Regular TSN commenters Cassidy (the modern age) and Annie (Annie 1251) attended the premiere of “The Unseen Beauty,” a 10-minute film about Sam Adoquei. Adoquei is Julian Casabablancas’ step father, and he’s had a profound impact on Julian’s life and career. Evidence of this can be seen in the touching forward Julian wrote for the second edition of Sam’s book.
The premiere of the film about Sam took place yesterday (June 27) in New York City, and both Cassidy and Annie were lucky enough to attend it and spend time with Julian, Sam and some of the other people who attended the film’s premiere. The following are their accounts, which I decided to turn into a post because Julian, in his natural element, appears to be quite possibly the nicest person ever and not nearly as awkward as he’s portrayed.
(picture via Cassidy)
THE MODERN AGE
Hi guys! I’m still freaking out! This is going to be long but I wanted to tell everyone what happened yesterday.
Annie and I met up and took a train to NYC, and then went to the Quad Cinema to see Sam’s film. I was 99% sure Julian would be there, so we sat in the back so we could see if he came in. It was a very small theater and we definitely stood out. Everyone else was obviously related or old friends, people were hugging each other and talking about how this was a “reunion” and a few of them were looking at us like they were trying to figure out who we were. That seemed weird to us since anyone could buy a ticket, but we just stayed in the back.
I heard Julian talking and then he just came strolling in with Richard Priest and a woman we didn’t recognize (Julian is a giant by the way. He’s definitely taller than 6’2”). Richard and the woman sat in the row in front of us, Julian turned around and saw us look at him (probably with derpy smiles and dropped jaws) and gave us a big smile before telling Richard and the woman he was sitting in the front with some friends. He took off his vest and layed it across one of the rows near the front to save seats for some friends and then sat with some other people. We moved down closer to the front and Annie said he saw us and looked confused (remember I said everyone else there knew each other).
We watched the film and it was really great. It was short, but I felt like it really captured what Sam had to say, and it was interesting watching him paint and talk about being influenced visually by people like Jimi Hendrix and random people watching in the park. The music was nice, and it was obvious when Julian’s song started playing; it reminded me a little of Glass except I thought it was even sweeter sounding. It was mostly instrumental and electronic, but had some soft falsetto in the background. It very pretty and obviously Casablancas-ish.
Another film started right after Sam’s, and once that was over I saw Julian stand up out of the corner of my eye. A lot of other people got up to leave so we bolted too. When we got to the hallway he was walking in front of us and someone handed us a flier. We went out to the lobby and he was talking to some friends and Richard Priest and then Albert came around the corner and I took these pictures
They also had a big hug but I didn’t get a picture of that. They were talking about making plans for tomorrow (today) but Julian said he needed to reschedule, he really wanted to get together.
We were standing there like idiots but didn’t want to leave without talking to them and getting a picture. Julian nodded at us but was wrapped up in talking to friends. He told two girls who he obviously knew that he would meet them somewhere but he was riding his bike. Finally as they were on their way out he saw me with my phone and asked if I wanted a picture. He was SO nice and friendly. I stood between him and Albert, he put on his shades and messed up his hair a little more and said “Let’s do this.”http://i.imgur.com/zVoCg3C.jpg And that was that. Annie asked for a picture and Julian said “Sure, jump in while the water’s warm.” http://i.imgur.com/UXbeBPj.jpg Albert left immediately. He was so happy talking to Jules but maybe we were bothering him or he was in a hurry b/c he didn’t talk to us at all or smile. Annie asked about meeting Sam b/c we wanted our books signed and Julian said “Oh yeah, didn’t you get the paper?” We were so busy staring at him we didn’t realize this was what that other guy handed ushttp://i.imgur.com/KlUYTCL.jpg
We went to the studio and Richard Priest and the woman and another man we didn’t recognize were leaving and Richard said “Hi again, second floor”. We go up and Julian is there with Sam and Jeanette and the director and a lot of other friends. There was wine, soda, water and hors d’oeuvres, and again, we felt out of place, but had the invitation so we stayed. Jeanette made an announcement that, in addition to the film, we were celebrating the release of the second edition of Sam’s book. Julian added “with a forward by me!” Here it is http://i.imgur.com/idzEJep.jpg Then Sam called Julian up (see the link for the album at the end) and gave such a nice speech. Julian was happy, funny, gracious, thanking Sam for absolutely everything he’s been able to accomplish with his career. It was really sweet. There was no A/C in the room so Sam told everyone to mingle and get drunk to forget about the heat and Julian said “That’s not what you told me when I was a teenager.” It was adorable. We felt like we were crashing their party but they were so gracious and welcoming- it was surreal. There were maybe 20 people there. Julian took a picture with someone and put his shades on saying “I have to put on my costume” it was cute. At one point Annie said she saw Julian knock over a cup of soda and he was pushing the napkins around on the floor with his boots to clean it up- I know that’s a minor detail but it was surreal to be right there with him and he was just like any normal person.
Then we talked to Sam. I had emailed him through FB about his books before and he remembered who I was (wtf!). He remember I’d told him I was coming that day with a friend, and Jeanette came over and asked who we were and how did we know Sam. They were both so so so nice and gracious and welcoming. Sam told her we were from out of state and took the train up for the film, and when I told her we were fans of Julian she was so happy and you could tell how proud she was of him. It was so sweet. She was so classy and friendly and has a beautiful accent. She asked if we got to meet Julian yet and we said only briefly, so she said she’d introduce us. We got something to drink and she brought him over to us and he was so nice. I can’t tell you enough how happy and relaxed he was. He took more pictures (they’re also in the album I’m posting at the bottom) and when I told him he was so nice he said we were pretty nice too. I told him I’d been a fan for 10 years, he said “oh thanks” and got a little shy, I told him I loved Phrazes, Annie told him some nice stuff too and said she loved Phrazes and then he said “don’t worry, we’re working on stuff” about TS. Annie made a sweet comment about this being a great day for Sam and Julian said “What?! This is my day!” he was so funny!
Then he took us over to meet the director. The four of us stood there talking and when we asked him what was going on with the film he told us it would be shown in some more US film festivals and then published on You Tube. Julian told us the song was a demo and he wasn’t sure if he was doing anything else with it. I told him I found out about Sam’s books from his (Julian’s) website and that we knew which song was his in the film and that seemed to make him happy. He was making more jokes and asked about where we lived and that it was cool we came up for the film. Then he walked away and we talked to the director and Sam a little more. Sam sent us upstairs to his studio and we got to see more of his paintings.
We went back downstairs and Julian was talking to the director and Simon (who must have just gotten there). Julian was really chatty the whole time!! Jeanette was leaving, so Julian hugged her and it was so sweet. She asked him to take her somewhere so he went around and said goodbye to everyone, and thanked us again for coming. I asked if I could hug him and he said “Bring it on!” hugged me, then hugged Annie, and then before he left he waved and said “Don’t forget to get your books signed!” We did, then Sam gave us a poster of this one http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/features/karlins/Images/karlins6-20-6c.jpg and took pictures with us. I wish I had asked Julian to sign something for me but I didn’t because I forgot how to talk after he hugged me.
I don’t know how the fuck we walked into that, but it was amazing! I can’t believe it actually happened! I can’t tell you guys enough how happy and friendly Julian was, and how welcoming all of them were to everyone who was there. Here’s the album link http://imgur.com/a/bTk1S#22
Let me know if any of the links aren’t working and I’ll try to re-post them, and Annie, please add anything you want in case I forgot something!
Hi Errrybody! MA did such a great job at describing our wonderful day – I just had a couple of things to add.
I just can’t stress enough how friendly Julian, Sam & Jeanette were to us. They are such classy, awesome people. We really were the only two “outsiders”. Everyone else was very close friends or family.
When we first walked into the reception, we were like “Okay, we’ll just get Sam’s signature and then go.” But they all welcomed us so much-Sam actually asked if we had to “rush off” or could we stay for a while (holy shit!) that by the end of the day I thought they were going to invite us over for a family dinner. LOL!
All those interviews where Julian is grumpy or on the defense with a nasty interviewer does not prepare you for how casual, gracious and funny he is. And when he talks to you he is genuinely interested in what you are saying. And we really did talk with him a few times. I suppose he just felt so comfortable with the group there – it was all people that he knew so well. and us. lol.
We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
The thing that was the strangest (besides the whole entire freaking DAY) was that everybody seemed so touched that we came from “out of state” to see Sam’s film. Julian in particular was interested in which part of PA I am from. I was thinking “Why are we talking about freaking PA – let’s talk about your amazing life!” But I think the reason everyone was so accepting of us is because we were not acting like crazed Strokes fans. We both genuinely love Sam’s work, and wanted him to sign our books. Julian seemed to appreciate that.
We did have to let Julian know we were fans of him and TS – but we were chill about it. He seemed glad-but of course I wish we could have asked all the Strokes questions that we have all been wondering. It just wasn’t the place for it.
Oh and holy cow Julian is so skinny! I guess he is riding that bike all around NYC! In that heat! It was brutal yesterday!