No book about rock music in 2017 has generated more conversation than Lizzy Goodman’s Meet Me In The Bathroom, a wildly entertaining and unrepentantly gossipy oral history of the New York City music scene from 2001 to 2011. Anyone looking for insider accounts of the swift rise (and in many cases the precipitous fall) of bands such as The Strokes, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, and The National (as well as satellite acts like the White Stripes, Kings Of Leon, and The Killers) should look no further. Aided by impressively thorough reporting, Goodman has created an exhaustive record of the era, explaining how and why the city’s swaggering rock acts briefly captured the zeitgeist. Goodman also shows the myriad ways the scene’s leading lights imploded, regrouped, and carried on more or less in one piece to the present day.
Among the dozens of interview subjects in Goodman’s book is Sean Tillmann, a.k.a. Har Mar Superstar, the tongue-in-cheek R&B singer who became a tour mate and confidante for many of the scene’s kingpins, including Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paul Banks of Interpol, and Jack White. Tillmann’s unique perspective — he was an insider with just enough perspective to take note of the party-addled insanity that many of those bands were living in == comes in handy in Meet Me In The Bathroom, particularly when it comes to funny/sad backstage anecdotes that helps to humanize the book’s subjects.
Because I loved his stories, and knew him a bit as a fellow resident of the Minneapolis area, I invited Tillmann on the podcast to talk about Meet Me In The Bathroom and his memories of the era. He did not disappoint.
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