Alex Heigl
November 05, 2013 04:30 PM

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

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

Ryan Adams
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

Ryan Adams
Bryan Bedder/Getty

Infinity Blues 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.

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