Throughout his career Ryan Adams has been heckled by audience members to play Bryan Adams’ Summer Of ’69, mostly because of the almost unfortunate name similarity (Ryan’s real first name is David, you see) and the fact they share a birthday.
This morning it was widely reported that the American singer-songwriter has finally caved and played the song for the first time, but in fact Adams has performed the song more than a few times before, perhaps most memorably when he visited Australia in 2005 for Splendour In The Grass.
In 2012, Adams made news for ejecting a punter in Nashville when he chanted for Summer Of ’69 and the latest cover sees him returning to Nashville to grant that request some 13 years later.
But in January 2002, Adams also had a punter removed from an epic 3-hour-plus gig at The Metro Theatre in Sydney, also for requesting that song. As it turns out, Adams returned to Sydney with his band The Cardinals three years later and covered Summer Of ’69, presumably as some form of apology.
As you can hear in the below audio, the shambling cover concludes with Adams begging the audience for respite. “There, I did it,” he mumbles. “Can it please be over now?”
It kicks off strong enough, though, the crowd cheering enthusiastically as they slowly recognise the unannounced rendition. Adams changes most of the lyrics along the way, at one point singing, “There was no way that he wrote that song, motherfucker’s only 53.”
The same artistic license isn’t employed in the most recent Nashville cover, with a fan-video (below) showing him sticking closely to the original lyrics. So, yeah, the Australian cover was a half-hearted effort, but it was for the right reasons. Suck it, Nashville, we got there first.
Adams has often spoken about how much grief the song has caused him. In an interview with Spin (via Stereogum) in 2006, Adams called his crowds “a bunch of fucking cocks”.
“They come to my shows just to provoke me,” he said. “I had to go into therapy because of whole Bryan Adams Summer Of ’69 thing.”
Ryan Adams is set to come back to Australia this July for Splendour In The Grass 2015 and two sideshows. Only time will tell whether Australian audiences will be treated once again to a cover of Summer Of 69.
Listen: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Summer Of ’69 (Live @ Enmore Theatre, Sydney 26/07/15)
Watch: Ryan Adams – Summer Of ’69 (Live In Nashville, 2015)