In October 2002, Ryan Adams ejected a fan from his concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for repeatedly requesting a cover of Bryan Adams’s “Summer of ’69.” The show was part of the singer’s intimate “Demolition” acoustic tour; the heckler’s repeated shouts for the song were an annoying distraction.
The incident haunted Adams through the years, according to Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown by David Menconi.
“Over the years, the Ryman ‘Summer of ’69’ incident has come to be Ryan’s equivalent of Bob Dylan getting called ‘Judas’ onstage in England in 1966,” Menconi writes. “It’s the one thing that everybody seems to have heard about Ryan, even nonfans.”
On Tuesday, during the second night of a two-night engagement at the Ryman, Adams took a moment at the end of his set to honor that original heckler’s song request, delivering a surprise acoustic version of “Summer of ’69.”
According to Rolling Stone, toward the end of the performance, Adams stepped to the front of the stage while a roadie fetched a lyrics sheet and placed it next to the microphone. Adams studied the lyrics for a moment, then dived into the Bryan Adams’s song with a performance meant to provide closure to an incident that had stained the singer’s relationship with the city for over a decade.
Check out Ryan Adams’s rendition of “Summer of ’69” in the video above.