On the Road

Bryan Adams’ Pirelli calendar draws a portrait of a touring musician
By Alex James Taylor | Art | 29 November 2021

Having been delayed last year due to the coronavirus, Italian tiremakers Pirelli finally unveil the 2022 edition of its iconic calendar, this time photographed by musician-slash-photographer Bryan Adams and starring some of music’s most celebrated names.

Titled On the Road, Adams’ take on the calendar is centred around the concept of a musician on tour – an experience that was suddenly stripped from their schedules last year due to the pandemic and has only recently returned. Delivered in a vinyl LP slipcase and unfolding across more than 160 pages, this theme of a touring artist is showcased by a diverse cast that includes Iggy Pop, Cher, Grimes, St Vincent, Jennifer Hudson and Saweetie.

“It would be very, very hard to encapsulate everything that happens on the road in a couple of days,” says Adams. “So what I tried to do was to represent some of the aspects of it… for example, musicians never really see the front of the building, they see the back of the building, we see the stage door, we see the backstage area, we see the basement of a building… you go from the stage door to the car door to the hotel door to the train door to the bus door, so it’s a bunch of doors, but it’s always about travelling…”


Placing each musician within their own narrative, we see Cher backstage in the green room pre-gig, Rita Ora in the bath post-show, St Vincent waking up at a hotel, Kali Uchis enjoying a day off by the poor, Jennifer Hudson arriving at the theatre and Iggy, well he’s covered in silver paint slivering around as Iggy does best – he’s his own man. These portraits are interspersed with snapshots of touring life, from guitars waiting to be played, to half-eaten room service meals.

“I’ve known and appreciated Bryan for years,” says Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice chairman and CEO of Pirelli. “We thought his idea of coupling the world of music with that of the road and travel would be perfect for a Calendar that is making its comeback as we seek a gradual return to normality after the pandemic. This calendar will mark the months of a year, 2022, that is particularly important for us, for it is the year we celebrate Pirelli’s 150th anniversary.”

This 2022 edition of the Pirelli calendar continues the publication’s longstanding tradition: since its inaugural 1964 edition, the calendar has been interpreted by the likes of Helmut Newton, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh and most recently, Paolo Roversi. Adams’ translation also coincides with Pirelli’s 150th anniversary and, marking the occasion, Adams even wrote and recorded an accompanying track titled On the Road.

Discover more here.



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