Welcome To Hollywood
Recording Artist: Bryan Adams
Writers: Jim Vallance
Bryan Adams
Date Written: October-November 2015
Released: February 15, 2022 (Bryan Adams YouTube channel)
Album: Bryan Adams - Pretty Woman: The Musical (March 11, 2022)
Bryan Adams: vocals, guitar, bass, drums
Jim Vallance: Wurlitzer electric piano, percussion programming
Produced by Bryan Adams. Recorded and mixed by Hayden Watson at The Warehouse Studios, Vancouver, Canada. Mastered by Bob Ludwig.
Fire & Stone Pizza, Maiden Lane, London
Bryan Adams and I met with director Jerry Mitchell in London in August 2015 to discuss the possibility of collaborating on "Pretty Woman: The Musical". We spent an hour at a pizza restaurant in London's West End, getting acquainted and discussing the project. Looking back, Jerry was taking a huge gamble. Bryan and I had never written a Musical before. In  fact, it was significantly outside our comfort zone. But perhaps that's what appealed to Jerry?

To get a sense of things, we asked Jerry to "walk us through" the opening scene, including a description of characters, set design, choreography ... in other words, everything he envisioned, assuming the project ended up going forward.

Jerry's a very animated and articulate fellow. He virtually "performed" the opening sequence for us, right there in the restaurant booth.

By the end of our meeting I could almost picture the  scene on stage:  the "Happy Man" character dancing down the sidewalk, greeting strangers, welcoming everyone to Hollywood. 

Regardless, I had serious reservations about taking this on. I mean, what did I know about musical theatre? (answer = almost nothing). 

We told Jerry we'd give it some thought, and we agreed to meet again in a few months time.

Song inspiration didn't strike immediately, nor did I think it ever would.  But a week or two after our meeting with Jerry an idea occurred to me one day while I was taking a walk in Toronto. It was just a few bars of lyric and melody to begin with, the key phrase being, "Welcome To Hollywood". I sang the idea into my iPhone so I wouldn't forget it, and when I got home I recorded a quick demo and I sent it to Bryan in London.

Bryan liked the idea, and we began sending emails back and forth, each of us contributing lyrics and melody until the song was more-or-less complete.

On November 1st, 2015 we met Jerry again, this time at his apartment in New York, along with producer Paula Wagner and writer J. F. Lawton. They weren't expecting us to have any music ready ... in fact, they were surprised when we played them our demo for "Welcome To Hollywood", and a second demo for "Long Way Home".

Long story short, they loved what they heard and they hired us on the spot!

Thus began a three-year journey that was equal parts Heaven and Hell.

Lyrics: Yeah, welcome to Hollywood!
What’s your dream?

Tell me what’s your dream, I know you’ve got one
It’s like a map to your life, you’ll be lost until you’ve caught one

Get up on your feet - it’s a crazy town
Get out on the street - go an’ shake it down
Stick with me and you’ll see where this is goin'

You’ll see the city’s heartbeat
In every square of concrete
Come follow me now
Welcome to Hollywood

There’s danger in the streets, it’s all around you
But never fear, let hope and faith surround you

Take care of each other, I promise one day
The stars on the sidewalk will show you the way
Don’t give up until your dreams have found you

When you've arrived you'll know it
The night's alive - they say it's a jungle out there
Welcome to Hollywood

With bright neon lights you can party all night here in Hollywood
Things will be fine cuz the sun’s always shinin’ in Hollywood

I live for today, not a care come what may, here in Hollywood
Ahh, me and my friends, yeah, the fun never ends here in Hollywood

Hopes and dreams are what this town is made of
So give it a shot, you got nothin' to be afraid of
You’ll see me here and you’ll see me there
(We've all got hopes)
You just might see me everywhere
(And dreams but ...)

But first you must believe
Yes you must believe
If you just believe

We welcome your arrival
We wish you well
Survival’s the name of the game
Welcome to Hollywood