Friday 3 July 2009

Johnny come home

London. The eternal magnet. City of refuge. Somewhere to reinvent yourself. The city of resurrections. You can lose yourself in London. You can get lost in London. There are all sorts of reasons why people escape to London. Searching for sanctuary. Or that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Johnny Go Home was the title of 1975 TV documentary (in two parts, I believe - one was called Billy Two-Tone) about runaways in London and the perils of life in the big, bad city - rent boys, Piccadilly, amusement arcades, and so on. It was preceded by a couple of books on the subject called The Dilly Boys and Keep The Faith Baby. Jake Arnott would later put the theme to good use in his novel Johnny Come Home.

Johnny Come Home was also the debut single from the Fine Young Cannibals, on the runaway theme, which was accompanied by a ridiculously cool and impeccably attired video. Singer Roland Gift would a little later appear with Joanne Whalley in one of the great London films, Scandal.


  1. He also appeared in Stephen Frears Sammy & Rosie Get Laid.

  2. and that chap who played bass in the beat lives in a posh soho loft.

  3. where can i find the jazz version of this song ?

  4. Where and how can i ever re see this documentary

  5. I am 63 when I run away to London when I was 15 I was sleeping on the street and went to soho and a place called the apple sometime and allways went into playland were I could get worm gleaves came upto me and asked me if I wonted a bed in this hostel he run he sead it was run by chatty and he had a salvation army uniform on so I fort i was safe but i was rong he made me do things that I am ashamed of naw I suffer with depression and tryed taking my life 20 or 30 time he took me to Brixton that's were the hostel was