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© 2002
Interview (7-10-2002)

Adams: 'I'll be there'
Rocker didn't need to be swayed to take part in BC Cancer Foundation show

Tom Harrison
The Province


Monday, October 07, 2002

When he isn't squiring Gwyneth Paltrow around London on his motorcycle, Bryan Adams is a musician.

Vancouver still claims him as one its own, despite the fact he has lived in London for 10 years. His manager, Bruce Allen, has his office here. He built his recording studio, The Warehouse, here. But England is where the single "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" had its greatest impact and its lasting effect has made Adams' every move good for column inches in the U.K. tabloids.

When Paltrow complained that she was dateless in London and Bryan gallantly (or otherwise) volunteered to show her around, or show her off, Fleet Street must have thought manna was raining from heaven.

For his part, Bryan tries to ignore the press.

"I don't pay much attention to it really," he says. "They're there -- and so is dogs---, you just gotta make sure you don't step in it."

And deals with them the best he can.

"I just give 'em a smile. What else can you do?"

Adams will return to Vancouver to headline Thursday's BC Cancer Foundation concert at GM Place, which also features Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Chantal Kreviazuk and Jann Arden. The benefit concert intends to raise more than $1 million for cancer research.

It's a cause Adams aligned with when he donated proceeds from his book of photography, Made in Canada, to the search for a cure. His responses to questions about his involvement in the show are as concise as the questions about the English tabloids -- but less flippant.

How did you get involved in cancer research?

"I went to visit the children's hospital one Christmas -- that did it for me."

Was the photo book your first association with the cancer foundation?

"With breast cancer, yes, not with cancer in general. Proceeds from my show at Vancouver's Expo went to cancer research."

Who approached you to do the Oct. 10 concert?

"Sarah McLachlan."

Was there a deciding factor? That is, who or what swayed your decision?

"There wasn't a deciding factor. Sarah very generously gave her time to helping with my book, Made in Canada, to raise breast cancer awareness and she knew I'd be open to helping her any time. It wasn't a matter of swaying me -- it was a matter of, 'When is the gig, I'll be there.'"

What is your part in the show? That is, how long is your set? Are you doing anything special or different?

"I won't know until closer to the day and won't decide my set until the day before. I can't plan weeks in advance to do a gig. Most times I decide in the dressing room before I go on . . ."

Do musicians have a responsibility to the community?

"Perhaps a little more so than the average person, only because we can attract a lot of attention to the cause. Ultimately, it's an individual thing; many, many people give their time and money to cancer research.

"That's what makes it work -- every ticket for this show is important."

Is this concert a one-time event or could it lead to more?

"I have no idea."

What more can be done?

"Well, hope is all ya got with this kind of thing. One hundred years ago they didn't have a headache tablet. Now they can transplant hearts from different people and it saves lives. I like to think it's the result of a lot of hope. So hold on to hope."