Mr. Jones

“My perception of “Mr. Jones” was a song about me and Marty [Adam’s friend Marty Jones is the titular “Mr. Jones” – Ed] out drinking, hanging out with his dad’s flamenco troupe and wishing we could talk to these girls and thinking, man, if we were more famous, maybe we’d be able to do that. But we’re not. And as a result we’re just sitting here. It’s also a song about the foolishness of thinking that everybody liking you will make your whole life better, because of course that doesn’t work. You know that. Your mom told you that in third grade when she told you it wasn’t a popularity contest. Well, it felt like a popularity contest at the time. But I knew that at the time and you’re supposed to see through that guy: “When everybody loves me, I’ll never be lonely.” You’re supposed to know that’s not true. For one thing, there’s no such thing as “everybody loves me.” Nobody knows you in that case. So I knew that wasn’t going to happen that way. But you still want it: you want life to be easier, you want to be a rock star so it’s easier to talk to a girl. It’s the same crazy person sitting there with the girl later, though. So it doesn’t fix things.”Adam Duritz (87)

Have You Seen Me Lately

“Well, my whole life had changed in the wake of the first album. People bitch about people writing second albums that are about, “Wow, it’s hard being famous.” But, I mean, fuck you, what are you supposed to do? It’s your life, it changes, and it’s really weird. And it is difficult to deal with it. And if you’re a guy who writes about what you’re going through in life, then you can’t not write about going through that if it happens. It was just such a weird thing to go from being a pretty shy, private person, to being on the cover of magazine stands. I wasn’t really prepared for that, especially because I was already kind of unbalanced, and that really set it off. “Have You Seen Me Lately” is about that. Dealing with the relationships with people in the wake of that, how I felt about knowing whether they were real or not real, and my perceptions of my social life having exploded out across the radio.”Adam Duritz (87)

Round Here

“The song begins with a guy walking out the front door of his house and leaving behind this woman. But the more he keeps leaving people behind in his life, the more he feels like he’s leaving himself behind as well and the less and less substantial he feels like he’s becoming to himself. That’s really what the song’s about – the more he disappears from the lives of people, the more he disappears from his own life. In the chorus he’s screaming out these idioms, those lessons your mother might say to you as a kid, child lessons like “round here we always stand up straight.” Things you’re told as a kid that if you do them you’ll add up to something when you grow up. You’ll have a job, you’ll have a life. I think for me and for the character in the song they don’t add up to anything, it’s just a bunch of crap – your life comes to you or doesn’t come to you. This is a song about me.”Adam Duritz (88)


“We spent 10 years in clubs, so I spent a lot of years hanging around Berkeley, not necessarily sure whether I was going anywhere, but having a lot of fun. Being up late, getting drunk, and playing music. I spent a lot of years not really knowing where that was going. The idea of a song created with loops made me think of being on a loop myself. I wrote that song about when I was younger and the latter years in Berkeley and how I loved it there, but I was kind of going nowhere.”Adam Duritz (87)

Perfect Blue Buildings

“That is a horrid song. I don’t mean it’s badly written, it’s just the most brutal subject matter… he’s dreaming of being in a coma, of being catatonic, of being dead as a way to get a moment’s peace. The world is dull and brutal, and he just can’t face it. The only peace and beauty he can see is in such a catatonic state, which is no alternative… the one person you can’t get away from is yourself.”Adam Duritz (636)

Goodnight Elisabeth

“‘Goodnight Elisabeth’ is a really difficult song about a relationship I was in recently, and it’s a real painful song for myself and for the person involved. But it’s also a song about… what a shame it is that it’s over, because it was a real cool thing for a little while. I don’t know… there’s a lot of things in this world that really fuckin’ piss me off, but I tend not to write about them. I tend to write about things that disappoint me in myself. But, you know, it’s a moment that we had that might have disappeared otherwise, and this way it never really does. Like for Betsy and me, as long as she hears ‘Goodnight Elisabeth’, she’ll know how much I… I loved her and how much it meant to me, even if it did turn out disastrously.”Adam Duritz (636)