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“Becoming famous made it a big issue being me,” he recalls.

“I couldn’t talk to anyone any more.” He moved to Los Angeles and became friends with Johnny Depp, who co-owned the Viper Room, the nightclub that would become notorious for being where River Phoenix died.

Like their label-mates Nirvana, Counting Crows’ music had that fashionably Nineties strain of self-loathing, but unlike their grunge contemporaries the music was sufficiently joyful not to provoke either the listener or the singer to suicide.

August made Duritz hugely famous – his face was on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and fans camped out on his lawn.

“I had never seen Friends because I was on the road at the time,” he says, “and a friend brought a girl [he wouldn’t say if it was Aniston or Cox] and lied to me by saying she was obsessed about me and I lied to her, saying I was obsessed about her.

We ended up dating, but within weeks realised we had absolutely nothing in common.” What about Christina Applegate?

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.

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 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.Her role in Mystic River (2003) garnered her wider recognition.She starred in the science fiction film The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and received critical acclaim for her performance in the leading role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

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