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Bryan Adams, 54, is known for hit singles such as “Summer of ’69”, and “Run to You” and has won many music awards. He is also an accomplished photographer: his work has appeared in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications.
What was your earliest ambition?
To be a drummer in a rock band. That ambition went into orbit when I was given a nylon-string flamenco acoustic guitar by my father. It was the best thing he could ever have done because it inspired my next early ambition: to be the lead guitarist in a rock band.
Public school or state school?
I attended various schools in Europe and the Middle East when my family was stationed abroad. They were mostly missionary schools with heavy religious overtones – the Church of Scotland School in Jaffa or St Columban’s American School in Lisbon. When I returned to Canada, I dropped out at 15 to work as a musician – a good decision.
Who was or still is your mentor?
The people that have helped me the most, like my manager Bruce Allen and songwriting partners Jim Vallance and Mutt Lange.
How physically fit are you?
Quite fit. I swim and run, plus I’m a vegetarian and a non-drinker.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
Both. You need to be able to write your own songs and believe in yourself when nobody else does. In fact, having a thick skin is important because very few people will give two shits about someone with weird hair and dodgy dress sense looking for a record deal.
Have you ever taken an IQ test?
Yes, I think so, but seeing as I was always the class dunce, I was never shown the results. It was probably the lowest score imaginable.
How politically committed are you?
Right now I’m committed to getting out my book, as it is a document showing the outrageous wounds suffered by soldiers in the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan. This cross section of men and women gives an indication of what it must have been like for all sides of the conflicts.
Do you consider your carbon footprint?
Yes, but even the planting I do will probably never make up for all the flights and long bus drives I’ve taken. One of my tours in the 1990s was four years long – I’m going to need to plant a squillion trees.
Do you have more than one home?
Yes, I have a flat in Paris.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
In what place are you happiest?
It may sound really annoying but I’m happy almost everywhere.
I don’t usually go to places that I don’t want to be, and if by chance I end up somewhere awful, I leave.
What ambitions do you still have?
I’d like my Wounded book to be seen, and perhaps have an exhibition in London.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
Having two daughters.
What has been your greatest disappointment?
Losing good friends too young.
If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?
“Well done, mate.”
If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?
Start over, maybe as a drummer.
Do you believe in assisted suicide?
I think those kinds of decisions are completely up to the individual and their family.
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
Bryan Adams’s book Wounded: The Legacy of War is published on Monday by Steidl, RRP£50
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