Money Becomes King (Tom Petty)

If you reach back in your memory A little bell might ring About a time that once existed When money wasn't king If you stretch your imagination I'll tell you all a tale About a time when everything Wasn't up for sale There was this cat named Johnny Who loved to play and sing When money wasn't king. We'd all get so excited When John would give a show We'd raise the cash between us And down the road we'd go To hear him play that music It spoke right to my soul Every verse a diamond And every chorus gold The sound was my salvation It was only everything Before money became king. Well I ain't sure how it happened And I don't know exactly when But everything got bigger And the rules began to bend And the TV taught the people How to get their hair to shine And how sweet life can be If you keep a tight behind And they raised the cost of living And how could we have known They'd double the price of tickets To go see Johnny's show? So we hocked all our possessions And we sold a little dope And went off to rock 'n' roll. We arrived there early In time to see rehearsal And John came out and lip-synched His new lite-beer commercial And as the crowd arrived As far as I could see The faces were all different There was no one there like me They sat in golden circles And waiters served them wine And talked through all the music And to John paid little mind And way up in the nosebleeds We watched upon the screen They hung between the billboards So cheaper seats could see Johnny, rock that golden circle And all those VIPs And that music that had freed us Became a tired routine And I saw his face in close-up Tryin' to give it all he had And sometimes his eyes betrayed him You could see that he was sad And I tried to rock on with him But I slowly became bored Could that man on stage with everything Somehow need some more? There was no use in pretending No magic left to hear All the music gave me Was a craving for lite-beer As I walked out of the arena My ears began to ring And money became king.