Ryan Adams’ guitarist & former tour manager speak out against him following allegations
Following the allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse made by several women against Ryan Adams, other people he has worked with have come forward to speak out against him as well. Thomas O’Keefe, a tour manager and tour accountant who worked with Adams and Whiskeytown from 1997 to 2000 (and wrote about his experience in Waiting to Derail: Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Alt-Country’s Brilliant Wreck), made a statement in a Ryan Adams Facebook group, Tone Deaf reports. In it, he said that Adams could be “mean and vindictive, showing little to no empathy for people.” “Many times, I saw him use people–almost always to advance his art or his career–and then suddenly, without warning, ghost them and disappear out of their lives,” O’Keefe continued. “Sadly, I find these disturbing stories about Ryan to be easily believable. He is very smart and charming and is quick to use that to be retaliatory and manipulative.” Read O’Keefe’s full statement below.
Todd Wisenbaker, Adams’ guitarist, also shared a statement about Adams. In a post on Instagram, he wrote, “this is incredibly hard for me to do but Ryan please get help.” “There were times when I chose to believe his insane version of the truth because it was easier than believing that anyone is capable of being this much of a monster,” Wisenbaker continued. “I’ve recently learned that pretty much everything he’s ever told me is a lie upon a lie upon a lie. There are excuses and denials for everything.” Read Wisenbaker’s statement in full below.
Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls and La Sera (who have worked with Ryan Adams), who is married to Wisenbaker, posted on Instagram: “Believe the women who have told their stories about Ryan Adams. [Todd] has posted a statement on his page. If you want to talk, please DM me.” Before Todd posted his story, Katy’s caption read “We aren’t ready to publicly share our story,” but she since edited it.
Karen Elson and Liz Phair recently joined Phoebe Bridgers and Mandy Moore in speaking out against Adams, while Jenny Lewis, who said she had a “working professional relationship” with Adams, said she stands “in solidarity with the women who have come forward.” Adams’ former label Bloodshot Records also released a statement.
The release of Adams’ album Big Colors is on hold following the allegations, the F.B.I. is opening an inquiry into his allegedly explicit communications with a girl who was underage at the time. Adams denies the allegations.
Thomas O’Keefe on Ryan Adams:
Since the news about Ryan broke a few days ago, many people have contacted me, so I wanted to share my thoughts.
I was the tour manager of Ryan Adams’s band Whiskeytown from early 1997 until they broke up in the spring of 2000. I wrote a book about that experience called WAITING TO DERAIL, which was released in June 2018.
During my time with Ryan, I never witnessed any abusive behavior towards women. However, this was over 20 years ago, long before he had any real success.
I knew him to be a musical genius, funny and charismatic. He could also be mean and vindictive, showing little to no empathy for people.
Many times, I saw him use people–almost always to advance his art or his career–and then suddenly, without warning, ghost them and disappear out of their lives.
He did the same to me in late 2000, since then I’ve had very little contact with him.
Sadly, I find these disturbing stories about Ryan to be easily believable. He is very smart and charming and is quick to use that to be retaliatory and manipulative.
By coincidence, I also worked with Mandy Moore when she was a teenager. I found her to be a kind and honest person.
It saddens me to hear these stories. These brave women are heroes, as it’s hard to call out a bully, especially a bully that hides behind promises to make your career–and threats to break it.
We all should stand with these women. I hope they can find some resolution and not lose their faith in their talent or in the power of music. Music can be one of the world’s most positive and unifying things. It’s disgusting to see it used as a cover for such unacceptable behavior.