Bryan Adams not slowing down

DENIS ARMSTRONG -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:39 PM ET

Bryan Adams wasn't kidding when he sang he'd be 18 'Til I Die.

Despite his current 45 years, the gravel-voiced Canadian rocker is proving to be a musician with a chronic case of the teens, touring the world like a backpacker, playing gigs and recording two new albums for release this fall. He makes a stop tonight at 9 at the Bluesfest Main Stage.

Apparently he loves to travel so much the only way I can get a question or two out of him is by e-mail. Five questions, no more. He doesn't like interviews.

"I like to ponder things rather than be my usual flippant self," he said to the Edmonton Sun's Mike Ross.

WORLD TRAVELS

So, when I ask him how it feels to still be rocking at his age, he's full of enthusiasm.

"It's great," he writes. "We do 10 shows a month every month somewhere in the world. It's amazing. Last month was Germany, Ireland and England, the month before was Norway and Denmark. We've got to a place that we can tour practically anywhere and it's an amazing thing to be able to do.

"At the beginning of the year we did a tour of India, Sri Lanka and Dubai. It's like backpacking around the world with a semi-trailer of band equipment."

Adams, who divides his home life between Vancouver and London, is a master of both rock anthems -- Summer of '69, Cuts Like a Knife -- and sappy love songs -- Everything I Do (I Do It For You), Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman. Guns N' Roses he ain't.

"Wherever I go I am constantly reminded of Canada and being Canadian," he writes. "Recently I was in India and I was stopped by customs. They took me into a room with a few security guards and asked to see my ID. When I pulled out my Canadian passport, the guy looked at me and mumbled something to his mate and then waved me out of the room. It was weird, but I guess he must have mistaken me for someone else."

It's his continuing global appeal that makes Adams 2002 tour, which included a gig at Gatineau's Robert Guertin arena, a complete mystery.

Adams, who has sold close to 100 million records over the past 20 years, easily fills the largest arenas in the world. At the peak of his career, he paired with Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Tina Turner and Sporty Spice.

DODGY RELATIONSHIP

So why the humble tour of sweaty, 3,000-seat hockey palaces? Why the low profile?

Adams, who's developed a dodgy relationship with the media, turns the question back on me.

"You don't write and you don't call so what do you expect," Adams replies mischievously.

While he hasn't curtailed his gruelling tour schedule, Adams did scale the size back a couple of years ago after his acoustic unplugged tour. That more intimate musical experience marked a turning point in his career.

Now, at the top of his game, he wanted to keep it fresh for himself.

"The show is different than anything we've done in Canada before," he writes. "For that reason it'll be interesting.

"I've been touring a lot and finishing two albums. The first album is called Room Service, because it was recorded on tour in dozens of hotels around Europe while I was touring. The second one was also recorded on tour and is entirely acoustic. I hope to release it the same time as Room Service."


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