Ghost Broadway

by Johnny Mainstream

supported by
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ghost Broadway via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      $8 USD or more 




released March 12, 2013

Matthew Maynes: Vocals, Guitar
Dan Garaffa: Bass, Vocals
Laura Sabourin: Vocals, Percussion
Brendan Donnelly: Drums
Michael James Anderson: Electric Guitar, Vocals

written and recorded by Johnny Mainstream
produced by Ed Sabourin & Johnny Mainstream
recorded and mixed by Ed Sabourin at Let It Roll Studios
mastered by Jonathan J. Abarca at JJA Studios
all keyboard by Tim Braun
artwork and layout by Christine Garaffa
all songs by Johnny Mainstream c 2013


all rights reserved



Johnny Mainstream Central Manchester, Connecticut

contact / help

Contact Johnny Mainstream

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Stage
we're all dead on stage
no one wants to see a folk rock band
where the singer can't see straight
we all got it wrong
no one wants to be your friend
when you sing about them in your songs
you've never been in love
but you've seen it on tv
and you can make a killing
by pretending on lp
the crowd is getting large
they're looking at you strange
and everybody's staring at you
expecting you to change
you don't know what they want
you don't know what they've heard
you've got a lot to say
but you only know a couple words
the crowd is getting large
they're looking at you strange
and everybody staring at you
assuming you're to blame
and you are

(you can do what you want, you can say what you please
just don't say something if i won't agree
you can be what you want but don't bring that on me
just don't be someone i don't want you to be)
Track Name: Passing Bell
they've been digging a grave up in red hook for me
with boxes of records from that old punk rock scene
but they won't let me play my own farewell party
i wrote all these songs just learn i can't sing
they've been planning a murder in new paltz today
it's a hit on a band in an art house cafe
as my last note rings out the crowd cheers hooray
we hate you, you're leaving, we're glad you can't stay
there's an empty room in the club down the street
where the ghosts play songs that never made it to print
and they float through cars down the hudson river line
where they pine "these are my friends, this is my time"
i've been walking the plank off the hudson valley
marching at sword point to the depths of the sea
chained down with boxes of my old ep
i wrote all these words to ensure i sink deep
they've been planning a hanging down in new rochelle
where i'll swing like the tongue on the old passing bell
and they'll all have a party to divvy up my will
i hate you, i'm leaving, i'll see you in hell
there's an empty room in the basement underneath
a new york house where the choir used to meet
and they blow through hymns in double time
just to find you are my friends, you are my kind
there's a jam-packed room in the bar down the street
where they know my songs and they sing them with me
but i still miss matt(s) and i miss what i sang when we began
"these were my friends, this was my plan"
they've been digging a grave in ct for a king
with guitars for shovels and drum to lay in
and we'll all wait around for his next of kin
i wrote all these songs just to prove i'm something
Track Name: Ghost Broadway
you say you want the real me
whatever that means
like you'd know if it was something you got
my money is on the scenery and costume design
that will make us into something we're not
I read a book for every nook i tried to fit myself in
so concerned with the end i forgot to begin
took little pieces of people I'd seen on screen
and spliced myself into the scene

if you want to be a ghost then be a ghost
just don't go hanging around my house
moving all my stuff, cause i know where it all goes
if you want to be a star then be a star
just don't make the mistake that you're not as fake
as you are, 'cause lord knows you are

you say you want to feel me
get into my bones
know all the things that i know
it must take some kind of genius
to dream up those hooks
and convince himself he's better alone
I wrote a poem for every home that I wrecked on my way
she wants me to go now she wants me to stay
"i want to know how this all seems so easy for you"
but I guess it's all part of the show

we're gonna be big stars on ghost broadway
Track Name: LA X
come out, come out tonight
broadway's burning bright
they love your sound
go run and tell your friends that you knew me way
way back when, when we were young
I hate these l.a. fucking freeways
and all these shitty new york clubs
way in the back room I can't see your face
and not wonder if it's sincere
if i've changed
come out, come out tonight
one night only up in neon lights
they love your songs
maybe run into some old friend that i have not seen
since god knows when, when we were kids
i hate these l.a. fucking freeways
and all these shitty new york clubs
maybe when i get home we can hang some time
but you don't have to, i mean, if you don't want to
i don't mind
Track Name: Whiskey For Dinner
what you got for me juliet?
some shit on cable tv and a decent night's rest
in my board room, staring at the low moon in dancing shoes
tapping on the roof while the stars smoke cigarettes
smoke cigarettes
how you holding up romeo?
you say you lost your true love but some men never know
when they caught you trying on those girls shoes in your parents room
it's not that hard to find you when you've got no where to go
no where to go
now chino's got a poison boot
he left his gun at home so i guess it'll have to do
and maria's mad, i heard it all from her dad on secret track
"if no one likes you anyway then what you got to lose?"
got to lose
where you going miss milky way?
I don't know why you want me but you won't hear me complain
it's a spit down, down the road from our town liquor house
where i can say these stupid things and not have to explain
i won't explain

what's the problem now juliet
you'll be fine tomorrow if you could just get some rest
just sleep it off hun, you can find a new love on your own
i liked you pretty good but those city girls were the best
they were the best

i'm drinking whiskey for dinner, beer for dessert
i'll love you forever or whatever comes first
whiskey for dinner, beer for dessert
you think you've got it bad, well i know i've got it worse

"i won't wait around forever for you to change your mind
i won't waste my time"
Track Name: No Noise
there's no noise no more
nothing coming through
just a poor man behind a mic stand
and a guitar cable in a noose

there's no noise no more
nothing on the tube
just a dumb kid with a death wish
and some time in the studio

you woke up with your heart beating so hard that it shook the bed
and knocked all of the books off of your tv stand
some poems you wrote in tenth grade
some bills that you cannot pay
what a man of taste
no one loves you like i did back then
no one loves you like i did when we were kids

there's no noise no more
nothing really new
just a faint glow from a car phone
as it disappears down the road

now everybody's waiting for you to hang yourself
you were so perfect when you started now you're someone else
there's nothing else to say
you talk yourself a big game
it's time to back it up
no one loves you quite like they did back then
no one loves you quite like they did when this began

but now there's no noise no more
nothing but the truth
you're just a fall guy with a shelf life
and an oversized sense of worth

running round poughkeepsie getting stoned with your ghost
i hear your voice through white noise off the coast
i hope i'm not bothering you with problems that you can't solve for yourself
Track Name: Cheap Guitars
we checked in a ten o'clock, a hotel bar and whiskey shots
you told me about your drug habit and the year the fire went out
i said "i sing songs about nothing in a chorus line of bathtub gin"
and wished that i could be the one who's music could inspire

but why are you here all alone on stupid earth?
why don't you sing the song if you know all the words?

i fell out at twenty one, the year that i gave up on love
i still believe that it exists, just not for everyone
so i learned to keep myself separate and leave bad thoughts inside my head
but never trust a man who says he ain't got no regrets

so why am i still here alone on stupid earth?
why don't i fix the breach if i know what will work?

all my favorite writers were drunks who frequent bars
and all my favorite songs start out on old beat up guitars
all my favorite nights started with whiskey from a well
and i really think you're pretty cool but you're not worth top shelf

coming home real late from our last show
and i know exactly what a hard right turn will do
i was twenty two when i wrote my last lines
and everything since then has been a lie
i was told i was a poet but the ink has run out
i have no words of wisdom of what to do now

except: everybody dies an old man full of regrets
except: the ones who go young in fiery auto wrecks

all my favorite writers were drunks who died too young
and all my favorite songs come from all my friends at rock bottom
all my favorite nights started with whiskey from a well
and i really think you're pretty cool but you're not worth top shelf
Track Name: Pot of Gold
walking up slowly on the side of the road
with your hair slicked back and your eyes on the coal
never ever got to worry about being alone
you dress real sharp and look real clean
but nobody sees what's underneath
the fuel, the despair, the hunger
stumble into bars with your weary life
in your eyes and on your mind
rumble with your fists just to get by
never be seen without a drink in hand
broken bottles all part of your plan
with your eyes on that progress

it was a long time ago
when you first set your eyes on that pot of gold
wandering eyes call for candy
it was a long time ago
before you left before you got old
look in the mirror, can you?

now that you're old, now that it's through
now that you've left and come back again
was it really worth it?
did you see what you wanted to see
did your eyes widen, stance relax for a minute?
now that you're gone, do you think
that anyone cares about what you've done?
was this for you or for someone?
Track Name: Scarecrow
come on in and rest awhile
your back must be broken from that desert mile
a petrol tomb where the highway ends
last known refuge for the living dead
go on
he's riding towards the break of dawn
like some kind of jesus on an iron horse
and one day he'll be back for us

ever since scarecrow got a brain the every day has seemed mundane
and nobody told tin man that you could break a heart
and here on every avenue the bands march on to dead men's tunes
to battlefields at post-war dawn, when everyone is gone
they're gone

come on in and rest your legs
hide from the demons crowding up your head
i know you wander eternally
in search of safe haven or serenity
go on
you're fleeing towards the harvest moon
like some kind of devil's chasing after you
and one day he will catch up

lion was off acting brave when he got himself shot in the head
and dorothy can't stand her home now that everyone's moved on
and here in every city port the ships sail on to foreign shores
to graveyards kept on ocean floors waiting for their lords
to rise up

they come to hang you out
and suck the life right out
because wizard found himself some fools
so he'll play god to their lonely souls
while bones in every halfway home are waiting for their turn
to rise up
Track Name: dc
it's five fifteen, i sit impatiently awaiting
the winter sun to hit the snow
and i never really had a reason i was working
but now i know i work for you
the air blows cold, my heart beat roars just like the engine
flew across seventy two
it's always class or work diverting my attention
but now i'm coming home to you

and you grabbed my arm and told me the stars
were just headstones for the gods
and i pulled you close and asked which one was yours
and if we would burn as brightly when it's our
turn to go

it's twelve oh one, i lay, i listen to you breathing
the subtle way the mattress moves
and i never really had a reason to miss sleeping
till i was sleeping next you

and i held you close and whispered all my dreams
and you painted them so bright and brilliantly
you laid them out and asked "which one is me"
you are the light that hits my eye encompassing

you've got me believing that i can be seeing this way for the rest of my life
the good days and bad days are all just the gravy i'll have till the day that i die
forever for you like the key to the root, like blueness belongs in the sky
you love me for reasons that i can believe in and now i can be someone i
i've always wanted to be

it's six fifteen, i slide the car out of the driveway
the sun peaks its head out of the snow
i know this now that i had nothing to come home to
till i was coming home to you
Track Name: Whiteboard
don't you fret my weathered friend, i don't know what it means
but these autumn winds seem very thin and i'm not breathing clean
your auburn town it's all burned down, the smoke circles the beach
and ever since the storms rolled in there ain't that much to see

i wrote you a poem on the whiteboard outside my dorm
till someone wiped it out with a wet paper towel
now i'm not sure if it even said anything at all

don't you cry, my jilted bride, i didn't mean to be so cruel
i left you there by those chapel stairs looking like a fool
with all your plans to start again, halfway across the world
just a fairy tale for your friends in jail, dreaming of parole

i carved you from stone in the courtyard outside my home
till war came around and the bombs leveled the town
now i'm not sure if you ever were there at all
Track Name: Team Electric
part i: el gato

i never really had the youth that kids in old rock songs all do
i never was the gunslinger or had no muscle car
just a tape player, pause+record the radio
and a no name electric guitar

autumn: i went driving spinning tires on the road
i always kind of knew i'd die alone
winter: was no different, don't know why i thought it'd be
it was too damn cold and i just wanted to sleep

in all the songs and books i've read, in friends who drank themselves to death
trying to be someone worth telling tales about
i will not lay down, become another hopeless case
or some ghost that keeps hanging around

spring: we were on fire, i never felt so free
the words just flowed and they came so naturally
summer: i got tired, i don't know what you want from me
it's not the end that sucks, just when you have to wait

(wait till the weight of the world brings you down
down, down, down to the ground)

part ii: andrea doria

oh darling, i miss you so
you've been away about a year by now
i hope you're well because i've been depressed as hell
and i don't think i'll get used to getting old

oh darling, i'll see you soon
we've got a show in the city next week
another bar, i see you swing low like a star
pouring your light down on me

part iii: felo de se

well what can you say, you promised that you wouldn't change
but you caved all the same for the chance on the stage and the fame
and what can you do, it's another sold out show
and you hate all the songs, but the kids sing along and love you
but you're still alone

how's your life in the border lands?
how's the outside looking in?
your yellow brick road has brought you nothing but gold
and that distance between you and all your friends

part iv: trompe l'‪œ‬il

honey say hello to the kids, tell them daddy's on his way
he'll be home by next may
every night i meet the best friends of my life
and every day by dawn they're gone
some will say it's just the toll i've gotta pay
but that don't help me sleep at night
Track Name: Northern Terminus
I submit this to you for Grammy consideration, my mind, my body and my soul
I submit this to you for your evaluation, bare naked and alone
I don't want to be a ghost on the stage, preaching bullshit from my grave
I don't want any part of this slow march parade, come to take my bones away
It wasn't all, all your fault, you can blame everything on me

If you like Johnny Mainstream, you may also like: