Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Standin' on your mama's porch You told me it would last forever Oh the way you held my hand I knew that it was now or never

Quick Hit

“Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams (1985)

I do know someone that sat beside Glen Campbell on a plane. I know someone who was on the deck of a boat with the Beatles when he was a kid and my sister was in an elevator with Duran Duran once. I also know someone who rode with Huey Lewis and the News on a plane once. My daughter saw Dan Ackroyd at the garden center once.  One of my friends saw Van Morrison regularly and had met the “brown–eyed girl’ once.

I was once at this party where someone had met and said they knew Bryan Adams. He was supposed to show up. I waited all night for him - and of course he never showed. I am sure he was too busy making records or writing songs, well at least that is what I tell myself.

My only brushes with famous musicians was in giving the band 999 access to a games room because they wanted to play 'Galaga', and having Bill Henderson of Chilliwack chuckle when I was getting his autograph when I told him the first Chilliwack I had on record was on a ‘K-Tel’ record.

 At the end of the day as they say we are all just regular people right? I wonder sometimes.

Bryan Adams was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada but his Dad was a diplomat so he traveled extensively as a kid. He bought a Fender guitar when he was 14 or 15 and practiced in his Vancouver basement suit his Mom had settled them down in, after 1973. He must have been good because after Nick Gilder who had recorded “Roxy Roller” left Sweeny Todd, they asked him to join. The new line up recorded “If Wishes Were Horses”, but this would prove to be much less successful than the first album.Adams voice was speeded up on the recordings so that his voice (even then) would not be so raspy.

It would not be long until in 1978 when he was 18  he would be signed to A&M records and teamed up with Jim Vallance (formerly of the band Prism) and worked on an album which was released in 1980 simply called “Bryan Adams”.  A few notable songs were “Hiding From Love” and “Give Me Your Love”, which had modest chart success, as did the single released around the same time titled “Let Me Take You Dancing”, which again Adam’s voice was speeded up on.

1981’s album "You Want it You Got it", had a bit more interest spawning modest success and some interest in the U.S. with songs “Lonely Nights” and “Fits Ya Good”.

Really it was his third album “Cuts Like a Knife” that made Adams popularity really rise in 1983. Songs like “Straight from the Heart”, “The Best was Yet to Come”, and the title song “Cuts Like a Knife” see Adams maturing in his style, particularly with ballads, and taking over his own production.

His fourth Album “Reckless” saw him rise again to international status as a star – it is the best selling Canadian album of all time. Co-written with Jim Vallance, Adams says that "Summer of 69" it is a reference to sex. Vallance says it is not. One thing I call to your attention though is that Adams would have been nine years old in the summer of 1969........hmmmm.

Reckless also spawned the hits “Heaven” (went to number 1), “Run to You”, “It’s Only Love”, “One Night Love Affair”, and “Kids Wanna Rock”. The album clearly shows Adams equally comfortable with ballads and rock songs, which would endure over his career.  Adams toured the U.S and Canada extensively with this album and later did famine relief work in Ethiopia.

1987’s “Into the Fire” was reasonably successful but somewhat disappointing for fans on the heels of Reckless. Continuing to write with his buddy Jim Vallance, “Hearts on Fire” did modestly on the charts and he continued to tour.

In 1991 Adams did a song for the “Prince of Thieves” movie with Kevin Costner. The song “(Everything I So) I Do it For You” released on the album Waking Up the Neighbours went to number one. The songs “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started”, “Do I Have to Say the Words” and “There Will Never Be Another Tonight” were also successful tracks.

Adams continued to record in the ‘90’s and on. “18 Til I Die”, “On a Day Like Today”, “Room Service” pounded out more of the successful, albeit clearly formulaic songs.

He lives in Britain with his British parents and still tours extensively. Adams is also a very accomplished, award-winning photographer who enjoys philanthropy in the form of helping young people get an education world-wide.

If you run into Bryan, tell him I said “Hi", and I missed him at the party.

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