Discover Songs


Time now for our ongoing conversations about favorite summer songs. We're asking people to tell us about a song that has a particular connection for them with a summertime memory. Today we're going to hear from Adam Duritz, the lead singer and founder of the band Counting Crows.

(Soundbite of song, "Mr. Jones")

Mr. ADAM DURITZ (Singer): (Singing) Mr. Jones and me tell each other fairy tales. And we stare at the beautiful women. She's looking at you. Ah, no, no, she's looking at me.

BLOCK: Adam Duritz joins us from his summertime tour with Counting Crows. Welcome to the program.

Mr. DURITZ: Hey, that was the wrong song.

BLOCK: Wrong song? That's not your favorite summer song.

Mr. DURITZ: Well, I mean, I like that song.

BLOCK: It's a great song.

Mr. DURITZ: It wasn't the one I was going to pick.

BLOCK: Well, what's your pick?

Mr. DURITZ: I picked "Save It for Later" by The English Beat or The Beat.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It for Later")

BLOCK: "Save It for Later" from 1982 and The English Beat's album "Special Beat Service." The English Beat started in Birmingham, England. They fused pop, reggae, punk and ska.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It For Later")

THE ENGLISH BEAT (Band): (Singing) Two dozen other dirty lovers, must be a sucker for it. Cry, cry, but I don't need my mother. Just hold my hand while I come…

BLOCK: Adam Duritz of Counting Crows had just graduated from high school in Berkeley, California in 1982 when this song came out. The English Beat came to play at Berkeley's outdoor amphitheater, the Greek Theatre, that summer. And Adam Duritz camped out all night to make sure he'd get a spot right up front.

Mr. DURITZ: Because the first, like, two or three rows were open. If you got there early enough you could get those rows. And we'd camp out there and then just go see the show.

BLOCK: What is it about this one song, "Save It For Later," that for you clicks when you think of favorite summer song?

Mr. DURITZ: You know, I was trying to look at the lyrics and see what it was, and I don't know. There's just something about the joy of the song. Like, it just seems so Technicolor to me. The harmonies, the melodies are perfect. There's so many interesting sounds going on.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It for Later")

Mr. DURITZ: And I think that day, you know, it's just so engraved in my memory of just this beautiful, sunny summer day and watching these bands play all day and the sun having gone down, so that means the lights and the colors from the stage were lighting up as they came to play. And then the weird realization right afterwards that that was it. That was the end of the band. That was the last show they ever played.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It for Later")

THE ENGLISH BEAT: (Singing) You hit the deck you get found out. Save it for later. Don't run away and let me down. You let me down.

Mr. DURITZ: Those feelings that you don't get to hold onto, those memories of a moment when you just felt good. Something about the music just completely infused you with this - the celebration of it, you know, of being able to play it. I know what that's like on stage sometimes, just that feeling of, like, I can't possibly express in what I'm about to sing how great it feels to sing it.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It for Later")

THE ENGLISH BEAT: (Singing) I don't know how I'm meant to act with all of you lot. Sometimes I don't try, I just, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now…

Mr. DURITZ: And it's the only song I can remember from the day. It's funny, because I'm picturing it in the sunshine, and I'm sure they were playing at night.

BLOCK: But you see sunshine.

Mr. DURITZ: But, like, it just seems like this crystalline, perfect summer day, and I'm just euphoric. And this song is just shimmering.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It for Later")

THE ENGLISH BEAT: (Singing) Save it for later. Don't run away and let me down. You let me down. You runaway, runaway…

BLOCK: Adam Duritz, it's fun to talk to you. Thanks so much.

Mr. DURITZ: Thank you very much.

BLOCK: And have a great summer.

Mr. DURITZ: And you should all go listen to that record, "Special Beat Service."

BLOCK: You know, somewhere in my basement I still have that LP in a box.

Mr. DURITZ: It's a great record.

BLOCK: It's a great record.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It for Later")

THE ENGLISH BEAT: (Singing) Just hold my hand while I come to a decision on it.

BLOCK: Adam Duritz of the band Counting Crows with The English Beat's "Save It for Later" as his song of summer.

(Soundbite of song, "Save It for Later")

THE ENGLISH BEAT: (Singing) Sooner or later, your legs give way, you hit the ground. Save it for later, don't run away and let me down. Sooner or later, you hit the deck you get found out. Save it for later, don't run away and let me down. You let me down. You runaway, runaway, runaway, runaway, runaway. You let me down.

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