B. Blues" and "Lady B. Goode" .
 
Bruce gave Chuck Berry co-writing credits on his own Johnny Bye Bey since he borrowed some lines from Berry's Bye Bye Johnny as well as the play on the title. More info : Springsteenlyrics.

 

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

When Chuck Berry died Bruce tweeted :

"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived. This is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages."

Springsteen and Berry played together on at least two occasions. As back up at the University of Maryland in 1973. Springsteen asked what songs they were going to do. Berry said : " we're going to do some Chuck Berry songs." More than 20 years later, Springsteen again played backup for Berry, at a concert at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, celebrating the opening of the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.
 
Bruce had 3 performances together with Chuck Berry:

1995-09-02 Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, OH
The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inauguration concert
 
 
 
1987-01-21 Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, NY
The second annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony. 

1973-04-28 Cole Field House, University Of Maryland, College Park, MD
One show, triple bill, with Chuck Berry headlining, [Lee Lewis]] second billed and Bruce and the boys opening. A show now steeped in legend. Berry's contract stipulated that it was the promoter's responsibility to supply him with a backing band for this concert. Apparently Bruce learned about a week before the show that the promoter was seeking a group to support Berry and immediately volunteered his band's services for free, which the promoter gladly accepted. There was no rehearsal or soundcheck with Berry, so Bruce and the boys improvised as best they could. The show was Bruce's first known appearance in Maryland. Bruce and the boys opened their part of the show with a 50-minute set, followed by a 60-minute set by Jerry Lee Lewis and his band. Chuck Berry (with Springsteen's entire band backing him, including Bruce and Southside Johnny) closed the evening's festivities with a 70-minute performance. Springsteen recounts some hilarious details in the 1987 Chuck Berry documentary Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, but does not mention Southside Johnny’s appearance. Fearing that Berry might not want a harp player Bruce positioned Southside in the shadows at the extreme end of the stage. However Berry enjoyed the harp playing and near the end of the show he actually acknowledged Southside to the crowd saying "that white boy can blow, can’t he!" This almost sold out gig in the 15,000 seat Cole Field House was not without some controversy. Such was the demand to see the show that the school newspaper reported that twenty people were arrested when police spotted individuals sneaking into the concert via an open female lavatory window at the back of the building. Apparently 200-300 people made it in before the police caught wind of what was going on. 
 
List of songs co-credited to Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Berry:
 
   

Lyrics

She drew out all her money out of the Southern Trust
And put her little boy aboard a Greyhound bus
Leaving Louisiana for the Golden West
Down came the tears from her happiness
Her own little son name 'o Johnny B. Goode
Was gonna make some motion pictures out in Hollywood

Bye, bye, bye, bye
Bye, bye, bye, bye
Bye bye Johnny
Good bye Johnny B. Goode

She remembered taking money out from gathering crop
And buying Johnny's guitar at a broker shop
As long as he would play it by the railroad side
And wouldn't get in trouble he was satisfied
But never thought that there would come a day like this
When she would have to give her son a goodbye kiss

Going, bye, bye, bye, bye
Bye, bye, bye, bye
Bye bye Johnny
Bye bye Johnny B. Goode

She finally got the letter she was dreaming of
Johnny wrote and told 'er he had fell in love
As soon as he was married he would bring her back
And build a mansion for 'em by the railroad track
So every time they heard the locomotive roar
They'd be a' standin', a' wavin' in the kitchen door

Howling, bye, bye, bye, bye
Bye, bye, bye, bye
Bye bye Johnny
Good bye Johnny B. Goode