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Songs Of My Life: Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69 (Summer of ’99)

After I interrupted my “regular” series of Songs of My Life for the Christmas edition with Tiny Tim, the first posting of my series in 2021 is again presenting a song, which is having a very different meaning to me. Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams has been a really successful track and a global success. To me it, it is however connected with my very favorite idol in sports.

 

Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69 – The Story of The Song

Bryan Guy Adams was born in Kingston, Ontario, quite in the middle between Toronto and Ottawa, on 5th November 1959. He spent part of his childhood in Lisbon (Portugal), Vienna (Austria) and Tel Aviv, Israel, as his father worked in the diplomatic services. His first steps into the music scene wre in the late 1970’s, when he was also part of some bands of the Vancouver music scene. In 1978, he signed his first record deal (for one dollar) and his demo recording Let Me Take You Dancing already made it to the Canadian Singles Charts the same year.

His career grew steadily and his third album, the 1983 Cuts Like A Knife, did not only feature two successful singles, the title track and Straight from the Heart (which was his first Top 10 – in the USA), but had some remarkable international chart placements. The album got triple platinum status in Canada and platinum in the US. His international breakthrough, however, was the album Reckless, which he released in November 1984. It topped both North American charts and was Top 10 in Australia, Norway, Sweden and the United KingdomReckless is featuring a couple of songs, which are key repertoire of Bryan Adams still today, including Run To You, Heaven – and, of course, Summer of ’69.

It did not happen in 1969

If you question yourself which magical events happened in the summer 1969, when Bryan Adams was just nine years old, you might be disappointed. In fact, the song is a reference to the sexual position of 69, not about the year, as Adams stated in this CBS article. Another very interesting fact about the song is that in a couple of European markets, the song became big in the charts significantly later than its release as a single in June 1985. For example, the song peaked eighth in the Belgian and fourth in the Dutch charts of 1990, you also spot Top 100 placements in 2006 and 2008 in the UK. The song has also been awarded in a couple of other ways. The most remarkable is likely by the Canadian Chart Attack music magazine, which called it the fourth best Canadian single of all times.

 

Tennisindia.org – Summer of ’99 – My Story of The Song

My story of the Summer of ’69 has nothing do to with Canada, nothing to do with 1969 and absolutely nothing with intercourse. As a couple of stories you will run into reading the Songs of my Life category postings, my story is related to Indian tennis. And it is about the summer of 1999 – a story of two of my absolute sports heroes – the Indian tennis players Mahesh Bhupathi and my big idol Leander Paes. The latter wrote Indian (and global tennis) history on the 4th July 1999 in Wimbledon, London, at the legendary Grand Slam tournament.

The Indian Express, the tennis doubles of Bhupathi and Paes, were dominant in men’s double tennis of 1999. They came to Wimbledon as top seed team, after they were finalists at the Australian Open and won the French Open the same year – finally they made it to all Grand Slam finals in that year. In Wimbledon, they had a brutal fight to the finals. They were trailing by two sets in the quarterfinals against Lareau (CAN) / O’Brien (USA) and winning the match in five sets. On 3rd July 1999, they again took the full distance with a 7-5 fifth set winner against Delaitre / Santoro. On that 4th July 1999, they won Wimbledon for the first time beating Dutch Paul Haarhuis and Jared Palmer (USA) 6-7(10) 6-3 6-4 7-6(4). This team, which unfortunately had some personal issues the years thereafter, was a huge pride of their country, both stayed top class tennis players for years.

 

Leander Paes – Three Matches, Two Grand Slam Titles

But that 4th July 1999 was not over yet for Leander Paes. Alongside US-American Lisa Raymond, he had still at least one match to go – the Mixed semifinal against Mark Knowles (Bahamas) and Russian Elena Likhovtseva. They went to the finals and had to play the Mixed Doubles Final the same day, facing Jonas Björkman (Sweden) and Anna Kournikova (Russia), who by the way made it to the final by a walkover given by the tennis legends, Germany’s Steffi Graf and USA’s John McEnroe. The final score of that match was 64 36 63 in favor of the US-Indian doubles. By that, Paes won three matches, 7-3 sets, on the same of a final day in Wimbledon, winning two Grand Slam titles. The Mixed Doubles title was the first one (out of 18 so far) of his career. In 2015, by the way, Leander Paes, at the age of 42, won three Mixed Doubles Grand Slam tournames (all but Paris) alongside Swiss Martina Hingis.

 

But why Summer of ’69?

Nowadays, Indian Tennis is strongly supported by my partner website, indiantennisdaily.com. Indian tennis, however, was always quite strongly supported – and there was a website called tennisindia.org – which is nowadays unfortunately offline. The community of this website was really active, driven by a professor based in Irvine, California, R. “Jay” Jayakrishnan. Of course, I was part of that community cheering for Leander during his matches at my home at University. Being gifted to be able to follow that final day of Wimbledon, one of our fan club members, rephrased the Bryan Adams lyric to something I would name to be an unofficial Leander Paes anthem, Summer of 99. You see the lyrics at the bottom of this posting.

This 4th July 1999 impressed me that much that I still know these altered lyrics (likely better than the original) and still own a (1999) t-shirt which is featuring them. I have been gifted to meet Leander and Mahesh multiple times of my life – and even though they split up after a while, they are the most influential sportsmen of my life.

 

Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69 – Spotify & Lyrics

Here is the Spotify widget to the song

You can read the full original lyrics of the song here.

 

Tennisindia.org – Summer of ’99 – Lyrics

Here is the full Tennisindia.org lyric as I wrote it down in the summer of 1999. I unfortunately cannot reconcile the author – if the person is contacting my, I will definitely give my kudos to it.

 

I got my first real taste of Wimbledon
Bought it for 60 pound,
Clapped until my fingers hurt
It was the summer of ’99

Me and my friends
watched the order of play
and tried real hard
Stewart quit, Prince Eddy got married
I thought we’d never get far

Oh when I look back now
I wish the dinal day would last forever
And if I had the choice
Ya – I’d always wanne be there
That was the best day of my life

Ain’t no use in complainin’
When you got a job to do
That was your attitude
And that’s why the trophies came to you.

Standin’ on the Centre Coourt
You were the best Indian ever
Oh and when you held the trophy
I knew it was now or never
That was the best day of my life
Back in the summer of ’99

Man you were killin’ the opposition
You were young and fearless
You needed to unwin
I guess nothin’ can last forever – forever, no

And now the times are changin’
Wimbledion has come and gone
Sometimes whenI look back at the pictures
and wonder how all went so right

Standing on the Centre Court
You were the best Indian ever
Oh and when you held the trophies
I knew it was now or never
That was the best day of my life
Back in the summer of ’99

 

My Posting about Leander Paes

I honored Leander Paes in a separate posting when he won his 750th ATP match:

Ode to my Superhero – Leander Paes

 

Title picture: Summer of ’69 – music video screenshot

 

Flyctory.com about Indian Tennis

Here are all postings related to tennis and India:

 

Songs Of My Life

Here are the postings of the personal Songs Of My Life category:

 

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