Nick Valensi appears at Book Soup for signing of The Strokes: The First Ten Years

Old Friends

It was a celebration of The Strokes Tuesday night at Book Soup in Los Angeles. Nick Valensi, lead guitarist of The Strokes, joined photographer Cody Smyth (right) and writer Claude Franques (center) at the legendary bookstore for a signing of The Strokes: The First Ten Years. The three met in high school and have remained close ever since. Their strong bond is a huge reason the book exists.


Where It All Began

Prior to the signing, Valensi, Smyth, and Franques regaled fans with intimate stories about the band’s early years. Valensi even took people back to where it all began, at the Dwight School in Manhattan. “I met Cody that first year at this new high school. It was my ninth grade year,” he explained. “It was also the year I met Julian Casablancas and Fab Moretti and Nikolai Fraiture. That’s where things started for us. Cody was a budding photographer and was around, fortunately for us, to document a lot of early moments, some of which are in the book.” Joking, he added, “Embarrassingly.”

The Document

The gorgeously packaged and lavishly illustrated coffee table book is as much a celebration of the enduring friendship of Valensi, Smyth and Franques as it is a testament to New York’s last great rock ‘n’ roll band. The often humorous journeys of the three feature prominently throughout the book’s text. Legendary rock photographer Mick Rock, whose documentary SHOT! is now streaming on Netflix, wrote the book’s introduction. Filmmaker Roman Coppola, one of the band’s earliest collaborators and director of the seminal video for “Last Nite,” contributed an original essay in which he recalls his earliest memories of The Strokes. Jay McInerney and the late Marc Spitz, whose criticism will be missed, have substantial and highly entertaining profiles reprinted. The book was edited by Gabriel Kuo. who also edited A Vulgar Display of Pantera.


The Strokes: The First Ten Years is available wherever books are sold.


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