Features, Ryan at Night

Bake Yourself, You Are The Cake: Ryan Adams Tweets Dylan, Drugs, and Disposition


Everybody must get stoned (courtesy of The Times UK)

Ryan, it’s 2:30 AM on a Wednesday night–I’m late on four deadlines, I can feel the suspicion of a headache nagging at my temples. I should be sleeping, but I am here typing “bake yourself you are the cake Bob Dylan” into my Google search bar. If there are two things that keep me up at night, it’s fibbing at customs after a shopping spree in a third world country and having someone prod the gaping Bob Dylan shaped hole in my musical vocabulary. Look, it’s not that I don’t understand the importance of Blonde On Blonde or Blood On The Tracks. I get it. But while I think “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is possibly the most perfect, smug break-up song, it’s just not enough to make me care about archives containing 1,088,382 items of Dylan memorabilia housed in a museum somewhere in Oklahoma. They say it’s an age thing but really, how is a girl from the tropics supposed to relate to being “Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again”?

Seeing now that my late night search inquiry has garnered no matching results to “bake yourself you are the cake Bob Dylan”–along with the fact that your preceding tweets have implied that edibles, like cross harps and third-fret capos, have been a crucial component of Heartbreaker–I’m beginning to wonder whether “getting” Dylan has anything to do with baking yourself like “you are the cake.” I mean, wasn’t it Dylan who misheard the “I can’t hide” lyric in The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” as “I get high?” Everybody must get stoned. It seems to add up.

Which brings me to this, another guilt-fueled confession: I have been embarrassingly sober singing along to “To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)” all these years. And it’s not for a lack of trying, either. (Let’s just say that the last time I got high, I felt persecuted by my own shadow, tossed out my Ouija board and broke my light switch from flipping it too many times.) Now I just feel bad and, honestly, a little cheated, for being deprived of the comprehensive Heartbreaker experience. For appreciating, yet not completely relating to how calm it is to be “a fruit stand in New York.” For admiring, but not wholly understanding both Dylan and your respective fascinations with women who rain.

Damn Sam, you got me thinking. Maybe, it’s time. Maybe, it’s time to try again. Maybe, I’ll finally understand those faux 70s Mark Gormley music videos set to green screen space, appreciate the outlandish beauty of the moon quintets. Maybe, if I stop rolling my eyes, I’ll start appreciating surrealism. Maybe, I’ll understand the seven levels. Or maybe, I’ll become a Phan. Who’s to say? You can bake your cake and be it, too.

As always, thank you for imparting your wisdom. Thank you for being Priest AND Jarvis.

Your favorite tweet-decoder, Gauraa.

May 26, 2016

About Author

Gauraa Shekhar Gauraa is a freelance writer who divides her time between New York, Jakarta and Mumbai. She founded The Sympathizer because she was sick of having editors reprimand her for ending sentences with prepositions and charging songs guilty of being "as contagious as cholera in a sewer pipe." She is currently working on her first book.

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