the somnambulist

the somnambulist

Summer of '69 (revisited)

I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it til my fingers bled
It was the summer of '69
Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Ya - I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life
- B. Adams and J. Vallance

Thus immortalised in the words of Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Written in 1984 for Adams's Reckless album, the song became a major hit, and a must-perform at college rock shows. Interestingly, Adams was 10 year old in '69 and it would be another five years before he starts playing in a band. Christened "Best Days Of My Life" in the first draft, both Adams and Vallance didn't like something about the song, and Adams had even contemplated dropping it from Reckless. Fortunately he didn't, the song remained in Reckless, and the album went on to become number one at the countdown charts, and sold a whopping 12 million copies!

I have often wondered, what is so special about the song, that young adults identify so well with it? Is it the rendition, the music, the brand equity of the performer or is it one of those youth phenomena that we so often hear about? In my opinion, its neither. In fact, its because, each one of us, has a personal 'Summer Of 69' that we cherish so very much. Its that sepia colored period of our lives that we get nostalgic about. Its the time when our youth was innocent and we were able to savor it with gay abandon. High school, good friends, crazy ventures and puppy-love. Its a period that seemed so turbulent at the time, yet so serene and fairytale-like in retrospect. It was a time when friendships seemed so natural and guileless, when life wasnt as byzantine or banal as it seems now and when trying out new things seemed the natural thing to do.

Its with this youthful zest that we drifted into adulthood and found that life wasnt as easy as it was before. People were different now and so were their expectations from us. Relationships were no more easy and problems were graver than they were before. Slowly the youthful energy ebbed away and was replaced with a mature and pragmatic view of life and people, that seemed unthinkable of in the days of yore.

It is this metamorphosis that we secretly dislike and in the process cherish those days when life was simpler. Each one of us thus keeps a personal album of memories that reminds us that from that point onwards it was always downhill. I have my very own 'Summer Of 69' and its high time you started recollecting yours.


At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is rohittalwar@india.com

I completely agree with this write up... its definitely important to keep this things with oneself for life... They r certainly things to be treasured and valued.. I am happy I got my Summer of 69! Wat abt others here?!


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