Albert Hammond Jr

The Strokes guitarist on modern drinking, weed as a creative tool, and the Taco Bell order that changed his life.


This Conversation is featured in Gossamer Volume Seven: the Touch issue, which starts shipping November 1. Pre-order your copy here.

The first time I ever smoked weed was at the Sherman Oaks Galleria parking lot. Actually, let’s call it the second time, because I remember my friends would always be like, “You’re not going to really feel it the first time.” So, the first time I felt it was in the parking lot of the Sherman Oaks Galleria. This is the old Galleria, the way it looked in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, not the cement box they made it now. We were going to go get some Taco Bell and see a movie.

Man, was I nervous. When you’re younger, you think everyone’s looking at you. You get older, and you realize no one’s paying any attention to what you’re doing. Anyway, I got to Taco Bell and I said, “I would like a steak soft taco”—I literally remember the words. The guy replied, “Six soft tacos?” and I started laughing as everything went into slow motion. I couldn’t stop. It felt like a really long time. Then I looked up and he was just looking at me and I didn’t know what had happened. I don’t know if I ever got my steak taco or if I got six soft tacos. But my life changed.