Adam Fredric Duritz (born August 1, 1964) is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and film producer. He is known as the frontman for the rock band Counting Crows, of which he is a founding member and principal composer. Since its founding in 1991, Counting Crows has sold over 20 million records, released four albums that have been certified gold or platinum, and been nominated for two Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.
Duritz on the levee in St. Louis with Counting Crows
|Birth name||Adam Fredric Duritz|
|Born||August 1, 1964|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Genres||Folk rock, alternative rock, pop rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, record producer, Film producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, Piano, Guitar, Harmonica|
|Associated acts||Mod-L Society, The Himalayans, Sordid Humor, Counting Crows|
Duritz has recorded solo material of his own and has collaborated with other musical acts. He has also founded two record labels, E Pluribus Unum and Tyrannosaurus Records. His work scoring music for film has been recognized by the music industry, notably with an award from BMI for co-writing the song "Accidentally in Love" for the movie Shrek 2.
Before gaining fame, Duritz sang (and later wrote songs) for a few San Francisco Bay Area bands. These included Mod-L Society and Sordid Humor, a college rock band. While Duritz was not a member of Sordid Humor, he had been tapped to provide vocals on one track, alongside future bandmate David Immerglück (nicknamed "Immer" or "Immy") as a session musician on bass guitar. Producing the album was David Bryson, and Durtiz would end up befriending both.
In 1990, Duritz joined with Bryson in forming the band The Himalayans. In The Himalayans, Duritz's songwriting talents were beginning to gain recognition from the other musicians and the original version of the song "Round Here" was written at that time. A year later, while The Himalayans recorded a demo tape for a major record label, Duritz and Bryson independently submitted another demo tape of just the two of them singing stripped-down musical selections, and calling themselves Counting Crows. After both tapes were listened to, Duritz and Bryson's tape was selected, and they were asked to record the song for what would be their debut album. August and Everything After (1993) was the result, and "Round Here" appeared on the album. After they performed as the music guest on Saturday Night Live, their single "Mr. Jones" jumped 40 spots in the charts.
August and Everything After charted within the top 5 of the Billboard 200, and singles "Mr. Jones" (1993) and "A Long December" (1996) were number-one hits in Canada. The album has been certified 7× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Six of the band's albums have charted on the Billboard 200 and four have been certified gold or platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Counting Crows was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1994. The band also received a 2004 Academy Award nomination for the song "Accidentally in Love", which was included in the film Shrek 2.
Duritz has collaborated with The Wallflowers (led by Jakob Dylan) on the album Bringing Down the Horse on the track "6th Avenue Heartache"; with Ryan Adams on Gold and the song "Butterfly in Reverse" from Hard Candy; with Peter Stuart on Propeller and Daisy; with Live on V; and with Dashboard Confessional on the track "So Long, So Long" from Dusk and Summer. He also collaborated with Nanci Griffith on "Going Back to Georgia" and "Talk To Me While I'm Listening" from Griffith's 1994 Album Flyer.
Duritz also contributed the songs "Spin Around," "You Don't See Me," and "You're a Star" to the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack that was performed by the film's fictional title band. Along with bandmates Vickrey, Bryson, and Immerglück, Duritz co-wrote the song "Accidentally in Love" for the soundtrack of the movie Shrek 2, winning them each an award from BMI.[better source needed]
Duritz co-founded E Pluribus Unum, an independent label in which he retained ownership, in 1997. Before the label was purchased by new ownership, Duritz had signed Joe 90, Gigolo Aunts, and Neilson Hubbard.
In November 2006, Duritz began production on the Chicago pop punk band Blacktop Mourning's debut record, under the name "The Devil and Bunny Show," alongside an album by Counting Crows guitarist David Immerglück. In 2007, Duritz launched a record label called Tyrannosaurus Records, of which he would be sole owner. Debut artists on the label included Notar and Blacktop Mourning. The label also re-released the only album by Duritz's former band, The Himalayans. As of 2015[update], the label was defunct.
In addition to his musical pursuits, Duritz was executive producer for the film The Locusts. He appeared in the 2007 mockumentary film Farce of the Penguins. Adam teamed with the Broken Lizard comedy troupe in 2009 as Executive Producer for the film Freeloaders (2011).[better source needed] The film revolves around "five guys and a girl who live in the lap of luxury in a rock star's mansion. But their sweet situation is threatened when the rock star decides to sell the home. The friends will do whatever it takes to maintain their rock and roll lifestyle, as hilarity and shenanigans ensue."
Duritz grew up in Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; El Paso, Texas; and Berkeley, California. He is the son of Gilbert and Linda Duritz, both physicians. Duritz has a younger sister, Nicole. Duritz attended the prestigious Taft School, and graduated from the Head-Royce School in Oakland, California. Duritz has Russian Jewish ancestry.
In October 2009, Duritz was reported to be dating Shameless actress Emmy Rossum, with whom he had toured during the summer of 2009. Rossum and Duritz broke up in September 2010. Duritz was reported to be unmarried as of August 2014[update].
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- GRAFF, GARY. "Counting Crows spread their wings". The Oakland Press.
- Magazine, Downtown (June 30, 2016). "Adam Duritz talks Counting Crows tour with Rob Thomas, Jul. 31 show in New York, Alex Chilton and more".
- Coplen, Katherine (December 12, 2014). "Counting Crows' Adam Duritz on Bootlegs, Failed Labels, Nana Grizol". NUVO.
- "The Locusts (1997)". IMDB. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Rooney, David. "Review: 'The Locusts'". Variety.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "Farce of the Penguins – Cast & Crew". MTV.com. 2007. Retrieved April 23, 2007.
- "Freeloaders (2011)". IMDB. Retrieved March 26, 2012.[better source needed]
- Siegle, Tatiana (November 11, 2008). "Adam Duritz, Broken Lizard making film". Variety. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
- "Rolling Stone Article -June 30, 1994". monmouth.com. June 30, 1994. Archived from the original on February 24, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Everett, Cristina (November 23, 2010). "Emmy Rossum and Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz call it quits". Daily News. New York.
- Emily Tess Katz, 2014, "HuffPost Live: Counting Crows Frontman Adam Duritz Explains Why No One Can Find Him On Tinder," The Huffington Post (online), August 27, 2014 (updated August 28, 2014), see , accessed January 19, 2014.