Summer Of '69
Recording Artist: Catherine Porter
Writers: Jim Vallance
Bryan Adams
Date Written: January 1984
Album: Gems For Ruby (Swing Cafe label, UK, 2009)
  Produced by Mark Jaimes and Danny Saxon
Vocals: Catherine Porter
Cover Versions:
Also recorded by Bowling For Soup, DJ Otzi, Emily's Toybox, Janet Theory, Jive Bunny, MxPx, Bryan Adams, John H featuring Barfalk, WC Experience
Catherine Porter CD cover >
May 2008 ... I was staying at the recently opened Greenwich Hotel in New York when I got an email from Bryan Adams, with an audio file attached:  "Hey Jim, this was forwarded to me by Brian May of Queen, check it out".

It was a recording of "Summer Of '69" by singer Catherine Porter, a member of the Brian May Band.  She'd just finished recording a solo album of her favourite songs, titled "Gems For Ruby" (her daughter's name is Ruby) and she decided to include "Summer Of '69".

I have to confess, nine-times-out-of-ten I'm not that thrilled with cover versions of my songs, but this is one of those rare occasions when I was MORE than thrilled.  Catherine has done a lovely job, and by reinventing the track as a ballad she found something in the song that I hadn't previously seen or heard.

I got my first real six-string
I bought it at the "Five and Dime"
Played it 'til my fingers bled
It was the summer of '69

Me and some guys from school
Had a band and we tried real hard
Jimmy quit and Jody got married
I shoulda known we'd never get that far

Whoa when I look back now
Summer seemed to last forever
And if I had a choice
Ya, I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life

Oh ya - the summer of '69
Mmm ya

Ain't no use in complainin'
When you got a job to do
Spent my evenin's down at the drive-in
And that's when I met you

Standin' on my mama's porch
You told me that you'd wait forever
Oh and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life - oh ya

The summer of '69 - oh ya
Back in the summer of '69 - oh ya
Ya, the summer of '69
Mmm ya