Johnny Sunshine

Album: Exile In Guyville (1993)

Songfacts®:

  • Indie rocker Liz Phair's debut album is a song-by-song response to the Rolling Stones' 1972 album, Exile On Main St. In this tune, Johnny abandons the narrator after killing her cat and stealing everything she owns. To add insult to injury, he splits town in her favorite car. "This was the Rolling Stones' 'All Down The Line' in my saga," Phair told Rolling Stone in 2018. "They've just been in their disagreement moment and now the guy is checking out and hitting the road. He's going back out on tour. I liken 'Johnny Sunshine' to investing all this stuff in this relationship and then you're just taking off. It's that feeling of abandonment that you feel when you're like, 'Fine! Go! I don't care.' Then, of course, you break into the truth of it, which is that she's devastated."
  • Brad Wood, who produced Exile In Guyville, also played several instruments on the album. On this tune, he played the drums. "This is one of my favorite examples of Brad's drumming," Phair said. "He just has a way. It's a continuing loop, but he makes it, he breaks it up, and he adds, again. I think you can hear his jazz flavor in it. There's that great separate vocal that I'm doing. It reminds me of the songs I learned at summer camp when I was young when one of the part of the cabin would sing one part of the song, the other one would do the counter melody."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.

Who Did It First?Music Quiz

Do you know who recorded the original versions of these ten hit songs?

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

Maria MuldaurSongwriter Interviews

The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal. She talks about her jug band beginnings and shares a Dylan story.