Monday, October 25, 2010

Let me lie to you- An Evening with Greg Dulli


The Afghan Whigs are one of my favorite bands of all time, so when the opportunity came up to see Whigs leader and front man of the Twilight Singers and partner in the Gutter Twins Greg Dulli i jumped at the chance, especially considering he was playing songs that spanned his career in tiny little clubs that held roughly a hundred or so people, an acoustic show with Greg singing and playing guitar and piano, David Prosser (of the Twilight Singers) on guitar and backing vocals and Rick Nelson (of Polyphonic Spree) on violin and cello, let me state for the people who had tickets it was fucking brilliant, a sold out show of nothing but hardcore fans (except for the two girls in front who St. Gregory finally told to shut the fuck up to the delighted cheers of the audience, stating that they wouldn't like it if he came to their job and babbled incessantly while they tried to work and that this is his fucking job), a crowd so amped that when he stopped singing the whole place was filled with those in attendance singing-screaming-shouting along, a show with people truly involved which in good old Pittsburgh is hard to come by...
The years have not been all that kind to Greg and he's put on weight, the weight that comes with giving up cigarettes and hard drugs, see Greg's been known as one of the hardest partying men in rock, been known to tear up the city of New Orleans, his sometime home, a guy who was once the sexiest man in indie-rawk and devoured his fair share of women while penning some of the most intelligent, caustic, heartbreaking, tunes of the past 20 years, see in my book he's written some of the greatest break-up songs, songs utterly pissed and filled with desire, songs that a young man in the early 90's grabbed onto and listened to like a priest with his scripture, Greg and i have both had our issues with women and he provided me with a soundtrack to all the pleasure and pain that comes with the territory... the albums Congregation, Gentleman and Black Love by the Afghan Whigs and Blackberry Belle by the Twilight Singers are fucking masterpieces of rock-n-roll in my opinion, blistering tunes with intelligent lyrics, in fact if i were to compile a list of one liners from his songs (and many songs have multiple masterpieces) it'd be longer than one of those rambling Wilderness Years posts...

and so i left the house at 10pm, a late start for a guy who spends his weekends chasing the boyos, high on pills and booze and sneaking out to smoke cigarettes, knowing that i'd pay for this night in the morning but more than happy to ante the fuck up and Greg did not disappoint, a set that might have been light on the Whigs but reminded us all that the man can just flat out write songs and arrange them anyway he sees fit and blow your fucking doors off, so from my corroded memory, from a guy who looks at this man as a fucking hero, a guy who sees a man who's kicked the smokes and the hard shit and still lives hard, dressed in black and drinking water, a guy who used to wear suits at the height of grunge cuz he's got fucking class, in short still one of the most beautiful men on the planet but the songs idiot boy the songs... Whigs tunes were Let Me Lie t You, If I Were Going segued into a bit of Miles iz Ded, a blistering fucking Summer's Kiss that had me singing at the top of my lungs, Step Into the Light and then of course a batch of the best Twilight Singers tunes- The Twilite Kid, Candy Cane Crawl, King Only, Teenage Wristband with a verse of Pinball Wizard thrown in, Follow You Down, The Killer, Twilight, Forty Dollars (written on one shot on a booze and drugs bender while living in Nola) Cigarettes, Down the Line and few more that my hazy mind can't seem to remember, all in all a night well spent and well with the pain the next day...

of course me being the ridiculous fanboy i figured i'd never have a better chance to shake the man's hand so before the encore i wandered over the corner that led to the upstairs dressing room and after the other members walked out Greg stepped out and stopped for a moment, i leaned in and told him that i'd like to shake his hand, that i was on Ohio boy like him, he said which part, i said Cleveland, he said which side, i said west side, we shook hands and i told him how much i admired and loved his music and how much it meant to me and he was genuinely taken aback, put his hand on my shoulder and said thanks, that i it might surprise me how much shit like that still meant to him, he gave each other a smile and a nod and he hit the stage... after the encore as he made his way to the dressing room while people came rushing at him he looked over and gave a wink, i raised my drink and headed out into the cool air for one more of those cigarettes. Thank you Mr. Dulli... for everything.

7 comments:

daisyfae said...

i promise to listen to Afghan Whigs. i'm ignorant, but you've made me want more...

sybil law said...

He's from Cincinnati - my town! Nice.

Excellent write up, Kono.

sybil law said...

Wait - did you see Happy Chichester, too?! Crazy! He's awesome. He's also weird and kept staring me down last year at a show. Has the skin of a 19 year old - at his age! Kinda creeps me out, actually.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I had no idea he was a Buckeye. I thought he was from someplace more exotic. Like Milwaukee or Omaha.

How did you manage a night out with little ones in the house? That's always a hard trick to play.

Kono said...

Daisy- they come with the Kono stamp of approval, don't forget the Twilight Singers as well, rock songs, love songs, hate songs, torch songs, good stuff.

Sybil- There was no Happy siting but that may have been to much to ask for, have you seen former Whigs guitarist Rick McCollum lately? still looks smacked off his head but still shreds like a mofo.

UB- Like us he was a Buckeye who up and left, talk about a loss of talent for O-hi-O and daddy usually gets out once or twice a week for his sanity, it's in my contract, of course that is after i give them a bath and put them to bed.

nursemyra said...

Did he sing Debonair? I love that song

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