He Met His First Real Heckler

The Adams family

“[T]hat was the beginning of who I am today. All of the humor and self-deflection I would ever learn came from that night. I am now grateful for it all. I know the nature of people. I know how they will throw insults and rock a boat just to watch a person go over the side. But I know they are not all cruel. Away from the stage lights, I would study others and look for that good. I became the person who would send an email every year to the genius writer of that song on his birthday, which is also mine. I would learn how to show empathy, or fight for myself, or make fun of it all, and shine some love on that lonely, crazy person we have all stood next to before, screaming into the night from the shadows. I toasted the last drink I ever drank to that heckler the day I cleaned up.”

Awl pal Ryan Adams tells all about “the ‘Summer of ‘69’ incident.”

Ryan Adams: The First Time I Was Rattled by a Heckler