Meet Me In The Bathroom is the new book from renowned music journalist Lizzy Goodman that chronicles the New York City rock scene in the 2000s.
Drugs, rivalry and disappointment: Read some excerpts from Meet Me In The Bathroom, the new oral history of NYC’s 2000’s rock scene by Lizzy Goodman.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been gifted with snippets of Goodman’s oral history, which collates a staggering amount of research and interviews with hundreds of musos, journalists, promoters, and label figures, from Julian Casablancas to Jack White to an A&R rep for DFA records.
One of these was a claim from The Strokes that Ryan Adams was a key instigator in getting the band’s guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr., hooked on heroin.
“Ryan would always come and wake me at two in the morning and have drugs, so I’d just do the drugs and kind of numb out,” Hammond recalled. “I knew I would shoot up drugs from a very young age. I’d been wanting to do heroin since I was 14 years old.”
“I remember Julian [Casablancas] threatening to beat Ryan [Adams] up if he hung out with me, as a protective thing,” he added.
“He’d heard that Ryan would come and give me heroin, so he was just like, ‘If you come to my apartment again with heroin, I’m going to kick your ass.’ I hadn’t really been doing it in baggie form until Ryan showed up. He was definitely a bad influence.”
Consequence of Sound have also highlighted a number of great excerpts from book, with anecdotes about The White Stripes being disappointed by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Strokes meeting Joe Strummer and not knowing it, and Pete Doherty from The Libertines apparently propositioning The Strokes’ Nick Valensi.
Check out a few below.
Rivalry between The Strokes and The Killers
Rolling Stone journalist Jenny Eliscu: “Hipsters get over shit so quickly. But it’s important to state that there’s a difference between the underground and hipsters. The underground is real and permanent. It’s more art than it is commerce. The Killers… and Kings of Leon were never part of the underground. Fuck no.”
Nick Valensi adds: “We had conversations that went along the lines of ‘Gosh, I think our songs are better than ‘Mr. Brightside’ by the Killers, but how come that’s the one everyone is listening to?’”.
The Libertines’ Pete Doherty propositioned The Strokes’ Nick Valensi
Nick Valensi: “We were in the loudest club in the world, and there was this guy sitting in the corner of the club, surrounded by kind of slutty-looking girls, and he was playing the acoustic guitar in this super-loud club. He wanted to talk to me, show me songs he had written, telling me he’s starting a band. He was with this Italian girl, and the whole thing felt like there was sexual undertones. They were obviously together, but there was kind of insinuations of ‘Well, maybe we’ll all get together tonight,’ that kind of thing. He wanted to come back to my hotel with me, and I was like, ‘No man, I’m sorry, I have to go.’ I remember leaving, thinking, ‘That guy was fucking crazy.’”
Nick Valensi: “We get to the venue, the first gig of the tour, and who’s fucking singing in the band but that crazy guy with the acoustic guitar from the night at that club. It was Pete Doherty! He remember me very clearly. He knew who I was the first time I met him.”
The Strokes were unaware they had met Joe Strummer
Jim Merlis: “They played the Troubadour in LA. You know that after-party bar area upstairs? We were there, and Joe Strummer was there. I’m talking to Fab, and Joe Strummer taps him on the back and says, ‘Hey, great show, mate,’ and walked out, and Fab was like, ‘Cool, thanks, man.’ I was like, ‘You have no idea who that was, do you?’ and he was like, ‘No, who was that?’ and I said, ‘That was Joe Strummer!’ And he was like, ‘Holy shit, he must think I’m the biggest dick,’ and I was like, ‘No, Fab, he thinks you’re the coolest person in the world.’”
Julian Casabalancas sleeping over at Jack White’s house
Jack White: “Julian stayed at my house and slept in my childhood bedroom, even wore my pajamas. He came into my room in the middle of the night thinking it was the bathroom and we laughed.
LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy adoring The Strokes
James Murphy: Is This It was my record of the decade. Whenever people pooh-pooh it, I’m like, “You’re saying that now, but I guarantee you you’re going to have a barbecue in ten years, play that shit, and say, ‘I love this record.’ ”
Jack White “bummed” when he saw Yeah Yeah Yeahs setting up to open for The White Stripes
Nick Zinner (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs): “I remember they were nice, but when we were setting up, Jack was really bummed that there was another band without a bass player opening for them.”
Jack White: “Our band’s problem in the early years was that local promoters would say, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be cute to put our local two-piece band on there to open for them?’ Or ‘The White Stripes must hate the bass, let’s book a band that has no bass to warm up.’ … So yeah, when we rolled into Blah Blah Blah, Ohio, and there would be a no-bass band with a girl on drums booked to play with us, we’d say, ‘Of course.’ We always wished for a band that was the exact opposite of us so we could have a contrast.
Jack White: I loved that show and was very much impressed with Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I love strong females in music very much, and when I saw Nick on guitar, I wished I was the same size as him, physically.”
Head to Consequence of Sound for more.