Today is the birthday of Greg Dulli, vocalist and
guitarist for the Afghan Whigs. The Afghan Whigs made their first appearance on
the charts with the passionate "Gentlemen," an anti-drug tune which highlighted
Dulli's considerable lung capacity, among other things.
Dulli grew up in
Hamilton, Ohio and attended film school in Cincinnati before getting together
with the other members -- bassist John Curley, guitarist Rick McCollum and
drummer Paul Bichignani -- and recording their indie debut, Big Top, in
1988. The Whigs worked with Sub Pop for a while, building a strong following
prior to the 1994 release of their major-label record Gentlemen.
The Whigs consciously avoided the flannel-and-filth image of their peers,
opting for clean-cut looks, classy clothes and black leather accents. Dulli's
musical ambition seems unstoppable -- in addition to his work with the band, he
runs Cincinnati's Ultrasuede Studios and has donated riffs to the Foo Fighters
and the film score for Backbeat.
The Whigs returned in 1996 with
Black Love, which features the single "Honky's Ladder." For another
song, Dulli dosed the band with hallucinogenic mushrooms before recording their
powerful "Mushroom Ride." And for the tune "Night By Candlelight," he teamed up
with Satchel vocalist Shawn Smith.
Other birthdays: Helen O'Hara (Dexy's
Midnight Runners/Culture Club), Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead), Butch Trucks
(Allman Bros) and Eric Burdon (Animals). -- Beth Winegarner