Soul-rockers the Afghan Whigs have announced their first tour dates since frontman Greg Dulli suffered a fractured skull Dec. 12 in an altercation with a bouncer at the Liberty Lunch club in Austin, Texas.
The two weeks of shows are set to begin Feb. 9 at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, the Whigs’ hometown, and will take the band through the Midwest and East for 11 additional performances.
“I think a lot of these places that we’re playing on this upcoming leg are places we haven’t been for awhile or haven’t been to at all,” Whigs bassist John Curley said. “People are always sending e-mails saying, ‘How come you don’t come here?’ Finally, we’ll be able to say to them, ‘Here we are. Hope you brought some friends with you.’ ”
The bandmembers had endured more than a month of inactivity as Dulli recovered from his injuries. They are eager to get back on the road in support of their latest LP, 1965, Curley said. The album includes such new songs as “Crazy” (RealAudio excerpt) and “66″ (RealAudio excerpt).
“I’m sure it will feel good,” Curley said. “It’s a little weird to have something like this happen. There’s a little bit of apprehension there, obviously. It’ll sure feel great once we get a few shows under our belts.
“It’s really difficult when someone you’re friends with and someone you care about gets hurt — especially, seriously hurt,” he continued. “It affects you in a lot of different ways on a lot of different levels. This is nothing I would wish on anybody.”
In a personal injury lawsuit filed in December by the Afghan Whigs, the band alleged that Dulli was “blindsided” by a bouncer named in the suit only as “Taiter.” The Whigs are seeking unspecified damages for personal injury, the postponement of scheduled live shows and the resulting impact on record sales.
Also named in the suit are Liberty Lunch club owner Jeannette Ward and one of the club’s managers, Mileah Jordan.
The suit claims that “Taiter” struck Dulli with a forceful blow that dropped him to the ground and that the bouncer twice kicked Dulli as he lay bleeding on the floor of the club. Additional claims in the suit include allegations that the club refused to call police or an ambulance to assist Dulli and that the Liberty Lunch’s manager aided Taiter and another bouncer named “Porkchop” in their departure from the club.
Geoffrey Pivateau, attorney for the club, has declined comment on the suit.
The Whigs spent the week after Dulli was injured shuttling back and forth between the hotel and the hospital, Curley said, adding that the incident has provoked a great deal of introspection for the entire band.
“It’s weird … we played almost three hours to a sold-out house and it was great,” Curley said. “You go from having the time of your life to being in an emergency room watching your best friend fight for his life. That kind of extreme contrast is going to give me a lot to think about for a long time. I think for all of us.”
Public information officer Kevin Buchman of the Austin Police Department said the criminal case was handed over to a grand jury last week to determine if charges will be filed.
Afghan Whigs Tour Dates:
Feb. 9; Cincinnati, Ohio, Bogart’s
Feb. 10; Detroit, Mich., St. Andrew’s Hall
Feb. 12; Syracuse, N.Y., Styleen’s Rhythm Palace
Feb. 13; Providence, R.I., Met Café
Feb. 14; Boston, Mass., Paradise Rock Club
Feb. 15; Johnston, Pa., TLA
Feb. 17; Philadelphia, Pa., Crow Bar
Feb. 18-20; New York, N.Y., Bowery Ballroom
Feb. 21; New Haven, Conn., Toad’s Place
Feb. 23; Old Bridge, N.J., Birch Hill Nightclub