Ryan Adams has been catching up on his reading. How else can we explain the maelstrom of tweets he unleashed against various members of the Strokes, two months after Lizzy Goodman’s book Meet Me in the Bathroom hit shelves.
If you’ve read Goodman’s sprawling oral history of New York’s guitar rock scene at the turn of the century, you’ll know the Adams emerged as the book’s de facto villain, the devil on Albert Hammond Jr.’s shoulder, convincing him to get high.
“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 in the book. "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.”
Adams pushed back on Hammond’s claim in the book, but has kept relatively quiet until now.
“[Albert] Hammond is a more horrible songwriter than his dad. If that’s possible. It rains in [southern] CA & washes out the dirt As you were,” Adams tweeted then deleted, referring to to Albert Hammond Sr.’s 1972 song “It Never Rains in Southern California.”
But Hammond isn’t the only Stroke with whom Adams as beef. The singer also fired a shot at frontman Julian Casablancas, who also blamed Adams for Hammond’s drug addiction.
“Did I specifically tell Ryan to stay away from Albert? I can’t remember the details, to be honest,” Casablancas told Goodman. “I think heroin just kind of crosses a line. It can take a persons soul away. So it’s like if someone is trying to give your friend a lobotomy—you’re gonna step in.”
Adams responded by mocking Casablancas’ apparent weight gain, asking him “who got you strung out on lasagna tho?“ He also invoked the long-rumored rivalry between the Strokes and the Killers and took shots at Casablancas’ side project, the Voidz.
"Last Impressions of Actual Songs,” Adams tweeted. “I should’ve forced them to get addicted to writing better songs. Too bad @thekillers did it for them.”
“I sold more t shirts last night than people who actually made it thru a single Voidz song, bro,” he added. “What’s he gonna do? Sit on me?”
Adams has since deleted the tweets.
So what was it that set the singer off? Not only is the book itself two months old, but the supposed feud between Adams and the Strokes dates back even longer. Maybe he caught wind of the fact that The Strokes recently played some new songs for Rick Rubin and got jealous. Or that Casablancas’ solo project The Voidz is alive and well and he got even more jealous.
Or maybe Adams finally got around to reading Goodman’s book and became nostalgic for a time when the Lower East Side felt like the center of the universe, and he and his rock star brethren were living dangerously. And how do you live dangerously in 2017? You start a Twitter feud, of course.