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Bryan Adams My most prized guitar is a D18 Martin acoustic that once belonged to Johnny Cash

Just a few moments into our conversation and the reason for the pure unbridled joy relating to the new record becomes perfectly clear. Having been off the road for the longest time since he turned professional Bryan Adams time in the solitary confinement imposed by the pandemic is drawing to a close and a world tour is in the offing once again.

In fact it was when an easing of restrictions looked imminent that he immersed himself in songwriting and took to the studio – practically singlehanded as it turns out – to record an album that positively shines with the bright light of optimism. Its a fun backtobasics rock n roll affair that is bound to set pulses racing in stadiums across the globe when the tour kicks off later this year. But first things first. Weve always wondered whether the opening lyrics to the monster hit Summer of 69 were truly autobiographical… Mr Adams?

I bought an imitation Les Paul at a five and dime store in Ottawa Canada in 1971. Before that I had an imitation Strat that I bought in Reading England in 1970. It felt real at the time to have a Les Paul even though Im a massive Ritchie Blackmore fan – still am – I was heavily into Humble Pies Rockin The Fillmore album at the time and both Peter Frampton and Steve Marriot were on Les Pauls. Its rock guitar heaven that album. There was always music in the house when my father was there he listened to classical and opera all the time. But for me it was probably listening to music in my parents Chevy Corvair in the early 60s but its hard to say.

I wanted to be a drummer initially my mates and I were obsessed with Led Zep and as luck would have it one of them had a drum kit which got regular use before and after school. My parents wouldnt have a drum kit in the house and one Christmas my father bought me a flamenco guitar… thats how I think he imagined directing any potential musical career It wasnt my first choice. My parents wouldnt have a drum kit in the house and one Christmas my father bought me a flamenco guitar… thats how I think he imagined directing any potential musical career.

Nevertheless I got into the guitar even though the Spanish guitar is a very hard instrument to play the fretboard was wide and nylon strings were difficult to master for a nine year old. Interestingly though he did take me to see proper flamenco in Seville Spain when I was about eight or nine. Guitarbased rock. Basically if your hair was long and the guitars were loud I was into it. But I also loved raunchy voices Janis Joplin The Beatles Joe Cocker The Who Led Zep Humble Pie… the list is endless.

I left school at age 15 to be in a band. There was nothing in school for me although I did attend an electronic music class before I left. That could have been the best class Id ever taken in school. It was around the same time that Stevie Wonders Songs in the Key of Life [1976] came out and that inspired me to take up singing. Walking to school trying to sing and hit those Stevie notes was how I started to feel like I might have a voice. It wasnt even close but it did give me the confidence to audition for bands. And every audition I went for as a singer I got.

About Yashwa Malik

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