“Maybe we will play again sometime and maybe i will work my way back into some kind of music situation but this is the time for me to step back now,” Dr. Adams writes on cardinology.com. Also: “i won’t be blogging” and “i will always be viewed as an ’asshole.’” No more raps, metal vids, hair coloring live blogs? We’ll believe it when we don’t see it. He gets a hearty congrats fo quitting smoking, though. The whole post is after the jump, in case Ry takes it down, which he will.

me- 34-a non smoker and happy, for the first time in my life.. i am excited to finish this wonderful time i have had with the cardinals and whatever new adventures may come after march. atlanta will be my last venture with the band and i am grateful for the time we have had and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together. i am however ready for quieter times as i think it is very evident i am struggling with some balance and hearing issues.

also, no drama or anything but i am okay to step back from all of this right now and i think i did enough manic blogging when i felt alone and isolated during the last few years of travel. these last few years were the hardest i can remember and the most rewarding but i have loved ones to care for now and i am lucky i have been given a chance to turn around and see just what i am capable of as a friend and as someone who is not gone forever every year- it rendered me incapable of things i needed to be to myself and others- and my schedule sometimes never ended when the shows did- and some of that was my doing. and i lost someone i loved, and i lost myself.

that changed. i got to know just who i am in this little spell of time here recently. and change is the nature of the world and i naturally embrace that.

i won’t be blogging here anymore either- but not for effect- it just is not being kind to myself- i need a life that is mine- i need to grow up and grow in to who i have subtly been working back towards since i stopped all that nonsense and i know also no matter what i choose to do in the music world, because i chose to do things my way and never lie i will always be viewed as an “asshole” ( i hear and have seen things in the past) and i am not, and i know the truth and i know who i am.

also it is kind of ridiculous to blog as i am a musician and anything i say here just gets reprinted at some point out of context. i say NOT FAIR but it doesn’t matter what i say anymore or what is fair anymore really does it- the 21st century media has it’s own rules about what is true and what is not. it is not a life- not one i want to live anyway and i don’t really care to participate in narcissistic over-indulgent behavior anymore- that was never my intention- i just wanted to fight for my right to make music and to be given the benefit of the doubt. now, because i have stood up for myself and fought for myself i am labeled all kinds of awful things. well, i will walk away now and it will not matter what anyone say’s. there are other things i can do in this life, other ways to be creative and to try and help others and be expressive without being demonized for attempting to gain the same things any other human being desires- love- friendship- understanding- and being able to express yourself without constant fear of being mistreated for speaking up

i have friends to make, brand new books coming (two of em’ not counting that one already printed and on it’s way out there and i LOVE writing….yay!) and a whole lot of living and learning to do.

i am excited to step away. i lost more than anyone will ever know (hearing, someone i loved, my sense of dignity, a never ending losing battle with stage fright and now my hearing and balance due to an inner ear issue- people accusing me of not being sober when i am suffering tremendous pain and nausea from my inner ear symptoms- people accusing me of theft (THEFT- ….awful) and this is not much of a life, not glamorous like those ridiculous video’s a long time ago television played and no it is not monetarily as rewarding as people would like you to believe and yes, it is soul destroying. especially when you spend your life trying to write about the really difficult stuff and you stand there losing your way and people yell at you like you were in a circus. when it was your dream to matter and you realize one day, it never mattered- i mean, i am a punch-line and a footnote in what is worse to yell at someone besides “free-bird”. i mean, i lost. and it’s okay because i seriously snuck some pretty neat idea’s in there in the work when i was making those mistakes or they were being made by others. this business is no science.

andf you know, whatever this is- it’s not my dream. and it is a punishing thing to endure when you are getting worse and worse- it’s not my dream, my dream was to try and tap into that energy i saw watching Minutemen vcr tapes when i was just a little shit in NC of mike watt’s crazy shaking leg and his electric fingers- or how sonic youth droned into beautiful clouds those guitars shaking, kim and steve rattling the pulsing lines into feverish thudding imaginary subway cars racing through my heart- and how it felt to just let go and static up a riff and find the sweet spot- but getting yelled at for just being a songwriter- to be called so many horrid things because i chose to love music so much, and also to look for peace and balance in my life- that is not kindness and just not my thing. at least not now.

and i loved somebody. and i let others decided if that was okay and that was wrong and i was wrong and no one should deny themselves or others love or understanding because people don’t get it. that was an awful mistake. i always make big mistakes. it’s like i let myself learn that because that was a role, a niche’ i filled that make sense to a loud voice of strangers who would never really play a real part in my life.

never become that if you choose this path- if you go this route with your art. never listen to those loud dissatisfied bystanders who only want to see you fail because that will be entertaining for that moment. hold fast to your dreams, hold faster to your heart and never step out of the light of that love that made you whole. i did. and i know better now. and better late than never i suppose.

but i am okay now. i see a peaceful way to better days now. i am healing. and most importantly i feel loved and i have learned to treat myself with that same curiosity and lover that i have been lucky enough to feel and to learn to let guide my life. love is the great teacher and i am happy to be learning now. happy to be listening to that over this never ending painful ringing. this is the great lesson of my life. for once i want to be dignified in my study and in one place long enough to hear and understand without my pride or my lack of faith in myself leading me further away from things i need to know once and for all.

this is the real work now. the rest is something else entirely.

quitting smoking was a good step and i am happy i also am just now beginning to understand how important it is i take better care of myself in every way right now. hell i am even beginning to sleep a little and i can feel the things good and bad that i did not have time to feel when i was running towards a new oblivion of work, hoping somehow someday what i did would be accepted and maybe that would make me feel loved. how foolish.

that is not love. love is being accepted for who you are. love is taking care of yourself and caring for others and dreaming out loud when it matters. not chasing rainbows. not hoping for some eventual collective sigh of approval which will never come. how did i ever think in those terms? i always knew better. thank goodness i know now how to be honest with myself.

anyway, enjoy these shows ( i will enjoy them immensely and i will miss them just as much) and know that i am not abandoning anyone, not the cardinals and not the fans, this is just something i need to do now, and that i loved playing music in the cardinals and hell, even before i was in a place to try and learn to be well, music was my life source- and cardinals was such a heavy crush and a real dream…i honor it too much to have any regrets right now, i am just proud.

maybe we will play again sometime and maybe i will work my way back into some kind of music situation but this is the time for me to step back now, to reel it in and i wish everyone peace and happiness and if music is your dream, or if just dreaming is your dream, may you find your way through the rough patch with ease and i hope you let go and it takes you all the way there-

loving kindness to all.


Comments (92)
  1. If I thought he was serious about quitting music, I would be really sad about this.

  2. I give him a week, tops

  3. fucking wah/

  4. Reggie  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    He’s only 34? He looked old as shit when he did that Robin Hood Prince of Thieves song…am I missing something?

  5. red  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    right on!

  6. nicholas  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    thats sad. But, seriously can someone like him who constantly write music really just quit?
    I say it’ll last a year before he either tours or releases anything

  7. I’m hoping that this just means that he’s quitting the Cardinals, which, after hearing Cardinology, I think we can all agree would be a good thing.

    • Travis  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

      I can’t believe people like you. Cardinology was his best reviewed album ever, and this is not the place to express your distaste. He’s a beautiful musician and it’s heartbreaking that people like you make him feel this way.

      Right on Ryan, do what you need to do. In the mean time, I, along with all of the rest of your fans, will enjoy listening to the albums you left behind. You will forever be my favorite musician.

      • Hey, I’m a huge Ryan Adams fan. I have 17 hours of Ryan Adams music on my computer. I agree that he is a beautiful musician. I used to love his collaborations with The Cardinals. Cold Roses is my favorite of all of his albums. I am just saying that Cardinology was far weaker than any of his previous Cardinals efforts, and it, to me, showed that it is time for him to move on musically.

    • Jesse  |   Posted on Jan 16th, 2009 0

      seriously thank you michelle!! Cardinalogy was really bad. i love Ryan Adams but c’mon! ditch the Cards and get your Love Is Hell voice back!!!

  8. Wldrpretnd  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    It is hard to believe he is actually quitting music. But if he is… Good for him. Bad for those of us who are fans. But if he’s honest about all of this stuff then I can honestly say i’d be happy for him to move on. He’s put out some outstanding music. I’ve seen him put on some truly beautiful live shows (and one terrible Rock N Roll show.) I can’t ask for much more than that. I’m excited for Infinity Blues. Hopefully it lives up to the initial hype (the amazon pullquotes are pretty steller). And if not… well, he’s done enough. I’m going to go listen to Heartbreaker now.

  9. cant wait to see courtney love’s response on here later this afternoon.

  10. I’m a HUGE fan of RA’s, have been for a very long time, and this is sad as all hell. i’m looking at it as an extended break for him though, i’d be shocked if he didn’t make music again.

    and as much as people love to hate the guy (i’m sure the comments will confirm this), he’s put himself out there for all of us, both the good and bad when he didn’t really have to, and tried to be honest all the while.

    he also created some pretty damn good music which personally for me has gotten me through some sh!tty times. i can’t wait to see him and the cardinals one last time in boston, and from there we’ll see. best of luck ra, you’ve been a breath.

  11. Wilson Alvarez  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    one can only pray that this is true. ryan adams hasn’t done anything worth s**t in over a decade. he’s the miley cyrus of rock.

  12. Hasief  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    I’m sad, he was really starting to hit his stride with The Cardinals, I think. But I wish the guy all the best, and you just know he’ll have lots to write about when he finally comes back.

  13. honestly after seeing all his blog posts it seems like it would be better for his health for him to live a normal life in one place without touring. he’s been like on the road since he was 16. it’s crazy. i love his music but for his sake he probably needs some time off to live a normal life.

  14. I’m sure this won’t be a permanent thing. I just don’t think it’s in his nature to stop making music. But the break could be a good thing. When he’s on, he’s fucking on. But he’s done something like 10, 11 albums in the last 8 years. Maybe after a few years he’ll come back with something new and interesting.

  15. cam bella  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    glad that im going to the atlanta show just in case

  16. SAL  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    As much as I love Ryan and his music it’s very hard to feel sorry for him and his complaints in a time where people are losing their jobs and their homes. While he may not be a rich rock star, he’s certainly in the privileged position of getting to do something he loves and being paid for it (even if he doesn’t enjoy the bullshit that surrounds it – and come on, even those who enjoy what they do have to put up with shit and don’t enjoy themselves 100 per cent of the time – it’s called life). His music career, whether or not it turned out exactly how he envisioned it, has allowed him to become a published poet and an artist – two things I’m sure he would have had a much more difficult time getting into if it not for his success as a musician. I don’t think he realises how lucky he’s been. I hope he reconsiders his decision because I think he’s incredibly talented and it’s a shame to waste that, and it’s certainly his right to walk away from it all too, I’m just not sure what purpose it serves to announce to the world that he’s doing that.

  17. dustintheair  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    “maybe we will play again sometime and maybe i will work my way back into some kind of music situation but this is the time for me to step back now”

    So what if he comes back in a week or a month or a year? Hyperbole about the pain of being a songwriter in the public eye aside, it seems pretty clear to me that he is just stepping away for now and leaving the door open if he wants to return.

  18. dave   |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    This should have happened a long time ago, but why do I get the feeling he’ll be back as soon as he starts missing the attention?

  19. ryanadamsblows  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    Ryan Adams sucks as a person and even more as a music artist. I hope he keeps his word.

  20. Billy Side  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    Ryan’s a little ‘mo. No one cares.

  21. neener  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    It takes a lot of guts and of course, ego, to open up to total strangers like he has. This blog has probably been therapy for him. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing to make your public life and inner thoughts an open book, especially considering the major league haters out there who will shit on anyone’s feelings regardless of whether their opinion is relevant or not.

    Hope he sorts his stuff out and gets on with his life and hopefully continues to make music. Here’s to ya

  22. does he not know we’re in a recession?

  23. I love Ryan. This makes me sad inside. But like others said…I’ll see it when I believe it.

  24. Reality  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    Ryan Adams is a jackass.

  25. choo  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    He’ll be back, but under another name. He actually saved up his rockstar money to purchase an underground lair in France, where he will continue to create melt-your-face-off METAL 24/7 as of the end of the Cardinals tour.

    Unfortunately the Cardinals aren’t heavy enough for where he is going. so I guess they have to part ways. Good on him for quitting smoking. I’ll miss his pedal steel player though. That guy is so badass.

  26. Jeez. This is heartbreaking.

  27. dearimpossible  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    If this is true it is a sad day for music. I hate when he dowplays his talent and music. He seems to only pay attention to the negative comments and I think people make fun of him just because it’s cool. He is revered by his fans and unconditionally loved. It really is a shame he isn’t more famous and more appreciated. I’m sure a break is needed and fine if he leaves the Cards, but please don’t quit altogether!

  28. misteyr  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    Bummer. Too bad he actually cares about the negative feedback. It’s gonna kill you if you’re feeding off it, Ryan.

  29. Before everyone starts thumbs-downing this comment, I’ve never really listened to Ryan Adams and don’t personally have anything against him but man was that hard to read. I can understand wanting to take a break from the internet and the music world when you’re losing your hearing and have had some personal troubles, but a lot of that just came off as silly and juvenile.

  30. he just wrote on his blog:

    Of course everything i said got taken out of context.

    as always,

    i did not say i was quitting i said i was taking a step back?

    so thanks?..thanks again

  31. DBC  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    I like lots that Ryan Adams has done, and in fairness, I’m sure we’d all come off a little crazy if the world got their hands on some of our electronic rants. Just look at how we slaughter each other for our spelling mistakes :)

    All artists have a little eccentricity in them – that’s what helps make them more creative (and lovable) than the rest of us schmucks.

    I have to say, I hope he’s not done…and I bet the quitting smoking doesn’t last!

  32. Claire  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 0

    It’s true what they say about your favourite musicians: they’re such idiots in real life Ryan, please please stop writing about yourself as no one cares about you promise! We are not your friends, family or therapists. We would be sad if you got hit by a bus tomorrow however we would live and carry on and your music would too but we would rather eat cyanide faeces than have to listen to your puerile attempts at attention seeking in your thirties which is just sad if not a reason to find a neutral hobby. I am worried you will wake up in your fifties and realise how much time you wasted blogging when you could be taking pictures of swans in distress.

  33. Ahh he’s far too honest. You don’t just pour your heart out like that to thousands of strangers. At least I wouldn’t, but then again I’m a private, uptight bitch. Props to him, then, for being so open. And I never believe when famous musicians say they’re stopping… unless they’re really old. And even then it’s doubtful. He’ll come back soon.

  34. Richie Sambora  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    Maybe he’ll finally start that Bryan Adams cover band. It would be so awesome to hear Ryan cover Bryan’s entire freakin’ “Restless” album. This would RULE! Do it BryanRyan!

  35. matt  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0


  36. J .R.  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    For all the Ryan Adams haters out there, you’re just jealous that he’s way more creative and talented than you could even comprehend. Sorry if you’re not used to someone being honest and expressing their real feelings, but get used to it. If you don’t want to hear his thoughts then WTF are you doing reading his blog you moron.

    I really hope RA can get some peace and will come out with more music. I know he will because he has to. He’s that talented. Have a good break Ryan. I can’t wait to see you soon. Your small show at the Music Box in Chicago was phenomenal!

    • haha  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

      You’re right… Playing watered down alt-country for frat kids is sooooo beyond my comprehension.

  37. tim  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    Do your thing Ryan Adams. Fuck these haters.

  38. I’ve never even heard Ryan Adams’ music. I only know of him by several degrees of separation from his blog, which gets talked about a lot. What’s he make? Counting Crows type songs? That’s the vibe I’ve always gotten. But like I said, I’ve never actually heard any of the music. I missed his whole career, apparently. Boss.

  39. Rudy Redford  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    Realistically, I don’t see RA quitting music, but hopefully he will stop producing so much online media content. It’s takes away from the mystery of the artist and gives haters more fuel (evidence here). But let’s not ignore the truths in his message: People are going to give you a lot of fearful, bad advice. They’re going to question anything you create. And they’ll leave you asking if anything is sacred. Life is short. It is better to have created than not. But in my opinion, if you’re not hurting anyone and so many people go out of their way to put you down, then you must be doing something right.

  40. theEvilAngel  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    I read his post yesterday (because I’m a big RA fan) and was confused, sad, and wondering if this was just a classic RA overreaction to something? He seems to be dwelling alot on that one review the Cardinals got where they accused Ryan of being drunk. Even though we all know he wasn’t… I can’t imagine him quitting music because of one bad review/asshole… he has such a loyal fanbase…

    (and he already took the post down fyi. Just since yesterday.)

  41. The boy who cried quitter….

  42. The Trooth  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    So, Courtney hacked into his blogger account for stealing Frances’ money?

  43. Who is Ryan Adams?

  44. Patrick Rafter  |   Posted on Jan 16th, 2009 0

    Hey Ryan,i’m the biggest fan of you and the great cardinals.You hadn’t go on any tour the next years but you can publish every year one great album with the cardinals.Ok??????That’s all. Your music is very important for me.Can you create a country album for the next album. What will you do the next years. Please don’t stop to make music the next years. One album for one year.Thank you very much.Cheers mate !!!!!!

  45. Ryan’s blog mirrors his albums. Bloated and self-indulgent.

  46. Ha, Who’s retirement will be shorter, Jay-Z’s or Ryan Adams?

  47. kingofkenya  |   Posted on Jan 16th, 2009 0

    Seriously, which one of the three people and their aliases posting on this story actually listen to this horseshit garbage dude? Happily, not me.

  48. Hey Ryan, it’s me The Apostrophe. I’d really appreciate it if you stopped blatantly using me wrong, seeing as how you are a published author and all. (Wait, what?) Thanks.

    PS: Love the fake metal videos!

  49. Ryan Adam's Dick  |   Posted on Jan 16th, 2009 0

    Ryan has been wearing me out up front of the mirror. I’m sore.

  50. required  |   Posted on Jan 16th, 2009 0

    So Ryan is quitting the most self indulgent ego driven career choice one could ever hold and is going to move right along to the unglamorous, private, glory-less task of being an actual writer of actual sentences which form actual paragraphs and entire thoughts, even? Shocking. I mean, truly. I think, even if he fails, the effort is more noble than trying to be punk something or rather. At least he’s calling his whole lifestyle before this what it really was: BOGUS. Good luck, Ryan. Don’t take writing for granted. Work hard at it. You don’t deserve accolades any more than anyone else who is peddling words. So start over. Without ego. Writing isn’t easy. Nor should it be banged out as haphazardly as a song. You do have a lot to learn. Ask questions, and more importantly, LISTEN TO THE ANSWERS.

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