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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 155
Tues. July 2, 2013

“Summertime Rolls”
Jane’s Addiction

1988

“♫ I
mean
it’s
serious
as
serious
can be
♫”

At a live show in 1986, Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell cryptically introduced “Summertime Rolls” as “This song’s about getting laid on a waterbed…no…it’s about laying in a park…no, it’s not…yes, it is.” “Summertime Rolls” is the trippy love song that Perry dedicated to his longtime lover Casey was originally penned by Farrell and Jane’s bassist Eric Avery. It’s no coincidence because Avery is the star, sounding like an echoing buoy floating on the ocean, Eric’s bass line quiet bass line is the anchoring heartbeat to Perry’s love poem.

If you’re wondering how “Summertime Rolls” was crafted, in Jake Brown’s book Jane’s Addiction: In the Studio, engineer Ronnie Champagne shared an insight into the L.A. band’s creative process when he said, “In “Summertime Rolls” on that line where [Perry’s] singing ‘Summer, summer, summer, summer, summer, summer’ over and over again and little fairy voices, and psych-acoustic kind of trips, a lot of that came when we were listening back through the three takes I recorded of [Farrell’s] lead vocal. So there’s 6 tracks right there and each time Perry did a lead take, one was wildly different from another, and we would pick from different highlights among them and comp together our vocal master.”

Because Jane’s Addiction created some of the most wildest and tripped out music of the late eighties and early nineties, in Brendan Mullen’s Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction, guitarist Dave Navarro uses ‘Summertime Rolls” as proof to dispute the claim that Jane’s Addiction as a 90’s modern Goth, art rock band when he said, “Sure I enjoy dark music, but I don’t think of the band as “dark,” it’s too multidimensional. “Been Caught Stealing,” which is very poppy and upbeat and tongue-in-cheek about an experience Perry had as a kid and now he’s laughing about it; but nobody wants to say we’re a goofy, carefree band. There’s also happiness and joy. Listen to “Summertime Rolls,” it’s an amazing, beautiful song.”

Besides the touching heartache of “Jane’s Says,” “Summertime” is Jane’s Addiction quintessential love song. Drummer Stephen Perkins agreed when he told Music Illuminati, “I love knowing that people got married to “Summertime Rolls”, or one of our songs meant something to them. And that whole record is still like one big piece of music to me.

Author Sarabeth Purcell is a fan of Nothing’s Shocking’s “Summertime Rolls;” in her book Love is the Drug: A Novel, she wrote, “Yeah, the Ecstasy reference is obvious, but I like the idea of actually being sober with someone and having such a nice sensation that I feel like I’m on drugs. I bet this is really about oral sex. It has to be.” Purcell must be a die-hard Jane’s fan for she has some very instinctual impressions on “Summertime.” It’s no coincidence that bassist Eric Avery shares some of Sarabeth’s insights in Mullen’s book Whores, when Avery said, “We were concerned with passion, expression and experience. There are certainly sweet aspects to what we did. “Summertime Rolls” comes to mind.”


Dave Navarro said it best when talking to Rosebud Magazine about “Summertime Rolls,” when he described Jane’s Addiction as “[a] band that certainly gets under your skin and into your psyche in such a way that it comes out in ways you’re not even aware of until you look back.” Jane’s Addiction’s “Summertime Rolls” is song that’s feels exactly like the perfect wave washing over you like naked kisses on a beach.. An anthem for rolling lovers everywhere—we urge you to take a dive inside Perry Farrell and Eric Avery’s perfect trippy love song; experience this dripping beauty and let “Summertime Rolls” wash over your skin again today.

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