Posts Tagged With: eBay

Ryan Adams’ land of Kotten

KottenIf you’ve got a spare 10 grand burning a hole in your pocket, you can own a one-of-a-kind artifact from Ryan Adams’ early pre-Whiskeytown history. For sale on eBay right now is a spiral notebook with notes for 14 songs that Ryan wrote for Kotten — one of the bands from his native Jacksonville, before he moved on up to Raleigh in the early ’90s.

The seller identifies himself as one of Ryan’s Kotten bandmates; and the starting bid really is listed as $10,000. Item description is below. Bidding closes late Tuesday night, and I’ll be curious to see if there are any takers.

UPDATE & POSTSCRIPT (12/27/2015): Within several hours after this post appeared, the notebook was listed as “no longer available” on eBay. I subsequently heard from the seller, Dellamorte (which is also his stage name in a current Wilmington band called The Needles). He said he found the notebook in his grandmother’s house after her death and hung onto it. And after seeing how much money other Ryan artifacts have been selling for, he did this on a lark to see “what kind of reaction it would get” being put up for sale at an absurd price – and he said he actually got an above-asking-price offer from someone in Spain. But Dellamorte said he has no intention of selling the notebook and plans to keep it himself.

One of a kind, the only one. Ryan Adams first songs, written in a notebook by Ryan. We were in a band Kotton. These are the notes he wrote down to play them. There are about 14 song notes in this notebook. A must for any collector.

When I found this I called him and told them what I had found!. Nothing like this ever come to market. Your chance to own history.

In the photo is Ryan Adams singing, and me on bass. Imagine finding Jimi Hendricks first written out songs…

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See you at The Comet

CometCheckActually, I won’t, seeing as how the Comet Lounge (a dank, dark Raleigh watering hole immortalized in the lyrics to the Whiskeytown Strangers Almanac song “Yesterday’s News”) was torn down long ago. Yet this canceled check, a recent gift from one of Ryan’s old Raleigh roommates, still exists as a reminder of one of his primary haunts from the Whiskeytown days.

It dates back to the same time period as the phone-bill check in Thomas O’Keefe’s recent eBay auction lot, but I like this one better. David Ryan Adams wrote it for 10 bucks to the Comet on a Wednesday in June 1997 for an amount that probably covered part of a night’s drinking — summarized in the Memo line as “Things.” That right there is pretty much the entire hard-luck story of “Losering” on one small piece of paper.

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Paying the bills on “Faithless Street”

DRAcheckSpeaking of folks with closets-full of Whiskeytown artifactsThomas O’Keefe’s latest eBay auction lot consists of a dozen items circa 1997-98, including a page of handwritten lyrics; an original copy of the “Theme for a Trucker” seven-inch vinyl single; and assorted pieces of tour and promotional paraphernalia connected to Whiskeytown’s time on Outpost Records. The lyrics, from a Forever Valentine-vintage song called “House for Sale,” probably have the most historical significance. But what caught my eye was this canceled check for $150, which Ryan Adams started to write to pay for his power bill before scratching that out and writing it for his phone bill. This is a snapshot of a moment in time, and not just because “Bell South,” “CP&L” and “Wachovia” were all swallowed up by other corporations long ago. The July 30, 1997 date is one day after Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac album was released.

It’s also a document of a place. I always thought of the Logan Court address printed on this check — in Raleigh’s University Park neighborhood west of Sadlack’s and north of the Hillsborough Street strip right behind Bruegger’s Bagels, at the intersection of Logan, Chamberlain and (ha) Hope streets — as the real-life Faithless Street, the setting for that time period’s songs. I lived just a few blocks away back then and remember going by his house a time or two, including one quite memorable afternoon in the spring of 1996 when he played me a bunch of demo recordings of excellent new songs that I don’t think ever came out (that’s in chapter six of “Losering”).

Meanwhile, bidding for this lot currently stands at $100 and closes on the afternoon of Thursday, March 12.

UPDATE (3/12/2015): The winning bid, $445.

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Welcome home again

DRAgtrsmashWith four days to go before it closes, the top eBay bid for Ryan Adams’ smashed Vancouver guitar stands at $530. Auctioneer Thomas O’Keefe has added a few more pictures of the wreckage, viewable here, the aftermath of a show described in Chapter 10 of “Losering.”

But the pictures I’m more interested in show the item Thomas is offering as an accompanying bonus, Ryan’s handwritten lyrics to a lost song called “Welcome Home Again.” It might even be more than one song, because the lyrics on the back side of the paper seem unrelated to what’s on the front.

Whether it’s one song or two, it looks like the handwriting I remember; and the sentiments are familiar, too. Dated Dec. 6, 1997, “Welcome Home Again” was never recorded or performed live as far as I can tell, and it’s obviously a rough sketch that needed work. Still, it reads like something that would have fit right in on Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac.

Expressing regret for things lost and bridges burned, “Welcome Home Again” describes the sensation of feeling like a stranger in one’s own hometown. And given Raleigh’s ongoing building boom, which has taken down many a Whiskeytown-era landmark in recent years, the line about “Businesses opened and businesses closed but it’s almost the same” sure does feel up to date.

Welcome home again, indeed. I can just about hear the song this might have been. Would be fun if Ryan came back to Raleigh someday and played this one here, but it will never happen. Maybe this is another job for Elliott Humphries?


DRAWHAWelcome Home Again

The voices have faded from the halls of the houses
where I used to live
And the mirrors reflecting are seeing the damage
I’ve caused since then.
Businesses opened and businesses closed but it’s
Almost the same
Almost the way that I dreamed that I left it but never the same
You try and never seem like a stranger
But you know you are in a way
In a way that just puts you in danger
In danger of just staying that way, welcome home
It just comes and it goes and nobody knows
And I never am welcome home again
All the pictures on the mantle, they become all the
People who I barely knew
And all the money that I earned became the
Streets where I turned to face the drugs that I do.
Businesses opened and businesses closed but
It’s almost the same
Almost the way that I dreamed that I lost
it but never the same.

You try and never seem like a stranger
But you know you need a way
In a way that just puts you in danger
In danger of just staying that way
Welcome home
It just comes and it goes and nobody knows
And I never will be welcome home again

DRAFlipsideAnd the flip-side, which I believe is a separate song (though it has no title):

Take me to the valley where the horses
And the stables are free of all the fences
I’ll be rested to the railing
Provided your ancestry demands another infamous
Heart to destroy like a thousand before
So take me to your leader
And I’ll take you to my gallon
I probably should’ve kissed you
But my spaceship hadn’t landed
Provided my misery demands another infamous heart
To destroy like a thousand before
If I’m not dreaming, then I’ve been drinking

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More Ryan Adams history for sale

DRAgtrsmashFormer Whiskeytown road manager Thomas O’Keefe has been cleaning out his closet of Ryan Adams artifacts of late, and he has a doozy of an item up for sale now on eBay: the remains of a 1964 Gibson Firebird that Ryan smashed onstage in Vancouver in 1998. It’s not playable or even fixable, but for those who care this is a pretty amazing artifact. It was destroyed during a particularly difficult stretch of touring for Whiskeytown that fall, including an infamous near-riot that happened onstage at The Fillmore in San Francisco a few nights later; see chapter 10 of “Losering” for particulars on that.

Meantime, bidding on the guitar (which includes a set of Ryan’s hand-written lyrics) closes on Feb. 28. I’m guessing that John Hiatt will not be putting in a bid, but you can do so here.

UPDATE (2/28/2015): The winning bid, $1,302.77.

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Whiskeytown treasures from Thomas O’Keefe

SAtourbook

If you’ve read “Losering,” you might remember Thomas O’Keefe — a man I only half-jokingly described as “Whiskeytown’s long-suffering tour manager.” He probably spent more time alongside them in the trenches than anyone else they ever worked with, and hilarious tales aren’t all he came away with. Thomas also amassed quite a pile of Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams mementos that he’s been hanging onto for the past two decades. And as fate would have it, the time to sell some of them off is now, for the very good cause of raising money to help out the family of his late sister (who passed away suddenly in November, leaving behind three children).

The auction just opened and will run through Jan. 14 on eBay. Included in this lot of items are laminated and sticky passes to various Whiskeytown shows and tours, one of Ryan’s guitar picks and what Thomas calls “the crown jewel” — his notebook with tour notes, guest lists and such from Whiskeytown’s last leg of Strangers Almanac touring. Gotta say, that one makes this whole package mighty tempting.

Anyway, you can scope out details and pictures of it all here.

UPDATE (1/14/2015): Below is the winning bid. Have to say, I’m surprised this didn’t come in higher. My estimated over/under figure was $500, so I figured it would go for at least double that $205 price.


 

TOeBayFinal

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Inflation takes its toll

ARHASSLast June, a decades-old artifact from Ryan Adams’ past turned up on eBay: a cassette tape of late-night recordings he made with two of his pre-Whiskeytown bands, American Rock Highway and Ass, with a hand-drawn cover done by Ryan’s roommate/co-conspirator Tom Cushman. While it’s not the new Wu-Tang Clan album or anything, the ARH/Ass tape is a one-of-a-kind item — historically significant for those of us who care, even though Cushman describes the music as “godawful” (and I’d have to say I concur).

The tape didn’t draw any nibbles above the $3,000 starting-bid price while it was listed on eBay last year, but the seller claimed to have sold it. Wherever it wound up, 10 months later it’s back on eBay with a significantly higher asking price of $5,000. One of these days, you figure that Ryan himself might buy this since he can definitely afford it.

Last year’s seller claimed to need the money for medical expenses. This time around, it’s supposedly being sold to help fund a house purchase. Below is the seller’s description (with a first paragraph lifted from the blog post I did about last year’s sale). I’d be very curious to see the cartoon strip referenced at the end.

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.

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. The flip side of the tape is AMERICAN ROCK HIGHWAY, highly experimental noise rock with Tom on guitar, Ryan on drums, has 10 songs. A chance to hear some of his pounding drums. I’m only parting with this gem because I am getting married in September and am going to be buying a house. It comes in the original tape case and the insert will be in a separate sleeve. The insert was hand drawn and it has the first reference to Ryan’s current label, Paxam, on the cover. When I got this I was also given a comic strip, not the one from Brian Walsby, featuring Ryan in it and I will also include that as well.

UPDATE (7/24/14): Well, the tape does not seem to have sold in the prior auction, so now the starting bid is $1,100.

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Further souvenirs from long ago: The “On Fire” T-shirt

DRAisOnFireSo we’re greeting the new year at my house by cleaning up a bit; you know, throwing some things out, moving other things around, hanging pictures on the walls, tidying up here and there. And while sorting through a long-neglected pile of old T-shirts the other night, I rediscovered one of my favorite Ryan Adams souvenirs.

It’s a shirt dating back to Ryan’s fall 1999 solo tour (recounted in Chapter 11 of “Losering”), a time when his band was in limbo and he was “Working For A Whiskeytown Free World.” It says so right on the back of the shirt, as you can see below. I love the sentiment on the front, too:

RYAN ADAMS IS ON FIRE
SOMEBODY PUT HIS ASS OUT

Van Alston, who served as Ryan’s tour manager back then (and also co-wrote the Heartbreaker tune “Come Pick Me Up”), was the guy responsible for this little piece of DRA sartorial genius. Van made up a limited-edition run of just 48 of these shirts to sell on the road, and they went fast. But he was kind enough to give me one before they left. Not that I’d ever part with it, but I expect this would fetch a pretty penny on eBay.

DRAWFW

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Further artifacts from Ryan Adams’ distant past: the Ass/American Rock Highway recordings

EBayAssARHAs 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.

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