With owner Rose Schwetz’s announced June 1 deadline for finding a new space fast approaching, the fate of Sadlack’s is still up in the air. Plenty of rumors are going around, stories of possible spots for a relocated Sadlack’s; but for now, none of them are substantial enough to report. In the meantime, I’ve been meaning to post a couple of things from Whiskeytown’s birthplace.
First, on the right is a flyer from one of the earliest Whiskeytown shows, back when their name was still two words. This wasn’t the very first Whiskey Town show, but it’s pretty close; it dates from late 1994, and appears to have been drawn by Ryan Adams himself. You can find it hanging on the west-facing interior wall of Sadlack’s, framed and just inside the back door at about eye level.
Next, here on the left we have a circa-2001 autographed photo bequeathed by Ryan himself after he hit it big as a solo act — and also after he learned a more stylish way to sign autographs. Back when he would get autograph requests in the early days of Whiskeytown, Ryan tended to employ more of an elementary-school scrawl. Anyway, this is also framed and on the same wall as the 1994 show flyer. If Sadlack’s does relocate, I hope both of these artifacts will find their way to the new spot.
Finally, below is a photo from the Sadlack’s Facebook page, taken on a pretty momentous night in Whiskeytown lore. This was Whiskeytown playing on Sadlack’s back patio on the night of the band’s first big lineup implosion in 1996. Following this show, bassist Steve Grothmann, fiddler Caitlin Cary and drummer Skillet Gilmore all quit, leaving Phil Wandscher to carry on with a rather chunky Ryan (see Chapter Six of “Losering” for more details). Caitlin and Skillet would both return; but this was Steve’s final show as a permanent member.