How Liz Phair Cleverly Shuts Down The Ryan Adams Topic In Her Vulture Interview
Next month, Liz Phair will release a book, ‘Horror Stories’, one of her two planned memoirs, and she gave a long interview to Vulture this week. Since she mentioned she ‘was going to work with Ryan Adams’ after the release of her album ‘Funstyle’, the hot talking subject came in the conversation.
‘I was going to work with Ryan Adams, and you can guess how that turned out’, reveals Phair. ‘I stuck around for three years trying to get that done. Up until then, I didn’t want to make a record and tour while my son was in high school. It wasn’t until he left for college four years ago that I really wanted to put a record out. During the puberty years, the teenage years, you have to be around more. That’s when it gets very real.’
And after saying she is going to do ‘nothing’ with the songs she made with Ryan Adams, as ‘he was unreliable’, and she ‘wasn’t willing to go along with his process,’ the interviewer, Rob Tannenbaum, sees the perfect opportunity to dig more dirt on the infamous songwriter… here is the exchange:
Vulture’s Rob Tannenbaum: ‘You also write about Adams, “Did he hit on me and try to get me to sleep with him? Yes. Did I take him up on it? No.” What happened when you didn’t take him up on it?’
Liz Phair: ‘That was a sentence that was flagged by my editor, and I’m beginning to see why. That’s nothing. Guys hit on girls all the time.
Can I ask a question? Out of everything in the book, why is the Ryan Adams thing such an interesting topic?’
Vulture’s Rob Tannenbaum: ‘Because he’s been in the news, and it’s a pithy way to discuss sex and power.’
Liz Phair: ‘ It worries me. There’s an aspect that ends up being reductivist, and it contributes to the problem rather than solving it. It’s gossip. The real aspect is, can women be heard? Can we work and be equal contributors?
You’re not the only one singling out Ryan Adams as a hot talking point, and it’s sad. It does need to be talked about, but so do the larger issues.’
And that’s an incredibly smart and honest answer, ‘Guys hit on girls all the time’, and it worries me you are trying to inset this clickbait in this conversation because Ryan Adams is the hot #metoo topic of the moment,… she cannot be more direct.
Tannenbaum wanted to spice up his interview with another Ryan Adams gotcha moment since he thought he had found another victim! The problem is that Liz Phair is not Mandy Moore or Phoebe Bridgers, she is not a millennial (she is 52) and certainly doesn’t see herself as a victim. She doesn’t call ‘abuse’ a guy hitting on a girl, or a guy being unreliable. She puts Tannenbaum at his place in a few direct sentences, ‘it’s gossip’, and closes the debate, forcing him to rapidly get to the next subject. I wish more young women would be like Liz Phair.