Greg Dulli has long admired fellow musician Laura Marling. When the Afghan Whigs frontman saw her perform virtually, he had to follow in her musical footsteps.
On Saturday, August 1, Dulli appear live from Gold Diggers in Los Angeles, performing a solo set of material culled from his first solo record, “Random Desire,” as well as other songs from throughout his career. Dulli will perform two sets that day—8 p.m. GMT for fans in the United Kingdom and Europe, and 6 p.m. Pacific for those tuning in from North America. Tickets are $12.
“Watching Laura’s show, I loved it,” Dulli said “I smoked a joint and laid back in my chair and watched a beautiful performance in a room I played in before.”
Dulli is working on about 25 songs for the shows, both of which will be different.
“I’ll be able to change the second show in case people want to watch both shows,” he added. “A bunch of people have bought tickets to both of them. Whenever, for instance, I do a two-night stand in New York or Chicago or New Orleans, I always do different shows.
“That just means I have to learn more songs. I was ready to go on my solo tour. I had rehearsed. I knew all the songs back in March, but I tell you, you put the instrument down for three months and it’s like, ‘How does this go again?’ I’ve got some surprises; somethings that are cool to watch. I’m twisting it up a little bit. You’ll have to watch it to see what happens.”
Dulli said the quarantine and COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been too difficult on him. He dubs himself a “loner,” who prefers to hang out by himself.
“It hasn’t been a giant stress for me,” he said. “I do it on my own terms. Having it forced upon me wasn’t my favorite way. I certainly miss meeting people on a regular basis. I have gone for walks and hikes, and I play golf with a couple guys. I ride my bike, shoot basketball. I get out there as much as one can safely get out there
“I’m also very aware that this is a very persistent and dangerous enemy that is floating around in the world. I’m very careful to make sure that I don’t get sick.”
“Random Desire” was released before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The first under his own name, the record, he said, was a consequence of timing. The Afghan Whigs just finished their “In Spades” tour and drummer Patrick Keeler headed off to tour with his band, the Raconteurs. Bassist John Curley went back to college.
Dulli keeps busy with The Short Stop, just blocks from Dodger Stadium; Footsie’s Bar on North Figueroa Street; and R Bar and Inn in New Orleans.
“I don’t run them,” he said with a laugh. “I just own them. I design them. I’m very involved in them but I don’t do day-to-day. I’m not built for that.”
But he found something else to do—record “Random Desire.”
“I hadn’t made a solo album and I had a great time,” Dulli said. “I did it mostly in Joshua Tree, where I’m going this weekend with Christopher Thorn. We have such a great rapport and working relationship. He’s one of my favorite collaborators.”
Thorn is a founding member of Blind Melon, whose singer, Shannon Hoon, was recently remembered in the documentary “All I Can Say.”
“I met Shannon before I met the rest of the band,” he said. “I met him in ’92 and I didn’t meet Christopher until ’96. I met Christopher and Brad (Smith, bassist) in ’96, Glen (Graham, drummer) in ’96 and I didn’t meet Rogers (Stevens, lead guitarist) until last year.
“I never saw Blind Melon until last year. I met Shannon, though. He was a great guy; a really fun, cool cat.”