“Give it to me straight from the heart. Tell me we can make another start. You know I’ll never go as long as I know it’s comin’ straight from the heart.” ~Bryan Adams
I used to love Bryan Adams. There was just something cool about the way he stood there holding a guitar that was simply undeniable. Combine that with the cool rasp in his voice, and he was every man, yet better than every man. While others were lining up to see Bruce Springsteen I was dying for a ticket to a Bryan Adams show. He was the poor man’s Springsteen, but he was better than Springsteen at the same time.
I’m not from Jersey. That’s not sacrilege.
But that was long ago, my love for Bryan Adams tied up and twisted with his soundtrack anthems, attached like Siamese twins to his lyrics that touched a place in my soul that I hadn’t known existed. It was a subtle bromance… because he never knew it existed. And I never got to see him live, even though he came through town every couple of years like clockwork in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Maybe it was because there was always someone else to see, someone who cost more money so I had to save up, and Bryan Adams was the odd man out. Whatever it was, it remains one of my regrets.
I still get that Bryan Adams feeling, you know, the one that makes me want to light out for the territory with my guitar slung across my shoulder like a hunting rifle. He was cool without being cool — that hair, those jeans. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall the first time he met Springsteen, the sizing up one of the other. That would have been awesome to witness because the Bryan Adams of the late ’80s and early ’90s wouldn’t have taken anything from anyone. He was coolness personified, and life was good.
And sure, it’s been a couple decades since Bryan Adams was truly cool, even in Canada. And yeah, it’s been a little bit since he’s graced a soundtrack of any significance. But he’s on tour again, and I’m committed to getting tickets and to finally seeing the man who made me wish I had been around for the summer of ’69. I hear he’s still as raspy as ever, that he still plays a mean guitar, and that his crowds have gotten mellower over the years.
It’s about time I get to check that off my shallow pail list. You wanna come?