I was a big fan of Ryan’s first solo record when I was in college, but shortly thereafter, all these stories came out about how much of a toxic megalomaniac he was (and his substance abuse issues), going back to when he was in the band Whiskeytown in the ‘90s. I was actually somewhat surprised Mandy Moore hooked up with him at the time, as she seemed savvier than that. At a concert, when some heckler started calling out Bryan Adams songs, Ryan stopped playing and went on such an unhinged, endless rant that attendees left in droves.
He’s a big presence in Meet Me in the Bathroom, and he seemed like this charismatic self-promoter who’d leave a path of destruction in his wake. A lot of it dealing with drugs.