Van Morrison and Bob Dylan for inspiration, Adam Duritz wrote melancholy lyrics more in sync with the world-weary perspective of post-grunge rock & roll. Duritz was born in Baltimore, MD, on August 1, 1964. In 1991, he formed Counting Crows with guitarist David Bryson in San Francisco, performing acoustic sets in coffeehouses. The duo eventually added bassist Matt Malley, guitarist Dan Vickrey, drummer Steve Bowman, and keyboardist Charles Gillingham. The band was equal parts roots rock and R.E.M. jangle, united by Duritz's sad, introspective songs. Two years later, the group recorded their debut album, August and Everything After. The LP didn't catch on at first; the band was mainly played on adult alternative radio stations, which were then only a handful. But the upbeat "Mr. Jones" caught on with MTV in 1994 and the Generation X alternative rock fans who were getting burned out on the guitar-fueled hard stuff from Seattle. When the pensive ballad "Round Here" hit the airwaves, Duritz became the superstar he longed to be in "Mr. Jones." Despite the massive critical acclaim that August and Everything After received, Duritz was often labeled a Morrison clone; the group even substituted for Morrison at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 1993. In the mid-'90s, Duritz's private life became tabloid fodder as he dated actress Jennifer Aniston. The couple eventually broke up; however, Duritz continued to find success with Counting Crows as well as assisting Ryan Adams on his album Gold.
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