"Johnny Come Home" was the Fine Young Cannibals' first single from their debut album. The song follows the story of a runaway who learns the harsh reality of a life on the streets. The title refers to his parents' desperate plea for him to come home and was likely inspired by the 1975 TV documentary about London runaways, Johnny Go Home: The Murder of Billy Two-Tone.
British author Jake Arnott used this title for his 2006 novel about about the Glam-Rock period in early '70s London.
This song was featured in the thrillers Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) and The Handmaid's Tale (1990).
FYC made their television debut performing this song on The Tube, an influential UK music series that introduced an array of future hitmakers, in 1984. It was an important move for the group, who had previously been turned down by nearly every major record label. Shortly after their appearance on the program, they were offered a deal with London Records.
Roland Gift revealed the song's original premise in a Q&A with The Rebel Magazine in 2011: "'Johnny' started off about being black in a white man's world, but it evolved into something more inclusive and better."
Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on "Sixth Avenue Heartache." There is a connection here - Wallflowers lead singer Jakob's dad, Bob Dylan, played with Tom Petty in The Traveling Wilburys.