“There were so many artists and musicians hanging out – I met William Burroughs and Allan Ginsberg, Tom Petty was around, the Hughes brothers had just made Menace 2 Society.Johnny knew all these people.” When he wasn’t hanging out with Johnny and his famous friends, Duritz was dating some of the most desirable women in Hollywood, including Christina Applegate, Lara Flynn Boyle, Gwen Stefani and Winona Ryder.But over the years, he says he’s come to terms with his disorder and weaned himself off medication. Adam Duritz did not, I assume, personally select the hotel for his recent visit to London but whoever did chose wisely.He is also possibly the only man alive who can start a sentence with the words: “I dated a couple of girls who were in Friends.” That doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend time, but Duritz claims his reputation as a ladies man is more myth than fact.“I had never seen Friends because I was on the road at the time,” he says, “and a friend brought a girl [he wouldn’t say if it was Aniston or Cox] and lied to me by saying she was obsessed about me and I lied to her, saying I was obsessed about her.The lack of human contact is important for his vocal health but doesn’t help his mental condition.
Almost two decades later and Duritz looks exactly the same, except that the dreadlocks not only have a life of their own – they may well also have their own agent.
The reality, as we’ll see, did not quite turn out that way.
Counting Crows are about to embark on their first British tour in four years.
“I don’t have any expertise about anything else, but after Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings in 2008 I realised that I was shared out. Instead, the band released Underwater Sunshine, with their cover versions of songs made famous by, among others, Gram Parsons, Travis and the Faces.
I was tired of my life being up for discussion and I thought maybe I have just told people enough.” Did you not think that rather than just writing about yourself, you could look out at the world around you, maybe find inspiration in that, I ask. “Playing other people’s songs has helped make us an even better live band,” Duritz says, “it’s like collaborating with a bunch of people who weren’t there.” Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow, the band’s latest album, is a live recording made on a recent American tour that includes songs from the band’s entire career.