Can't Stop What he's Started
Not much can be said about Bryan Adams that hasn’t already been said — 12 No. 1 singles, more than 20 million albums sold and a Grammy Award. The 52-year-old still-photography guru is bringing the Bare Bones Tour to the Julie Rogers Theatre on Friday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. Tickets for the show are on sale now for $69.50, $49.50, $35 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster locations including the Beaumont Civic Center box office. Also, tickets purchased for the original show date of Oct. 14, 2011, can also be used.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Adams saw several parts of the world as a child as his father traveled for work as a Canadian diplomat. As many artists’ say, music played a big role in his life while growing up and he released his first national record in 1980 on A&M Records titled Bryan Adams.
It wasn’t until his third release, Cuts Like a Knife, in 1983 when music fans in the states took notice and the follow-up, Reckless, helped Adams become a household name a year later. Six singles off the record hit the charts including “Run to You,” “Somebody,” “Heaven,” “Summer of ’69,” “One Night Love Affair” and “It’s Only Love.”
The Adams’ hit machine would keep on rolling with classics such as “Heat of the Night,” “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started,” “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven,” “Please Forgive Me,” “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?,” “All for Love,” which he sung with Rod Stewart and Sting, and the monster ballad that went No. 1 in over a dozen countries — “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.”
Some might not know that Adams also has a love for photography. He’s had pictures published in magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire and a photo he took of Queen Elizabeth II was twice used as a Canadian postage stamp.
Adams is now touring in support of his latest musical project, Bare Bones, which is a 20-song live acoustic album of his biggest hits. Fans that attend the show will get to hear the classics live like never before.
The Examiner spoke with Adams via telephone as he prepared to return to the road.
You’ve recorded a handful of live albums before, but none quite like this. What was the thought process heading into Bare Bones?
The idea was actually humble. Fans were coming to the acoustic shows and they were asking where they could buy copies of the songs I had performed. Many are used to hearing the songs in the full band mode, but no one had really heard these songs has they were originally written, which were stripped back with an acoustic guitar, and people really responded so I made the record. I had no idea it was going to get released but my record company in England heard it and wanted to put it out.
With a big catalog, how were song choices made?
The obvious thing was to give everyone what they want — the classics. I also joined Twitter and asked the people what they wanted to hear, and there were interesting suggestions that I took up on.Any one particular hit mean the most?There’s a whole load of songs I could put into that category. Every album I have recorded, one or two songs have withstood the test of time, so it would be very difficult to isolate one.
Has is surprised you that so many of your songs have withstood that test of time?
I can only say that it has to be the music. I’ve talked with many musician friends of mine and there is a general dissatisfaction on how things in this industry have been mishandled by the record companies. Artists can become incredibly lazy and record companies want all the control. Then the Internet came along and suddenly everyone was downloading the music for free and no one really got together and tried to find a way to make this work. They did the wrong thing and tried to sue people, so now most people expect that music is free or pay minimal amounts for it. I don’t see how some musicians are going to survive, nor do I see how this will inspire them.
When did music begin to influence you?
Probably driving around in my parents’ car listening to the radio, and my friend had a Chevrolet Corvair with an AM radio in it so we would listen to music. Listening to the radio got me most excited. Hearing the Beatles really inspired me. Oh, and a friend of mine had a drum set and we would hang out and play the drums pretending we were John Bonham.
When did the photo bug bite you?
That started a long time ago. I started documenting my tours and doing promo pictures for myself like my own album covers. I went on to do portraits for my friends, and I really work hard at it now.