"99", is actually a man named Dave Hayward and a friend to MYSELF for many years.. Actually, Dave was A roadie in the '60s for both The Lost Souls and Moses.
He was also a musician, and noted for playing harmonica. During the 1970s, he counseled for the old Mentor Free Clinic.
Dave did his duty for his country during the Vietnam War, of which he wrote in a poem that i later put to music. The title of the poem was "A Year in Fear", with the song entitled "99Vietnams". Sadly, the war took its toll on Dave and he passed in '90s from pancreatitis, which is believed to have been caused by Agent Orange (a chemical included in incendiary bombs to defoliate areas in the jungle). Here is the poem
David Hayward, 5 May 1968
A YEAR IN FEAR
I'm trying, I'm trying to be myself, yet-I'm alone with everybody else.
I feel somehow a need to cry, and that's the reason why I try.
May it rain and wash away some names, I'll forgive and never be ashamed.
The sun is burning while I'm learning what I'm not, I dream of you to make it cool but still it's hot.
I can never rest.
Men in a dream there never sure, but still they love their heart is pure.
Someone smiled and I tried too, but I dream on cause I miss you.
We all said things of who we are, but it's what you aren't not what you've got.
Make him my friend, then he won't die alone, my will to live is the only way home.
My prayers are not for help or rain to hide my tears, but to give strength to fight my fears.
I pray my friend you'll never see, the blood and screams of misery-
And then you pray my friend for me.
I closed my eyes and kissed your smile, and I was home for just awhile.
My shattered nerves are yet to break, my lease on life is give and take.
You'll split your pride and sleep in mud, you'll eat your heart and forget you love.
You spell your name and forget it's yours, then touch a flower and pretend it's hers.
If you were a boy, you'd cry out loud, but they call you a man and it makes you proud.
Monday comes and you take your pill, so when you get hit you won't burn with chill.
To stay alive is your favorite sport-and when tomorrow comes your another day short.
The sun goes down and now you freeze-your blood runs cold but you never bleed.
You're sure of tomorrow, if it ever comes-then yesterday's gone where is time from?
The smile on your face is just an act, the sounds of war, knife in your back.
Home and love are forgotten words-your fear of darkness falls as movement stirs.
We fight and die so our cause will live-but we don't even know what our cause is.
We must stop the plague from distant Red, and close our ears to cries of children that haven't been fed.
And old blind man begs for food, he can't see shame, he can't see you.
A women will love you and still show pride, your money is food while her children hide.
If I live through this lonely year, I'll show my love instead of fear.
I won't have to lie to be a man,
When I close my eyes I'll know I am.