Diana
Recording Artist: Bryan Adams
Writers: Jim Vallance
Bryan Adams
Date Written: March 1984 / Vancouver Canada
Charts: #21- Billboard Top Rock Tracks Chart / 1985 (10 weeks on the chart)
Audio:
  Bryan Adams: rhythm guitar, vocal
Keith Scott: rhythm guitar, lead guitar
Tommy Mandel: keyboards
Dave Taylor: bass
Mickey Curry: drums
 
Arranged by Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams. Produced by Bob Clearmountain and Bryan Adams. Associate producer, Jim Vallance. Recorded by Bob Clearmountain, April 1984, at Little Mountain Sound, Vancouver. Mixed by Bob Clearmountain, September 1984, at the Power Station, New York.
Comments:
I've always been fond of this song, mostly because it was so much fun to write.

Intended as a spoof on the recent marriage of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, I thought it was one of our better songs at the time. But Bryan had seconds thoughts. He was concerned it might offend the royal couple, so he pulled the song from his "Reckless" album. Instead, it languished in relative obscurity as the B-side of Bryan's #1 single "Heaven".

When Charles and Diana visited Vancouver in May 1986 to officially open the World's Fair, the British press got their hands on a copy of the track and attempted, unsuccessfully, to fabricate a scandal. Not only did Bryan have a secret and very inappropriate "crush" on the Princess, they said, but he had insulted the future King of England (and Canada) with lyrics like "Whatcha doin' with a guy like him?". It was front page news in Canada and the UK.

In the time of Henry VIII, a song like this might have got us beheaded, but Charles didn't pose such a threat -- and anyway, he was about to get into enough trouble on his own with revelations about his mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles and the eventual collapse of his marriage to Diana.
 
Supertramp
In March 1986, a few months before the royals appeared at the Vancouver World's Fair, Bryan and I were living in London, writing songs at Zomba Studios. Bryan's label, A&M Records, offered us tickets for the very first "Prince's Trust" charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, with Supertramp headlining. Even more exciting, we were invited to a small pre-show reception, which the Prince and Princess would be attending.

We were told to arrive no later than 8:00pm, after which the hall would be "locked down" for a security sweep. No-one, we were sternly warned, would be admitted after 8:00pm!!

My apartment was in Kensington, quite near Albert Hall ... a ten-minute walk, but only a two-minute bus ride. Bryan and his girlfriend Vicki said they'd meet me at my apartment at 7:30, and we'd take the bus to the concert hall, giving us plenty of time to clear security before the reception and concert.

As it turns out, they didn't arrive at my apartment until 7:55.  Plus, Bryan had forgotten our tickets at Vicki's house!  There wasn't enough time to fetch the tickets, and barely enough time to get to the hall.
Introduced by London Transport in 1956, the AEC Routemaster saw continuous service until 2005. It currently remains on two heritage routes in central London. (Wikipedia)
Royal Albert Hall, London
(photo: Kristiaan Van Ermengem)
"Don't worry", said Bryan, "We'll get in!".

We ran up to Kensington High Street and jumped on the back platform of a Routemaster double-decker bus, arriving at Albert Hall with only seconds to spare. It's a huge oval building, and we jogged around the exterior until we found the "stage door", manned by an elderly security guard sitting in a small glass booth.

Out of breath, Bryan gasped: "We're here to meet the Prince and Princess, but we've forgotten our tickets!".

The guard just scowled and looked us up and down for a moment. I was certain he would turn us away.

"Alright, in you go", he said, waving us through the stage door. It reminded me of the Bridgekeeper scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
 
     Bridgekeeper: What is your name?

     Sir Lancelot: My name is Sir Lancelot of Camelot.

     Bridgekeeper: What is your quest?

     Sir Lancelot: To seek the Holy Grail.

     Bridgekeeper: What is your favourite colour?

     Sir Lancelot: Blue.

     Bridgekeeper: Go on. Off you go.


So much for security!

Once we were inside we sprinted up the stairs and down the long, curving corridor. There were literally a hundred doors and we had no idea where we were going. 

Luckily, we ran into our contact from A&M, who'd been frantically searching for us. He ushered us into an ornate, high-ceiling room where about a dozen people, including the members of Supertramp, stood talking quietly.

We didn't have long to wait before a palace representative came in and announced that the Prince and Princess would be arriving shortly. He listed a few simple rules:  he asked that we not speak to Charles and Diana unless they spoke to us first. And if they did speak to us, we were to address them as "Sir" and "Ma'am" ... in other words, this was an informal evening for the royal couple.

A moment later two very large doors opened, and in they walked, Charles and Diana.
 
audio above: In the mid-1990s a Vancouver radio station recorded a "twisted tune" parody of the song "Diana", re-titled "Viagra".
Bryan meeting Diana for the second time, Vancouver World 's Fair, 1986
We spoke to the future king for a few moments then Diana came over. This was the first time and only time I met her, although there'd be several more occasions for Bryan over the next few years.

We talked with Diana for a while, mostly about music. She was interested to learn we were Canadian, and she told us that she and Charles were scheduled to appear at the opening of the World's Fair in Vancouver in a few month's time (which, of course, we already knew).

Diana was funny and charming and very easy to talk to. Like everyone else on the planet, I was devastated when I heard she'd died. I'm grateful I had the chance to meet her.
Lyrics: The first time I saw you was in a magazine
The next time you was walkin' 'cross my television screen
I knew right then and there that I had to make you mine
The day that he married you I nearly lost my mind

Diana - Whatcha doin' with a guy like him
Diana - I'd die for you please let me in
Diana - Can't you see you drive me wild
Diana - I'll bet you're just a reckless child

So you've got it made - I've seen you promenade a time or two
He might have lots of dough but I know he ain't right for you
Cuz I've watched you smile and shakin' hands when you do your social scene
But you wouldn't have to do that if you came and lived with me - oh yeah!

Diana - I just can't get you off of my mind
Diana - Why don't ya leave it all behind?
Diana - She's the queen of all my dreams
Diana - Give me a chance I'll set ya free!

Since I saw that picture of ya
Nothin' matters - I just wanna love ya
We can make it you and me
So come on baby - come on baby - oh ya

Ya, here's how I see it...

You got one choice - you can get away
Leave it up to me
I'll bring the ladder - if you bring your limousine!

Diana - Whatcha doin' with a guy like him
Diana - I'd die for you please let me in
Diana - Can't you see you drive me wild
Diana - I'll bet you're just a reckless child

Diana - oh yeah
Diana - you really got a hold on me
Diana - gimme a chance - I'll set you free!
Diana - yeah, yeah!