Bryan Adams is not only a global rock superstar but also one of the world’s most highly regarded photographers. On the occasion of the Italian leg of his tour, we’re sharing an extract of the exclusive and a little unexpected interview we published in Lamborghini’s limited-edition book Beyond.
Very few musicians or artists actively enjoy the process of being photographed. Has your experience on the other side of the lens helped you forge a more intimate or understanding relationship with your subject?
For sure. I quite enjoyed being photographed, but I often wondered what was going on technically when I was working with other photographers. As a result, I became friends with almost every photographer I worked with and learned a lot from them.
Rock and pop music has produced some classic imagery. Without putting you on the spot, can you cite a few examples of great images? Or ones that had a particular impact on you?
I’m slightly enamored of Sixties and Seventies photos – before photoshop existed. For example, Brian Duffy’s photo of David Bowie for the Aladdin Sane album cover, Richard Avedon’s photos of the Beatles for the White Album, Andy Warhol’s Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album cover.
The camera on many new smartphones is incredibly good. Do you approve of the way smartphones have democratized photography?
I completely approve. Smartphone photos are fantastic and have opened the world up like never before. However, a smartphone can’t quite compete with a medium format camera in terms of quality of the glass... at least not yet.
Your work has featured in more than 45 exhibitions. Do you see music and photography as parallel careers now, of equal importance?
In many ways, yes, and what is interesting is that one thing inspires the other. I’ve been making my own videos lately, which is good fun. For example, on the video “So Happy It Hurts” I asked my 94-year-old mother to appear. She needed no direction, she’s a natural.
We’d nominate the riff from “Run To You” as one of the all-time greats. In fact, you’ve written a fair few. Keith Richards dreamed the riff for “Satisfaction”, woke up, and scribbled it down. Can you craft a great guitar riff, or is it a bolt-out-of-the-blue moment of wild inspiration?
Guitar riffs tend to happen around the voice, so I’ll be playing one thing and doing the other on guitar. The “Run To You” guitar riff is one of those guitar moments that only happened because I was trying to write a song for another band, and believe it or not, they didn’t like it... what can you do?
Is it similar in photography? Many of the most significant images are of an unplanned moment?
There’s a parallel between writing music and photography because both start with nothing, and if you’re working on it all day, you’ll have something to show for the work. I like to think if I get one good photo out of a session, then I’ve done my job.
You can read the full interview, and experience much more content, in Beyond, the limited-edition book of only 1963 copies (just like the year of our establishment), signed by hand one at a time in their uniqueness to celebrate the first 30 issues of Lamborghini Magazine. The best of the past issues intersect with exclusive content that comes to life through the words of outstanding writers, unprecedented video clips, and augmented reality solutions specially designed to accompany you into the world of Lamborghini and beyond.
Buy Beyond here >