Johnny Fountain

Johnny Fountain


Johnny Fountain loves rock 'n roll and the open road. Is that his real name? Yes, though he often omits his middle name and some roman numerals for the sake of brevity. Is that his real hair? No, he bought it out of a windowless van in the parking lot of Walmart. John does not support Walmart.


Who is the real Johnny Fountain?

Is he the bare-chested hero of the wilderness, wrestling bears over a fresh catch of salmon? Or is he the wild-haired stranger in the corner of the bar, scribbling incoherents upon a stack of coasters? Or is he the footloose rambler of the highways, singlehandedly throttling the baby seals with a carbon footprint the size of New Jersey?

Little is known of Johnny's past. Most that we do know is a collage of fragments, a scattered pile of sightings and eyewitness accounts. We do know he is a man of many hats. Once spotted on a Coloradan rock face, and later spotted on the wrong side of a bar in Portland, Maine, Fountain's modus operandi seems to be covering the miles between, haunting stages by night along the way.

Perhaps the greatest archive of information available can be found in Fountain's music. Ballads of wine and barbiturates in distant Istanbul, an ode to mischief on the company dime, and a salute to the marching return of Henry Ford are all part of a patchwork series of stories that Johnny presents. The lyrics are specific. The guitar playing is suggested. The direction meanders, but the listener won't mind the destination.

"Every story left untold will begin when we hit the road." From the highs of the Sierra to the chop of the Atlantic, Johnny Fountain is out there on the highways, doing his part, keeping the peace with a worn bag of musical tricks. He moves quick, so take notice while you can. The interstates are vast and there are stories to be told.

Be assured, he may look like a caveman, but he won't trash your venue.



Written By: Johnny Fountain

yes i got your message, and no
i don't know what to say
guess I kinda have to help you even though I'm
five thousand miles away
so here I am, long distance, trying to convey
barbituates and wine in my foreign tongue, it's no use
they put me through to a military outpost
on the outskirts of town
and I hope you're better now

They sent men to your father's place who said
you're out but he don't know where.
They called your mother up in Istanbul, she said
that you were with a friend
they found you there
and I hope you're better now

There are moments of my life I ain't too proud of
and instances all throughout
that I'd rewrite if I could.
As I white knuckle the receiver
the soldier on the other end says
"Son, you've done the best you can"
But I'm years ago on a cold southern hill
she walks away and I let her
then I go and bed another, I know she's
not forgiven me, but I hope she's better now.

The '88 Olds

Written By: Johnny Fountain

Gravel kicks up under squealin' rubber
burning 'round the turn.
feels good to be alive, we're taking a
drive for the sake of burning gasoline
The '88 Olds, Billy and me

Billy's got his feet out of the window riding passenger seat
ashing cheap cigars behind us, we're taking our
time (we get a little high) on the company dime!
tearing up roads
in the '88 Olds

Nowhere to go, never before have I known
such days of gold, and going against all good advice
we're doing our best to blow the wires off this
cheap imported radio
tearing up roads
in the '88 Olds!

If I Were a Hospital

Written By: Johnny Fountain

if I were a movie screen I'd show the ending first
you'd learn the fate of all your characters played in reverse
when it tangles in the middle, you won't know which is worse
when you're lying to your family or when you're dying of the thirst

I am by no means
eisenstein or a cassevettes
but i can tell
you ain't happy anymore
it's just a show
you ain't happy anymore

if i were a hospital i'd never let you sleep
i would play you like a puppet on nefarious machines
i would listen through the earpiece to hear your insides weep
while whistling a dirge to the steady of your heartbeat

i may well only
play this role on television
but i can tell
you ain't happy anymore
pound for pound
you ain't happy anymore

If I were the newsprint in the early morning light
you would take me as the scripture, I would strive to set you right
the lamb that leads the lions
the vultures close behind,
we both receive the host but not the consecrated wine

and I can tell
you ain't happy anymore
it's just as well
that you ain't happy anymore
but I refuse to write your eulogy
before the day
you die.


Written By: Johnny Fountain

like a tourist i came for the views
climbed down, became confused
i thought the real you would make me want you more

I feel it used to be
you considered me
good influence
I hope you choke
on the last drag
of each cigarette

given the chance of choosing, you give up
go out bruising rocks instead
what is in your head?

Poor cultural casualty!
what's one more? you go overboard
face first off the front porch

I feel it used to be
you considered me good influence
I hope you choke on the last drag
of each

say how you do so well
a bottle deep, darling, who can tell?

I feel it used to be
you considered me good influence
I hope you choke
yeah I hope you choke
on the smoke of what you always
promise to be
the last


Sirens LP - 2008
The Manes EP - 2008
Hit the Road LP - Coming April 2010!

Set List

Solo (1 hour - 1.5 hours): 90% of setlist is comprised of originals. Cover songs can include works from The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Cake, Wilco, and whatever has been rocking in the truck recently.

with the Manes (1.5 - 2 hours): Setlist is similar, but with more of a roar. Highlights include the sonic charge of "Thought Machine" ("Inside the thought machine there is a factory, manufacturing mazes that repaint the movie screens"), and the anti-smoking PSA "Drag" ("It used to be, you considered me a good influence, now I hope you choke on the last drag of each cigarette").