Ryan Adams: Deliberate dick or just a dick?

written by Marc E. Check November 7, 2017


It’s been just over a month since I wrote a blog post about Ryan Adams, after being disgusted by his onstage banter at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia, Missouri:

Despite his onstage temper tantrum and general “special snowflake” attitude, I offered the guy some advice.  I gave practical and sincere advice on how to better communicate with his fans and educate people about Meniere’s disease given his “star power.”  

I learned this morning that Ryan’s onstage antics haven’t ebbed, but rather have ratcheted up a notch. Merely a week after the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival he was at it again in Irving, Texas, as reported by Stefan Stevenson of the Star Telegram:

Mr. Stevenson says Ryan Adams’ “…diatribe from the stage was completely justified.

Really?  Was it?  

Let’s take into consideration his Austin City Limits Festival performance and the bratty rant he flew into from the stage just a few days later, embarrassing and admonishing a father who took his sixteen-year-old superfan kid to see his first Ryan Adams Show:

What is interesting about this article and the events it recounts from Adams’ set is the comment below, which garnered public no response whatsoever, and I think  this is the real story here…

This story is similar to what I witnessed in Missouri, so I tend to believe “Dude With Glasses” when he says that he was singled out and falsely accused.  Ryan is using the same antics of getting the crowd riled against some random offender, all under the banner of Meniere’s disease.  

Last time I wrote about this subject I held out hope that Ryan was a somewhat oblivious and eccentric musician, an artist who is fatally flawed in the art of social graces and politeness, and a guy who is merely trying to get the word out about Meniere’s disease. The conclusion I’m coming to now is that Ryan’s intent in more selfish and sinister:

He is using Meniere’s disease and unwitting audience members to get media coverage.  


I said it.  

It’s the only logical conclusion to which I can arrive.  I am aggregating these recent incidents and noting the striking similarities between them, including the fact that he does essentially nothing that I can find aside from his stage antics to educate people about Meniere’s disease. 

As I do, so the truth becomes clearer and sadder. 

Sensationalism sells.  I’ve seen it over and over in my brief writing career.  Write something sensational, even an outright falsehood or a completely ridiculous and contentious opinion piece (thank you L.A. Times music “writers”), and watch it go viral. 

Clicks are clicks, right? There are no “bad” ones. 

It seems Mr. Adams liked something about the downstream effects of media coverage from the  first few times he ranted from stage about this issue years ago, and is now resurrecting it for this tour in an effort to bolster his press coverage.  His rants are abrasive, accusatory (and it seems at least, at times, falsely accusing), divisive, and most notably uniform in their timing and delivery.  One might say these rants are starting to sound contrived.  

Maybe I’m wrong, and part of me hopes I am, but it’s going to take some convincing.  If anyone has a counter-opinion to mine, I’m all ears, otherwise I’m going to simply stop feeding the machine and forget this guy even exists, which is unfortunate. I was a fan just a handful of weeks ago, excited about seeing him live and becoming more familiar with Ryan Adams and his music.

All I’ve learned so far is:

At best he is a whiny, privileged jerk that is discrediting a not-well-known disorder that he himself  is a victim of via his selfish and bratty stage antics, alienating his fans and turning them against each other. 
At worst he is knowingly using Meniere’s disease, his fan base, mob mentality, and the media to bolster his own popularity.  

With the best-case scenario, I might at least still be able stomach listening to his music without feeling pangs of guilt and disgust for supporting him.

PS:  Meniere’s Disease is real, and people suffer. If you want to help make an impact please consider making a donation to an organization that strives to make a difference such as:

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