The Untold Truth of Counting Crows - Grunge (2023)

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ThroughGina Scanlon/Jul 14, 2021 1:14 p.m. EST

One of the hottest alternative rock bands of the '90s, Counting Crows have outsold themselves20 million records worldwide. They're also an incredibly popular touring band and are considered a staple of pop culture's Generation X.

Since 1991, the band has seen their share of changes. From acoustic duo to ensemble, lead singer and songwriter Adam Duritz has always been at the helm. Counting Crows burst onto the scene from Berkeley, California, and their signature American folk-rock sound is now known to many around the world. The band celebrated the 25th anniversary of their debut album in 2018 and, as of 2021, has been at number 8 on Billboard's "Greatest of All Time: Adult Alternative Artists" 25th Anniversary chart. After several years of dormancy, Counting Crows released a new album titled Butter Miracle: Suite One in May 2021.

Whether you're a fan of their music or not, Counting Crows are a rare, enduring breed in the music industry, having survived in one of the world's most cutthroat corporations since the early '90s. You might have a song or two of their musical history, no matter what generation you belong to, but there are many strange and impressive facts about the band's past, and their leading man in particular, that you may not know.

The origin of the name Counting Crows

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The story behind the name CountingCrows comes from a British divination nursery rhyme called "One for Sorrow" about the superstitious practice of counting magpies (better known in America as crows). Lead singer Adam Duritz became familiar with the rhyme after seeing the movie Signs of Life.

If you're a big fan of Counting Crows, you might already be familiar with Adam Duritz's serial habit of dating actresses. Even before the band hit the scene with their first album in 1993, Duritz is said to have been briefly involved with actress Mary-Louise Parker, who starred in Signs of Life."Girls have always liked Adam," said his sister NicoleRolling Stone. "Why not? He's funny, he's charming, and he's passionate about what he does.” It's only fitting, then, that the longtime band's name comes from one of Adam's relationships with an actress.

References to the band's name can be found on their debut album August and Everything After in the track "A Murder of One".Reim's most popular verseis: "One for sorrow, / Two for joy, / Three for a girl, / Four for a boy, / Five for silver, / Six for gold, / Seven for a secret, / Never to tell."

Now you know that you should never call herThatCounting crows (a common mistake) because they simply "count" crows.

Counting Crows started out as an acoustic duo

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Counting Crows eventually became an ensemble band, but in the beginning there were only two. Adam Duritz, who moved to the Bay Area from his hometown of Baltimore, was involvednumerous music projectsand eventually found mild success with San Francisco-based band The Himalayans, which initially received local praise90er. In fact, it was the Counting Crows hit "Round Here."originally a Himalayan song.

Duritz formed Counting Crows with producer/guitarist David Bryson, and the two became an acoustic team performing in the Bay Area. Duritz quickly became a standout performer with his long dreadlocks and grunge emo demeanor perfectly suited to a brooding Generation X and the mood of the decade.

The pair eventually became a five-piece two years later in 1993 and got their first break when they were invited to perform at the induction of Van Morrison into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It would take almost a decade for the band to grow from five to seven members in 2001WNRN.

Some probable and improbable influences

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Adam Duritz spoke openly about the effectKurt CobainsDeath had overtaken him when the band was on the rise.Nirvanahad arrived on the scene just a few years before Counting Crows, and the news of Cobain's suicide devastated Duritz.

“I knew Kurt; we were label mates, we were signed by the same guy [Gary Gersh],” Duritz saidPittsburgh City Newspaper. "We were like his two little brothers back then." Duritz admitted that the news "scared him to death". and look what happened to him," he said.

Duritz also names Big Star and Miles Davis from the 70s/80senormous influenceson his music writing. Other, more obvious influences include Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, The Band, R.E.M., Thin Lizzy, Tom Petty and Pearl JamRolling Stone.

Legendary music producerT-Bone Burnettwas responsible for honing her sound on Counting Crows' debut album August and Everything After, which became known as a somber set of tracks. Her one-way ticket to getting on everyone's radar and topping the charts, however, was the only uplifting, upbeat track on the album, "Mr. Jones".

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

accounting crows

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When Counting Crows took the stage in 1993 with their debut album, August and Everything After, they caught the attention of more than one record label. Rolling Stonecaptioned her"the biggest new band in America" ​​that year, and a bidding war between Geffen Records and eight other companies ensued. Gary Gersh, the Geffen A&R rep who signed Nirvana, was "blown away" by their sound, which Gersh said was rare.

The album went platinum in just five monthsDie Washington Postpoints out, was faster than Pearl Jam's first album "Ten" and Nirvana's "Nevermind". The band soon became known to industry insiders as the Accounting Crows.

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Duritz was wary of quick fame and success. "I'm happy with the fame in many ways. I'm not going to deny that," he told the Post. "But it's kind of scary. Something definitely changed in my life and I can't go back now if I wanted to.” Almost overnight, Duritz was dating famous women, hanging out with megastars like Johnny Depp and Sean Penn, and fronting platinum albums. He even went so far as to describe the sudden notoriety of "Waking up on Mars."

Who is Mr Jones?

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Some songs are abstract, but others have real stories behind them. In the case of Counting Crows' first big hit, "Mr. Jones,” there was an actual Jones they described.

The song is based on Marty Jones, former bassist for Adam's former band The Himalayans, and Kenney Dale Johnson (pictured), drummer for Chris Isaak's band Silvertone. The story often told about the track is that it was written about a night in San Francisco when Marty and Adam were visiting Marty's father, David, who happened to be a flamenco guitarist. The story will be revealed in a 2011 documentary about Marty's father Gypsy Davy. In the film, Marty admits he gave up his successful recording career because he was "fearful of repeating his father's behavior," according to the insiderdiversity.

The connection to Kenney Dale Johnson is less clear. When Johnson heard the song was also about him, he didn't know why. In fact, he didn't even know any members of Counting Crows. According to an interview withBlogcritics-Magazin, Johnson spotted Duritz at an airport and took him aside to inquire about the song's content.

"People have been emailing me forever and telling me you're saying from the stage that I'm the inspiration for 'Mr. Jones' was," Johnson told Duritz. Admitting that he saw Johnson surrounded by girls, Duritz thought, "Yeah, by the time we get our record out, we're all going to be a big deal too."

The Unusual Mental Disorder by Adam Duritz

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Adam Duritz finally spoke openly about his rare dissociative disorder, which he had been dealing with for about 25 years and which was particularly difficult after the release of Counting Crows' album Hard Candy in 2002. "The more things seem less real, the more you start drifting away, and you lose all your attachments to the world."he said of his disorder. He announced his diagnosis to the public in 2008 after suffering since his early 20s. Known as depersonalization disorder, it can cause someone to feel "disconnected from their physical body and no longer in control of their thoughts and actions," according to theHuffingtonPost.

In conversation with theMiami New Times, Duritz was asked if writing music had worked as a therapy for the disorder. "No, I don't think there's anything therapeutic about songwriting," Duritz replied. “You have to keep your therapy outside of things like that. But an album is probably a good way to gauge how the person is feeling.”

Even Duritz' lifestyle as a traveling musician, he admits, doesn't help his disorder.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue please contact the crisis text line by texting HOME to 741741 call National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

This Life in the Desert and David Lowery

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David Lowery, former leader of the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, co-produced Counting Crows' third studio album This Desert Life. The band met Lowery while touring together in the early '90s. Counting Crows rented a house to do pre-production work with Lowery for about two weeks, during which he gave the band "advice on the structure and how they want to do the album," according to the statementMTV.

The collaboration received mixed reviews.Mark Bautz von Entertainment Weeklywrote that "Producer David Lowery brings a loose instrumental feel to some tracks, but few of these beat-up, Duritz-centric songs have the vitality that 'Mr. Jones" the 1994 love-it-or-hate-it hit.

The album cover was inspired by Neil Gaiman's book The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish anddesigned by the same artist, Dave McKean.

A pioneer in using social media for public relations

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Adam Duritz was active on AOL message boards and Twitter in the early days of the social media movement. He won quicklymore than a million followerson Twitter in the early 2010s, which boosted the band's popularity with a new demographic.

In 2011, Duritz allowed fans to create the cover art for his album All My Bloody Valentines and engaged with fans on social media while submitting their artwork. It is said that he recorded the album at night the week before Valentine's DayThe Wall Street Journal. All My Bloody Valentines is a collection of covers featuring songs by Bob Dylan, The Cars, Ryan Adams and Tom Waits. Duritz eventually got around1,400 entries. After narrowing them down to 25, he couldn't pick a winner for their design work, so he chose artwork by two lucky fans for the album cover.

Your fans have high SAT scores

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Can your music preferences determine how smart you are? The jury has existed for years. Classical music, for example, has been associated with improving concentration, but never before has a specific analysis of modern music been performed in conjunction with a popular aptitude test. Until the time came.

According to a data study bySoftware application author Virgil Griffith, Counting Crows listeners averaged fairly high scores on the SATs, second only to Beethoven and close to other musicians like Radiohead, the Beatles, U2, Bob Dylan and Sufjan Stevens.after chron. Griffith is known for having theWikipedia-Scannerwhich recognizes where changes on the website originate from.

The study takes average SAT scores from specific higher education institutions and breaks down music by genre. According to the results, Lil Wayne listeners rank at the bottom.

Of course, like many data sets, this finding should be taken with a grain of old rock salt.

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Counting Crows songs are key characters of famous films

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Counting Crows songs have been featured in numerous films including "colorblind,” in “Cruel Intentions” and Joni Mitchell's cover “Big yellow cab,” which was used in the soundtrack of the film Two Weeks Notice. Adam Duritz also composed the song "Accidentally in Love" for "Shrek 2".as well asa number of original tracksfor the movie "Josie and the Pussycats".

Writing the theme song for the Shrek franchise proved a challenge for Duritz, whose lyrics come naturally to be personal and introspective. "I really struggled with that. I generally don't write on-demand songs, and I almost got to the point where I thought I wouldn't," he told Billboard(via "today"). To prepare for composing the song, Duritz traveled to DreamWorks animation camp to watch part of the film, including the opening sequence where the song was eventually placed. "They just told me that the song would be uplifting Duritz added of his experience, "They actually said, 'Don't write a song about Shrek. Write a song about you.'"

His hard work paid off when the song was nominated for an OscarBester Original-Song.

Adam Duritz has dated many famous women

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Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz has been linked to not one, but two 'Friends' stars and is known for being a straight-up celebrity dater.

Duritz had a high-profile relationship with megastar Jennifer Aniston in 1995. Counting Crows had won two Grammys in 1994, and Duritz reportedly wrote the hit song "A Long December" about the epic parties thrown at actress Samantha Mathis' home during that time. correspondingInStyle. Duritz and Aniston were a rising Hollywood power couple. Unfortunately they lasted approxtwo weeks. Duritz remarked in an interview: "We never slept together".

Duritz is also rumored to have been dating Mathis around the same time and has also been linked to Courteney Cox and Mary-Louise Parker.

Years later, in 2009, he and Golden Globe-nominated actress Emmy Rossum had a public relationship for about a year.Rossum SeaThe couple met on Twitter. "I was touring with the band this summer," she said. “They actually invited me on Twitter. That's how we met - for a challenge. They challenged me to sing a song with them that I had never sung before... So I went on tour with the band and it was very, very funny." "He's extremely friendly, incredibly intelligent, thoughtful , creative and respectful,” Rossum said of Adampersons. They reportedly remain close friends.

The Underwater Sunshine Podcast and Festival

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Counting Crows may have been inactive for a while and a few members have come and gone, ehFounding member Matt Malley. However, they are still very much together and will be touring in 2021 to perform their latest album. Duritz, in particular, remains a top voice in American music and has become a brand for deeply personal, introspective rock fusion, lending his name to a multitude of projects.

Duritz was the hosta podcastnamed after the Counting Crows 2012 album Underwater Sunshine in 2018.”Underwater Sun: The Podcast,” co-hosted by James Campion, aired weekly through early 2020. The podcast covered a variety of pop culture topics, including film and music. A personal friend of Duritz, Campion is a music and pop culture writer and co-wrote a book with Duritz.

A semesterMusic festivalof the same name followed in New York, helping to put independent musicians in the spotlight. With Duritz and Barbara Garrett as Executive Producers and Kate Mullins as Executive Writer, the festival strives to create an "immersive" musical experience. Throughout the year during the festival's off-season, the brand showcases musicians on social media and promotes individual artists through videos, interviews and performance clips.

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Is Counting Crows grunge? ›

Other artists were paying attention too, and over the next few years, Counting Crows' success—built largely on their milestone debut—helped carve a path through the dense forest of grunge for other groups to follow.

Is Adam Duritz black or white? ›

Adam Duritz has openly admitted to being a white guy with dread extensions in past. In the song “1492" he states : I'm a Russian Jew American; Impersonating African; Jamaican; What I want to be is an Indian; I'm gonna be a cowboy in the end.

Why are they called Counting Crows? ›

Origin of band name

The band name is derived from "One for Sorrow", a British divination nursery rhyme about the superstitious counting of magpies, which are members of the crow family. Singer Adam Duritz heard the rhyme in the film Signs of Life, which starred his close friend, the actress Mary-Louise Parker.

Why did Steve Bowman leave Counting Crows? ›

Drummer Steve Bowman left the band in 1995 after suffering a nervous breakdown attributed to the stress of their newfound success. By 2002 the band had expanded to seven members and released four albums, all of which reached the top 10 on the US Pop charts.

Does Adam Duritz have multiple personalities? ›

Though he's only been open about it to the public since 2008, for almost all of his life Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz has lived with a dissociative disorder, a mental illness that affects one's perception of the world around him.

Did Jennifer Aniston date the guy from Counting Crows? ›

The pair dated briefly in the '90s. Jennifer Aniston has had a few high-profile relationships over the years, but there's one fans might have forgotten about. Before her marriages to Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux, Aniston dated a famous musician in the '90s: Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz.

Was Adam Duritz wearing a wig? ›

It was a wig. 2. Speaking as a Counting Crows defender: Duritz's hair was always the biggest roadblock in convincing ppl to take this band seriously.

Why do crows dance? ›

Reproduction: In March, crows perform their courtship ritual, which consists of dramatic aerial maneuvers and a dance involving bowing, strutting with spread wings and tail and a general puffing of the feather coat. While dancing, the crows utter a gentle, uncrowlike "rattle" song.

Is it possible to count the crows? ›

Crows have been shown to use tools to solve complex problems that baffle five-year-old children. Now scientists say the birds can be taught to 'count,' or discriminate between groups of dots, in a similar way to humans.

What genre is Counting Crows? ›

How much is the lead singer of the Counting Crows worth? ›

Adam Duritz is an American musician, songwriter, record and film producer who has a net worth of $60 million. Duritz is probably best known for his role as the frontman for the band Counting Crows. Adam founded the band, and he also maintains creative control over their music as the primary composer.

Did Courtney Cox date the lead singer of Counting Crows? ›

The singer, who dated Aniston in 1995, quips, "It didn't last very long, but she's a nice girl." This wouldn't be the only Friends star that Duritz would date. In 1997, he was reportedly in a brief relationship with Courteney Cox after she starred in the Counting Crows' "A Long December" music video.

Who did Adam Duritz date? ›

Adam Duritz and Jennifer Aniston go way back. The Counting Crows singer, 56, recently reflected on his 1995 romance with the Friends alum, 52 — which can be traced back to meeting at '90s Hollywood hotspot The Viper Room.

What mental illness DID Adam from the Counting Crows have? ›

Since his early 20s, Duritz has suffered from what he describes as a dissociative disorder, which can, at times, make his world seem unreal. He perceives everyday scenes like a projection on a movie screen.

Are there any famous people with dissociative identity disorder? ›

Famous people with dissociative identity disorder include comedienne Roseanne Barr, Adam Duritz, and retired NFL star Herschel Walker. Walker wrote a book about his struggles with DID, along with his suicide attempts, explaining he had a feeling of disconnect from childhood to the professional leagues.

Is the singer of Counting Crows Black? ›

Adam Fredric Duritz (born August 1, 1964) is a Jewish American musician and record producer. He is the lead singer and founding member of the rock band Counting Crows.

Did any of the Friends cast have a crush on each other? ›

Matthew Perry says that he had crushes on "Friends" costars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow, which made working on the sitcom more challenging. "How can you not have a crush on Jenny, and Courteney, and Lisa?" Perry said in a new interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

Did any of the Friends actors date? ›

Did any of the “Friends” cast date? While there have long been rumors about the cast of “Friends,” none of its six stars were ever officially in a relationship together.

How old is Adam Duritz? ›

What genre are the counting crows? ›

What mental illness does Adam from Counting Crows have? ›

Since his early 20s, Duritz has suffered from what he describes as a dissociative disorder, which can, at times, make his world seem unreal. He perceives everyday scenes like a projection on a movie screen. These experiences create abstract associations between concrete things, as do many of Duritz's lyrics.

Are the Beastie Boys grunge? ›

Originally a hardcore punk band, Beastie Boys had largely abandoned the genre in favor of hip hop and rap rock by the time work began on their debut studio album Licensed to Ill. The group mixed elements of hip hop, punk, funk, electro, jazz and Latin music into their music.

What kind of music is black crows? ›

The Melody Maker crowned them “The most Rock n' Roll Rock n' Roll Band in the world” and The Black Crowes didn't disappoint.

What illness does Adam Duritz have? ›

Though he's only been open about it to the public since 2008, for almost all of his life Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz has lived with a dissociative disorder, a mental illness that affects one's perception of the world around him.

Is Counting Crows alternative or rock? ›

In October 1996, the band's double-platinum sophomore studio album, Recovering the Satellites, debuted at number one and further solidified their growing reputation as one of the leading American alternative rock bands in the world.

Do crows sing songs? ›

Unlike many birds, crows don't sing loudly to attract mates from a distance. Instead, they sing softly—and at close range—during courtship, with a rich mix of soft cooing, rattles, growls, bowing movements, and mutual nuzzling. And a crow's song is particular to its social group.

What is Lorna's mental illness? ›

We know she has had episodes of explosive frenzies, violent outbursts, irrational decision making, and delusions. This can suggest she lives with borderline personality disorder, also known as BPD. Lorna switches her moods, lives in denial of facts when it comes to Christopher and has a constant fear of abandonment.

Is Black Swan schizophrenic? ›

She shows elements of an anxiety disorder with obsessive compulsive behaviors. She also manifests self-injurious behavior and some signs of an eating disorder. She dabbles with substance abuse. She has psychotic breaks if not outright psychosis.

What was Munch's mental illness? ›

Indeed, during his life and following his death, Munch has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, among other illnesses.


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