Features, Ryan at Night

You Give Love Is Hell A Bad Name: Ryan Adams Vs. Bon Jovi, Apparently

courtesy of Ryan Adams' Twitter presence

courtesy of Ryan Adams’ Twitter presence

In the second verse of “Bobby Jean,” much before the big saxophone solo, Springsteen pragmatically lists requisite reasons to a romantic relationship: “We like the same music/ We like the same bands/We like the same clothes.” That lyric also happens to capture the essence of my normative relationship with Ryan Adams. Except, of course, in our case, the lines would probably be: “We like the same music/ We tweet the same bad Bon Jovi lyric tattoos/ We have the same street-cred insecurities that compel us to talk about late 80s run-of-the-mill punk trios all the time.” But, alas, I’m not here to talk about how Ryan Adams is my Bobby Jean and/or discuss our psychic wondertwin bond that will remain undiscovered because 1. My wine-drunk piano ballad voice-memos (all mildly derivative of “Charlie Freak”) will not be played on the radio and 2. Ryan Adams probably won’t ever stay in a motel room. I’m here to talk about this thick, palpable tension between Ryan Adams and Bon Jovi. Why so many terse jokes? Why so many Bon Jovi puns?


Could it be that Ryan’s a lapsed Bon Jovi fan, pissed about Richie Sambora giving up on the band? His tweets indicate a certain familiarity with the band’s discography: “you give Love Is Hell a bad name,” “Who says he [Sambora] can’t go home?,” and “Have a nice day,” etc. Is he upset that Bon Jovi’s upcoming record is titled This House Is Not For Sale? Does he think that the title is inspired by Adams’ song of the same title?

The possibilities are endless, but we’re hoping this little Twitter rift is in the same “way fun” manner of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker’s letter to Luke Wilson. If not, know this Ryan: “This House Is Not For Sale” > This House Is Not For Sale. Always.

May 11, 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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