Category: Single of the week

Private Investigations (Dire Straits)

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The intros to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Wham!’s Club Tropicana, to name a couple, musically build a vivid image that almost tell a story on their own. If you took away the vocals from Dire Straits’ dramatic 1982 hit Private Investigations and closed your eyes the entire backing track would tell you a story.

When asked who the music inspiration might have been, Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits’ lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter replied, “Ennio Morricone. It’s that slightly comic, melodramatic thing I call spaghetti music. Private Investigations is almost tongue-in-cheek and deliberately exaggerated.”

Dire Straits were formed in 1977 by brothers Mark and David Knopfler, with their friends John Illsley and Pick Withers. Mark had been a part-time teacher and part-time musician and was sharing a flat in Deptford, south London. He had played in a couple of local groups and managed to scrape together the £120 he needed for a demo tape. Their name was suggested, originally as a joke, by Pick Wither’ flatmate which Mark found too close for comfort but later ironic in the extreme.

That demo included what became their first hit, Sultans of Swing, which they wanted to play to legendary DJ Charlie Gillett. Mark said, “I liked Charlie and just wanted to get nothing more than his advice on the track, but he loved it so much he played it on his BBC Radio London show called Honky Tonk and within two weeks we were signed by Phonogram records.”

Their third album, Making Movies, sold over a million copies and was helped by the heroic hit single Romeo And Juliet which was badly edited for radio purposes. The original six minute track was cut down to four minutes and lost a lot of its meaning. This isn’t the first time this occurred; in fact it happened with most of their singles including Sultans of Swing which had a whole verse chopped.

Their next album was Love Over Gold which only contained five tracks, all mini masterpieces that opened with the epic 14 and a half-minute track Telegraph Road. The only single released from it was Private Investigations, which Mark said he didn’t want edited, but at six minutes and 47 seconds, it was too long for radio play. So an agreement was reached to edit a bit of the intro and the long outro down and a mere 55 seconds was removed. Thankfully, radio realised its potential and usually played the single version in full without DJ’s rabbiting over the beginning or end. I remember at my days at Radio 1, some of the DJ’s used the length of the track as a worthwhile toilet break.

The song begins with a sinister, deep pitched synthesizer orchestration, leading into a slow piano progression accompanying a classical guitar and a pulsing bassline. With the words whispered, rather than sung, Knopfler expresses the disillusionment and bitterness of a betrayed lover, likening his position to that of a private investigator uncovering scandal. “It’s just about a real private investigation,” Mark recalled, “What have you got at the end of the day? – Nothing more than you started out with…”

In Michael Oldfield’s 1984 book The Illustrated History of the band, Mark revealed, “The song was sparked off by something I read about Philip Marlowe. You hear different interpretations of it, but to me it’s deliberately movie. Philip Marlowe was the private detective created by the American novelist Raymond Chandler. The Marlowe novels could have been tailor made for film noir, a style of cinema that evolved in the United States after the Second World War, low budget gangster films and such made in black and white and portraying the underside of the American dream.” If it had been written thirty years earlier it would almost certainly have won an Oscar for a film noir soundtrack.

The song builds in tension with shrilling electric guitar chords towards the end, before the gradual diminuendo featuring interplay between Mark Knopfler’s acoustic guitar and marimba played by Mike Mainieri. The song reached number two giving them their join biggest hit to date, it was only kept off the top by Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger.

Private Investigations was used in the 1984 film Comfort And Joy which Mark Knopfler modified himself as certain scenes required only certain parts of the song. In 1994 and instrumental part was used for the BT television commercial and the title was used for their Greatest Hits compilations in 2005.

Two years after Private Investigations was a hit Mark wrote a song for Tina Turner called Private Dancer. “I was going to play on it but couldn’t. Tina got the whole Dire Straits band on it, but I was busy doing the Bryan Ferry sessions. So she got Jeff Beck to play the second ugliest guitar solo you’ve ever heard on it.”

I’ve Never Been To Me (Charlene)

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Charlene D’Angelo was born in Hollywood in 1950. She was discovered by the moguls of Motown Records who signed her to the label in 1973 and used her full married surname Charlene Duncan. They teamed her up with the song-writing duo, Ron Richards and Ken Hirsch, but her first single, All That Love Went to Waste did just that.

In 1977 she had dropped her surname altogether and released her first album, Charlene, which confusingly credited her as Charlene Duncan on the sleeve. The first single from it, It Ain’t Easy Comin’ Down, barely scraped into the US chart. Now signed to Prodigal Records, a subsidiary of Motown, she released, I’ve Never Been To Me which again made little impact.

The song was originally written from a male perspective but rewritten by Ron Miller. It was first recorded by Randy Crawford in 1976. Charlene explained her reaction when she first heard the song, “Those lyrics – ‘Hey lady, you lady, cursing at your life, you’re a discontented mother and a regimented wife’ – they hit me hard. I was a battered wife, I’d married at 16, had a child to my first husband, and Ron Miller’s song just spoke to me. I didn’t even know him but I just cried and cried. He actually stopped the tape to give me space to cry. It was such a beautiful song.”

When Charlene’s version was first aired in America there were many misconceptions about this song be about abortion. The spoken bridge in the song was not about or did it mention abortion – it was deemed too feminist and when Charlene’s first album was released in 1977, the spoken bridge had been deleted. When it came to issuing the song in 1982 the edited version could not be found so the version with the spoken bridge intact that was released. It has also been widely reported that the 1982 single was a re-recording, it was not. The line ‘I’ve been to crying for unborn children’ was also not about abortion. It refers to a woman who is at a point in her life that she wished she had taken the time to have children.

When no more hits were forthcoming, she became disillusioned with the music business and decided to call it a day. She married and moved to England where she took a job working in a sweet shop in Ilford.

In 1981 Scott Shannon, a DJ on a WRBQ-FM in Tampa, Florida, discovered the album and began spinning the track. Being an ex-member of Motown staff he swiftly informed the label’s president Jay Lasker who embarked on the task of tracking Charlene down and informing her of her belated success. Once they did, they rushed her into the studio to re-record the track. To enhance the song’s female sentiment she added the narrative passage in the middle. Charlene also recorded a Spanish language version, which interestingly replaced the line ‘I’ve been to Nice, and the isle of Greece’ with ‘I’ve been to Acapulco and Buenos Aires’.

The video was recorded at Blicking Hall, in the village of Blicking in Norfolk with Charlene wearing the same dress she got married in.

The song has been recorded by a multitude of people including The Temptations, entertainer Marti Caine, Howard Keel and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. As well as Charlene’s Spanish version, there was also a Japanese language version by Yuki Koyanagi. It has appeared in both film and television; in 1994 Hugo Weaving lip-synched it in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Jack McFarland parodied it in the sitcom Will & Grace and in 2005 the fictional character Edie Britt sang it in Desperate Housewives. Not everyone liked it, in 2006 CNN ran a poll to find the worst songs of all time and Charlene was there at number four. Now you want to know what beat it, don’t you. I’ll tell you at the end.

The song reached number one in the UK exactly one year after Motown had re-issued Michael Jacksons One Day in Your Life. Both songs were six years old when they hit the top. In the wake of her new-found success, Motown teamed her up with Stevie Wonder for the duet Used To Be. It failed to make the Top 50 in the US and missed the chart altogether in Britain. Motown were disappointed with the lack of success and dropped Charlene from the roster.  “I was offered Vegas at $50,000 a week,” Charlene recalled, “But I had no band. I just wasn’t ready and wasn’t prepared, so I couldn’t do it.”

Charlene is now living back in California and is still singing under the name Charlene Oliver. He has her own website and has recorded several songs including a dance version of I’ve Never Been To Me. She has written two books;  a children’s book called The Life and Tails Of Herman the Worm and her autobiography called I’ve Never Been To Me. She is now working on a new album scheduled for released at the end of this year. The first single from it is going to be called Heard You on the Radio.

So you still want to know what the top three worst songs were. OK, number three was Debby Boone’s 10-week US number one You Light Up My Life, number two was Captain and Tennille’s version of Muskrat Love and topping the pole was Paul Anka’s cheesy You’re Having My Baby, which I must say I agree with. If you haven’t heard it, ‘treat’ yourself by clicking here.

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There She Goes (The LA’s)

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There is nothing like persistence as the LA’s would know. They were formed in Liverpool in 1983 by original member Mike Badger and it took six years and four attempts for their best known track, There She Goes to be a decent hit.

Lee Mavers, who once had a childhood dream of playing for Everton, is the mainstay who joined in 1984 but is one of the most mysterious characters in music. He was asked in 1990 if the Art Schools of Liverpool, which are good training grounds for musicians, played a part in their formation, to which he replied, “Our school is the school of the universe, y’know. The universe is my university, y’dig. My school is the streets; my school is the world, the universe. I’ve got me own point of view about things, not somebody else’s.” Excellent!

He is a very enigmatic character much like Lou Reed or Syd Barrett and certainly as prolific as the latter. He met with John Power in 1986 and named themselves after the scouse slang, where they call everyone La (short for lads).  Over the next four years, they tried out eight different producers and 12 different band members and were still unable to capture the sound they wanted.

In 1990, they released their long-awaited first album, of which Mavers said in a Q magazine interview, “We hate it!” he explained, “We walked out on it while we were doing it. We hated it because we weren’t getting our sound across so we turned our back on it. Then the record company decided to do it themselves from a load of backing tracks and mixed it up themselves and put it out. There was no choice as to what single we wanted or anything, they even put a different cover on it. So it didn’t take us years to make, it just took the Go Discs (their record company) years to put it out!”

The first single was There She Goes which, when first issued in 1988, went nowhere. Rumours abounded that the song was inspired by the Velvet Underground’s There She Goes Again, which, apart from the similar title and lyrics, is completely different. Before it had a chance to be re-issued, because everyone said it sounded like a classic, there were more line-up problems, and Lee’s brother Neil, formally their roadie, stepped in on drums. The song was put out again in January 1989 where it limped to number 59 on the UK chart.

They decided to go with another track called Timeless Melody, which many close to them cited as another masterpiece. Test pressings were sent to radio stations and music papers for review and although Melody Maker made it Single of the Week, Mavers wasn’t happy with the production and had it scrapped. Around this time many new bands like the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans and Inspiral Carpets were coming through and not wanting to get left behind they eventually decided to issue Timeless Melody but sadly it petered out at number 57.

As it did get slightly higher than There She Goes had, it proved that there was interest and There She Goes was issued again towards the end of 1990 this time receiving fairly extensive airplay and thus reached number 13 and in turn attracted universal critical acclaim with Mavers being compared favourably to rock God’s like Pete Townshend and Ray Davies.

So what is the song about? Well it has no verses, just a chorus that is repeated four times and is generally cited as being about heroin mainly because if the lyrics ‘There she goes again, racing through my brain, pulsing through my vein, no one else can heal my pain’.  One music paper carried the sub-headline, The La’s’ ode to heroin. The bassist John Power was asked to comment, he gave a rather evasive answer, while La’s ex-guitarist Paul Hemmings flatly denied it. They certainly had a influence on the wave of Brit Pop bands of the mid-90s with Oasis’ Noel Gallagher stating in 1994, “We kind of want to finish what the LA’s started.”

They released one further single the following year, a track called Feelin’ but that fell short of the top 40 and they decided to call it a day.

With their cult following, many wanted to know what was happening. Mavers was not very forthcoming. He was interviewed in 1997 and asked how long’s it gonna take before The La’s release a new record? to which he replied, “As long as it takes, because that’s how long it takes…” It’s nothing new; in 1991 not a word would be spoken onstage. In interview, particularly in a notorious NME trip to New York in September ’91, Lee would have to be cajoled into saying anything, forever telling his inquisitors to feel the message in the music, to soak up the vibes. Nothing else was important.

In 1999, Sixpence None the Richer recorded a cover, seemingly not knowing the content of the song, and peaked once place lower than the LA’s did. It renewed interest, or  more likely the record company seeing a chance to make a few quid, decided to re-issue the LA’s version, for the fifth time but unsurprisingly, it didn’t pay off by only reaching number 65.

In 2003 a book called In Search of The La’s: A Secret Liverpool all about lee and his musical accomplices was released and it included an interview from three years earlier which saw Lee talking about his personality and what he intends doing musically even mentioning his return to the fore. Still nothing happened.

Two years later Lee reformed the band – bringing back John Power and they played a few dates in the UK including Ireland. They even appeared at Glastonbury. After that it all went quite again until 2011, when he and his friend Gary Murphy, formally of the Liverpool band The Bandits decided to go out and play some acoustic sets under the strange moniker Lee Rude & the Velcro Underpants. They played one place, which was classed as a secret gig at the Deaf Institute in Manchester. I wonder if the deaf people realised it was an acoustic set! Well at least for those who turned up, after all, it was a secret gig!

Vienna (Ultravox)

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Whenever there is talk about songs that were kept off number one in the chart, almost always, the most famous is generally cited as Vienna by Ultravox, which was kept off the top by Joe Dolce’s Shaddup You Face. There have been worst crimes, but novelty records have a tendency to do that, because, by definition, that’s what they are and people generally love novelty. When Midge Ure, Ultavox’s lead singer, was asked recently if it still irked him, he replied, “No. People tend to forget that John Lennon was shot at the same time and Imagine and Woman went to Number One as well. It was such a bizarre scenario where you went from the sublime to the ridiculous and both kept us off number One. But the fact that Vienna stayed where it did for such a long time and it outsold both records – it elevated the band from cult status, playing the college unions, up to where we could play Crystal Palace or Wembley, which was great.”

Ultravox began in the mid-seventies with John Foxx as their lead singer, but when Foxx left in 1979 and they were dropped by their record company, Island, the future looked bleak. However the arrival of Midge Ure heralded an unlikely revival of fortunes. Ure had been a member of the chart-topping Scottish teeny-bop outfit Slik, before teaming up with Rusty Egan and the former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock in The Rich Kids. He joined Ultravox in the spring of 1979 and they signed a new deal with Chrysalis records and the hits started coming beginning with Sleepwalk and Passing Strangers.

Vienna was co-written by all members of the band who were, in addition to Ure, Chris Cross, Billie Currie and Warren Cann. Cann, the band’s drummer recalled, “The song came together very quickly. I had a drum machine/synth pad pattern in mind that I’d wanted to do. I rolled it out saying to the band, ‘What about this, then?’ and began the ‘Vienna’ rhythm.”

Billie Currie remembered in an interview with Mojo magazine, “We were all being very arty, discussing the composer Max Reger, and Midge walked up and said in his Glaswegian accent, ‘This means nothing to me,’ and turned away. When we came in he’d put down this operatic-type chorus using that very phrase.” Cann continued, “A couple more verses were prepared by Ure and the song was ready.” The band settled into RAK, Mickie Most’s London studio, with the German producer Conny Plank, who had worked extensively with Kraftwerk. “It all clicked in a few hours and we ironed out the rough spots the next day,” said Cann, “Except for finessing the middle ‘solo’ section of the song once we were in the studio, that was basically it. A hit a day keeps the dole away. We knew it was the musical high point of the album and made it the title track. It was the song that best represented what we were trying to do. We were determined that it would be our third single and fought with Chrysalis over it; naturally, they thought it was far too long at six minutes, too weird for a Top 30 chart hit, and too depressing and too slow. Other than that, they liked it.” Midge recalled in Rolling Stone magazine, “I lied to the papers about it at the time. I wrote a song about a holiday romance, but in this very dark, ominous surrounding.”

The accompanying video, which was a mini epic, was predominantly filmed in London’s Covent Garden and included a tarantula crawling across the director, Julien Temple’s, face. For some, it’s reminiscent of the Vienna Secessionists from the 1949 film The Third Man directed by Carol Reed, who later went on to direct Oliver. There were bits done in Vienna and “We did it on the cheap,” recalled Cann. “There was just us and our trusty cameraman, Nick. We took an early morning flight to Vienna, ran round like loonies in and out of taxis as we filmed, and soon discovered that, due to it being the winter off-season, many of the splendid places we’d been counting upon filming were either shut for redecorating or covered with webs of scaffolding. We finished up in the cemetery for the shots with the statue which had been used for the single’s cover.” The gravestone is that of Carl Schweighofer who was a famous Austrian piano maker and is located on the Zentralfriedhof cemetery in Vienna. “We did the sunset shot, and then dashed back to London to start editing.”

Vienna was back in the chart in 1993 where it reached number 13. The reason being it was re-issued to promote Ultravox’s new greatest hits package which also included many of Midge’s solo singles and B-sides.

In December 2012, BBC Radio 2 polled their listeners to find the greatest number two hit and apparently a “panel of experts!” compiled the list which saw Vienna top their chart. Midge said, “We are extremely pleased and very humbled to have been given this honorary number one, especially knowing the outstanding records which were also in the running.” The other songs in the top five were; Fairytale of New York at five, Don McLean’s American Pie and three, James’ Sit Down at four and The Stranglers’ Golden Brown at five.

Golden Lights (Twinkle)

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Girl singers of the 60s were in full force by the middle of that decade, but unlike Sandie Shaw, Dusty Springfield and, dare I say it, Cilla Black, Twinkle was something of a rarity as she, like Jackie Trent, wrote her own songs and coming from a well-to-do background didn’t do her any harm either.

In 1964, Lynne Annette Ripley was 15 years old and should have been out with her friends and looking forward to leaving school, but instead she loved to sit and write songs. She was born in Surbiton and known almost from birth by her family pet-name Twinkle and attended Queen’s Gate School with Camilla Rosemary Shand, now known as Camilla Duchess of Cornwall. Her father was a local politician and an amateur songwriter so she was encouraged when she showed signs of wanting to write. She began penning songs around age 14 and her first attempt was a thing called A Little Bit Sad, but it was never recorded. Her first two offerings Unhappy Boy and The Boy I Once Knew both failed to make any impact. She said, “I was protected as a child and any boyfriend I had to be from Harrow or Eton. But I’d see motorbikes flashing by on the Dorking by-pass and I longed to be around people like that which is what inspired me to write Terry.”

Her elder sister, Dawn, used to write little features for girlie magazines like Jackie and Mirabelle and at school, the brothers of her friends had formed a band called the Trekkers which used to perform at the an unlicensed premises called Esmeralda’s Barn. The group were led by John Bloomfield who let Twinkle perform with them once a week.

She often attended showbiz parties with her sister where one night she was eyed up by Dec Cluskey, of The Bachelors. One night they were all having dinner in Kingston, and Twinkle’s father pulled out a demo of his daughter’s song called Terry and gave it to Dec which was then played to their manager Phil Solomon. The song was a teenage tragedy song, a death disc as they were known, about the passing of a boyfriend in a motorcycle crash. Dick Rowe at Decca records, who had turned down the Beatles, signed her and paired her with producer Tommy Scott. They went into Regent Sound Studios in London’s Denmark street and with engineer, Glyn Johns in charge they cut the track which featured then-session guitarist Jimmy Page. The track conjured up a dark mood with its woeful backing vocals, haunting organ and 12-string guitar all arranged by Phil Coulter. It was very much in the vain on Leader of the Pack which actually came six months later. Despite being banned by the BBC due to the then-controversial line ‘drove into the night, accelerated his motorbike’ the song still reached number four. It was helped by her sister who wrote about it in Mirabelle and this was followed by her TV debut on ITV’s Thank Your Lucky Stars. Soon after, she made her first public appearance supporting Jerry Lee Lewis in Brighton.

In early 1965, Twinkle was writing the follow-up to Terry called Golden Lights which was inspired by the sign she saw from her hotel window in Blackpool. Right opposite was the Blackpool theatre and the headlining act were the Bachelors all lit up in golden lights, although the song refers to a fictitious boyfriend who suddenly becomes a star and thus doesn’t want to know his girlfriend anymore. By the time the song had entered the chart; she had ditched Dec and was now dating Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits.

Because it shared the same downbeat mood of its predecessor the song peaked at number 21. The record company were unsure about recording an album at this time, so an EP titled A Lonely Singing Doll was released and the title track was an English language version of that year’s Eurovision Song contest entry for Luxembourg called Poupée de cire, poupée de son which was written by Serge Gainsbourg. It failed to sell but a mint condition copy is now in the region of about £70.

Twinkle recorded six singles in total for Decca including a cover of Skeeter Davis’ End of the World. Her last single was called What Am I Doing Here with You which was a lyrical reworking of 24 Hours From Tulsa. After a short spell of disappointing one nighters she effectively retired from the music business at the age of 18.

In 1969, she had a change meeting with the Stones’ producer Andrew Loog Oldham which resulted in her recording Mickey, a eulogy to her late boyfriend Michael Hannah. It was produced by Manfred Mann’s Mike D’Abo and released on Instant records, a subsidiary of Oldham’s Immediate label. It went nowhere.

She had a spell as a staff writer at ATV music but she admitted that she found it hard to write with other people. At this time she bizarrely teamed up with her father and recorded one track for Bradley’s records called Smoochy Smoochy under the guise Bill & Coo.

In the 80s she suddenly had some royalties when the The Smiths recorded a cover of Golden Lights as the B-side of the 1986 hit Ask, but if you look at your copy of the record you won’t find it, it was only available on the cassette single. You will, however, find it on the US-only released Louder Than Bombs which was a compilation of B-sides and BBC sessions.

During the 90s family commitments prevented any sort of comeback although she was occasionally seen on the nostalgia circuit. In the 21st century Twinkle followed in Doris Day and Chrissie Hynde’s footsteps by spending her time caring for animals at her home on the Isle Of Wight. Sadly she lost her five year battle with cancer on 21st May 2015.

The Boys Of Summer (Don Henley)

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How many times have you heard a song, analysed the lyrics and really thought you knew what it was about and then realise that it it’s not what you thought at all. I had a conversation with someone recently about Gloria Gaynor’s hit I Will Survive where, like most people, naturally, thought it was about a woman who sent her man packing and telling how she’ll get on fine without him, where it’s actually about the song’s writer, Dino Fekaris, getting fired by Motown where he was a staff writer. This week’s story is Don Henley’s The Boys of Summer which is not about leaving your youth behind and entering middle age.

The Boys of Summer is very much about looking back on a past relationship and wanting your ex back – wanting to return to what you had. Don co-wrote the song with Mike Campbell who is Tom Petty’s lead guitarist in the Heartbreakers. Mike explained how it all came about, “I used to have a 4 track machine in my house and I had just gotten a drum machine – when the Roger Linn drum machine first came out. I was playing around with that and came up with a rhythm. I made the demo on my little 4 track and I showed it to Tom (Petty), but at the time, the record we were working on, Southern Accents, didn’t really sound like anything that would fit into the album. The producer we were working with at the time, Jimmy Iovine, called me up one day and said he had spoken with Don, who I’d never met, and said that he was looking for songs. He gave me his number and I called him up and played it for him and he called me the next day and said he put it on in his car and had written these words and wanted to record it. Basically, he wanted to recreate the demo as close as we could. We ended up changing the key for the voice. We actually cut it in one key, did the whole record with overdubs and everything, and then he decided to change the key like a half step up or something, we had to do the whole record again, but it turned out pretty good.”

The title comes from a baseball book by Roger Kahn called Boys of Summer. The book is about The Brooklyn Dodgers, who broke the hearts of their fans when they moved to Los Angeles. The opening lyrics, ‘Nobody on the roads, nobody on the beach’ refer to the California coast as summer turns into fall. It becomes a much quieter place when the weather gets cold.

The rest of the first verse depicts how the subject is left behind because his ex has moved on but he hasn’t and how he still hangs onto hope: ‘But babe, I’m gonna get you back, I’m gonna show you what I’m made of / those days are gone forever I should just let them go’ The standout line in the song was the ‘deadhead sticker’, Don explained in an NME interview in 1985, “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!” Incidentally when the song was covered in 2003 by The Ataris, they changed that line to ‘I saw a black flag sticker on a Cadillac.” Black Flag is a hardcore punk band that Henry Rollins fronted.

In 1985, MTV held their second ever Video Awards ceremony and The Boys of Summer won Video of the Year, Best Director, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography. The video’s director was Jean-Baptiste Mondino, a French graphic designer who had made a video for the song Cargo de Nuit by a French singer named Axel Bauer. Mondino sent that video to Jeff Ayeroff, an executive at Henley’s label, Geffen. Ayeroff flew Mondino to California and had him meet with Henley, who was baffled by the pitch but decided to go with it and let Mondino do his thing. When Henley collected the award for Best Video, he admitted to having no idea what was going on when they shot the clip, but said that Mondino and his crew made “Southern California look like the South of France.” Apparently it was hard enough getting Henley to show up to awards because when The Eagles won the Album of the Year Grammy for Hotel California, Henley and the rest of the band skipped the ceremony completely.

The song reached number five in the Billboard chart and number 12 in the UK. It was re-issued in the UK in 1998 where astonishingly it reached number 12 again. The Ataris version petered out at number 49, but the biggest hit version came in early 2003 when Spanish DJ and producer, DJ Sammy took his version to number two, just four months after his chart-topping version of Bryan Adams’ rock classic, Heaven. If you have the DJ Sammy version on CD single, you’ll probably remember that it came with 11 different mixes. One was bad enough!

In 2010, Henley won a lawsuit against Chuck Devore who was running for a US Senate seat in California. Republican Devore used the song, alongside another Henley song All She Wants to do is Dance, in his advertising campaign which didn’t go down well with Henley. A California judge didn’t buy Devore’s defence that he was making “fair use” of the songs. Devore didn’t get the nomination, finishing third in the Republican primary.