Afghan Whigs

From Cincinnati, and originally stalwarts of the Sub Pop empire, in the '90s Afghan Whigs were classified widely as favoured proponents of grunge, though there is much of a more traditional nature in their music. Their UPTOWN AVONDALE EP, for example, was a collection of classic soul covers, while as early as UP IN IT they were bastardising country rock on tracks like Son Of The South. The band numbers Rick McCollum (guitar), Steve Earle (drums) and John Curley (bass) alongside the distinctive vocals (‘I think Camel cigarettes are a big influence on my voice’) of mainman Greg Dulli (vocals/guitar). With his origins in Hamilton, a steeltown 30 miles outside of Cincinnati, Dulli quit his film course to attempt to pick up acting parts (apparently making it into the last 50 at the auditions for the Breakfast Club's ‘weirdo’). He first met bassist John Curley in jail, where they were being held overnight for urinating in front of a police officer and drug-dealing respectively. When Afghan Whigs went major, Dulli insisted that he produce their records and direct their videos (in fact before signing Dulli had handled band management). Elektra agreed to his conditions, and to financing a movie project. Their major label debut, GENTLEMEN, concerned familiar Afghan Whigs subjects: alienation and the seedier side of life. One of the songs, My Curse, was so personal that Dulli couldn't sing it himself—employing Marcy Mays of Scrawl instead. Marketing the album also became the subject of a College Music Journal seminar. In 1994 Dulli was part of the supergroup who recorded a soundtrack for the Stuart Sutcliffe Beatles biopic Backbeat, singing as John Lennon. Other band members were Mike Mills ( R.E.M.), Don Fleming (Gumball), Dave Grohl (Nirvana) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth).


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