meet me in the bathroom

by jamesendeacott

i’ve just read on some blog or other that The Strokes have a new single coming soon. Rumour has it the new track is called ‘ALL THE TIME’…the strokes and time are not two things i normally put together…you following me? thought not…lets wind the clock back 12 years to spring in new york city or was it the summer? i forget – it was pre 9/11 i know that much. As someone once said ‘the past is a foreign country. they do things differently there’…

anyway i was working at rough trade records and we had signed the strokes…we were all very excited. id seen them play a couple of times and was blown away by their short, sharp melodies…they dripped cool and i wanted in. i really wanted in and i would get there…the band were recording their debut album on the lower east side with gordon raphael…they had tried gil norton but it didnt work out..too polished…a lack of personality. gordon had produced the demos and the band trusted him. one day i was sat at my desk in west london and asked geoff and jeannette if either of them were going to new york to see the strokes as they put the finishing touches to their album. they were too busy and didn’t have time. i plucked up the courage and put my name forward. i got on really well with the band so it seemed a natural thing to do. i screamed with joy when they said yes. 2 days later i’m in gordons studio as julian is laying down the vocals to Hard To Explain, still one of my favourites of theirs. as the night drew to a close we fell into the bar across the street, 2A, with the wonderful Jules behind the bar. i was with the coolest band on the planet, in the coolest bar with the coolest barmaid…how the hell did i get here? me a slightly overweight ginger lad from halifax, west yorkshire, england. i tried to work it out…couldn’t be bothered, went to the bathroom…came out talking and demanded another beer.

the strokes and time…

the next day was a slow start as you can well imagine. i was staying in the chelsea hotel…of course i was. i was living the dream…living the fucking dream. the room had no window, smelt like piss but it was the chelsea hotel….we all met down the studio early evening…it was a friday i recall…albert was in a very organisational mood and it transpired, to my delight, that the band were taking the weekend off from recording. a friend of one of the band worked at an art gallery in Boston and the gallery was closing down…would the band play the final night? i had seen the band play a few times but never on their own soil…in fact it was the only time i ever got to see them in the states and i saw that band a lot.

time and the strokes…

albert had hired a van to take the band, their manager and me to Boston…the final arrangements were being made…i looked at albert as he took a deep drag on his cigarette and let the smoke crawl through his mop of curly hair…what time is soundcheck albert?…about 4 man….i thought a while…how long does it take to get to Boston albert?…about 4 hours dude, he replied…i looked at albert …what time you gonna pick me up man?…he looked me in the eyes and said…about 2 i reckon.

i love the strokes and those few days in new york and boston will live with me forever…im lucky to have been there before it all went mad. the trip to Boston was a blast but that’s another story