In a very special Christmas interview, the Counting Crows vocalist recounts his most detailed memories of creating and recording a holiday classic by Adam Durtiz.
“There’s this tremendous debate going on,” he says on the latest edition of our Rolling Stone Music Now podcast. (To listen to the entire episode, click play above or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.) “Is Die Hard a Christmas film? It takes place throughout the Christmas season. And if it feels like a Christmas movie to you, it probably is.
My buddy claims that Eyes Wide Shut is, too, and I say, no, it isn’t! That’s not how I feel about Christmas. There are Christmas movies and movies that take place in late December. But ‘A Long December,’ fits perfectly with my idea of tunes that conjure up and resonate with this time of year.
Duritz compares “A Long December” to another sorrowful, piano-powered unofficial Christmas song, Joni Mitchell’s 1971 classic “River.” “I believe it’s a lot like ‘A Long December,'” he says. “It’s like, ‘It’s difficult. Some of what I’m going through is difficult, and I wish I had a river to sail away on… There is struggle in this life, and I am coping with it.”
Duritz goes deeper than ever before on the writing and recording of “A Long December” (yes, there was a hospital in winter involved, as well as a place called Hillside Manor) in a special holiday episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, while also revealing his favourite holiday songs (“I’m Jewish, but I love Christmas”), offering new insights into the making of his band’s first albums, and explaining why, contrary to rumour, he (usually) doesn’t punish bad audiences by withhol (Last year, critic Steven Hyden crystallised the “Long December” holiday-song argument.)
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