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The Boys of Summer

Old 08-12-03, 09:38 AM
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The Boys of Summer

"Out on the road today, I saw a Black Flag sticker on a cadallic..."

Oy. This new remake, by The Ataris, is middle of the road for me. Not absolutely terrible (think "Don't Dream Its Over" by Sixpense None The Richer), not fantastic (think "Quinn The Eskimo" by Manfred Mann), but just alright.

The changing of Dead Head to Black Flag is not lost on me, since the group named themselves after the 1980's home video game system, Atari. If they can't look back at a bumper sticker of an 80's band, that must mean I'm F-ing old.

The Boys of Summer by Don Henley was his finest hour as a solo artist, and I still think the title of the song is about those seagulls at the beach. They're the boys of summer. But the Ataris didn't have any of those sound effects, so perhaps their idea is different from the original artist's? Or mine?
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Old 08-12-03, 10:24 AM
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It's alright, as well...
but the song about seagulls? You need to listen/read the lyrics....
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Old 08-12-03, 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by lostatmidnight
but the song about seagulls? You need to listen/read the lyrics....
I have, many times. At points in Henley's version, you hear the gulls. Henley sings, "my love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone." The gulls leave the beach after the summer. What boys do you think Henley is talking about?
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Old 08-12-03, 01:19 PM
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A sound effect, a simple 80's synthy sound effect leads you to believe that the song is about sea gulls? It is there for atmosphere, simply that. I'm not sure if you maintain this stance for the sake of arguement or that you're...whatever...but

Written in 84-'85, it is a song about nostalgia, a time lost, time past, lost love...Henley's past. Or some have said that the 'lady' is that symbol of the past, and the excess of his and his former bands 70's-80's lifestyle. The boys of summer are gone, all the fun, parites, drugs and now what? She is alone.

'Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-'

Trying not to look back at the past, but continue on into a new life, but--

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone....

This woman (whoever/whatever she is) is too powerful and indelible, making it impossible to extricate himself from that time spent.

Don Henley is, for better or worse, takes his music very seriously. I don't seem him writing about sea gulls---unless it is just some grand 'hhahaha' to the world.

Of course the beauty of music, lyrics, writing, leads people to create their own interpretations....
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Old 08-12-03, 02:57 PM
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Kill this song now.

It's been overplayed ad nauseum for month's now.

Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
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Old 08-13-03, 09:31 AM
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Was Black Flag very popular? I'd never even heard of the band until this song came out.
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Old 08-13-03, 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by Tom Banjo
Was Black Flag very popular? I'd never even heard of the band until this song came out.
Ditto. They'd have been better off mentioning Men At Work for the early 80's.
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Old 08-13-03, 10:04 AM
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Re: The Boys of Summer

Originally posted by Buttmunker
[B]The Boys of Summer by Don Henley was his finest hour as a solo artist[B]
You mean for commercial success or in terms of his best material?
If the latter is to what you refer i'd have to disagree and say 'New York Minute'.
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Old 08-13-03, 10:05 AM
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Re: Re: The Boys of Summer

Originally posted by RichDB10
You mean for commercial success or in terms of his best material?
I mean for his best song in his solo career, regardless if it had flopped or "bubbled under" on the charts. It is a great, great song that I never get tired of listening to.
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Old 08-13-03, 10:10 AM
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When I was in high school (mid-80's) Black Flag was THE punk band. I don't know if I ever listened to them, but lots of cars had their distintive sticker on their window (that and The Dead Kennedys).

I saw The Eagles last Sat at the MGM Grand. Great show, and Henley was amazing. He's really never sounded better. Boys of Summer was terrific and his performance of Wasted Time really knocked me out. Unbelievable.

Haven't heard the remake. Don't think I'm missing anything.
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Old 08-13-03, 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Buttmunker
I have, many times. At points in Henley's version, you hear the gulls. Henley sings, "my love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone." The gulls leave the beach after the summer. What boys do you think Henley is talking about?

Seagulls? Are you kidding me? The song is about a guy that is in love with a girl. The girl is pretty much a slut and doesn't love him in return. The girl is one of those girls that parties and has many boyfriends. I'm sure you know the kind of girl he is talking about. The "boys of summer" are those guys that she is having flings with. He (don) knows that she won't find happiness with these guys they are just summer flings and the only person that will make her truely happy is him (don). So he's saying that when the "boys of summer" (all her flings) are gone he (don) will still love her and be there.
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Old 08-13-03, 10:55 AM
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• Quoth Mopower •
Seagulls? Are you kidding me? The song is about a guy that is in love with a girl. The girl is pretty much a slut and doesn't love him in return. The girl is one of those girls that parties and has many boyfriends. I'm sure you know the kind of girl he is talking about. The "boys of summer" are those guys that she is having flings with. He (don) knows that she won't find happiness with these guys they are just summer flings and the only person that will make her truely happy is him (don). So he's saying that when the "boys of summer" (all her flings) are gone he (don) will still love her and be there.



What are you talking about? This song is clearly about seagulls.

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Old 08-13-03, 11:30 AM
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You people are making me appear dumb.
I know I heard that thing about the seagulls. I know I heard it somewhere. Isn't the term boys of summer a usage towards those birds at the beach? Or locusts, because of the weird sounds they make in the summertime??
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Old 08-13-03, 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by Tom Banjo
Was Black Flag very popular? I'd never even heard of the band until this song came out.


In early eighties hardcore, Black Flag was THE band. Kurt Cobain used to try to impress people by telling them he listened to Black Flag.

Of course since the Ataris are part of this tre chic skater mall punk movement, they HAD to change dead head to black flag since no one listens to Grateful Dead, because, like, they're not on MTV!

I am tired of the mainstreaming of punk. It's nice that you can pick up Black Flag, or The Clash, or Dead Kennedys at your local music store, but ypu have to wonder when the subversive becomes mainstream.
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Old 08-13-03, 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by grunter
Kill this song now.

It's been overplayed ad nauseum for month's now.

Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
I agree. This has quickly risen high on my list of most unfortunate cover choices of all time. I'm so freaking tired of bubblegum pop punk bands speeding up old pop songs. It's a tired novelty, and the Black Flag reference is incredibly lame. This band is about as far away from Black Flag as you can get.
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Old 08-13-03, 12:18 PM
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This is officially the summer of the Boys of Summer seeing as how DJ Sammy also "covered" it.
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Old 08-13-03, 01:58 PM
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I always heard the name "Boys of Summer" was taken from a book abou the Brooklyn Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. Not that that is neccesserily what the song is about, just where the name came from.
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Old 08-13-03, 02:26 PM
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Re: Re: Re: The Boys of Summer

Originally posted by Buttmunker
I mean for his best song in his solo career, regardless if it had flopped or "bubbled under" on the charts. It is a great, great song that I never get tired of listening to.


I don't even like Don Henley, but I think this is one of the best singles of the last 25 years.

Last edited by wendersfan; 08-13-03 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 08-13-03, 02:34 PM
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For those who care (and for those who don't), the Henley version of Boys of Summer peaked at #5 in 1984.

It is not his highest charting single, however - that honor goes to Dirty Laundry (which I do not like half as much).
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Old 08-13-03, 08:07 PM
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To add my expertise on this --

I'm good friends with the Ataris. They did not want this cover released at all, but KROQ in Los Angeles (the modern rock radio superpower) gave them a "release-it-or-we-won't-play-any-of-your-stuff" strongarming a while ago and essentially forced the Ataris to release it.

The lead singer chose to cover the song not to "make it better" or anything of that sort, but instead because the theme of Boys of Summer aligns perfectly with the theme of their newest album.

And no, it's not about Seagulls. Put the pipe down.
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Old 08-13-03, 08:31 PM
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Ummm... I thought that the boys of summer was referring to baseball. Since they are the boys of summer since baseball is the main American sport in summer.
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Old 08-13-03, 09:42 PM
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Has no one, no one, heard of Dylan Thomas?

I see the boys of summer in their ruin...

Anyone?
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Old 08-13-03, 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by Momiji
Ummm... I thought that the boys of summer was referring to baseball. Since they are the boys of summer since baseball is the main American sport in summer.
That what I have heard too. The 'boys of summer' are baseball players.

Also I think the whole Black Flag deal is that it would be kind of funny seeing such a sticker on the bumper of a Cadillac. In other words, all the rebelleous punk kids from 20 years ago, have grown up, gotten respectable jobs and drive nice cars. The Grateful Dead sticker could have represented an equivalent idea in the 80s.

I'm not a huge Henley fan, but I've always really liked that song.

Last edited by cultshock; 08-13-03 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 08-13-03, 11:15 PM
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I like the song, I know many say its played out but I never listen to the radio so I wouldn't know.

I don't like punk songs but I always enjoy punk covers, kinda weird.

And seagulls... no. I think its so much simpler than that. Either what Mopower said or its about a guy who meets a girl in the beginning of summer has a fling with her in a summery town like The Hamptons and even though its just a fling he really loves her and at the end of summer they part and he feels bad about it. The boys of summer I think would be the people who were also in this beach/summer town with them.

And did anyone see the video for the cover? Its so bad.
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Old 08-13-03, 11:32 PM
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The Ataris should change their name to The Suck.
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