the Buzz for July 2014


Don Henley — “The Boys of Summer”
(from The Very Best of Don Henley) —

“When the song came out [in 1984], for me then, the idea of being 50 was so far away. . . . And then here I was singing that song [now at 50] and I’m a very different person from that person who was listening to that then. . . . You realize that time is passing on, people are leaving the planet, people are coming on to the planet, and the boys of the summer change — who those boys are changes — but for a time you are that thing and you’re still that thing that you were. Some people who aren’t with us anymore can still be that in memory, but not physically. It is quite sad.”

— the terrific Tori Amos, describing to The Huffington Post’s Noah Michaelson what was going through her mind when she decided to cover Don Henley’s Grammy-winning solo classic smash while on the Scandinavian leg of her latest world tour (this one in support of her languid new record Unrepentant Geraldines) earlier in the year. The shaky YouTube clip of this performance — which I’ll embed at the bottom of this post if I can remember how the hell to do it — held me enraptured just moments ago; once again, Tori proves just how peerless she is at the act of drilling down to the very heart of a song — any song! — and yanking its inherent melancholy core to the fore. (And do know that when I say “any,” I mean exactly that, and if you ever heard Tori’s heart-wrenching take on the old children’s chestnut “This Old Man” — one of the brilliant b-sides of her “Caught a Lite Sneeze” single in 1996 — then you damn well know what I mean.) (PS: Don’t mind me if I spend the remainder of this day trying to wrap my blown mind the fact that this classic track will celebrate its thirtieth birthday later this year, a fact made all the more crazy by the fact that I can still clearly remember the first time I ever heard it on the radio in that gloriously alive autumn of 1984. Fear not, Tori: we’re all getting older, babe.)


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