Writer and executive producer Lizzy Goodman called her book and the corresponding documentary “ultimately a story about kids trying to find themselves and grow up in New York against the backdrop of the… larger cultural forces were taking place at the same time. “
In the spring of 2011, a few months before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Lizzy Goodman Also this week, she watched Strokes and what was supposed to be LCD Soundsystem’s final show at Madison Square Garden. She could sense the end of an era creeping in. That’s when she first got the idea of what would become her 2017 history’s best-selling word of mouth, Meet Me in the Bathroom: Reincarnation and Rock and Roll in New York City, which captures the explosive music scene of downtown New York from 2001 to 2011 and the rise of era-defining bands such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, Moldy Peaches, Strokes and LCD Soundsystem. “I feel sorry for what is gone. It was a moment of clarity — no sadness, but wistfulness,” said Goodman. Vanity Fair. “I felt like, Well, we’ve grown up.”
At the same time, the directors Will Lovelace and Southern Dylan doing a documentary, Silence and play hits, about the very similar LCD Sound System show at Madison Square Garden. A few years later, an earlier copy of Meet me in the bathroom landed in front of them.
In a full circle of events, Goodman quickly received a message from the head of Interpol Paul Banks about someone wanting to turn her book into a documentary. After a series of meetings, Lovelace and Southern took on the project and adapted Goodman’s book into a sort of visual time capsule of the same name, Meet me in the bathroom. The documentary combines tight archival footage and raw, reflective interviews with key characters to tell the story of a bygone era New York City.
Vanity Fair met Goodman, who is the documentary’s executive producer, via Zoom to discuss the early origins of her book, the birth in New York, and the rampant indie renaissance- slaze.
Vanity Fair: Your oral history, Meet Me in the Bathroom: Reincarnation and Rock and Roll in New York City, launched in 2017, is a nostalgic potion for those who have lived it and a form of education for the younger generation. But it also becomes a snapshot of an important part of recent American history unfolding. How did you balance telling the story of this particular scene within the larger cultural context of the political, technological, and cultural changes that were taking place at the time?
Lizzy Goodman: I feel like I do when I present any magazine story: the urge to use my skills, setting the stage for the final story is the story of children trying to find themselves and grew up in New York against the backdrop of larger cultural forces at play at the same time. I worked on it for six years and interviewed over 200 people. It was this giant monster. I finally hit the midpoint of writing it when I started trying to put together all those stories, and it was then that I realized that I needed to tackle the exact problem you just mentioned: I I’m writing a book about those things. , those big thinking themes, or am I writing a book that uses this cast of characters, the bands, to talk about that? Or am I writing a book about these people and weaving those themes into the story? The answer very, very, very much is the latter. I think of it a lot as a story about young people coming to the city in this legendary New York way, something that has happened for generations. This is the period of that, and then there are all these themes that have to go through the narration of these individual people.