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Loneliness kills Adams’ ‘Foggy’ blog

James Costa | Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So I know I’ve written a lot about Ryan Adams over the past few months, from CD reviews to an entire article dedicated to reviewing his now-defunct YouTube account called “Horion74.” While Ryan hasn’t released any new records lately and has remained largely out of the eye of the press, he has created a blog. It’s complete with home videos recorded on his digital camera, numerous photographs of himself at home and wandering around New York City and even a few video productions with new music playing in the background.

Unfortunately, Adams has already decided to end the blog. However, unlike the time when he disabled his YouTube account, he has not deleted the blog address and almost all the information and media is still accessible.

He cites the reason for disabling the account as: “The sad truth is this blog, it’s what happens when one day you don’t have that person you talk to everyday anymore. They leave. And you get desperate. And pathetic. And you don’t know who to talk to. Life goes on without you. That is what this is. This is a horrible loneliness. I hate it. I hate it so much I do it every day. So I quit.”

In case you’re curious, the person that he doesn’t have anymore is ex-girlfriend Jessica Joffe, a model for Banana Republic and a New York City writer. The couple split in January.

While the ending to the blog has a decidedly melancholy spirit to it, there were plenty of light and happy moments that can still be seen. For example, Ryan called the blog “Foggy” and seemed to truly feel affectionately towards it. He even dedicated one of his new song videos called “Crossed Out Name” to Foggy. The video itself is quite typical of the style for the blog. It begins with little puppets named Wilson and Barnabus talking to each other on the screen, then it pans to Ryan seated in a chair as he flips through a notebook of new lyrics. Settling on the page he likes, he sings a stirringly simple and beautiful tune about lost love and the sad possibility of having to face life with a perspective rooted more in sorrow than joy.

He sings, “All these streets I walk / they go / I live alone and in to bed I go again / I wish I could tell you just how I felt / I don’t pray / I shower and say goodnight to myself / And when I close my eyes / I feel like a page with a crossed out name.”

It’s vintage Adams, recalling the “Heartbreaker” and “29” records that so masterfully documented a sense of misfortune set to beautiful music.

Just before ending the blog, Adams also included a list of facts about himself. A few were aimed at correcting long-mistaken public misconceptions about himself, including that he dated Alanis Morrisette and Winona Ryder and kicked someone out of a concert for yelling a request for the Bryan Adams song “Summer of ’69.” Furthermore, Adams writes that he has only dated five women in his life, has been sober for two years and is going deaf. The little bits of information are rare glimpses into the life of an artist who has become more and more private over the past few years.

Hopefully he leaves the blog up forever. It provides a nice break from the day to have the chance to witness creativity in action from one of music’s most prolific and genuine artists. So visit his blog. It’s worth the time.

The views expressed in Scene and Heard are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact James Costa at jcosta1@nd.edu