David Ryan Adams bids adieu to Foggy



Ryan Adams life a true work of art


If everyone in the world could have an artistic kick in the ass like I just felt, the world would be a much better place. Much more interesting, definitely.

Always a little late to the party, I discovered Mr. David Ryan Adams’ blog a couple of days ago, dradamsfilms.com. I don’t usually invest much in blogs, as too many sort of purposely blend together as just more pessimistic background noise that’s cluttering up the waves.

There are exceptions, as some folks have figured out a true way to express themselves through the medium. Postsecret has turned itself into a haven for venting through artistic impression. Bob Mould has long had one of the most interesting blogs around. And if you’re a sports fan, FireJoeMorgan is comedy of the highest order.

Add Adams’ to the list, and maybe you should just propel it right to the top.

D.R. Adams Films Inc., or “Foggy” as he’s nicknamed it, is an amped-up collection of his thoughts, lyrics, poems, photos and videos. There are messages directed to everyone and no one in particular. There are photos of him in Iron Maiden t-shirts looking into his camera. There’s an homage to his new paintings by the immortal Kim Gordon, as well as glimpses of his life — an apartment (or house) covered from wall-to-wall in art, his and others. Guitars, amps and keyboards completely cover the living room space. Books, records and CDs are everywhere. It’s a den of chaos and creation, the quintessential artistic haven.

And, like his recorded work, the blog is prolific. It doesn’t date back very far, but the posts are many and furious. He doesn’t leave much off the table when he’s dealing with his life. He’s open about the fact that he needs to be writing and working in order to be useful. He embraces his heroes and extolls the virtues of their work. He laments the prefabricated opinions that some have of him. He doesn’t seem to be a fan of the press, but, honestly, who is?

But its the pure honesty of the whole thing that drew me in so quickly. Here is this guy living only for the purpose of creating beautiful things. Songs, paintings, collages, poems, whatever it is. The entire site is an attempt at art therapy, and whether or not it worked for him (it seems to have), it’s wholly inspiring to me.

At the end of the last short film posted, dated April 16, 2008, Adams narrates over a montage of New York City that “I like that I’ve gotten older. I’m 33 and I know this: I know that we’re all gonna die, and that we’re all gonna die alone, and that no matter how much you love somebody, you’re never gonna fuckin’ see them again. So, it’s the work that counts.”

Debate the thought that, no matter what, everyone dies alone. I know I don’t feel that way. But it’s the final thought that’s tells the most about Adams as a musician, writer and an artist — that it’s the work that counts. There’s a reason that Adams has been the most prolific recording artist of our time. There’s a reason as to why he seems so restless on stage, why he’s never satisfied with what he’s done, why he’ll never let himself stop working and creating.

It may be to the detriment of his personal life, but he seems determined to not stop recording. If you read through his words on the site, you come away with the impression that he’s impossible to live with, that he doesn’t blame anyone for leaving him, and that his job is not to find relationship bliss but to channel his frustrations and hopes and dreams and failures into his art, mainly his music. “Jam,” as he would say, “it’s always time to jam.”

And, at least to me, it’s a definite kick in the ass. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be writing more. I don’t think I’m as willing to throw away every other part of my life, but there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be creating something every day. There should always be a cup of tea sitting next to me while I work on creating something new. There shouldn’t be any reason why I shouldn’t create something new every day. It doesn’t have to be great, it just has to be new.

On the side of the page, he has posted this poem:

Keep Making Art,
and when you get tired; eat,
and/ or watch movies, every kind
make tea and then Keep Making Art.
That Will Keep You From Becoming
- You Know-
those people
who could, but don't
and know there is nothing left for them
them, the terrible them
that tear down the ones
on the dream
because you and me kid,
we were made of that stuff
and were born to dream,
even sometimes
for "them"

The impulse to blow that up to a 7’ x 3’ framed print is hard to ignore. Too many times I’ve decided not to write when I really should. Too many times I’ve left it for another day so that I can do something else useless, like play video games or complain. I’ll look at that every day if I have to, but I don’t want to not create anymore.

In that final video, he mentions that “I have a job where I only haven’t done my job if I haven’t inspired someone.”

Fear not. You’ve inspired your one person for the day. At least

April 17, 2008

Epilogue: 4:28 p.m., April 17, 2008

In typical Ryan Adams fashion, he's just started posting like a madman on his blog again. Maybe it's not over after all ...

E-mail Nick Tavares at nick@staticandfeedback.com

Discuss this story in our forums