Opinion: Ryan Adams, guilty of all sins of decades of “sexual misconduct”
The singer was #metoo’s martyr in the world of music, but we all know what happened to names that are way more resonant than him.
Ryan Adams when he could play live
Ryan Adams fell out of favor in 2019 when, at the height of the #metoo movement, the New York Times published an article with testimonials from ex-girlfriends who didn’t have much to say about him. The report also covered messages exchanged with younger girls, which the FBI promptly investigated. This last, very grave allegation would lead nowhere as it has been proven that the girl successively lied about her age. Reports from ex-girlfriends, apparently more prosaic, were already dictating the end of Ryan Adams’ career; Not because he committed a crime, but because he was the victim of “sexual misconduct”. The court? The music press.
Ryan tried to back off, but the newspaper article caused an earthquake on social media that forced the American artist to cancel the tour planned for Europe (I had a ticket to the Royal Albert Hall) as well as the start of the trilogy of albums that were made for this year was planned and at that time started with “Big Colors”, followed by “Wednesday” and finally “Chris”. None of them saw the light of day in 2019.
Since then, Ryan Adams has tried unsuccessfully to continue his career. Last year, the leak of the album “Wednesdays” triggered the online release of the second album in the trilogy he was planning. However, no mainstream press agency dared to review the album. The record was completely ignored by the same press that burned it, making it the accused of all crimes ever committed in the world of music. Though apparently he didn’t commit any.
Ryan Adams was the perfect martyr. A musician who is well known and critically acclaimed that the music press can decimate him and thus raise the #Metoo flag against white and powerful men; but not so well known and influential as to endanger the press itself, which does not want a horde of millions of fans of the Beatles, the Stones or the angry Red Hot on their doorstep. It also helped that most of the Ryan Adams fans were hipsters with too much social confidence, afraid of questioning the whys and whys of the lynching that was done to the musician in the first place. Woe to anyone who risked defending Ryan Adams’ music. Yes, because at the end of the day we talk about music.
Warning, after reading The New York Times story and believing it was true (which we don’t know for sure), I wouldn’t advise a friend of mine to go out with Ryan Adams either. Nor would I be very interested in adding someone to my group of friends who is so excruciatingly complaining and miserable (and so is Phoebe Bridgers, but I won’t even go there). But it’s not about personal assessments, is it? We talk about music. Whether it’s good (and “Wednesdays” is at least halfway excellent) or bad. We can judge one way or another, we can’t just pretend it doesn’t exist.
Note that I am also not saying that the media should have an obligation to write about Ryan Adams’ music. If morally you want to ignore it, OK, I accept. But this is a very heavy sword that will turn on itself sooner than later. It’s just that it’s unacceptable to go through names like John Lennon (for beating the woman), Lou Reed (ditto), George Harrison (because he’s a womanizer), and Eric Clapton (ditto), David Bowie ( Another Sexual Misconduct Accused), Iggy Pop (ditto), Keith Richards (ditto), Mick Jagger, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley, Anthony Kiedis, Steven Tyler and Jimmy Page (all for dealing with underage girls). If you don’t write about this or all of the musicians who have ever been accused of “sexual misconduct” by a woman (#believeher, never forget) they will have a very difficult life, but respect. Otherwise they suffer terrible hypocrisy.
Or use your freedom to speak in Ryan Adams’ music, to say whatever goes on in your soul, to call him a pig if you want, but acknowledge his existence as you do with others. After the whirlwind of #metoo, Ryan Adams was virtually the only one in the music world to pay for all of the sins of decades of “sexual misconduct”. We all know what happened to names that sounded a lot better than him.
Back to what’s important, the music, Ryan Adams is preparing to release the first volume of his trilogy program for 2019 – Big Colors. This week we were able to hear a sample – “Do Not Disturb” – a slow burner that is much more exciting than the first theme of this album that we knew in 2019 – “Fuck The Rain” (which has since disappeared from everyone) online- Platforms). I look forward to more Big Colors news, especially after surrendering on Wednesdays last year. If you hesitate to listen to Ryan Adams’ music, whether or not he did it ten years ago, then I advise you to follow Steve Van Zandt’s wise words: “Trust the art, never the artist”. Do you like the album Have no problems admitting. #me too