Adam Duritz Went Back to Tending Bar at the Viper Room After Counting Crows Hit It Big


Adam Duritz is the lead singer, founding member of Counting Crows, and songwriter. The band still releases new music in the form of their albums. Butter Miracle Suite One on 21st May. In the ’90s, Duritz was a bartender at Hollywood club The Viper Room. As you will learn, Counting Crows was already a success, but Duritz wanted a normal job.

Adam Duritz | Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

Mark McGraw talks on the phone about the Vice TV show on July 15 from the Showbiz cheat sheet Dark Side of the 90s. One of the episodes of the show is about The Viper Room, so McGrath shared a story he first saw as a club crawler. 90s. We’ll have more to do with McGrath as he tells stories from the ’90s and new episodes of Dark Side of the 90s Air Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on Vice.

Mark McGrath Didn’t Expect to Meet Adam Duritz at The Viper Room

Johnny Depp was the owner of The Viper Room in the 90s. Lots of bands played on stage, but McGrath didn’t expect to see a hit singer behind the bar.

Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz performs in 1994

Adam Duritz | Patti Ouderkirk/WireImage

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“You had Adam Duritz bartending,” McGrath said. “One day, I remember walking into The Viper Room, I went in, I knew a guy and he took me to the back room before Sugar Ray had any success. I remember walking in and Adam Duritz [said], ‘Can I help you?’ I go, ‘Wow, man, the record business is a cruel mistress. I just heard your song on the way.'”

Viper Room made Adam Duritz feel normal

When Duritz was working in the Viper Room, there was no dryness in the Counting Crows. After “Mr. Jones” and the album August and everything after, Counting Crows kept recording and performing. Duritz also gives an interview for dark side of 90s.

“He wanted to work at the bar to feel normal and do his job,” McGraw said. “It was a great place for him.”

Mark McGrath has other great memories of The Viper Room

Sugar Ray also played The Viper Room. McGrath has many more fond memories of being in the audience for other actors.

Awning Wiper Room at Entrance

The Viper Room | Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

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“A lot of great bands came out of The Viper Room,” McGrath said. “I think a lot of people forget about it. It was the places we mentioned that the band would perform. The Neurotic Outsiders, Duff McKegan’s first band since Guns N’ Roses, Matt with Steve Jones Sorum, they got their start there. Every band either performed or did something from Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins. This was the place because you never knew who would show up and play.”

There are also some personal memories for McGrath in the Viper Room.

“The irony of the Wiper Room episode is that it directly affected me in so many ways,” McGrath said. “First of all, I met my wife there. I met my wife in the wiper room and then I got engaged in the wiper room.



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