Summer of ’69
It’s an absurdly simple song (you only need to know 2 chords to get through most of it), and it evokes images of a simpler time (summer nights at the drive-in, buying a guitar at the five-and-dime, starting a band with your buddies from school.)
So why does Summer of ’69 have such a complicated backstory?
Depending on who you believe, it’s either about a sexual position (according to Bryan Adams) or about, well… the summer during the last year of the 60s (according to co-writer Jim Vallance). When there are two sides any story, the rule of thumb should be to go with the most logical explanation. And since there’s nothing the least bit sexual anywhere else in the song, we gotta go with the 1969 explanation.
Besides, if Bryan (I’m a wild-and-crazy rock star) Adams was right, it would be called Summer of “69”, not Summer of ’69, right? And as for his “well, I say right in the song, ‘Me and my baby in a 69,’” we beg to differ. Fast-forward to 3:13 of this performance at Live Aid or this more recent live performance. We don’t hear an ‘a’, do you?
Eh, who cares…
It may not have been Bryan Adams’ biggest hit (that infernal Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves song from the -ick- 90s takes that honor), but Summer of (19)69 still stands as one of the best sing-out-loud rock tunes from the 80s.
We ♥ Summer of ’69.