Gone are the days when Bryan Adams popped up on MTV every hour, his craggy Canadian voice singing about metaphorical knives and nostalgic summers.
Today, you're more likely to see his work in a magazine like Vogue, Esquire or Interview. An award-winning photographer, he's shot campaigns for Guess, Converse and Fred Perry. He's done portraits of Mick Jagger, Placido Domingo and Lindsay Lohan. And that's his photo of Amy Winehouse on the cover of her posthumous album, "Lioness: Hidden Treasures."
But every once in a while, the 53-year-old pop-rocker and balladeer straps on the guitar and summons the hits from "Cuts Like a Knife" and "Summer of '69" to "Run to You" and "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You."
All told, he's sold more than 65 million records since his debut album came out in 1980. His latest "Bare Bones" solo acoustic tour has traveled all over the world this year.
"It allows people to hear these tunes in a way not previously heard," he said. "And I get to do lots of chatting. It's an intimate night out."
Before he rolls through the Wells Fargo Center next week, Adams took a break for an email chat about fatherhood, diving behind sofas and his cigar-brandy voice.
<strong>Q: Describe your latest tour. Will we hear a mix of new and old?</strong>
<strong> A:</strong> The Bare Bones tour is an ongoing acoustic tour, and yes it is a mix of old and new. Of course! I'd be slaughtered like a lamb if it wasn't.
<strong>Q: How is backstage different today than it was in the 1980s?</strong>
<strong> A:</strong> It's the same. Really dull.
<strong>Q: When you look back at the '80s MTV videos, which ones are your favorites? What do you wish you could change?</strong>
<strong> A:</strong> I don't think I ever did a video I liked, with the possible exception of the ones I did with Anton Corbijn or the Matthew Rolston video for "The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You," which was really good. The rest of them make me want to dive behind the sofa.
<strong>Q: How has your voice held up over the years and what do you do to keep it in shape?</strong>
<strong> A:</strong> It has held up really well, thanks. Even though I may sound like I just drank loads of brandy and smoke cigars, I don't. I take good care of my health and that makes a big difference.
<strong>Q: What compelled you to play the post-9/11 concert in Karachi, Pakistan?</strong>
<strong> A:</strong> I went there with my band to raise money and awareness for the victims of the earthquake at the time. I have a friend in Pakistan who invited me, and we were the first Western group to play there, and from what I gather, the last.
<strong>Q: Congratulations on the birth of your second daughter. How has fatherhood changed you?</strong>
<strong> A:</strong> My daughters are my world now, I can't express it better than that.
<em>Bay Area freelancer John Beck writes about entertainment for The Press Democrat. You can reach him at 280-8014, email@example.com and follow on Twitter @becksay.</em>