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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 221
Tues. Sept. 24, 2013

“Anybody Want To Take Me Home”
Ryan Adams

2003

“♫ I am
in the
twilight
of my
youth
♫”

Even though “Oh My Sweet Carolina” was the first ever Ryan Adams song I ever heard, I have to admit, today, the first album of his I bought was Rock ‘n Roll. Looking back, I’m thankful because “Anybody Want to Take Me Home” was the song that made me a true Ryan Adams fan. Anyone who can create his own personal Alt-Country meets NYC loner anthem in the spirit of The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now” is worthy of my support and adoration.

All I could think when I listened to “Anybody” on repeat, with headphones in my bedroom, at my parents’ house, was Ryan’s got to be a Smiths fan. I could tell even before The Guardian interview I read in 2011 when Adams said this about listening to Hatful of Hallow when he said, “To this day, the emotions I feel when I hear it are indescribable.” Later I realized how much Ryan and I were so much alike, growing up when Adams confessed to Record Collector, he spent his formative years like me “[…] living The Smiths craze out of my bedroom in my parents’ house as a 14-year-old.”

It was true; Adams was a loner with self-confidence issues like the rest of us Smiths fans. Ryan explained to Uncut UK magazine in 2007 how his love of The Smiths came to be when he said, “I first heard The Smiths almost by accident. When I was 13, a buddy of mine got a crate of his brother’s old records that he was planning to smash, but he let me pick out three to listen to first, one of which was Hatful Of Hollow. I got home, listened to it, and just couldn’t believe it. It’s beautiful. The Smiths have these melancholy melodies that just resonate. It sounds pretty and sad at the same time, yet also very urgent. They don’t sound like anything else. It’s hard to categorize The Smiths as just a regular rock’n’roll band. Obviously, there are just so many different things going on. They worked one song at a time; it seems, rather than thinking about albums, because they cared so much about creating the music. Morrissey would choose a grandiose song title afterwards but they weren’t pretentious about the process, it’s almost as if they wrote the songs backwards. Most people start with a lyric, whereas Johnny Marr said he’d start with the guitar outros and then work backwards through the song. That makes a lot of sense to me now. Convention is hard to break, but they did it. In fact, I could listen to their music my whole life and still not really know what it truly is. My folks’ generation had The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but to me the Smiths are my Beatles and my Rolling Stones. That one band covers it all for me.” And here I thought I was the only one? It’s invigorating to know that some of my favorite artists love music that matter like The Smiths as much as we do.

Ryan Adams actually admitted that “Home” was an ode to Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce when he explained to Rolling Stone Australia in 2004, “Yeah that was me doing the Johnny Marr Smiths thing. You know that’s how they used to do that with ‘The Headmaster Ritual’ and ‘Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others’. That was me nodding to that. I like to tip my hat to the people I learn from.” Ryan actually wanted Johnny Marr to produce the songs that would become Love is Hell but instead telling Spin Magazine “with Marr’s recommendation” Adams got legendary Smiths producer John Porter to helm those historic recording sessions.

In that same Spin Magazine article, Adams confessed to writer Marc Spitz and author of The Smiths influenced novel How Soon is Never, “Anybody” was inspired by going out alone to a rock n’ roll dance party as Adams explained, “[It] was one crazy music fest. They would play Sonic Youth and New Order, and I was thinking to myself, ‘I know how to play that stuff. Why am I not playing that stuff?’ Someone put on [the Smiths’] ‘How Soon Is Now?’ and I remember saying to myself, ‘Don’t get so caught up.’ I had boxed myself into a little place.” And from that experience birthed this Smiths inspired track and my favorite Rock n’ Roll song “Anybody Want To Take Me Home.”

“Anybody Want To Take Me Home” was the song that made me a true Ryan Adams fan. He actually played my favorite Rock n’ Roll and later Love in Hell cut live when I saw Adams in concert at Austin City Limits Festival in 2004. I must have waited for what seemed like hours in the horrible humid South Texas sun just to see Adams perform. I remember thinking while we stood sweating and anticipating Ryan’s arrival on stage was anybody who’s a Smiths fan is worthy of this heatstroke inspired agony and his set was so definitely worth the sunburned and heat related sickness I experienced seeing Ryan play “Anybody” in concert.

Ryan was a Smiths fan when it was uncool to admit to being a dedicated follower of Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce when he told Blender Magazine in 2003, “The kind of people who don’t understand this music are guys who never cry and whose girlfriends have never peed in front of them.” Adams was more than just any ordinary Smiths fanatic; in fact Ryan crafted and recorded a modern day “How Soon Is Now?” Smiths’ fans will appreciate the little “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”-ish faux fade out and Elvis’ ‘Suspicious Minds” inspired tribute at the coda of “Take Me Home” that ended being the perfect homage to Johnny Marr and my favorite Manchester band of the 1980’s.

Thank you Ryan, for creating the song that made me an instant supporter of your eloquent craft. If you were a Smiths aficionado, one spin of “Anybody” would make you an instant fan of Ryan Adams. It happened to me and after one listen, I guarantee you will be listening to “Anybody Want To Take Me Home” on repeat just like you did those Smiths songs that saved your life. Ryan’s Rock n’Roll and Love is Hell loner anthem will give you the same kind of hope that would even make Adams’ heroes Morrissey and Marr proud.

P.S. If you’re looking for a webpage that has all things Ryan Adams make sure to check out the best tumblr site on the internet: I wrote this in 1857 when I was a pirate/Let It Ride.

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