the life and times of ryan ross pt 2
PRE FAME/THE BEGINNINGS ERA
this is part two in the series that @jen–ne–sais–quoi proably didn’t realize was going to be so long.
okay, i’m going to try to make this all one era, we’ll see. when we last left off, the summer league was no more and panic! at the disco was now in the picture, just as trevor howell? (am i making up his last name?) (no, google says it was howell too, cool) was no more and brendon urie was now in the picture. this isn’t a history of panic! so even though we must talk about the history of panic!, we’ll be focusing on ryan ross throughout.
trevor leaves the summer league. tragic. we loved trevor, we’re all crying. (we don’t know anything about trevor) the band is down a guitar player. yes, a guitar player and not a singer. at this point, it is important to know that Ryan Ross wrote all the lyrics, played the guitar, and! sang for the summer league. and he will continue to sing a little bit longer.
it is necessary now to pull away from ryan so as to properly introduce brendon urie. he was a very important person in ryan’s life, so i think he deserves this.
brendon boyd urie had not known ryan ross or spencer smith because instead of going to the catholic school that ryan and spencer went to, he went to the public school in summerlin, palo verde high school. luckily, brent wilson went to palo verde and had a guitar class with one brendon urie. brent wilson could see brendon’s talent with the guitar so he told him that his band was looking for a new guitarist, and would he like to audition. it’s unclear if the band was still the summer league at this point or if it had been changed to panic! at the disco because between no one documenting the name change and all the different situations in fanfiction, i honestly just don’t know.
i also can’t really tell you anything about his audition because it’s done so often in fanfiction that i don’t know if anyone really knows the truth or if it’s something that is so common in fanfiction that it becomes part of cannon. my fuzzy memory tells me that the audition was in spencer’s basement, they were immediately impressed and had brendon join the band, and that ryan was a little bit quiet. these things may be true (they’re probably true) but they may also be pulled from a fanfic. i really could not tell you.
please not that brendon would’ve looked something like this, but probably nerdier because he was dressed for school pictures:
okay, so i’m pretty sure by now the band is called panic! at the disco, and that’s what i’m gonna call it from now on. so now we have the panic! lineup, just still a little jumbled because remember that ryan is our singer. this next part is a bit like a myth. i’m not sure if it’s 100% true, i’m not sure how i learned it, and i’m not sure where the information ever came from. it’s agreed on as canon though, and it’s important. one day our lead singer ryan ross is sick. instead, brendon urie is singing today. brendon sings and ryan gets angry that brendon didn’t tell him he could sing like that. brendon tells ryan “i didn’t know i could sing like that” ryan decides that brendon should be the singer because ryan writes confident words, but does not have the confident voice to back them up. brendon has the confident voice, so ryan thinks he should sing. we now have the panic! we see in the fever era.
it should be said that fall out boy is in existence and that Take This To Your Grave was already out and ryan ross may or may not be obsessed with pete wentz (he was totally obsessed with pete wentz, more on that later)
i feel like it’s important to take a second and explain the importance of livejournal to those who were young when it was big (i was too young for much of ryan ross’ livejournal days, unfortunately) livejournal was pretty big in bandom and the band members used it too. most importantly, ryan, brendon, and pete used it. they would interact with fans and other people and ryan probably put out way too much personal information. you can find a masterpost of his lj posts here. (they’re only from when he panic! was becoming a thing, but if you search the internet, you can find older stuff too)
livejournal was pretty fundamental for ryan. he wrote lots of poetry and song lyrics, he shared music recs, and most importantly: he posted panic! music. with this music, he also harassed pete wentz about his music. harassed might be a little strong. this is also a bit mythological. ryan posted some demos he and brendon had made on their laptops to his livejournal and sent pete the link. you can find the demo for camisado here and the one for nails for breakfast, tacks for snacks here. as you can see, they’re quite different from the album versions. pete wentz saw the talent in these rough demos and decided to drive from la to vegas and sit in on a rehearsal. panic! had never played live before and they didn’t have all the equipment to play their songs live (remember, they were all still pretty young. ryan was the only 18 year old) so they played them acoustic for him and he liked them enough to sign them to decaydance.
this picture is a while after this situation, but ryan’s appropriately greasy, so it will work for our purposes:
okay, let’s focus in a little more on ryan and what he was doing right now. ryan was going to UNLV. he had a full ride scholarship (because he’s a genius and we all know that) and was in the creative writing program. his dad had also gone to UNLV, so he may have gone there per his dad’s wishes or maybe to stay close to home, or maybe even just because that’s where he had the best scholarship. i’ve never seen anything about him living in the dorms, so i would assume that he lived at home with his dad. you can see in his songs, and he’s commented on it before, but his dad was at least emotionally and mentally abusive. he’s never mentioned anything about physical abuse, so even though that is super common in fanfiction, i can’t say it’s 100% true. also, ryan’s dad was sick a lot from the alcoholism, and even though he was abusive, ryan still loved his dad and tried to help him when he could.
it is 2004, panic! at the disco has been signed to decaydance/fueled by ramen. within the next year we will see ryan ross go from a greasy, awkward boy who wrote deep metaphorical lyrics to ….the same boy but now famous. this chapter ends here, and in the next chapter will begin the Fever Era