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Julian Casablancas and Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes | © Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock
Julian Casablancas and Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes | © Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock

The Strokes Blame Heroin Addiction on Ryan Adams in New Book

Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 31 May 2017

Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, the new book from Lizzy Gordon detailing the post-9/11 decline of the old-guard music industry and rebirth of the New York rock scene from 2001 to 2011, hits shelves on May 23.

“Meet Me in the Bathroom charts the transformation of the New York music scene in the first decade of the 2000s, the bands behind it—including The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, and Vampire Weekend—and the cultural forces that shaped it, from the internet to a booming real estate market that forced artists out of the Lower East Side to Williamsburg,” the book’s bio states.

To promote its imminent release, Vulture shared an excerpt that largely examines the struggles of The Strokes to keep their ship moving in the right direction and their turbulent relationship with rocker Ryan Adams. In fact, they go so far as to accuse Adams of getting Strokes’ guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. addicted to 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 says. “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.”

Hammond added that Strokes’ lead singer Julian Casablancas even threatened to beat up Adams if he returned to his apartment and provided Hammond with more drugs. Adams, however, denies that he ever gave heroin to Hammond.

“That’s so sad, because Albert and I were friends,” Adams says. “If anything, I really felt like I had an eye on him in a way that they never did. I was around and we actually spent time together. He would show me his songs. It was like, ‘No one ever listens to my music, but do you want to hear it?’ I would be like, ‘Fuck yeah!’ I loved him so deeply. I would never ever have given him a bag of heroin. I remember being incredibly worried about him, even after I continued to do speedballs.”

Also included in the excerpt is a brief bit about Courtney Love’s friendship with The Strokes, specifically looking at the time she invited them to join her onstage during her 24 Hours of Love MTV special. As journalist Marc Spitz put it, Love was The Strokes’ “coke Yoda.”

“She was like their Yoda. Their coke Yoda,” Spitz says. “I’m not saying she gave them cocaine. I mean, most everyone was on cocaine, but it seemed like as soon as they really made it, she was all over them. And she was not in the best shape at the time. Maybe not the Jedi you want whispering in your ear about how to be a rock star.”

You can read the rest over at Vulture.