10 Things You Never Knew About Ryan Adams

Courtney Love, drugs and Country music

Clash unearths ten facts you might not know about Ryan Adams.

1. The once self-deprecating Ryan Adams did a load of speedballs (a mixture of heroin and cocaine), took pills and then drank from the recording of ‘Love Is Hell’ all the way to the completion of ‘29’. He says it is a miracle he did not die during this extended period of substance abuse.

2. Contrary to popular belief Adams never dated Alanis Morissette or Winona Ryder. He has, however, been attached to Beth Orton, Leona Naess (singer), Jessica Joffe (a New York writer), Parker Posey and Catherine Popper (bassist in The Cardinals).

3. Adams has written two songs about his websites titled ‘Today Is A New Day On Ryan Minus Adams Dot Com’ and ‘My Blog, Foggy’. The latter starts “Stop calling my blog bi-polar, I have ups and downs like you. I’m just trying to feel normal, reaching out is what lonely people do”.

4. Adams hates country music and always has. He says he only “references” it when he makes erm… country music, and cannot stand the stuff unless the Grateful Dead are messing around with it.

5. Lost Highway Records head Luke Lewis recorded a phone call in 2005 with Ryan who described himself as “figuratively” high. Included in the conversation were plans for five or six records in the year, going with ironic band name ‘Mechroboticon’ and putting ‘NATO’ on the side of a piano.

6. After a “bullshit review” of a 2003 show at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre, Ryan Adams left a voicemail message for music critic Jim DeRogatis. It seems that DeRogatis came after Adams and made a point to fuck with his legitimacy. Not only that, but DeRogatis said Adams had been imitating Courtney Love by jumping into the crowd several times. Speaking of which…

7. Courtney Love says she paid for the recording of the ‘Rock N Roll’ album and Ryan Adams has never paid her back. She accuses him of using $858,000 of Frances Bean Cobain’s money. Adams says he put a weekend of studio time on his credit card and walked out with an 11-song record.

8. Adams revealed a flair for poetry and short fiction with his two books ‘Hello Sunshine’ and ‘Infinity Blues’. He regards the latter as his best work yet and says it is where he fell back in love with everything. Adams lists Hubert Selby Jr., Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac as his literary influences.

9. In 2002 Adams covered The Strokes album ‘Is This It’ on his four-track recorder. Only The Cardinals have heard the blues cover version and think it is “pretty funny”. The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. (who knows Ryan Adams) said he would love to hear the record.

10. Bands Wild Nothing, Beach Fossils and Best Coast are new favorites of Adams. He even considers Wild Nothing’s ‘Summer Holiday’ to be his summer anthem. Could a surf pop album follow sci-fi metal concept album Orion? We wouldn’t put it past him.

Words by Jake Young

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