“Hot Georgia Damn…and this is where we begin” (coincidentally or ironically, this is the last line of Ryan Adams’ “Firestorms Day One” in Infinity Blues).
King Halloween-head Ryan Adams has been a regular "natural ghost" of late, but then, isn’t that the meaning of the dreaded “break?” Wrong or right, Ryan sightings, no matter the Internet means (i.e., new Tweets and blog/video posts like the new and much loved “World Update,” in which Adams reports all the no-news), have been few and far, far between, and believe, you, we, we’ve been on the lookout ever since leaving Atlanta, Georgia with the Cardinals still on our minds, on our iPods and in our luggage (we’re big fans of the merch table, though we’d be much happier travelers if we’d left with a Ryan-stowaway).
In fact, the whole Atlanta weekend (March 20-23) was a whirlwind of sitting on planes, napping on hotel couches because an un-named someone booked our incoming flight for 6a.m. when hotel check-in was at 3p.m. (luckily the very friendly and accommodating Georgian Terrace staff got us in beds by noon) and running around lost, downtown, looking for a decent record store and, who else, Ryan.
It was Ryan’s last slated show on the Cardinology tour, as, after several years of bad press and much criticism, he announced he was taking an extended break to deal with health problems in January 2009—Meniere's Disease was alluded to in Ryan blogs and the press latched onto this disorder, which is in the inner ear, disrupting balance and causing sensations of vertigo, as the reason for his early retirement, after about 13 years (combining his time with Whiskeytown, the Cardinals and as a solo artist, a more rockin’ Ryan). We quickly bought concert tickets, which were already sold-out through Ticketmaster, forcing us to turn to TicketsNow, along with plane tickets, and set our sights on going down to Georgia, just like Ryan and only for Ryan.
For some reason we expected to find him grazing the streets (like a cute, little cow), which was highly idealistic, but, then again, he was newly-married to singer/actress Mandy Moore, tying-the-knot in Savannah, Georgia only several days before we landed in Atlanta (around March 10). So, it wasn’t too idealistic to imagine Ryan behaving foolishly with wedding-glory, perhaps, walking willy-nilly down the city streets (with no regard for high-profile fans or paparazzi)pre-concert.
Our idealistic ways (and fantasies) could also be blamed on the fact that our hotel was coincidentally located right across the street from the Fabulous Fox Theater (which, of course, fueled our expectations of encountering Adams in the hotel halls, on his way to the nearest bucket of ice, no less), where the Cardinals would (and sadly, did) play their last prom (Cardinal speak for “show,” as found on the old Cardinals Web site, since taken down) to a sold-out audience of Halloween-heads (H-heads, aka, extreme fans, also Cardinal speak). As a side note, many of these H-heads, like us, had journeyed from near and far, by plane, train and automobile (maybe) to bid the boys adieu, or beg them for more (guilty, the build-up to this comedown had turned us into two very eager H-heads).