Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boys of Summer of '69

Thanks for joining us. You're just in time for the latest unwitting call-and-response between General Dowd and the carrier pigeon chorus of Joseph Q. Boyle. Recently, a flock of said pigeons was intercepted (or rather, peppered with buckshot,) and from their claws fell a package of such import that we rushed it to the lab to decipher the myriad secrets contained within.

Disappointingly, it was a Don Henley song.

I know, I know! But save your boos and hisses. Stop yourself before jumping from a nearby high-rise. I know you're worried that Boyle has gone native, that he's sunk to the level of our sworn enemy. But rest assured! This isn't just any Don Henley song, this is the good one. No, not the one that makes the listener break out in a rash. Not the one we use to make pious monks self-immolate. Right. It's that one other one.


No I don't think I need a shirt, thank you.

Not bad, right? And at least he didn't go all Eagles on us.

Nonetheless, I was forced to retaliate. You see, Henley's Summer is only one side of the coin dated 1984: A year when people still listened to the radio, looked forward to voting Republican, and drove good ol' Detroit steel. A year when the Ministry of Truth stomped Winston Smith into blissful submission. Ah... memories.

And in 1984, when I was but a tender blerenven years old, did I appreciate the nuanced melancholy of Boys of Summer? I did not. Did I instead sing along with the unbridled (dare I say Canadian) optimism of Bryan Adams's Summer of '69? Surely. Did I giggle every time it hit the chorus? No comment.

Adams serves up a paean to his teen years—a time when everything was well and good with the world. Or at least Canada. In those pre-ironic days of 1984, I even missed the joke of a squeaky-clean Adams naming his album Reckless, when he can't even utter a line like "It cuts like a knife" without coming across like Michael J. Fox's foppish body double. I mean, look at this photo-shoot. Is this "reckless?"

Reckless: adj. (rěk'lĭs) - Suffering from a lack of reck.


So I apologize for the delay, but I needed time to prepare a dose of Adams's lap-dog happiness with which to respond properly to Henley's jaded cynicism. Henley, who manages to imbue the most humanity in the part of the song where he's not singing, and Adams, who... Well, just look at that album cover again.

note: The original songs haven't been linked to because you should just listen to this track instead.

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