Wednesday 19 June 2013

Sitting next to a legend

I'll bet Bryan Adams didn't even consider this possibility when he booked a flight to Helsinki last Friday night, but the quiet and unassuming guy sat to my left on the BA flight took it in his stride. He didn't recognise me of course - no bad thing, I like to travel incognito - but we had a nice chat nonetheless about family, photography, and some massive concert he was playing that evening.....

I mean how am I supposed to know what Bryan Adams looks like? Would you? I was in BA Club Class - this happens very infrequently, but by some quirk of the pricing system the seat was twenty quid cheaper than economy. Fair enough, I'll do that then, not the hardest decision I've ever had to make. Oh, and can I have a rock star travelling companion? Certainly Sir. I confess to spending over an hour chatting to him having no idea who he was, and to his credit he didn't blurt it out. He had seen my improbably large camera bag and enquired about what it was that I did (at this point I had no idea he was an award-winning photographer either), so I told him, and so it was only polite to ask what he did. I'm guessing at this point he may have realised I hadn't twigged, but nonetheless he just said he was a musician. Fair enough, so is Mrs L. Except Mrs L hasn't sold gazillions of albums, toured the world, and written the hit song that accompanied Robin Hood Prince of Thieves......

Oh well, never mind. Maybe he enjoyed talking to someone who wasn't immediately in awe of him and asking him to autograph every item on their person and then their forehead for good measure? I have to confess to a) not owning a single Bryan Adams album, and b) being unable, once I realised who he was (mainly due to the stewardess asking Mr ADAMS what he wanted to drink and being suffocatingly deferential), to name a single song of his. Shame, as I could have slipped a few cheeky ones in there. Please forgive me, I didn't recognise you.....

So, over the course of the next hour or so I instead bored him witless with bird chit-chat, and it was only his good fortune that meant I didn't have the Collins on me else that would have come out and been turned to the owl pages. Once the obligatory "I'll be seeing a lot of birds too" line had been rolled out with a wink and a smile - nice to know that Bryan Adams makes the same joke as every other bloke on the planet -  we basically had a normal chat about kids and the dumb things they say, crappy airline food, being busy, and selling out stadiums. I also discovered that he'd seen a Snowy Owl in Canada which flew over his car. Anyway, and whether you're a fan of his music or not, he seemed a really nice and surprisingly down to earth guy. I wished him luck in his concert, and as it was pissing down, hoped for him that it was indoors given that it probably wasn't the pub gig I had initially imagined. He in turn hoped for me, given the outdoor nature of my pursuits, that the weather might improve in Oulu. And thus we parted, he to hordes of screaming fans followed by a luxury hotel room, me to a six hours in a rental car followed by extreme sleep deprivation.


  1. That is a brilliant story.

  2. That is a brilliant story.

  3. LOL, that's a great story. Especially not recognising him.

    In a similar though less spectacular vein, when I went to Costa Rica I stayed a few days in Monteverde birding with an expat chap called Rob Dean. He had quite a few guitars knocking around his house and turned out he was the guitarist with Japan. If you were 40+, you may be suitably excited by that as they were pretty big but not Adamsesque stadium rock standards though. In an even weirder twist I noticed a lot of paintings around his place: as well as now being a keen birder, he was also the artist for the new Costa Rica field guide. A very nice chap, generous with his time and hospitality and great with the speciality birds too. Worth looking him up if you get over that way. You could tell him you're a mate of Bryan Adams...

  4. Fantastic. I remember a similar chat with Keith from Prodigy in 1997 outside Alamo Rent-a-car in Denver where we chatted about snowboarding in Milton Keynes. Only afterwards did I realise that he was the firestarter.