It all started on a cloudy Monday afternoon on April 18th, 1994, when I drove to Treviso (Italy) with a group of friends to see my first rock concert ever. Need to say it? It was a Bryan Adams concert.
I had started liking Mr Adams a few years before, when I first heard 'that song' ("Everything I do..."). He was guest at an Italian Tv show: jeans jacket, a nice, clean face. I liked him. But I knew absolutely nothing about him... A couple of years later, a friend handed me a copy of "So Far So Good"... that was when I heard the news of his upcoming Italian tour. For some reason, I decided I *had* to go. I had a hard time to convince my friends - I hadn't got a car yet and the show was an hour drive from my city. But I made it at last. I had a friend lending me his WUTN CD a few days before the show - while learning the lyrics by heart, I had a look at the pics on the booklet and told my fiend "wow... we'll have to try to get close!!!" ;)).
The show that night was sold out and I still remember the breath-taking sight of the Palaverde filled up with people, ready to rock. Bryan Adams, white T-shirt, beige jeans, brown boots, and lovely blond hair falling on his forehead, started at 9pm and rocked the house for 3 hours. 10,000 people danced and sang along with him all the time. Looking back now, I can really say he rocked my world that night.
The day after, I skipped school... My mind was still in the venue, my ears still had his music inside. My hands still hurted for clapping them all night long...
I started buying all his albums, and soon got them all. That summer, I learned to play the guitar because I wanted to play his songs. I studied the violin at the time, but it wasn't really fitted for his music :-). Yes, I was hooked!!!
On the Net
In October 1995, I first got connected to the Internet. The first thing I searched for was Bryan Adams. I immediately found a new-born mailing list, called 'SFSG', and I was surprised to see how many die-hard fans from all around the world Bryan had. I started reading the messages and posting on it, and subscribed a few weeks later, after founding out what a mailing list really was :).
This mailing list let me meet some great friends. Some were Italian, some from all over the world. We started chatting about Bryan, and went on talking about anything else. Some of those people are still great friends of mines. That mailing list is still up there, and it's called 'Ba-Talk' now. The number of members has incredibly increased since 1995, and the list has changed a lot. I had a great time on it, honestly I've also been about to unsubscribe a couple of times... but I'm still on it. Along with the offical webboard (which only appeared 4 years later), it's the best source for fresh and reliable infos on Bryan.
In the meanwhile, Bryan released his new album, "18 Til I Die". Definitely, not my fave one, and what was that, eye-liner???, but I was soon going to love it, after listening to the songs live... What big fun it was, commenting it on the mailing list with my new friends!
Live and close...
1997 was the year when I met many fans in person, as well as Bryan himself!
We were a group of real friends by then, and we got the great news: Bryan was finally coming back to Italy. We were ready to welcome him! And we did. I travelled around Italy with them - Milan, Rome, Modena - in 5 unforgettable days. We really wanted to meet Bryan - and we did. I met him in Milan, in Rome, and finally said goodbye to him in Modena before he left. Got his autographs, and wonderful pics of him, talked to Keith Scott and other band members... like a dream coming true!!!
Bryan released his Unplugged album just a few months later. He chose Italy to start promoting it! He came to do a live TV show in Milan. A radio station gave away free tickets for the show. My friends and I did the craziest things to get them... we were glued to the radio and the phone for 3 days, with no luck. The last time I had a chance to call, right before catching a train, I made it!
So we went there. What an unforgettable show it was. Bryan was in a great mood and the songs sounded even better than on the album. How incredible to see him again so soon!
On A Day Like Today
His new studio album came out in October 1998. I immediately loved it. Such amazing lyrics, such great acoustic arrangements... Wow. The deep lyrics reminded me of "Into The Fire", my all time fave album.
Bryan did a chat on line a few weeks after the release. He was in Los Angeles, and we were all there, some after lunch, others before dinner, others in the middle of the night, from many different parts of the world... how fun. He answered to our questions and woke me up by shouting my name into the microphone ;)), and was funny as usual...
By then, that seemed the closest I could get to him. In '99 he made tour plans, but no sign of Italy on them. But, he was touring the UK in the summer. Now, I love London and I try to get there as often as I can. Of course, I wanted to go there this summer too. And of course, I matched my holiday with Bryan's tour :).
An incredible trip to the UK
My friend Anna and I left for London on July 21st. We felt crazy, but we knew that Bryan's concerts are always worth it. So we got tickets for 2 shows: Cardiff and London. It all went beyond our expectations, and you can read the story and see the pix somewhere else on my site. Getting to talk to Bryan, having his eyes on me, laughing with him, really made that holiday an unforgettable one. I won't describe the effect it had on me when he talked to me in Italian... :-) I was out of my mind.
The Best Of Him
The year 2000 started with a long chat with Bryan on his webboard, on January 3rd. While wishing each other happy new year and messing around, we ended up talking football. Bryan supports my same team in Italy. He asked for the score. I gave it to him. He asked for someone to keep him regularly updated on the team. I said I would do it. He said "grazie robbi". I thought it was just a crazy idea. But I soon found myself sending him footie news every given Sunday! With the help of a kind, *very* patient person... and with him taking the time to answer every now and then, and making my week by doing it :):):). Weird, yes, and a bit surreal... but lots of fun for sure! ;)
In the summer, Anna and I realized we needed a BAd fix :). Getting the nickname of "Thelma & Louise" by Keith Scott for this, we rented a car and drove all the way from Milano to Austria and Germany to see a couple of gigs. Rankweil was in many ways a dream coming true for me. A real rocking gig under the pouring rain, and, most of all, the once-in-a-lifetime chance of getting on stage in the middle of the concert and watching the rest of it from up there... next to the guys. Just blew my mind out! Will never stop being grateful to those 2 very special persons who made it possible for me - and you know Who you are :):)!
August 2001: 10 years later... Robin Hood gets back to Nottingham :)
In the meanwhile, many things happened in my life and I moved to London. Being there, Nottingham was just too easy to be reached! Thelma comes along, of course, and we drive up North again. Another great gig, another couple of chances to meet the guys, including a wonderful one in London 3 days before... finally taking a decent pic with the man himself :))! (I'll never say it enough Bryan, you've been *incredibly* sweet to us that night... and no matter if you say you're not always that kind! ;) You surely were on that day!!! So *thanks heaps* once again! :*) And thanks to Keith for an unforgettable day around London... he's such a great guy.
A pre-Christmas gift :)
At the end of November 2001, in a London already sparkling in the Christmas atmosphere, I met the Badman in South Molton Street... and for a while it was just him and me and his scooter, in a small dark alley, talking and smiling and talking and... Bryan can be such a sweetie and surely knows how to make people feel at ease... I was VERY nervous anyway, but it was unforgettable. Thanks Bry :).
The VERY best of him...;)
Around November 2001, a long list of UK gigs is announced for March of the following year. Anna and I start planning the closest to London... then add another one... then Wembley is added, and of course we cannot miss it... we end up buying 4 tickets each!!
So March came along, and it was crazy, but lot of fun... Bryan thanked me for the football news again and again... can't believe we always end up talking about that... at the 3rd meeting, after the Wembley gig, he even felt he had to apologize for not seeing me among the crowd around his car! Hey Bryan... u must be joking!! :)) Wembley was special for me, because another dream came true there: getting on the b-stage to dance and sing with the guys! This was something I had fantasized about since that first gig in Treviso when I had seen it happen from the distance... what a blast, and what an unforgettable night!
Getting into a new "Spirit"...:)
Lots of things happen in the following months... a new album, soundtrack to a beautiful film that moved me to tears (yes I know it's a cartoon!!)... lots of promotion for it, including Top Of The Pops, where I spend another unforgettable evening meeting the guys once again... and, quite incredibly, some more UK dates!! It's a jump into the past, going back to Hyde Park and Cardiff 3 years later... but there's a keyboard player more this time (thankfully!!) and everything sounds even better for some reason... It's a great summer weekend with new and old friends and with someone really special too! Warwick is a plus... and being on a guest list is something of a wild fantasy coming true, too! :) Up on the b-stage again, and down among a wonderful, amazing audience, in a magic set. Wow.
But this "BAd year" wasn't over yet... more gigs are announced in Germany for November... Berlin is a place I've always wanted to see and the gig falls on a saturday... add to that a couple of free tix and very cheap flights magically appeared from London and... it was impossible to resist :). A week before the gig I incredibly drag a colleague to a very special concert at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden... and at the end she drags me to the stage door to meet Bryan! :)) What a magic night. I barely say anything - I don't need to this time... he knows who I am... so he turns to me and asks me how I am with the sweetest smile... *wow*. He always manages to surprise me...
In Berlin, another "grazie millllle" from him :), but this time I had something to thank him for, too, and I'm so glad I managed to do it. It was vey important to me and once again he was there to listen and knew exactly what I was talking about. Keith was the usual sweetie. And Berlin was just... magic. What a gig - once again :).
So much time seems to have passed since that first magic gig in '94, and surely I'm not the same fan I used to be... But I still find something special everytime I listen to his music, and I still think that his gigs are the most fun ever :). Whatever will be, I am hugely grateful to Mr BA.
For his music, of course, and for the lyrics that helped me and inspired me so many times, and still do... for the concerts, great great experiences, all of them.... for the fun I had meeting him... for bringing rock music into my life and for the great people I met thanks to him. And now I have something more to be grateful for - something little, maybe, but not for me, 'cause it meant a LOT. Something real, for once, which proved me he can be a generous person, someone I will always admire for this. So... grazie mille to you, Bryan. And go back to rock Italy SOON, boy. We didn't forget ya.