I still get asked with some regularity what, if anything, Ryan Adams thought of “Losering.” And the answer remains the same as it’s always been: Your guess is as good as mine. More than four years after my book was published in the fall of 2012, Ryan has yet to express an opinion about it in public, at least that I’ve heard (and if anyone out there has heard, I’d love to hear from you).
Funny thing, right now Ryan seems to be in the midst of one of his periods of occasional interest in his old band Whiskeytown, which is something that seems to happen every couple of years. He did an interview recently where he talked hypothetically about a Whiskeytown reunion, which I can’t imagine happening but would nevertheless love to see. And now comes word that, wonder of wonders, Ryan (who has published a couple of books himself) is supposedly going to write his own book about Whiskeytown. This came during a BBC interview in which Ryan said the following:
“I think it’s going to be really funny, but it’s going to be about my sort of first years, with my first sort of known band, Whiskeytown, and all of the crazy funny things that happened. And [it’s] going to hopefully have a thing where some of the other members and I talk about different specific things – I mean it was mostly just really funny and fun.”
I have my own reasons for thinking that’s funny. It was not too many years ago that Ryan claimed he actually didn’t remember much about the old Whiskeytown days, at least as it was relayed to me. In early 2011, I had a conversation with Ryan’s lawyer Josh Grier about whether or not Ryan would agree to be interviewed. “He just doesn’t want to revisit that time,” Josh told me in explaining why Ryan wouldn’t participate, and he also said that Ryan’s memories of his time in Raleigh had grown “fuzzy.” For the record, Josh reportedly remembers that conversation differently and claimed to have used the word “faded” rather than “fuzzy” in describing Ryan’s memories.
Either way, the official story as of six years ago was that Ryan didn’t really remember the Whiskeytown era well enough to talk about it. But now, apparently, he does. Which is perfectly fine, and I’ll be curious to read his take on it. As I wrote in the “Losering” preface, I subtitled my book “A Story of Whiskeytown” rather than “The Story” with this very reason in mind:
Maybe Ryan himself will write that someday. Until he does, consider this to be one longtime fan’s perspective on the most interesting part of Ryan’s career: when he was almost famous, and still inventing himself. In a lot of ways, Ryan himself is the best song he’s ever written.
Let a thousand tales bloom.