Roots rock rabble-rouser Robbie Fulks is adding a little fuel to a recent controversy involving fellow singer/songwriter Ryan Adams. At one of the latter’s concerts earlier this month in Nashville, someone in the audience yelled out a request for “Summer of ’69,” a hit for veteran Canadian rocker Bryan Adams. Ryan Adams reacted with a stream of profranity, located the fan, and paid him $30 as a refund before ordering him to leave. A similar incident had occured at a prior show in New York.
A note posted on Fulks’ official Web site reads, “Any reader who attends a Ryan Adams show and disrupts the show with a Bryan Adams song request will receive in return merchandise of his or her choice, equal to the cost of the ticket, from my online store. You’re on the honor system, necessarily; but please provide the date and location of the show, what you yelled, and what Ryan’s reaction was.”
Fulks is known for such irreverent tunes as “She Took a Lot of Pills and Died” and “Roots Rock Weirdos,” the latter of which lambasted fans of the so-called “alt.country” genre. He and Ryan Adams have recorded for noted Chicago independent label Bloodshot.
“There’s nothing really personal behind it,” Fulks tells Billboard.com, noting that he has only met Adams on a handful of occasions. “I just don’t like his music is all, or his persona. He’s something of an ambassador for the roots music corner of the world to the public at large. I think he’s the wrong person for that job. Not that he sees himself as occupying that role, but essentially that’s what he’s become. That’s why I’d pick on him as opposed to Britney Spears.”
Never one to rest on his laurels, Fulks says he is two-thirds done with a Michael Jackson covers album that he hopes to release next summer under the title “Dear Michael, Love Robbie.” Among the tracks that have been recorded so far are “Billie Jean,” “Ben,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” and “Privacy.” Of the latter, Fulks says, “We did it in kind of a John Zorn/Metallica speed metal style with Bob Weston and Todd Trainer from [Chicago rock outfit] Shellac.”
Tonight (Oct. 24), Fulks plays Elkhart, Ill., while Adams, whose rep had no comment on the situation, descends on San Francisco.