Photo by Ben Kaye
Almost 13 years ago, Ryan Adams played a solo acoustic gig at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The set featured appearances by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, but also one obnoxious audience member who wouldn’t stop calling for Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69”. See, Ryan Adams and Bryan Adams are very similar names, so this heckler thought he was being hilarious. Adams, however, didn’t think it was so funny; in a curse-filled rant, he had the guy booted from the venue, though at least with a $40 refund in his pocket.
The moment is infamous in Adams lore, but the story got even more incredible on Tuesday night. Adams was finishing a two-night stint back at the Ryman, and against all odds, he actually delivered on the ejected soul’s request with a cover of “Summer of ’69”. Alone on stage with an acoustic guitar and the lyrics in front of him, the singer turned in a version of the classic 1985 track without a hint of derision or irony. He instead played it straight, a heartfelt tribute to young love, and it was frankly gorgeous.
Watch the performance below, and to the guy who was kicked out all those years ago, here’s your redemption:
In recent years, Ryan Adams and Bryan Adams have actually grown to become quite good friends.