Great Moments In Greg Dulli
Greg Dulli is no GG Allin--to the best of our knowledge, the frontman of the recently reunited Afghan Whigs has never taken a big sloppy shit onstage then hurled his feces into the crowd (well, maybe metaphorically he has). But he's definitely teetered on the dangerous edge of rock 'n roll for the better part of 25 years, occasionally tumbling right over into the abyss and yet always somehow managing to claw his way back up to the land of the living. Dulli, who once lyrically celebrated that "I got a dick for a brain," has scarfed all the drugs, fucked all the women, brawled with all the bouncers, and he's poured his fury and guilt into the Whigs' searing, swaggering, eminently soulful songbook, much of which will be unleashed at tonight's sold-out Terminal 5 gig (which comes a few months after the band's triumphant reunion show at Bowery Ballroom--their first performance together in 13 years).
Their return has prompted loads of Whigs tribute pieces, retrospectives, reappraisals, and so forth; in the same spirit, here's a few of our favorite Greg Dulli-related appearances and anecdotes from the past couple decades.
Dulli and Donal
One of Dulli's best friends is actor Donal Logue, who kickstarted his career by playing "Jimmy the Cab Driver" in tons of MTV spots in the early '90s. In 1994, while the Whigs were promoting/touring the previous year's Gentlemen, the pair teamed up for a hilarious takeover of 120 Minutes. Check it out above as they smoke and slur like a couple of alt-rock Rat Packers, mock Kurt Loder, entertain a bizarre visit from James Iha, and act out scenes from Scarface and The Godfather II.
"Fat Greg Dulli"
At some point in the early '90s, a venomous zine called "Fat Greg Dulli" emerged, its mystery publisher gleefully shredding the singer for being, well, fat. And a lout. It featured content like this:
Greg Dulli One-Night Stand Kit:
Nifty Afghan Whigs money clip and dice cufflinks
8 miniatures of Wild Turkey
2 packs of Dunhills
1 bottle of rib sauce
3 moist towlettes
"Karaoke With The Staples Singers" tape
"Best Of America" karaoke tape
1 Today contraceptive sponge
Don Fleming's phone number
In 2007, infamously hard-partying former Elektra A&R guy Terry Tolkin--who was instrumental in bringing the Whigs to the label back in the day--claimed that he and a female New York City publicist were in cahoots to put out the zine. Whatever the truth is, "Fat Greg Dulli" clearly got under its namesake's skin. From a 1996 Guitar World interview:
"I've never met the woman who puts it out, and she purports to give a shit about the band, but she's devoted a large portion of her life to ripping it apart," says Dulli with mournful wonder. "Her shtick is 'This guy needs to be taken down a notch.'
"Taken down a notch? We didn't sell 200,000 records last time. Somebody asked me how I felt about being called Fat Greg Dulli. How do you think it made me feel? It made me feel fat. It's just being grade-school mean, calling somebody fatty on the playground. But why me? You're automatically limiting the number of people you can sell to to be making it about me. Fat Bon Jovi, I could understand. Or Fat Madonna. But most people are going to think. 'Who's that guy?'"