11/05/2013 at 12:00 PM EST
It's something of a cosmic joke that Nov. 5 is the shared birth date of Ryan "Don't Call Me Bryan" Adams and Bryan "Canadian" Adams. We'd like to wish them both a happy birthday, except we're getting a little confused. That's why we created this trusty cheat sheet to help ourselves – and you – keep these guys straight.
Bryan Adams was born in 1959 in Kingston, Ontario; Ryan Adams was born in 1974, in Jacksonville, NC
Bryan Adams; Ryan Adams
Getty(2); Flags: Wikimedia
Bryan Adams was 9 and a half years old in the summer of '69. Ryan Adams was negative-five (and a half).
Ryan Adams's first band was called Blank Label, and Bryan Adams's first band was called Sweeney Todd
Getty; Courtesy Ryan Adams
Both of them dropped out of high school to join bands. Ryan Adams
later joined Whiskeytown, a cultishly-adored alt-country band. Bryan Adams sang for a glam-rock band called Sweeney Todd when he was 15. Sweeney Todd's first album is called If Wishes Were Horses
and it has a topless centaur on the cover. We are not joking about that.
Bryan Adams and Ryan Adams's contributions to slow-dancing are "Heaven" and "When The Stars Go Blue," respectively
Alternate for Bryan Adams: "Everything I Do." You have almost certainly slow-danced to one or more of these songs. And you loved it. You may have also felt wistful (or perhaps yearning) during the saxophone solo in Ryan Adams's "New York, New York," his other big hit.
Bryan Adams is an avid and accomplished photographer
Bryan Adams poses beside his portrait of Mick Jagger
Chris Jackson / Getty
Bryan Adams's photography has been published in British Vogue
, Harper's Bazaar
, and Esquire
, among others, and has also won awards in Germany. Most of the proceeds go to funding his extensive charitable contributions.
Ryan Adams has written two books
Bryan Bedder / Getty
and Hello Sunshine
were both published in 2009. He may or may not be working on a third
, which may or may not be about a "lovable rat," according to Q Magazine
Bryan Adams and Ryan Adams are both sensitive artists who might not welcome personal comparisons
Bryan Adams; Ryan Adams
Bryan Adams has two daughters
with Alicia Grimaldi, Mirabella Bunny (born April 22, 2011), and Lula Rosylea (born Feb. 15, 2003), but he doesn't like to talk about his private life, telling The Telegraph
, "I just don't think it's anyone's business. I've always been very private: it suits me."
Ryan Adams, who is married to Mandy Moore
, isn't very amused by the similarities between his and Bryan's names. In 2002
, he had a fan thrown out of a venue for yelling "Summer of '69."
He may be over it now, though; apparently Ryan Adams actually played "Summer of '69" after a fan yelled it at him during a concert
in Sydney, Australia, in 2005. But we still advise against it. Especially after we went through all this trouble to help you tell them apart.