Who – Summertime Blues

Eddie Cochran wrote this song and released it in 1958.

Cochran wrote this with Jerry Capehart, a songwriter who was good friends with Cochran and helped him get a record deal. Capehart said: “There had been a lot of songs about summer, but none about the hardships of summer.” With that idea and a guitar lick from Cochran, they wrote the song in 45 minutes.”

I like the Cochran version…and the Who version…they are completely different. I’ve always loved the way the Who covered it. If I had a time machine The Who would be a stop to see live at this time.

This song was on their great live album Live At Leeds. The song peaked at #27 in the Billboard 100, #8 in Canada, and #38 in the UK in 1970.

Live at Leeds would be my pick for best rock live album ever. The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, and #3 in the UK.

Summertime Blues

I’m gonna raise a fuss, I’m gonna raise a holler
About a-workin’ all summer just to try to earn a dollar
Well, I went to the boss, get a girl for a date
But the boss says, “no dice son, you gotta work late”
Sometimes I wonder what I’m a-gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

Well, my mama and papa told me, “son, you gotta make some money”
If you want to use the car to go ridin’ next Sunday
Well, I didn’t go to work, I told the boss I was sick
“Well, you can’t use the car ’cause you didn’t work a lick”
Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

I’m gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine vacation
I’m gonna take my problem to the United Nations
Well, I went to my congressman and he said, quote:
“I’d like to help you, son, but you’re too young to vote”
Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime Blues

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

50 thoughts on “Who – Summertime Blues”

  1. Yeah. A great song. Like you, I like both versions. I hear a lot of similarities and reverence for the original in The Who’s version, but within that, they made a stand alone version with their stamp on it. To me–and I know there’s an argument to be had–but The Who’s Summertime Blues is the beginning of Motorhead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I bought their compilation album Hooligans, this is the song my little brother liked and played over and over. He was about 10 at the time. It led to great things, because he’s now an open mic singer-guitar player.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had Hooligans…first Who album I ever bought…I then got Who’s Next after that.

      That is great…it takes a lot of courage to get up there by yourself. I’ve only done that a few times…but 99 percent of the time with a band.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Its great! But don’t forget the B Side. The Leeds version of Heaven & Help is killer. The Who was never better than that period and Live at Leeds is an amazing document of rock as jet engine.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s really full sounding…I like it. Marc had a great touch. Oh….is his partner still alive he had in T-Rex?


      2. Mickey Finn, no he died a while back. He’s the one on drums there, I guess. There was also Steve Peregrin-Took (great name) who was Bolan’s bandmate in the 60s, but he died from an overdose in the eighties I think

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Live at Leeds is an absolute monster of an album isn’t it. Was listening to it last night after seeing your post. Two tracks that struck me more than they used to were ‘can’t explain’ (hear the ease and swagger – they were at their peak) and ‘amazing journey’ (some of those guitar/bass combinations are something else). Summertime blues was one of the first tracks I liked from the album – great pop track, driven by that incredible bass (#HUGEBOTTOMEND)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tommy sounds better live to me…they were so tight..
      Yea Summertime Blues was the first thing I heard off of Leeds also. The bass…yea!


      1. Yes…I’ve listened to that one…one thing I don’t like…it’s too short! He was the non-drunk one…remember more! lol…It’s good man.

        Get John Entwistle’s bio…it was just released not long ago…I listened to that one. It’s good.


      2. Ah great. I’ve got a few audible credits that I want to use before cancelling. scribd is all I need, but it doesn’t have everything. Will check out that one. Know any other music bios read by the person? Or any bios in general. Springsteen was great. Townsend, keith’s, patti smith;s too (though her music is awful lol)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The only one that we haven’t mentioned that is read by the artist that I have is Graham Nash Wild Tales…. you get a good look at the mid sixties and a heavy dose of idealism…I like some idealism but there is a lot.
        A lot about Neil and the rest also. A few cool stories in there.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Waging Heavy Peace was not read by him…plus he talks more about his cars and his format of music…the company he started…more than music.


      5. I looked before…he actually has two now. Waging heavy war isn’t read by him as you say. He has another, mostly about cars, which he reads. Not even slightly interested in cars so I’ll give it a pass!
        I’m looking into the wider world of bios as well now. I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It is pretty cool hearing that…the flip side is I’ve heard authors of biographies who shouldn’t have tried…but that is not including the artists that did it.
        Bruce probably did the best job.


      7. I wouldn’t mind trying the Jimmy Carter. I have respect for him…good human being…not so much president…but his timing sucked. Hell he would quote Dylan…at that time that was unheard of.


      8. Did you see Bob Woodward has another book on Trump out? I read his first…might have to give this new one a look. You’ll never get another chance to study real-time presidential ineptitude and incompetence up close!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Ah give it time Jeremy! America can do some of the craziest things.
        Woodward is still going has been around forever…that should be interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. He must be writing real time… Still can’t believe he is the one that talked to “deep throat” about Nixon.


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