Show set for Mahalia Jackson Theater
An international music star from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Bryan Adams performs about 100 shows around the world every year, singing his extensive list of hits in his signature raspy tones.
Adams’ breakthrough in the United States came with his 1983 album, “Cuts Like a Knife.” His follow-up, 1987’s “Reckless,” brought him worldwide fame with the rock hits “Run To You” and “Summer of ’69” and the album’s power-pop ballad “Heaven.”
Adams’ career statistics boast 65 million records sold and No. 1 songs in 40 countries. His chart success includes three Oscar-nominated movie songs “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (from 1992’s Kevin Costner-starring “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves”), “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” (from the 1996 Johnny Depp and Marlon Brandon-starring romantic comedy, “Don Juan DeMarco”) and “I Finally Found Someone” (a duet with Barbra Streisand from 1996’s “The Mirror Has Two Faces”).
Since 2009, Adams has been performing “Bare Bones” concerts, shows that feature both Adams solo and the singer-guitarist accompanied by keyboardist Gary Breit.
Alongside his music career, Adams is an accomplished photographer whose work has appeared in British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire and other international publications.
Adams has lived in England for 25 years; his parents came to Canada from Great Britain in the 1950s. Saturday he’s bringing his “Bare Bones” show to the Mahalia Jackson Theater.
In transit last week, he answered questions via email from Vancouver International Airport.
You started doing your “Bare Bones” concerts in 2009. Has the show changed, evolved much through the years?
It’s hard to say, but I think I may have become a little better as a musician from doing all these acoustic gigs. ... I stick mostly to the proven song, but people are surprised when they hear the songs this raw. It’s like hearing them for the first time.
Do you go back and forth between performing with a full band and your “Bare Bones” show?
It’s probably 60 percent “Bare Bones” and 40 percent band.
Do you enjoy working with the band and working “Bare Bones” style equally?
Oh, yes, but it’s easier to do the band gigs. There’s more noise. It’s easier to get people up and rocking. The “Bare Bones” show is a slow burn and really intimate.
Are you writing new songs frequently?
Yes. I can’t get them on the radio, but that doesn’t stop me (from writing).
In your role as a professional photographer, you recently photographed Elle MacPherson for Australia’s Harper’s Bazaar. Good gig?
Great gig. The cover went viral in about a second because she was naked on the cover.
I’m impressed by the many portrait subjects you’ve photographed through the years, such as Queen Elizabeth II, Mick Jagger, Arcade Fire, Amy Winehouse, Lenny Kravitz, Ray Charles, Morrissey and Robert Plant. You already have a great career in music, so do you do the photography for love?
I can’t explain it. I just do what I love. Last year I put out my first book. It’s called “Exposed.” It basically covers 10 years of portraiture and fashion work I’ve done.
Do you get paid well for your photography work?
It depends on the gig. Like anything, some things don’t pay much and other things pay well. All of the money I make as a photographer goes into my foundation: www.thebryanadamsfoundation.com.
You have a second book, “Wounded: The Legacy of War,” coming out on Armistice Day, Nov. 11. Can you give me a preview?
It’s a book of portraits and interviews with wounded British veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
You’ve received many honors throughout the years. How do feel, for instance, about being named a Member of the Order of Canada and having your image on a Canadian postage stamp?
It was very nice to be recognized by the country I grew up in. Words fail me when I think of these honors, But, honestly, I don’t think about it. I only think about what is next.