By Nick Krewen

For The Record


ADAM DURITZ is going to Woodstock.

As singer and chief songwriter of San Francisco's COUNTING CROWS, booked to perform along with INSANE CLOWN POSSE, THE TRAGICALLY HIP, THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS and countless others at the 30th anniversary of the Summer Of Love event July 23-25, Duritz isn't expecting Woodstock to have the same historical impact as the original.

"It's a big gig, but nothing special to me," says Duritz, 34, Tuesday from Vancouver.

"It's not as important to us as one of our gigs, but it'll be kind of fun. Over the last few months in a coffee shop in L.A. I've been hanging out with FRED (DURST) from LIMP BIZKIT and JONATHAN (DAVIS) from KORN. I'm looking forward to see them play. I don't think any of us has seen each other perform before."

Yet Kitchener fans of the band's three albums, August And Everything After, Recovering The Satellites and the live Across The Wire should be grateful for the booking. Due to Woodstock, Counting Crows are prepping their chops through a brief Canadian club tour that brings them to Lulu's Entertainment and Concert Club this Wednesday, July 14.

"The album's coming out pretty soon anyway, but we've got to get warmed up for Woodstock, too. We haven't been gigging for about a year," said Duritz, speaking on behalf of bassist MATT MALLEY, drummer BEN MIZE, rhythm guitarist DAVID BRYSON, lead guitarist DAN VICKERY and keyboardist CHARLES GILLINGHAM.

The Crows are also bringing one-time CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN and MONKS OF DOOM member DAVID IMMERGLUCK with them for mandolin and pedal steel duties.

Immergluck has been an important linchpin in the Crows' history. He originally hooked up with Duritz and guitarist Bryson when the two began writing songs together in 1989, and was asked to join the earliest incarnation of the Crows when they formed in San Francisco in '91.

"Dave's been my best friend forever and we always wanted to be in a band together," says Duritz. "He's influenced me so much musically over the years that I'm still in awe of his talent. And he's played on every Counting Crows album anyway, so he's always been around."

Immergluck was also instrumental in hooking Duritz up with Camper founder DAVID LOWERY, now a principal of CRACKER and co-producer, along with DENNIS HERRING, of the upcoming Crows album This Desert Life, out this Fall.

"Three out of Counting Crows' first four tours were all with Cracker," says Duritz. "I became good friends with David Lowery then, and those guys were really supportive of us. We wouldn't be where we are without them. They carried us across the country."

The Crows broke through in 1994, when Duritz's lyrical poetry and the band's rock-and-roots flavored soul found public favor with "Mr. Jones", a compelling narrative about desire and ambition, and "Round Here", a song about insecurity. The band's debut album August And Everything After  sold over 6 million albums, and the rock stardom Duritz wished for in "Mr. Jones" suddenly arrived.

"I may have said I wanted to be a rock star in Mr. Jones, but I had no idea what that really meant at the time," he admits. "It was an eye-opening experience, and it was insane. I think I've settled down.

"It's really important for me to stay grounded, but I am the same guy I was. My parents raised me really well. I'm a nice guy. I respect others and treat them well. I don't see why that should change."

While he spent most of last year recording This Desert Life and working with GIGOLO AUNTS and REMY ZERO, Duritz also bought his first house.

"It immediately turned into a second hotel, a big artist commune," he laughs, naming off a list of writers, filmmakers and musicians. "I've had over ten people living in that house for most of this year."

To record This Desert Life, the Crows followed a tradition continued through August And Everything After  and Recovering The Satellites, renting a house in the Hollywood Hills and converting it into a studio.

"It wasn't as big this time," says Duritz. "It had a bigger yard. It looked a lot like that porn house BURT REYNOLDS had in Boogie Nights, only as if THE BRADY BUNCH had designed it."



1994 -- August And Everything After -- DGC

1996 -- Recovering The Satellites

1998 -- Across The Wire

1999 -- This Desert Life



©1999 Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink


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