Morrison started rehearsing “Summertime in England” in November and December 1979 along with “Haunts of Ancient Peace” at club gigs in the San Francisco area.
The album (Common One) version was recorded at Super Bear Studios in the French Alps in February 1980 and according to Mick Cox the second take was the one used on the album. The spoken section is in 3/4 time that begins with John Allair’s church organ fugue.
“Common One” was released in August 1980.
A live performance of “Summertime in England” as performed by Morrison with most of the Common One band members is featured on the 2006 released DVD, Live At Montreux 1980/1974.
A live version was recorded during concerts at the Grand Opera House in Belfast and released as the B-side of a 12 inch single released in February 1983 on the Mercury label.
Great concert featuring a brilliant “Summertime in England” (starting at 33:20).
Appropriately, “Summertime in England” is a highlight of a Dutch TV concert recorded in Rotterdam in 1981… and Pee Wee Ellis joins in on backing vocal as Van in dark shades ad libs about when “Auden and Isherwood split” (in Berlin) and summons up Ginsberg in Saint Louis, and Ferlinghetti´s City Lights books publishing Colin Wilson. A Beat manifesto?
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)
Ahoy, Rotterdam – May 23, 1981
Van Morrison: Lead Vocals
Mark Isham: Trumpet
Pee Wee Ellis: Sax – Backing vocals on “Summertime In England”
..Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him – the greatest of the greats then and now. I first met him in ‘62 or ‘63 and saw him a lot in those years. Not so much recently, but in some kind of way he was with me more than people I see every day.
~Bob Dylan (Statement on Johnny Cash – Sept 2003)
I love to go to the studio and stay there 10 or 12 hours a day. I love it. What is it? I don’t know. It’s life.
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
Lyle Lovett Inducts Johnny Cash into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
He was a giant, a great, great soul, with all the humanity, all the wit and humor, all the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and compassion for people. He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon and we shall miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him.
– Bob Dylan (George Harrison’s Obituary, Nov 2001)