Summer is a bummer: Five songs that will make you wish it was winter
5. Jonathan Richman – That Summer Feeling
Jonathan Richman’s 70s-era band, The Modern Lovers, were beloved proto-punks who successfully meshed the teenage thrills of The Sonics with the woozy pill-rock of the Velvet Underground. They wrote lots of songs about their hometown (Boston) and recorded more than a few of them with Kim Fowley.
Unfortunately, their timing and empty pockets kept them from breaking out nationally until their first album, Modern Lovers, landed in ’76. By that point, it was less about the band then it was about the man behind the songs; members split for The Cars and Talking Heads, and Jonathan became the breakout star.
His songs were plaintive, whimsical, almost child-like. But behind the easy simplicity was stark truth, and Jon became known as one of rock’s great troubadours. The Modern Lovers left behind one hit – 1976′s Roadrunner – and a lasting legacy. Jon went solo, and wrote this song. It’s the opening track from his 1983 album, Jonathan Sings!, and it may be the most spine-chilling summer-song ever recorded.
But what does it mean? Given the evidence, it is likely that “That summer feeling” will definitely “haunt you someday” – but when? And can we avoid it? Is it a Christmas Carol type situation, where we can cast out summer’s evil spirits if we frolic with enough wild abandon? The truth is in here, somewhere. And luckily, we’ve still got a few weeks to crack it.