There’s a nostalgic air about hot summers that have gone. It’s a pretty strong feeling, even for people who are only 17, they can remember a summer when they were 10. In Britain you tend not to get too much of that stuff anyway, so you tend to remember ’em.
To me the song is three summers: one when I was a kid going to Butlins in my short trousers, feeling embarrassed cos I wanted long trousers. That was a good one, sort of donkeys on the beach summer.
Then the second verse is a bit more grown up, when I imagine you’re working, so I associate that lyric with The Beatles – ‘It was a silly season, was it the best? We didn’t need a reason, just a rest!’ That’s one of my favourite lines on the album. It reminded me of The Beatles because of some photos taken by Dezo Hoffman, great shots of us in old-fashioned Victorian bathing gear, John doing the Charleston – classic stuff.
Then the third verse is kinda ominous, talking about a great summer before the war; that takes the good-time edge off it. I remember I heard there were a couple of really cracking summers in 1936 and 1937, or whenever, but Hitler was just round the corner. I always imagined people playing a great game of cricket, in their whites, everything as it should be: gentle applause, tea… and then the next year they’re all gonna be off at war. That’s the twist in the tail of that song.
Sound On Sound, October 1986
‘Good Times Coming’ was mostly recorded in the summer of 1985, at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studio.
In the first verse I don’t really play notes on the bass. It’s something I suddenly got off as I was making the track. So I was quite chuffed with the originality of that.
Capital Radio, 12 October 1986
The medley was included on the 2016 compilation Pure McCartney.