IF ANYONE has ever doubted the pulling power of Bryan Adams’ iconic song Summer of ’69, then they should have witnessed a music experiment at Boardwalk Tavern, on the Gold Coast, last week.
Adams may have sold 60 million records in the past 27 years but I decided to test whether his music was still popular locally, so I requested lively cover band Pulse play the 1984 hit, Summer of ’69, while at the trendy Hope Island venue last Friday night.
Despite Pulse belting out favourites from groups such as the Police, Hunters and Collectors and Foo Fighters, only a song by Sneaky Sound System attracted a handful of brave souls to the dance floor – that is, until my request.
As soon as the memorable words “I got my first real six-string” were sung the dance floor was flooded with more than 40 people from all age groups, teenagers to 40-plus-year-olds.
“That song has a life of its own; it’s phenomenal,” Adams says. “That song is what every songwriter dreams about.
“It was unexpected because I had no idea it was going to be a big hit when I was writing it. I can never tell which songs will be hits.
“It didn’t go to No.1 in many countries but over the course of the years it’s become such a famous song.
“Ten years after it was released I got a phone call that the song went No.1 in Holland.”
Only the most devoted Adams fan would be aware of the song’s real meaning.
The summer of ’69 does not refer to the year of 1969 but about a summer of love-making.
“It’s a nostalgic song looking back at the summer of ’69, a summer of making love, about having a laugh,” Adams says.
“It’s not really about a particular relationship. It wasn’t particularly about one summer, it’s about a summer, which is probably why the song has lasted so long.”