Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bryan Adams - “Summer of ‘69”

We start out with a flashback of Bryan busting out the backdoor of a trashy trailer, lugging his guitar and shoving beer cans down his shirt, so we know this is probably not going to be Shakespeare. Cut to the rest of the band playing in a little abandoned warehouse, where most of the roof is missing and the camera is being shoved into the startling crotch of one of the guitar players. Nope, not Shakespeare.

Bryan comes running up to the group, and they start banging on their instruments and swigging beer, two things that just naturally go together. As Bryan hollers the lyrics, we watch the mess about “Jody getting married” and “knowing they’d never get far“, then the crappy building collapses and smashes one of the guitars. It’s kind of tragic, but we didn’t really know the guitar all that well, so it’s all good.

Cut to the present day, where Bryan is swinging in a hammock and apparently singing his issues to a geeky psychologist, who is scribbling madly in his little notebook but seems much more invested in gazing at Bryan’s conveniently “right there” crotch. This is only interesting for a few seconds, so I’m pleased when the hammock snaps, throwing Bryan’s ass to the ground and allowing us to move on.

And we’re back in the day with the black-and-white footage, at a drive-in movie theater, where Bryan slacks off on his job of painting the white screen, falls asleep, and is still on a scaffold when the movie starts. (I think this part is supposed to be funny, but we don’t quite get there. Sadly, this turns into a central theme for the rest of the video.) Some girl races up to drag him off the scaffold, a heroic action which inspires both of them to run off into a field and gaze at one an other with lust and admiration.

But the romance is short-lived, because we go back to color film as Bryan abruptly turns and walks away from her, leaving the poor girl standing there frozen and unsatisfied, then Bryan hops over a wall and we’re black-and-white again. Bryan and his delinquent buddies break into a grocery warehouse and start a food fight. (This was before cable TV, so there wasn’t anything else to do.) They hurl fruits and vegetables at one another with an aggressiveness that indicates somebody didn’t get spanked enough as a child.

A cop car pulls up, so Bryan and the boys hightail it, knocking over bushels of apples and oranges to block the path behind them. This sets up another supposed-to-be-funny bit, with the cops stomping on things and taking exaggerated tumbles, but all it really did for me was instill a craving for fruit salad. I guess you had to be there.

Color film again, with Bryan first stomping down some street, and then running back to that original crappy warehouse, which has somehow been resurrected despite probable court orders against doing so. The band gang is all there, and they rip into the song with swagger while the camera once again manages to find lots of crotch shots. (What is up with that angle, Director Person? What is happening in your life that you need to do this?)

The band plays for quite a while, with everybody grinning madly, a sure sign that there’s an empty bottle of tequila rolling around somewhere. (Or the super-tight jeans might be causing a tingling sensation, who knows.) The drummer seems especially happy to be here, pounding on the drums with a manic glee that would give most people pause. (But don’t they remember what happened the last time they got rowdy up in this grill. Damn place fell down.)

But I guess we’ll never learn if the building stays up this time, because the camera pulls away from the barn and we’re suddenly in a passing car, with Bryan’s brief former lover watching the band and smirking naughtily. Then we see she’s with some dude, and he wants to know why she’s staring all horny-eyed at the guys. She says it’s nobody, he doesn’t believe her, he slams on the brakes. And the video abruptly ends.

What the hell? Is this why some people don’t like Canadians?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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