From the Barstool of the Publisher – February 2009

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What’s going on? I don’t recall seeing any memo that 2009 was the year for the gifted and talented of music to pack it up and leave. Did you get that memo?
Apparently, Ryan Adams did. He announced in  mid-January that he would be leaving music after he and The Cardinals wrap up their tour in Atlanta, Ga. in March. In his typical esoteric way, Adams was vague about his future plans, but said that he was “ready for quieter times.”
Unlike many bands who’ve recently announced “indefinite hiatus” status, Adams has made no such distinction. He says he’s quitting for good, even if many people aren’t putting too much long-term stock in that. (I do believe him, however, and have in fact, already purchased tickets to the show.)
Then, on January 23, David Berman of Silver Jews (who we featured in our October, 2008 issue — remember, they were on their second tour in 20 years?) announced that he was leaving music. Berman wrote in a blog: “I guess I am moving over to another category. Screenwriting or muckraking. I’ve got to move on. Can’t be like all the careerists doncha know.”
In his twisted humor he added, “I always said we would stop before we got bad. If I continue to record I might accidentally write the answer song to ‘Shiny Happy People’.”
Late last year, Alan McGee, who founded the Creation record label, signed Oasis and went on to manage bands including The Libertines and The Charlatans, said he would quit the music business.
Now, to top it all off — before it even got started, one of the hopeful reunions of the year, The Faces, it has been announced, will not be getting back together. It was reported in the U.K. that Ron Wood had said he and his mates would be getting back together with Flea on bass, replacing the departed Ronnie Lane. Then, days later, reports surfaced that both Rod Stewart and Flea had denied the claims and that keyboardist Ian McLagan was hitting the road for a solo tour.
I guess this month’s cover story is at least hopeful, since it talks about The Airborne Toxic Event’s founder Mekell Jollett dropping more “real world” ambitions to start a band.
So please, if you’re a musician, or a band that people enjoy, please give us a little heads up. Let us know in time so we can see you off before you go. And for God’s sake, if you’re done, be done. I’ve personally seen three “Final” tours of The Who, and hiatus status is so overdone these days.
See you at the shows.

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