He was one of the first global rock stars to tour the country and he returns again for a fifth tour. In an exclusive chat, the Canadian musician shares his success story, the death of rock, and whether he has come to terms with his cult status
“Our shows in India back in 1993 were the first big concerts for a Western artist in India,” says Adams, in an exclusive chat with Rolling Stone India. “I remember we played the cricket club in Mumbai where they had divided the field in half; one half was for the public, the other half the cricket club… they were all drinking tea or maybe they were gin and tonics.”
The upcoming Ultimate Tour in India will be Adams’ fifth visit here — the 1993-94 tour was followed by multi-city gigs in 2001, 2006 and most recently, in 2011. This time around he will be playing shows in Ahmedabad (October 9th), Hyderabad (October 11th), Mumbai (October 12th),Bengaluru (October 13th) and Gurugram (October 14th). Unlike other touring artists that tend to attract a certain group of fans based on age or genre preference, Adams’ shows in India have time after time drawn both rock and non-rock fans. If you’re reading this, there is a hundred percent chance you or your family, or friends — or their parents and even grandparents — have an anecdote to share about their Bryan Adams concert experience. If you’re a ‘Western music’ lover in India, the Canadian superstar has given you enough chances in past 25 years to attend what most say is the concert of a lifetime. For many Indians, that experience could have just been watching the opening riffof “Summer of ‘69” being played live by their hero. For others, Adams embodies everything that is both reckless and romantic. Is there a better tale of toxic love than the 1983 banger “Cuts Like a Knife”? (Although Adams has mentioned in a previous interview that the lyrics were pieced together from a incoherent mumble). Could rock rage ever be written to a tune better than in “Kids Wanna Rock” or in the anthem of all rock anthems —“Summer of ’69”! And could there ever be a gentler, more earnest apology than “Please Forgive Me”?
None of these songs have been a result of pure luck or fluke. Making good music is hard labor but Adams wouldn’t have it any other way; he’s been at it for 37 years now. “It’s really a great gig to make, write and perform music, even the days of getting nothing done seem to disappear once a new song appears. I think it’s safe to say I’m grateful and thankful for the live gigs, as they have played a huge part in my working out my sound. Playing live is the ultimate test of a new song.”
In this exclusive interview, the rock star discusses life, loves, failures and why he can’t stop this thing he started.
How is your stay in Germany going so far? Is it a vacation with family? And what are the best (maybe new) things you’ve experienced there this time?
It’s not anything that glamorous, I see a physio for my shoulder here, I damaged it sometime ago when coming offa motorbike.
The Ultimate Tour is your 19th concert tour! After all these years of being on the road, what’s that one thing that keeps you as thrilled as ever about travelling to different cities and being on stage? Can it be a drag sometimes?
19th tour? I didn’t know that… well it’s not surprising that we are still touring. If you follow my Instagram page you’ll see its filled with the jubilation from the concerts we’ve been doing around the world. I really can’t think of a better job; music and backpacking around the world. But to answer your question, it can be hard if the tours are long, there are only so many beige hotel rooms one can take in a month.
How excited are you about returning to India? It’s going to be your fifth time here and everyone is ecstatic about it…
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