Press & Sun Bulletin Binghampton, NY.Wednesday, April 4, 2001
Bryan Adams -- writer, photographer -- sings tonight
BY SARAH D'ESTI MILLER
Bryan Adams appears tonight at The Forum in Binghamton. He took a few minutes out of his most recent tour to answer questions, sent to him through e-mail, from reporter Sarah D'Esti Miller.
And no, we won't tell you what his e-mail address is. So don't ask.
ADAMS: My pleasure.
MILLER: I was speaking about my job to a group of fourth- and fifth-graders and mentioned this interview to them. One of the kids immediately mentioned Summer of 69. Would you say that is the song most people identify you with?
ADAMS: Absolutely. For some reason that song has something uplifting and timeless about it. It is still one of the biggest songs I've written, no matter where on the world I go to perform.
MILLER: As long as we are on the subject of Summer of 69, just how autobiographical is the song?
ADAMS: Some parts are autobiographical, but the title comes from the idea of 69 as a metaphor for sex. Most people thought it was about the year 1969.
MILLER: Did you really get your first real six-string at the five and dime? Or did "dime" just rhyme with "nine?"
ADAMS: An excellent rhyme, but also a tad of truth in there. I did buy (my) second electric guitar from a pawn shop.
MILLER: Did you really play it 'til your fingers bled? If so, how long did that take?
ADAMS: Yes I did. It happens when you are totally submersed in practicing. So you see, some parts are autobiographical.
MILLER: Of course I have to ask, "What music/musicians influenced you the most?"
ADAMS: Lately it's been a combination of compilations put together by DJs, Bob Marley and a little bit of electronica. Way back it was any rock music with blaring, throaty singers.
MILLER: With the exception of Heaven and Straight From the Heart, most of your '80s hits were not "slow songs." You seemed to change gears in the '90s with Please Forgive Me, Everything I Do, All For Love and Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman. Thirty-somethings everywhere ask: Was that a deliberate change in direction for you? Is there a smash ballad in the '90s that you DIDN'T sing? (Just kidding).
ADAMS: I recorded as much rock music as I did slow numbers in the nineties, it's just that radio was all about grunge. So the record company pushed the ballads and radio switched on to them. Something like that.
MILLER: Have You Ever Really ... seems to stand out among your ballads with its own unique feel. When you co-wrote the song, what type of sound were you looking for?
ADAMS: I was writing the song for a Marlon Brando/Johnny Depp film and the concept was to try making the song work with the Spanish feel of the film. It's a beautiful song.
MILLER: Have You Ever Really... also led to your second fund-raising book of portrait photography of famous and not-so-famous women, to fight breast cancer. The portraits are wonderful. How and when did you get started in photography?
ADAMS: Supermodel Linda Evangelista encouraged me to start shooting, and at the time I was recording my album and documenting the recording of it. I ended up doing the photography for the album and then doing a book to help raise awareness for breast cancer.
MILLER: Are you working on any projects right now?
ADAMS: Yes, I do occasionally work for a magazine, doing a story for them. Recently I did a story for Vogue in Russia while on tour and also I've been doing lots for GQ magazine.
MILLER: I read somewhere the term "adult contemporary" to describe your music. How do you feel about being labeled "adult contemporary?"
ADAMS: I'm not bothered how people label it as long as it gets played!
MILLER: You have written numerous songs that other people have recorded, such as When the Night Comes, which became a hit for Joe Cocker. Many artists have covered Everything I Do... Has anyone performed one of your songs in a way that made you cringe? Seriously, though, what is it like hearing other people sing your stuff?
ADAMS: I think the greatest compliment any songwriter could ask for is when other artists do songs you have written. Recently Trisha Yearwood recorded a song of mine with Don Henley which I can't wait to hear. My all-time favorite covers have been from Tina Turner and Bonnie Raitt.
MILLER: I have to ask: What was it like singing with Pavarotti?
ADAMS: It was OK until I realized I had to sing in Italian ... but it was a laugh, and the pasta was unreal.
MILLER: You started your career in the '80s. How did MTV affect your career?
ADAMS: I think it helped a lot. Back in the early days of MTV there weren't that many homes carrying it, but anyone that saw MTV in the beginning would remember the Cuts Like a Knife video. Of this I am certain.
MILLER: What do you think about today's artists?
ADAMS: I like what is going on, and as always, the cream always rises to the top.
MILLER: What projects are you currently working on?
ADAMS: I'm recording a new album and I should be done by September, fingers crossed.
MILLER: Do you remember the first time you played Binghamton? When you were the opening act for Foreigner?
ADAMS: Actually, I don't remember playing there as an opening act, but I do remember playing there on the Reckless tour. The crowd was so loud it drowned out the music; it was unforgettable.
MILLER: Well, it's good to have you back.
ADAMS: Thanks. See ya soon.