As detailed in Chapter Three of “Losering,” Ryan Adams formed a string of short-lived bands with his roommate Tom Cushman in the early 1990s, before Patty Duke Syndrome and Whiskeytown. Ryan recorded virtually all of his musical endeavors back then (even the ones that didn’t exactly deserve preservation), and some of the recordings survive to the present day — including a Maxell cassette tape featuring two of their Daisy Street bands, Ass and American Rock Highway.
Lo and behold, that very tape is for sale on eBay, albeit at a steep price: bids starting at $3,000 with a buy-it-now price of $4,000. Cushman made the tape (which wound up in the hands of a friend in Raleigh), and he confirms that it’s authentic and being sold with his blessing. Bidding closes next Saturday, June 22. For particulars, below is how the listing reads:
So what is it? The only known recording of ASS, one of Ryan’s earliest Raleigh bands. There are no dubs of it, this is it. Ryan Adams voc/gtr, Tom Cushman bass, John Rea drums. It’s 6 songs, some in a Patty Duke Syndrome mode, others in a wilder improv infused style. Hints of things to come all over the place. As a bonus, the flip side of the tape is AMERICAN ROCK HIGHWAY, highly experimental noise rock with Tom on guitar, Ryan on drums. A chance to hear some of his pounding drums. I’m only parting with this gem because I’ve had a health crisis and need the money. A rare find, the only one in existence, written about in the Menconi book Losering.