Howard Stern unearthed footage on his YouTube page where Tom Petty is mentioned. Eagles frontman and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Don Henley discussed how the original concept of his 1984 classic solo hit – The Boys of Summer, was actually given to him after Tom Petty rejected the song. Howard Stern revealed what really killed Tom Petty last month. Alternative Nation transcribed Stern and Henley’s comments.
Stern: Here let’s have some fun now, you’re here live and got your whole band but what about The Boys Of Summer? You love the song, right?
Henley: I do.
Stern: Tell me about writing this song, did it come to you quick? [Howard imitates a snapping motion.]
Henley: Yeah, kind of. This song started out with Mike Campbell. Mike Campbell as you should know is Tom Petty’s lead guitarist.
Stern: [Getting defensive] Are you trying to tell me I don’t know that?
Henley: Well I don’t know
Stern: Of course I know [who that is], I’m a rock aficionado. Do you know what I mean? Howard Stern recently made a heartbreaking Axl Rose revelation.
Henley: However, it was a track, just a track. Petty had recorded it again in his home studio and so this was one that Tom Petty had rejected.
Stern: Tom Petty passed on this track.
Henley: He passed on this track, yes.
Stern: They bring it to you?
Henley: They bring it to me.
Stern: And you say that you’ll write a couple of lyrics to this thing, right?
Stern: What made you think of The Boys of Summer? It just sounded good to you, huh?
Henley: Yeah and I’m a baseball fan.
Stern: That’s what it was all about.
Henley: [Shaking his head] Well, it’s not about baseball really but rather life and looking back. I have a thing for nostalgia, I have a thing for looking back.
Stern: So here it is, this beautiful song The Boys of Summer. You wanna do it live?
Henley: We’re gonna go into a very contemplative version. You can meditate to this version.
Stern: You’re changing this around a little bit?
Henley: Yeah, we have a slower, more thoughtful version.
Stern: Very nice. Here we go – the great Don Henley!