The Full Wiki

More info on The Boys of Summer (song)

The Boys of Summer (song): Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

"The Boys of Summer" is a song by Don Henley, with lyrics written by Henley and music composed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers's guitarist Mike Campbell. It is the lead track and first single from Henley's 1984 album Building the Perfect Beast. The song's music video won many awards. "The Boys of Summer" was also performed live by Henley with the reunited Eagles; such a version is included on the group's 2005 Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne DVD.


The song title is taken from the 1972 non-fiction book The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn. Kahn's "boys of summer" are the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that Kahn covered as a sportswriter for the New York Herald Tribune. The book is about how the lives of the former ballplayers had changed between the time he covered the team and the time he tracked each of them down twenty years later. Henley's song, driven by synthesizers and a LinnDrum, has a haunting rhythm and feel throughout the intro, bridge, and verses, but a 'summer-ey' hook and guitar tones. Superficially, the song appears to be about the passing of youth and entering middle age, with the obvious theme of 'summer love' apparent in the choruses, and of reminiscence of a past relationship. The line, "My love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone" can be construed as a realization that relationships are often destroyed by one's own restless youth, even though there is a conflicting internal desire for that love to flourish.

In a 1987 interview with Rolling Stone, Henley explained that the song is more about aging and questioning the past—a recurring theme in Henley's lyrics (cf. "The End of the Innocence", and "Taking You Home".)

After a mid-way instrumental break is perhaps the song's most famous lyric: "Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac." This image of once-countercultural Deadheads driving establishment status symbol Cadillacs immediately connected with Henley's age group, and neatly encapsulated the song's feelings of loss and aging. It is rumored that this line was inspired by Henley seeing Joe Walsh driving a Cadillac Hearse with a Grateful Dead sticker on it while on Sunset Boulevard. The Ataris' version of the song replaced the 'Deadhead sticker' reference with one more appropriate to the age group of their fans, namely a 'Black Flag sticker,' in honor of the '80's punk band. This song is also played while relating to baseball events, such as a snippet of it being played during the commercial break of the 2003 MLB All Star Game & most recently, a commercial for MLB Network.


"The Boys of Summer" was a big hit, reaching number 5 on the U.S. pop singles chart and topping the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It was also a hit in the United Kingdommarker, reaching number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. A re-release of the single in 1998 also reached #12.

Henley won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song.

"The Boys of Summer" was ranked #416 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi stated in Metal Edge magazine that "The Boys of Summer" is the song he most wishes he'd written himself.

Music video

The music video to "The Boys of Summer" is a French New Wave-influenced piece directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Shot in black-and-white, it shows the main character of the song at three different stages of life (as a young boy, a young adult and middle-aged), in each case reminiscing about the past relationship. This is shown during the line "A little voice inside my head said don't look back, you can never look back" at which point, each of the three people look back in turn. The young boy in the video (played by a seven year old Josh Paul) resembles Henley to the extent that he also is a left-handed drummer. The cutaways of the "boys" jumping in the air appear to have been influenced by the 1938 film Olympia. Interspersed with these scenes are segments of Henley miming the words of the song while driving in a convertible. At its conclusion, the video uses the post-modern conceit of exposing its own workings, as with a wry expression Henley drives the car away from a rear projection screen.

The video won the Video of the Year at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards (leading Henley to comment at the Awards the following year that he had won for "riding around in the back of a pickup"). It also won that year's awards for Best Direction, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography. The Best Direction award was presented to Mondino by Henley's then-former Eagles bandmate Glenn Frey.

Chart performance

Chart (1984) Peak

US Billboard Hot 100 5
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Chart (1985) Peak

Dutch GfK chart 23
Dutch Top 40 26
Irish Singles Chart 7
UK Singles Chart 12
Chart (1998) Peak

Irish Singles Chart 23
UK Singles Chart 12
Chart (2009) Peak

Finnish Singles Chart 16
Swedish Singles Chart 35

Codeseven version

Codeseven album "A Sense of Coalition" (1998) gained popularity on college radio stations for a cover of "The Boys of Summer" (not to be confused with the Ataris' cover of the same song that became a mainstream radio hit years later).

DJ Sammy version

DJ Sammy (with vocals performed by Loona) covered the song in 2002. It was the third and last single released from the album Heaven.

List of Remixes

  1. Soulside Mix
  2. Green Court Remix
  3. Original Version
  4. Humate Remix
  5. Martin Eyerer Remix
  6. Original Radio Mix
  7. Original Extended Version
  8. Single Version
  9. Klubbheads Remix
  10. Jessy Remix
  11. BCD Project Remix

Music video

There were two music videos for the single. The official one features DJ Sammy driving a Mercedes-Benz 190SL along winding roads on cliffs beside a seashore and Loona singing the lyrics while there are scenes of young people enjoying themselves at a beach. Sammy arrives in the evening at a dance party on the beach and meets a female acquaintance at the end of the video.

The alternate version features DJ Sammy driving a Mercedes-Benz CLK around Barcelonamarker and is accompanied by a seemingly boisterous young man. Two young women are shown riding on a scooter and playing basketball. The video ends when Sammy gets fed up with his opinionated passenger, stops his car, gets out and walks around and drags the man out, pushes him down and punches him in the face. Meanwhile, the two young women who witness the incident get in and drive away in the unattended car with DJ Sammy watching them drive off.

Chart Performance

Chart (2002) Peak

Australian Singles Chart 9
Austrian Singles Chart 49
Irish Singles Chart 15
New Zealand Singles Chart 3
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 5
Chart (2003) Peak

Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 20
Dutch GfK chart 31
Dutch Top 40 19
Swedish Singles Chart 36
UK Singles Chart 2

The Ataris version

In 2003, the rock band The Ataris covered "The Boys of Summer" for their album So Long, Astoria. The song, to the band's dismay, became their second single when a radio station began to play it. The Ataris' version of the song replaced the 'deadhead sticker' reference with one more appropriate to the age group of their fans, namely a 'Black Flag sticker,' in honour of the '80's punk band. The single peaked at #2 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart and #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains their most successful single to date .

Chart performance

Chart (2003) Peak

US Billboard Hot 100 20
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 36
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 2
Australian Singles Chart 24
New Zealand Singles Chart 17
Swiss Singles Chart 87
UK Singles Chart 49

Other versions

In 1985, Detroit radio station WRIFmarker's "JJ & The Morning Crew" (Jim Johnson & George Baier) released a parody version called "After the Brewery on Gratiot is Gone," when the Stroh Brewery Company demolished its original Detroit brewery. In 2006, pop-punk band Seventh Heaven performed a version which sounds similar to the Ataris' version, although with a slightly faster beat . On 1 September 2006, an acoustic version of this song was performed by the Custom Kings on the Like a Version segment of the Mel in the Morning program on the Australian radio station Triple J. The Hooters recorded a version that featured mandolins, piano, acoustic guitars, and harmony vocals on their 2007 album Time Stand Still after performing the song as a fan favorite during their live shows the previous three years.

Other versions were recorded by Bree Sharp on More B.S. (2002), Sara Johnston (of Bran Van 3000) as a hidden track on Sleeper (2006), Norwegiansmarker artists Espen Lind, Kurt Nilsen (of World Idol fame), Alejandro Fuentes and Askil Holm on Hallelujah (2006, live album).


  1. {{cite web |url= |title=Chart Stats - Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer {1998} |accessdate= }}
  2. Suomen virallinen lista
  3. Sverigetopplistan

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address