BRYAN’S SONGS: Now or never, all or nothing

Bryan Adams doesn’t do anything by half. It’s either now or never. There is no stalling for some indeterminate point in the near future. Everywhere you go, the kids wanna rock, not just certain places you go. The lack of direct empirical evidence doesn’t seem to matter. Has Bryan actually played everywhere just to make sure some kid somewhere might not wanna rock? It’s hard to measure this sort of thing. But you believe the guy because he’s so sure of himself. Like a politician. In that same spirit, everything he does, he does it for you, and not just some of the things he does. Bryan Adams speaks to his fans in absolutes. It’s all or nothing.

It’s not just a fluke of nature that Canada’s top male rock star remains so famous, that he can still generate enough buzz to mount a Canadian arena tour 20 years later. He’s good at what he does, he can sing, he can play guitar, he’s a wonderful showman, and the Cougars just love him to pieces. Don’t get in their way when Bryan plays Tuesday at Rexall Place. Tickets are still available. We know exactly what we’re going get every time – which is in fact the same secret to success as any successful restaurant chain, Red Lobster, for example.

Bryan Adams could’ve gone deep, turned folk, got political, mellowed out, but he didn’t. Of course he’s done plenty for charity, but musically, he has not turned into Bryan Cougar Mellencamp. He wants to stay young forever, never say no, not worry about the future, forget about the past, in short, be 18 years old until he dies. His songs were – are – simple slices of pure escapism that laid a sturdy foundation of Canadian rock ‘n’ roll content from which all future Canadian rock ‘n’ roll content is built, like it or not. Without Bryan Adams, there would be no Nickelback.

The real secret is confidence. There is no surrender that is not sweet in Bryan’s world, no run to you that doesn’t last all night, no love that is not proclaimed to never die, no ship that doesn’t sail the entire ocean, and not just parts of it or perhaps on smaller seas with smaller vessels, and no heartfelt thought expressed that isn’t beyond a shadow of a doubt. Emotions come straight from the heart, and not from parts lower via the kidneys or spleen. And a night to remember lasts all the way from January to December, an entire year, in fact, and not just for a few months, weeks, or even one actual night. That’s one hell of a long night to remember. Bryan states unequivocally that late ‘60s and the few years following – his youth – constitute the best years of his life. And if you’re going to find something that cuts like a knife, nothing works better than a knife.

Needless to say, there is no stopping this thing we started, having previously declared oneself all for one and one for love, like the handsomest of the Three Musketeers, and we’re back to the knife again. Well, sword. Bryan’s songs remain simple anthems to the joys of being young, of love, of rocking, or all three, but his confidence only grows over the years. Who but Bryan Adams would have the balls to state that the only thing that looks good on him is you?

Yes, you! You know who you are.