Canadian musician Bryan Adams was just 10-years-old in the summer of 1969. So was he really saying the ‘Summer of ‘69’ was the best days of his life in his chart-topping hit?
No, as it turns out. Summer of 69 is a reference to the sexual position of the same name. He shared this little pearler on breakfast television in the USA in 2008.
Bryan confirmed this story with The Weekend Sun in the lead-up to his concert at ASB Baypark Stadium in Mount Maunganui on Friday, January 5.
“I only added that phrase ‘Summer of ‘69’ into the song as a laugh - the song was originally called ‘Best Days of My Life’,” he says.
Bryan saved for his first guitar by washing dishes, and quit school at 15 to pursue a career in music.
He names his early musical influences as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper.
So where did his more easy-listening rock style come from?
“I think I did go down the hard rock road, but I also put some slower stuff in there,” explains the 58-year-old. “Some of them ended up becoming so huge they eclipsed the rock, but only because it was easy for radio to play them, and not the rock.”
In The Sound radio station’s annual top 500 rock songs of all time, as voted by listeners recently, Bryan’s ‘Run to You’ came in at 356 and ‘Summer of ‘69’ at 154.
Bryan says we can expect to hear a lot of his old songs during his two-hour show next week, as well as some of the newer tracks from his latest album ‘Ultimate’, which covers his music from 1980 to 2017.
The album also includes the hit song ‘All for Love’ that he recorded with Rod Stewart and Sting in 1993. The Weekend Sun suggested he might like to belt it out on stage at Baypark with his support acts, Dave Dobbyn and Jordan Luck.
“Oh, I wouldn’t wish that upon them!” he says. “I don’t know them but I’ve listened to their music – it’s going to be a great tour.”
Bryan has recorded hit songs and performed with a number of well-known musicians over the years, including Rod Stewart, Sting and Tina Turner, but he only recently performed on stage at the Invictus Games in Canada with Bruce Springsteen, who he was often compared to in his younger days.
“It was the first time we’d sung together,” he says, “and we’ve known each other since the mid-80s, so I don’t quite know how we missed that beforehand.
“Anyway, we had a great night and it feels like we really became friends.”
He also particularly enjoyed sharing the stage with Italian opera singer Pavarotti.
“It was such a silly TV show and I sang in Italian of all things, but again, we became friends and we hung out many times afterwards, usually over large bowls of spaghetti.”
Apart from being a Grammy Award winner (for his hit ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ from the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Bryan is an Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia recipient for this contribution to music and philanthropy.
He set up a foundation that improves education for people around the world and, as a long-time vegan, supports animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Bryan is also an acclaimed photographer, having published four books of work covering celebrity portraits, American women, British soldiers that suffered life-changing injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan and, most recently, abstract black and white images from the island of Mustique in the West Indies.
His advice to budding photographers entering this year’s Trustpower Photographic Exhibition is simple: “It’s always a good idea to take the lens caps off! Seriously though, even when you think you have the shot, take another 10 frames.”
Bryan Adams will be performing at ASB Baypark Stadium in Mount Maunganui on Friday, January 5, with support from Kiwi music legends Dave Dobbyn and Jordan Luck Band.
Tickets are priced from $129-$259 including general admission, gold and VIP. Buy tickets from: www.ticketspace.co.nz