The Strokes Say Ryan Adams Got Albert Hammond Jr. Into Heroin, He Denies It

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Today the New York Magazine culture site Vulture published an excerpt from a forthcoming oral history by Lizzy Goodman that is muddled from the very headline — it claims The Strokes were the “last great rock band” and purports to tell their last great moments. Uhhhhh… last great rock band? The Strokes? C’mon man. For the fifty-eleventh time, rock is not f*cking dead, it didn’t die with The Strokes or The Killers, or a group of tall white guys in tight pants. It’s literally thriving!

Anyway, the excerpts taken from Goodman’s book, Meet Me In The Bathroom: Rebirth And Rock And Roll In New York City, 2001–2011, tell quite an interesting tale themselves. The most interesting aspect of which, is a weird tension with Ryan Adams, who the band claim introduced guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. to heroin.

Here are the pertinent quotes:

First, Hammond Jr. says he’s been dying to try heroin since the age of fourteen:

Albert Hammond Jr. (guitarist, The Strokes): 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. 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.

Then, he claims that his bandmate threatened Ryan Adams for brining him drugs:

Albert Hammond Jr.: I remember Julian threatening to beat Ryan [Adams] up if he hung out with me, as a protective thing. 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.

Ryan denies it:

Ryan Adams: That’s so sad, because Albert and I were friends. 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, “F*ck 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.

Julian sorta confirms the heroin thing:

Julian Casablancas (front man, The Strokes): Did I specifically tell Ryan to stay away from Albert? I can’t remember the details, to be honest. I think heroin just kind of crosses a line. It can take a person’s soul away. So it’s like if someone is trying to give your friend a lobotomy — you’re gonna step in.

Ryan denies it again:

Ryan Adams: I didn’t do drugs socially, and I don’t remember doing drugs with Albert ever. I wanted to smoke cigarettes and drink, like, dark red wine or vodka and write all night.

Well there you have it, it was either dark red wine, vodka, or heroin.