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.Duritz was born in Baltimore to parents who were both doctors.“We were always moving, so I didn’t know a lot of people,” he says, “so instead I was always reading – I read 180 books in my first grade [six years old] and 218 in my second grade.” “I thought my songs were so personal on that record that no one else would be able to relate to them,” Duritz says now, “but it turns out that the personal details you give make it much richer for everyone else.” Duritz’s songs used the real names of former girlfriends.
“Those songs aren’t even about the girls,” he tells me.“In Anna Begins Anna is a character, but really the song is not about me and her, it’s just about me.They are all just about me.” August and Everything After sold 10 million copies.Adam Duritz did not, I assume, personally select the hotel for his recent visit to London but whoever did chose wisely.They installed him at the ME hotel, which seems spectacularly apt since Duritz has for the past 20 years been writing songs that are pretty much all about him.
Counting Crows, the band Duritz formed in 1989, have sold more than 20 million albums.
Their biggest hit in this country was Mr Jones, a song about fame that Duritz wrote when he was not famous.
“When everybody loves me, I will never be lonely,” he sang on that song.
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 first saw the band 19 years ago – back then Duritz sported a tangled mass of dreadlocks that seemed to have a life of their own.