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Ryan Adams: still angry at PW

By 24.Oct.0829 Comments

Saw this piece in the latestRolling Stone about Ryan Adams’ influences. After searching in vain for the Mats/PW, saw that Zen Arcade was on his list, with this little blurb:

“He got a big hug from Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould when they met this year, but another of his heroes from Minneapolis wasn’t that into him. “Paul Westerberg said in an interview that someone should knock my teeth out,” Adams says. “I left home because of things like that. I can’t listen to his music again, ever.”

Opinions? I know this was covered here like, 5 years ago.

Also RS has a review of the reissue of Tim.


  • jay says:

    Ryan Adams is a derivative little bitch. The End.

  • Sandy says:

    Seems a shame we can’t all get along, but if you must slag Adam, let me just say, I love everything Ryan Adams has ever done–Whiskeytown, solo, with bands or without. Westerberg was fine in the Replacements, but he could only wish to produce the body of work apart from his band that Adams has. Nor does he have that amazing voice.

  • jay says:

    I’ll stick with my derivative bitch defense. It’s pretty solid.

  • jay says:

    place needs a little liveliness as of late anyway, a good old Ryan thrashing always makes for some fun posts.

  • Matt says:

    I can’t imagine Westerberg was serious. It’s hard to believe he really even knew who Ryan Adams was.PW doesn’t really keep up ith “modern” music much, does he?Telling you questions, asking you lies.

  • RJ says:

    Writing hundreds of songs makes RA prolific, just not good.

    He’d give his left nut to write a single song as good as “How Can You Like Him?”

    (Irony intended)

  • Jay says:

    You left out the derivative bit…
    on a fairly serious note, here is my issue with ryan- 1 of them anyway- he wants to be this fuck-off world rebel and a critics darling and al at the same time. He wears many hats -all derivative i might add- and comes off like a big poseur. I read that his latest album is some sort of homaghe to his “influences.” Pfftt..all his shit is. And so much of it is pauls.

    He’s so derivative he even had to bang Winona.

    That’s kinda funny.

  • the bub says:

    Does anyone really care what Ryan Adams says or thinks or does?

  • Jake says:

    I have to say i don’t. Listened to one of his albums and didn’t like it. If there was a song writing contest I think everyone can agree Paul still has enough gas in the tank to beat Ryan Adams and when he is done punch his teeth out him self. Because honestly can Ryan Adams ever come close to westerberg? I don’t think so but discuss…..

  • ih8music says:

    i dont share the hatred of Adams’ music that others here apparently have… but he is being a little uber-sensitive here, dontcha think? PW said he apologized to him once he head how hard RA took his (intended) joke.
    I can see how RA might still have some hard feelings, but NEVER being able to listen to someone’s music just because they (unintentionally) hurt your feelings? wow.

  • shelaka says:

    I agree. I remember Paul saying he sent word to Adams that he was only sh@ttin’ around – plus it was, like, 5 years ago – c’mon guy, give your hero/mentor a break… How can you not listen to the music that inspired you?

  • KDogg says:

    I’ve got all of Adams’ albums and only about half of them can be considered to contain average songwriting. There’s alot of truth in his songwriting ability being mistaken for his utterly prolific nature. He cranks them out, but the only problem is that half of them are about a half step above dogsh*t. It doesn’t change the fact that on every one of his albums I can find at least 3-4 songs I like (except for maybe Rock n Roll…that was crap). He needs to get a sense of humor. His utter lack of one is one of the many things that will always separate him from Paul and the Mats. Case Closed.

  • Andy Dick says:

    No point in knocking Strangers Almanac, its really terrific. Agreed with the post that each release has some keepers on it, but he really isn’t in the same league as Mr W.

  • Mike Corte says:

    Paul seemed to have the final word on this — four years ago in the big Harp interview:

    You had a tiff in the press with one of the new Westerbergs last year, Ryan Adams.

    (Looking glum) It’s too bad my quote about him was in print and not on camera, because then people would’ve caught my sarcasm and humor. It was never malicious, it was always supposed to be funny. And I thought he would take it that way, and instead he took it the other way. To this day he’s still pset. I worked with a guitar tech recently who told me that Ryan was pissed or whatever. And I was telling him it’s like professional wrestling: I say something bad about you, you say something bad about me, we both get our names in the paper and its cool. And the thing is it wasn’t personal, cause I’ve never heard [Adams’] music, never even seen him-I think I’ve seen one photograph of him. So if he walked by I wouldn’t even know him.

    I dunno, I feel bad ’cause I’m not a mean guy. But I probably should’ve known that if he was a true fan of mine that he would’ve been a really sensitive person.

  • Placemat says:

    Just because Jay wants ta party…

    “… I love everything Ryan Adams has ever done–Whiskeytown, solo, with bands or without.”

    C’mon, everything? I love Westerberg, but I’m also the first to admit the guy’s written shit tunes. Your statement sounds extremist, never a good thing.

    How about all those d/l records from Adams awhile back? You love all of that?

    “Westerberg was fine in the Replacements, but he could only wish to produce the body of work apart from his band that Adams has.”

    Yeah so, Paul was more than fine. Fact is, he was becoming one of America’s greatest songwriters.

    & I’m sorry, but quantity does not equal quality. Take those d/ls again. Paul does more-or-less the same thing with 49:00 & we get a masterpiece.

    “Nor does he have that amazing voice.”

    Guess this comes down to taste, but I’ll take raspy & scratchy (with a perfectly timed crack) over whiney any time.

    Still, I’ve listened to all of Ryan’s proper releases & them some. Stranger’s Almanac & Heartbreaker are particularly great.

    My problem is musically Adams always strikes me as masked. He’s so good at aping others, I sometimes can’t get past the influence & enjoy.

    Artistes steal from each other. That’s art. Thing is, Paul always makes it his own. Cry, not so much.

    Over at MWT, there’s a thread about understanding the Mats. Basically it asks, how long does it take to get it, & does knowing their story help?

    As a general rule, I think it’s better that you don’t know an artist’s bio. The work should speak all by it’s lonesome.

    Coarse with the Mats, the exact opposite was true. The more I learned, the more I had to love the fuckers. They sure were skilled at breaking all the rules.

    Ryan Adams however proves my point. I came to the Adams party late. I only checked him out after re-reading his name on Mats related sites. & I really dig some of the tunes.

    The thing is, the more I read about the wanker, the more it started to color his music in a negative light. That shit ain’t right.

    Ryan Adams needs to shrink his head (in more ways than one). & He needs to stop reading his own fucking press. Jesus. Never trust a guy who reads his own press.

    I’ve been spinning his new record, & I’ll probably check out future releases. I don’t deny the talent. But, the brat is not the wordsmith/songwriter Paul is.

    & The fucker needs to get over that comment from forever ago. Paul says shit, sometimes he treats press like a professional wrestler. Paul said shit about Tommy. Tommy said shit about Paul. Guys still play together.

    It’s only Rock-n-Roll.

  • Placemat says:

    Thanks for the leg work, Mike. Quote I was thinking of.

  • I like some of Ryan Adams music, Stranger’s Almanac and Heartbreaker in particular, but since that Rock N Roll debacle I’ve had trouble even listening to his stuff. The guy has tremendous talent but he just doesn’t know who he wants to be. As a celebrity I find him extremely annoying. His phone call to Jim DeRogatis, his problem with the Bryan Adams heckler, and his decision to grow a beard and join The Phil Lesh Band are just a few examples. Maybe someone should knock his teeth out. Maybe he should just shut up and sing. And there are no shit Paul Westerberg tunes. Well maybe just a couple but I’ll take a Paul throwaway like Bored Of Edukation over anything Adam’s has released in the last five years. A cover of Wonderwall anyone?… give me a break.

  • monojack1 says:

    Just reading all these posts, and yeah I agree. 😉
    Ryan, as KDogg says, has at least a few good tunes on each release, but like some others, he desperately needs a good fucking editor, or someone to tell him “yeah its great, now FINISH IT!” No PW.

    I was kinda thinking of the two of them as two sides of the PAul McCartney coin; one, who comes up with inspired, classic, emotionally honest and yet straightforward material, and the other who just churns shit out, knowing full well that his (admittedly) fairly considerable talent will assure that some of it at least will garner him fans and sales. you guess which one is which.

    ~ apart from that I have no real opinion here.


  • jay says:

    nice dance placemat, great post

  • evin says:

    Jay put it perfectly – “Ryan Adams is a derivative little bitch. The End.” this is truth. the guy basically wants to be madonna for christ sake. he’s a complete poser.

  • westerbergdial says:

    Anybody notice the Google adds for this thread, pulled no doubt from the “teeth” quote?

    “Read how I whitened my teeth.” HAHA~!

    That Paul regrets the misreading of what he said, and that he has made a gentleman’s effort to make amends that have been re-buffed, says more about Ryan than I need to know. He’s a fucking baby. A talented fucking baby. But a fucking baby none the less.

  • Brad says:

    Some of you need to quit reading gossip blogs. None of you even know Adams.

    Ryan Adams keeps getting better. His records have been consistently solid, with maybe the exception of Rock N’ Roll. Not sure if the same can be said for Westerberg.

    Check out Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights, or Easy Tiger.

  • jay says:

    Well, I know his music, and I can say that it’s getting progressively worse save maybe 3 songs on Jacksonville. I especially love the fact that the only really great song he’s released in years(Hey there mrs Lovely) is an old song you can only buy if you purchase his older drivel that he just repackaged. He did a nice 180 on that song- because he used to hate it- calling it simple and not worth recording. I would say that about the other 5000 songs he decided to record.
    I wish him and his new wife the best of luck. Maybe she’ll be a better muse than Hollywood Blvd.has been for him.

  • Patricia says:

    Go back to eardrum school. Ryan Adams roolz.

  • Shawn says:

    Ryan Adams would have to stand on his mother’s shoulders to kiss Paul Westerberg’s ass.

  • Jim macrae says:

    many years ago i loaned a whiskeytown album to a mate at work.
    he said it was okay. what do you mean?it is excellent.

    he burned me a copy of Gram Parsons stuff……

    nuff said.

  • Shawn says:

    Hate to be nasty, but I have to agree with whoever it was called Adams a derivative bitch. What he’s doing has been done before, and done better, by Parsons, Westerberg, et al. Also, I read a review of one of his shows where he verbally insulted members of the audience and played with his back to them. If that’s not a bitch, I don’t know what is. Of course, Westerberg has not always been kind to his fans either, but at least he’s authentic.

  • Remco says:

    I bet yáll never ever wrote 1 single song and sang it, did you?