Our pals at the Rock n Roll Book Club podcast recently did an episode featuring the book Waiting to Derail - Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Alt-Country's Brilliant Wreck by Thomas O'Keefe and Joe Oestreich. You might have read Jeremy Porter's interview with the authors right here. Anyway..
Shortly after, Ryan Adams himself unfriended the show, apparently displeased with the coverage of him and the book. This has been a pattern with Ryan and Waiting to Derail. Author Thomas O'Keefe recently did a reading from the book at a record store and LESS THAN TEN MINUTES LATER Ryan unfriended/unfollowed the store. That's a pretty quick trigger for a mega -star who claims he will never read the book. It takes me longer than that to respond to text from my son saying he needs a ride home from the pool.
I recently read Waiting to Derail and really enjoyed it. Sure, Ryan had some bad days that weren't flattering, but what 22 year old doesn't? Honestly, I came away from the book with increased respect for Ryan Adams. Secretly, I suspect he feels the same. I mean, who wouldn't want to be be painted as a temperamental genius who liked to party and occasionally blew up a show? That's pretty rock n roll. Speaking of rock and roll, Ryan's moves are calculated for maximum rock n roll impact. The dude is crafty. Nothing just happens. EX: Why break up the band when the tour is over when you can do it onstage in Kansas City three days earlier? That is way cooler. And it gets you some free press, too.
My theory: If Ryan didn't want you to read this book, or listen to this podcast, he would simply ignore the whole thing. But Ryan knows the book does make him look cool, but he also knows that to acknowledge it would be decidedly uncool.
Soooo.. bad mouth the book whenever you can. Tweet out "Don't read this book!" "Don't listen to this Podcast!" That's like putting a "This record has explicit lyrics." sticker or having your parents tell you they don't approve of you going to that KISS concert. Don't tell me what to do. Flaming Youth will burn this mutha down. That's rock n roll. - Colin G.