excerpts from Wyman: Behind The Writing on VH1

Joel McElhany (life-long friend): "When Exiled on Main Street was named Best of the Twin Cities by City Pages, it was the start of his downward spiral. I think he thought everyone would be buying him drinks and women would be throwing themselves at him. But all he got was added to a bunch of local bands' email lists. He'd walk up to a girl at the CC Club, point at her boyfriend and say: 'Whatca doin' with this creep when you can be with The Best of the Twin Cities?' Then the dude would knock him on his ass and he'd go home and sulk and watch the Stanley Cup playoffs and drink all night."

Jeffrey K. Johnson (friend, business associate): "The phone would ring at 3 a.m. and I knew it was him and that I'd have to go bail him out. He'd say stuff like he'd been arrested in a hotel while snorting coke off of a hooker's ass. Then it'd turn out that he'd just passed out on a park bench alone while drinking malt liquor. It was really quite sad."

Joel McElhany: "He had this hat made - it was one of those cheap foamy-mesh deals that always look too big for your head. It said 'Best of the Twin Cities' on it. He was still wearing that thing to the bar years later. Any time he thought he was being slighted - which was quite often as he was paranoid as hell - he would point at it and say: 'City Pages! May 2nd, 2001! Page 50!'"

Carin Wolchock (friend, noted cartoonist): "The quality of his writing nose-dived. He was always self-absorbed; but in a charming, entertaining way. Suddenly, everything was all about his being the Best of the Twin Cities. His trademark self-deprecation disappeared and was replaced by an annoying arrogance. Like he dedicated most of an issue of Exiled on Main Street to taunting toastmag.com - telling them that since they were Number Two, they should try harder."

Jeffrey K. Johnson: "Every time he heard the toastmag.com plug on Radio K, he would point at the stereo speaker and yell: 'In your face, toastmag.com!!' It got old quick."

Carin Wolchock: "The guy had talent to burn and he ended up writing record reviews for Rolling Stone. I think that sums up the Decline and Fall of Wyman."

[Back to Exiled #28] [Back to Exiled on Main Street] [Other Writing] [Poetry] [Contact Bill Tuomala]