Tag: Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams: “I realized I had made it when I could pay my rent for more than a month without relying on anyone”

Photo Credi: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

Bryan Adams has sold more than 65-million albums and performed to sold-out arenas all over the world. With classic hits such as Cuts Like A Knife, Summer of ’69 and the Grammy-winning (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, his music has been heard by most people in one way or another, and his influence on younger musicians is long-lasting.

Guitar World recently caught up with Adams to ask him about his guitars and a few stories behind the albums in this exclusive new interview.

“I use a 1960s Vox AC30, a new-ish Marshall, my 1950s Gibson ES-295, a 1940s Martin D-18 and a ’60s Stratocaster.”

What can you tell me about your ES-295?

“I have a couple of early-1950s ES-295s but the first one was bought from my guitar tech in the early ’90s. I use them all the time, particularly on the road. I love the look, as it’s really a jazz guitar, but the P-90s cranked up are explosive. I sometimes think it sounds like Malcolm Young when I’m playing it, even though I know he played a Gretsch Jet.”

What do you like most about vintage gear?

“Each guitar and old amp seem to have their own particular characteristics. Except on my first recordings, I’ve always used vintage gear, and I know I’m not alone. Take, for example, the U2 song, One, that Edge played a Gretsch Green Country Club on, or Brian Setzer playing any of his songs on his 6120 for that matter. Fucking unreal sound. It just wouldn’t be the same on another guitar.”

You’ve been working with guitarist Keith Scott for more than four decades. How did the two of you meet?

“Keith is a guitar God, even way back when we first met in 1976 in Toronto. Any band that had Keith in it was guaranteed to have someone at the front of the stage (mostly girls). I suggested we go for a coffee from a chance meeting when I was 16. We became instant friends and stayed in touch.

“A few years later, when I was my about to do my first proper solo tour, I came over to his apartment, played him my songs, and asked him to be in the band. I’d been rehearsing with Ric Parnell on drums from Atomic Rooster, and I think that might have sealed the deal.”

Read the rest of my
Interview with Bryan Adams by Clicking Here.

Bryan Adams Discusses Gear and His New DVD, ‘Wembley Live 1996’

Photo by: Andre W. Catlin
Photo by: Andre W. Catlin

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Bryan Adams performed to a crowd of 70,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium. Adams was in top form that summer night in 1996, and it didn’t hurt that his multi-platinum album, 18 til I Die, had just reached Number 1 in the U.K.

To celebrate the anniversary, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Bryan Adams: Wembley Live 1996 on DVD October 14.

This incredible live performance is packed with Adams’ guitar-driven hits, including “Summer of ’69,” “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” and “Run to You,” as well as a storming rendition of “It’s Only Love” featuring Melissa Etheridge.

I recently spoke with Adams about the new DVD, his time working with producer Mutt Lange, his gear and more.

Other than it being the 20th anniversary, what made you decide to release this performance on DVD?

Fans were asking for it. I kept saying there was no film, but then I discovered a box of tapes in my basement and remembered I had filmed it. I’d just forgotten.

What made this particular show so special?

After touring for so many years around the world, this was the high point for all of the songs and albums I’d released in the Eighties and Nineties.

What’s it like to perform at such a high level at Wembley?

It’s so hard to describe now after so long, but it was certainly daunting and quite unbelievable. In the end, your senses take over on gigs and you just get on with it. But walking out there was incredible, and leaving the stage even more so.

What was the vibe like in the band at that point of your career?

The band was in top spirits. We’d been playing a lot of other music on our “b-stage,” so we were not drawn to doing the same songs every night. There’s a Japanese bootleg somewhere out there that has 40 or 50 different cover songs that had been recorded by fans and compiled onto a CD. The quality is poor, but the collection is outstanding.

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Bryan Adams by Clicking Here!

‘Reckless’: Songwriter Jim Vallance Discusses Working with Bryan Adams

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 5.19.14 PMIn the context of songwriting partnerships, few teams have been as long-lasting — or as successful — as that of Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams.

Since being introduced by a mutual friend in a music store in 1978, Vallance and Adams have written hits that appear on Adams’ albums You Want It, You Got It; Cuts Like a Knife; and the 1984 monster, Reckless, which sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Adams will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Reckless in November with a four-disc, super-deluxe reissue package that includes bonus-track demos recorded in Vallance’s basement studio in 1983 and ’84.

Over the years, Vallance has continued to flex his songwriting muscle, penning hits with Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and Lita Ford, to name just a few.

I recently spoke to Vallance about the Reckless sessions, his time working with Adams and his upcoming projects.

GUITAR WORLD: When you think back to the Reckless album, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Mostly, I remember how much work we did. Bryan and I got together in my basement studio every day for a year … noon ’til midnight. Some days were more productive than others, but we always put in the time and did the work.

What were those songwriting sessions like?

Bryan and I had a daily routine. He would arrive at noon, we’d have a sandwich and a cup of tea and then we’d go downstairs and get to work. We’d start by deciding if we were going to write a fast song or a slow song and then we’d set up a “drum loop” for inspiration. Usually, Bryan would play guitar and I’d play bass or piano. We’d jam for hours until one of us played or sang something interesting. Then we’d spend time fleshing out the idea or we’d jam some more until another idea materialized. We repeated the routine every day for months. It was always productive. There were very few wasted sessions.

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Jim Vallance by Clicking Here!

Denied

If there’s one thing you can say about me it’s that I’m passionate about my music.

I grew up listening to a wide variety of music. From dare I say Barry Manilow, ABBA and The Carpenters to Survivor, Led Zeppelin, REO Speedwagon, Journey, The Cars, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi and those other zany hair bands.

So when I was finishing my basement a few years ago I decided I wanted to have a music room/office area. One that would contain my guitars, keyboards and other musical paraphernalia.

At one point I came across a bunch of old record albums I had lying around in a box and had an idea. Rather than throw all of them out since the turntable had gone the way of the 8-track, I decided to decorate my “Rock Room” by hanging them in frames on the walls. Record albums I could look at and think about all the good times gone by.

Then it dawned on me. Putting records on the wall was kind of lame. It would look too “TGI Fridays”….No, the only REAL way to put these things up would be if I could somehow get them SIGNED by members of the band from the time the record was made. No small task indeed.

And to make it even more challenging, I made a single rule for myself. I would NOT buy one of those back-stage pass deals to get it signed. It HAD to be at a show. And it had to be FREE. Not something I purchased where the artist was obligated to sign.

Ok, I made one exception to the rule and that was for the first Beatles record. Obviously, that thing will never get signed. 50% of the band is dead, 25% of the remaining members you’d need to be the Queen to get a signature from and the last 25% has said bluntly that he’ll never sign anything ever again. But I put it on the wall anyway. I mean, c’mon, it’s the Beatles.

Some of the others though I’ve had more success with.

Survivor’s Vital Signs album, my Holy Grail of records. The one with “Can’t Hold Back”, “High on You” and The Search is Over” on it. I was able to get it signed at Hershey Park of all places. The guys came out and signed for everyone shortly after the show a few summers ago.

Another shining moment came during an REO Speedwagon concert at the State Theatre in 2009. I was able to get up to the front of the stage for the encore and had a bunch of the band sign my “Wheels Are Turnin'” record. Wow, this was easier than I thought….or so I thought.

But this note is entitled “Denied” so by now I think you might have an idea as to where this may be going.

I found myself in the 5th row of the Bryan Adams concert at the State Theatre one Sunday night last year. It was on his “Bare Bones Tour” where it was just him, his guitar and a piano player. There was a glimmer in my eye as I held my copy of his “Reckless” album. You know the one. With “Summer of 69”, “Heaven” and “Run To You” on it. The record that was another staple of my life back in high school.

This was going to be cool. Because unlike my other efforts to obtain signatures, this one was for a solo artist. The problem with getting autographs on my other records is that sometimes members of the current bands lineup doesn’t include all of the same players that performed on the album. If I was lucky, maybe there were three of the five still in the band. So some of my treasures can still be labeled as incomplete.

But this one wouldn’t be. Yes sir ree. One signature was all I needed. A signature from Bryan Adams shining in blue Sharpie in the upper left hand corner real big. Can you tell I had this pretty well planned out?. It would happen. It HAD to happen.

One of the best shows I’ve ever seen at the State Theatre, Bryan went through much of his catalog of hits from back in “the day”. My heart got giddy as the end approached. I had done my research (you really have to if you want to do this thing right)…He would leave the stage and come back for a final encore of two or three songs.

Prior to the last songs Bryan persuaded people to come up to the front to which I did with Reckless and Sharpie in tow. As I got to the front of the stage euphoria set in. I could “SEE” him signing my record. I looked around and noticed that I was the only dude in a gaggle of women. Women with NOTHING to be signed. I fondly recalled the line Flounder gave in Animal House when he said “Oh boy, is THIS GREAT!!”

I could hear one of the girls next to me telling her friend that he would do “Summer of 69” one more time as the encore. I snidely looked over at her and corrected her by saying he’d do “Straight From the Heart”. And when he started singing “I could start dreaming but it never ends…”…a smile came across my face as there was no longer any doubt as to who the REAL fan was…

I noticed Bryan look over in my direction several times during the last song and I even had shown him the Reckless album and he kind of smiled. A good sign. Then after the song was over he just said good night and left. And the equation had been solved:

Me  + Reckless Album + Gaggle of Women with Nothing To Be Signed = Bryan signs nothing…

I ask you: Can there be anything sadder than a man standing alone with his un-signed album at the foot of the stage when the house lights come on?

I never know when, if ever, I’ll get a chance to have the Reckless record signed again. But I had a great run of success getting signatures which will continue. This was my first setback.  It was great re-living all those songs again in concert and all the great memories they brought back.

I think I’m going to put this album on the wall anyway.