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Boomer Anthems: Boys of Summer

Don Henley told the NME that he really did see a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. “I was driving down the San Diego freeway and got passed by a $21,000 Cadillac Seville, the status symbol of the Right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie – all the guys with the blue blazers with the crests and the grey pants – and there was this Grateful Dead ‘Deadhead’ bumper sticker on it!” The Boys of Summer by Don Henley Songfacts

Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
The summer’s out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone
I’m driving by your house
Though I know you’re not home

But I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your
Sunglasses on baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream?
Now I don’t understand what happened to our love
But babe I’m gonna get you back
I’m going to show you what I’m made of

I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
I see you walking real slow
Smiling at everyone
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

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…

I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got the top pulled down
Radio on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair slicked back and those
Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper July 2, 2018, 11:45 AM

    This song will always make me think of Dec 1984 when we were in a rental car driving to Christmas at my in laws house in Shelbyville, IN from where we were living in Fort Myers, FL. I drove straight through, 22 hours, and no matter what radio station faded out or faded in this song was playing. Couple years later our son pounding them skins. I was 29 and still partially crazy as my wife hadn’t tamed me completely yet, and we came upon a large harvested cornfield in northern Kentucky and I pulled over on I65 jumped the fence and ran all the way out into the middle of that cornfield so I could take a closer picture of a dilapidated barn and falling down silo. The corn furrows were covered in snow and frozen and I had to leap across them to get to where I was going. I got my shot, got back in the car and headed north. We stopped for gas and when I went to pay my wallet, for the first time in my life, was GONE! OMFG!!!

    That cornfield! That’s the only place it could be. Jumping them furrows caused it to bounce out of my pocket. My wife paid for the gas and we headed south. I jumped that fence again and followed my footprints in the snow and there it was, sitting right up on top of that furrow grinning from ear to ear, just like me. shwew Terror subdued. I have not lost a wallet, keys, or anything else of such importance since. Lesson learned – don’t be a silly ass. Especially out in frozen corn fields, cause when you least expect it fate will jump right up and bite you all in that ass pocket.

  • Skorpion July 2, 2018, 12:47 PM

    Good song, but hideously overproduced. I’ve often thought that Tom Petty would have done a better rendition with a straight-up guitars-n-drums arrangement.

  • Ten July 2, 2018, 12:50 PM

    The overly-long documentary on that most dismal of all the past’s dismal radio-rock acts, the Eagles, revealed Henley to be a money-loving hitmaker. Said he, if it’d sell I’d write it.

    To wit, the execrable, miserable Hotel California. Gah. Amusical torture on vinyl.

    Half of that awful band came off as jerks. Boomer anthems indeed.

  • Vanderleun July 2, 2018, 1:47 PM

    Funny you should mention Tom Petty, Skorp. The song was initially offered to him… or at least the music.

    “The music was written by Mike Campbell, who worked with Tom Petty as a guitarist and producer for many years. He has also written tracks for many songs, including “Refugee,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” and “Don’t Do Me Like That.” Campbell offered this to Petty, but he turned it down and the song went to Henley, who wrote the lyrics. Campbell also played guitar on this and produced it.”

  • Sid Vicious July 2, 2018, 3:05 PM

    Hated Don Henley ever since he sang “tired old man that we elected king” in reference to Reagan. And now, ‘ole Donny boy is pretty much what Reagan’s age was back when he sang that lyric. Funny how time works.

  • Skorpion July 2, 2018, 5:36 PM

    That’s interesting, Gerard. I always enjoying coming to AD and absorbing both the trivia and the insights provided here.
    And here’s a treat for all you Henley/Eagles haters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-o7_VVAoU

  • Anderson July 2, 2018, 7:33 PM

    There’s a story about Don Henley that claims he had an insatiable taste for the underage poontang. The story goes:
    a naked 15 year old girl had OD’d in his house and he was freaking out that she might die. Who to call in such a situation?? Not 911, but instead David Geffen. Problem solved for Henley. I forget the name of the site that alleged all this, but Stacy McCain linked to it a year or so back. Some So Cal lawyer who dishes the dirt while remaining anonymous, so who knows?

    Just as there can be no Beatles without John Lennon, there can be no Eagles without Glenn Frey. Shame on them for even trying.

  • Ten July 3, 2018, 4:39 AM

    Sorry, above I meant Fry when I said Henley, although both are from the same dismal swamp.

  • H July 3, 2018, 5:06 AM

    I was trying way too hard to fix a failed marriage when that hit the air, and it was like my life was constantly on the radio. It went out of the cycle about the time I gave up on fixing things, but it’s always been very surrealistic to hear it.

  • CC July 5, 2018, 5:53 AM

    The irony of that dickhead being a member of one of my favorite bands is kinda annoying…..