~ Like the ripples in a pond, the work of one man spreads out and touches the lives of others ~

From The Soul of One ~ To The Hearts Of Many
Taylor Hicks "The Distance"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Many Talents of Bryan Adams

This past week, Bryan Adams was a guest mentor on Canadian Idol and it is a privilege for me to share some information about this well known Canadian superstar with those of you who are reading this blog.

Bryan Guy Adams was born in Kingston, Ontario on November 5, 1959.
He is a multi-talented Canadian legend.
He is not only a singer-songwriter but he is also a well known photographer.
His performance attributes include vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, piano and harmonica.
Bryan has sold in excess of 65 million records during his career.

Prior to the release of his self-titled debut album, 'Bryan Adams', which was released in February 1980, he had a chance meeting with Jim Vallance in a Vancouver music store. Since that time, Bryan and Jim have had a songwriting partnership that has generated many hit songs and movie soundtracks.

The voice of Bryan Adams is always recognizable when you hear his music on radio, television or on a movie soundtrack. Only one of his #1 hits, "Heaven", was not written for a motion picture.

Bryan Adams has been awarded many Juno Awards; Grammy Awards and he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award (which wasn't his only nomination for a Golden Globe) in 2007 for songwriting on the film "Bobby". "Bobby" also earned him a Grammy Award in 2008. His incredible movie work has earned him three nominations for Academy Awards.

One would think that being a singer/songwriter would keep him very busy, but Bryan Adams is a recognized photographer. His work has been published in many well known magazines.

Bryan released a photo book in Canada in December 1999 and then a subsequent book called 'Haven' in 2000. In June 2005, Bryan published his first book of photos in United States with Calvin Klein which is called 'American Women'. The proceeds of this book go to breast cancer research for programs at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Clinic in New York City. All of his books are dedicated to his friend, Donna, who, sadly, did not survive her battle with Breast Cancer.

Bryan Adams is a well known social activist. His dedication to many causes demonstrates his character and desire to "give back". He is the official photographer for "Hear the World" in which he hopes to raise awareness about the issue of hearing loss. He has photographed many of his peers for this cause. Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall are the latest celebrities to be photographed by Bryan. Among those photographed by Bryan, are Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, Annie Lennox, Joss Stone and many others.

Bryan photographed each one with a hand behind their ear to convey a message that they were attempting to hear.

“I’m interested in the goals that Hear the World is trying to achieve,” Adams said. “As a musician, I’m naturally sympathetic to a cause dedicated to help people appreciate and preserve an individual’s sense of sound.”

Bryan Adams has established the Bryan Adams Foundation. Following his concert in July 2008 in New Orleans, Bryan decided to support the redevelopment of this city due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Foundation made a grant to "Make It Right" - a project dedicated to re-building homes in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Bryan Adams is a treasured Canadian entertainer and humanitarian who not only shares his talent with the world but also his generosity. He has deservedly earned the respect and support of millions of fans around the world.

I think it would be fair to say that the majority of Taylor Hicks' music fans know the story behind the song, "The Right Place". For many of us, this was a song that touched us whether we saw it performed in concert or on television.
For those who do not know the history behind this song, in the words of Jim Vallance, himself, who co-wrote the song with Bryan Adams, below is a shortened version of the story behind this fabulous song. Jim Vallance followed Taylor's journey on American Idol which explains why both he and Bryan thought this was a song meant for Taylor.

Source: http://www.jimvallance.com/01-music-folder/songs-folder-may-27/pg-song-hicks-right-place.html

"In March 1989 Bryan Adams and I wrote a song for Joe Cocker, called "The Right Place". Joe asked us for "something that sounds like Ray Charles" ... and that's exactly what we wrote. But Joe decided "The Right Place" was the "wrong song", and he didn't record it.

So we sent the song to Ray Charles himself, but Ray didn't record it either (I was never able to confirm if Joe and Ray actually heard the song, or if it was rejected by their "handlers" before it reached their ears).

After that, we gave up, and "The Right Place" collected dust on my shelf for nearly 20 years.

Meanwhile, back at the "American Idol" auditions ... despite Simon's scathing comments, Taylor received a resounding "Yes" from Paula and Randy. As Taylor headed for the door, grinning from ear to ear, Randy yelled after him, "Bring all the Cocker, all the Ray Charles. C'mon man!"

Joe Cocker. Ray Charles. That stuck with me.

A year later, in September 2006, when I heard that Taylor was recording an album, I remembered what Randy had said, and it made me think of "The Right Place". I knew the song wasn't a "hit" in the traditional sense, but I thought it might be a perfect vehicle for Taylor to channel his "inner Joe and Ray".

"On July 17, 2007 Taylor performed "The Right Place" on the popular morning television show, "The View". It was "back to basics", with Taylor on vocals and harmonica and Loren Gold on piano, similar to the way the song had originally been written and demo'd.

It was apparent that Taylor had developed an affinity for the song in the ten months since he'd recorded it. On "The View", his vocal performance digs even deeper than it did on the recorded studio version, and Loren provides solid support on the piano.

For anyone who ever doubted the legitimacy of his American Idol success, this performance proves, beyond a doubt, that Taylor Hicks is the "real deal"."

Yes, I agree with Jim Vallance - Taylor Hicks is the real deal but I must admit that Bryan Adams is the "real deal" too! We are so fortunate to have such caring and dedicated musicians in this world!

Once again, it must be said that without the songwriters, including the dynamic duo of Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, there would be no music for anyone to hear. Saying "thank you" to all of those who make the music seems so inadequate because without their talent, our world would be a very dark and quiet place.

Canada's Walk of Fame, Toronto, Ontario is a walk of fame that acknowledges the achievements and accomplishments of successful Canadians. It consists of a series of stars imbedded in 13 designated blocks worth of sidewalks in Toronto, located in front of Roy Thomson Hall, The Princess of Wales Theatre, and The Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street as well as Simcoe Street.

The first group of members was inducted in 1998, and it has since expanded to include a young filmmakers competition and there are plans for a permanent museum. Inductees on the walk of fame, include athletes; coaches; actors, directors, writers and producers of movies, television and stage; singers, songwriters and musicians; playwrights; authors; comedians; cartoonists and supermodels.

Bryan Adams was inducted this year and the ceremony which was held at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts was televised on Sunday, September 7, 2008.

Bryan Adams opened the festivities with this song, "Can't Stop This Thing We Started".

Linda Evangelista, a long time friend of Bryan's, inducted Bryan Adams into Canada's Walk of Fame.

To learn more about Bryan Adams, visit his website at:


"I always knew I'd be in music in some sort of capacity. I didn't know if I'd be successful at it, but I knew I'd be doing something in it. Maybe get a job in a record store. Maybe even play in a band.
I never got into this to be a star."

~ Bryan Adams ~


Today's cup:

"Life is a symphony, and the action of every person in this life is the playing of his particular part in the music."

~ Hazrat Inayat Khan ~

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New York Post Says It's Taylor Made For Taylor Hicks


Normally I do not share anything here that I feel invades Taylor Hicks' personal space, but as he has voluntarily shared his current 'space' with both the NEW YORK POST and OK Magazine (in this week's issue), I thought I'd pass along this great article!

Plus I'm thrilled to learn that Taylor is a lover of green things too!
I was pretty sure he had a green thumb just from several things he has said in the past, but this article confirms it!

Taylor Hicks has lived, written music and often cooked in this one-bedroom apartment while starring in the Broadway production of "Grease."
"This apartment has been perfect for me and what I wanted to achieve," Taylor Hicks says of his Midtown rental. "I wanted to write some music, have friends over, be comfortable and be close to Broadway."

But his stay is now coming to an end. The season five winner of "American Idol" is winding down his first role in a Broadway musical as a soulful, Elvis Presley-ish Teen Angel in "Grease." His last performance will be Sept. 7. (Not to worry, "Idol" fans: On Sept. 9, another season five contestant, Ace Young, will join "Grease" as Kenickie.) For the past two months of his run, Hicks, 31, has been living in the posh Atelier condominium on 42nd Street. This sort of "Hollywood on the Hudson" building, a half-block from the river, has residents including Lindsay Lohan and Nick Lachey. The building features a roof deck, swimming pool, fitness center and basketball court.

Hicks' two-bedroom, one-bath corner unit, which rents for $4,600 a month, includes floor-to-ceiling windows that offer river views as well as city views to the north and south.

"It's a wonderful apartment," says Hicks, who likes the convenient location. "I run in the Hudson River Park, I swim in the pool and I practice my golf swings at Chelsea Piers. It's close to the theater, and I really enjoy being near the water. It's just the best of both worlds."The apartment came furnished, but, Hicks "spruced it up a bit."

Together with decorator Marne Cahn, he bought new pieces that are both handsome and practical.

"This is my first time of having new things," the gray-haired, Alabama-born singer says. "Everything I've always had in my apartment have been my grandmother's hand-me-downs. This is the first time I've actually been able to go out on my own and buy a piece of furniture that hasn't been handed down over generations in my family."

One of his new pieces is a soft avocado suede couch daybed in the second bedroom. It can open out into a queen-size bed for friends who stay over.

"This room is kind of my sitting room," he says of the second bedroom. "I write music in here, I talk on the phone. And the view - it's just about a 180-degree view of whatever you want to see in New York. At night, with the city lights, it's absolutely stunning." The living room is outfitted with a deep brown, almost black leather sofa, which "is really comfortable," Hicks says. "Some mornings I wake up and realize I slept the entire night on the couch. That's how comfortable it is."

It's also the room where he has a wall of guitars.

"I keep the two guitars I like to write with hanging on hooks on the wall," he says. "They're handy, so, if the muse hits me, I can corral her before she gets away." In addition to playing guitar and singing, Hicks has many other talents that he didn't get a chance to display on "American Idol." Like his green thumb - almost every window is filled with thriving plants.

"Because there's so much light in this apartment, there's an equal opportunity for lots of plants to grow," he says.

That extends to the coffee table, which has a glass top with plants and peat moss inside it.

"I just thought it would be real cool to have some greenery within the table," he says.

Hicks is also quite the cook. The open kitchen has seen him whipping up dishes for guests. His specialties are lasagna and chicken piccata.

"A few days ago a fan sent me five slabs of barbecued ribs," Hicks says. "They were already pre-cooked, so I just put them in the oven to warm them and brought them to the theater so we could all eat them. Needless to say, we danced a little slow that night."

Now that he's leaving the show, Hicks is about to record his next album. There's no title or release date yet (he's hoping for early next year), but he's quite excited about it.

"I had time to really create and write the songs," he says. "It's going to be very creative."

And ending this run in "Grease" doesn't mean he's saying goodbye to Broadway. He's hoping for another musical in the not-too-distant future.

"I've had a wonderful time," Hicks says. "I'll be back here again. I'll be putting all my new furniture right back in a place somewhere around here.

I'm really thankful that I was able to come here and experience New York and help spice up the place a little bit. It's definitely country come to town."

Taylor Hicks'

* A painting of his band playing at the House of Blues in New Orleans

* A T-shirt he got when, at 18, he worked in a roadhouse called the Flora-Bama Lounge

* His TaylorMade golf clubs

* His collection of old music magazines: "I learn from the singers I read about. They helped me create my own style."

* His case of 12 harmonicas, all in different keys

* His book "Heart Full of Soul"

* The plants all over his apartment

Today's cup:
“A heathy garden is a reflection of a healthy soul.”

To rate this article at the NEW YORK POST Website
AND to give it a buzz up please visit this link