While driving on a California freeway, former Eagles’ drummer Don Henley spotted a Grateful Dead bumper sticker on a Cadillac Seville and was inspired to include this dichotomic image in a new song. The result was “The Boys of Summer”, a philosophical song about seasons and aging which became a worldwide hit in 1984.
Henley composed the song with guitarist Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who added the signature guitar riffs, while the consistent, electronic percussion pattern was provided by Neil Giraldo, and is almost verbatim the same beat used in Pat Benatar’s hit “Love Is a Battlefield”.
In the three plus decades since its release, “The Boys of Summer” has remained a fresh and potent piece which at once celebrates the prime experience of the Summer and foretells of the coming decline of Autumn.
Listen to “Boys of Summer”: