When Counting Crows debut album August and Everything After
took off, the group's mercurial frontman, Adam Duritz, became the focus of lots of unwanted attention. Despite his proclivity for dating actresses (Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Mary-Louise Parker...), he hated the trappings of fame, as he found himself surrounded by people he found both banal and absurd. This song is about that strange trip into celebrity, with Adam fully aware that complaining about being famous will not elicit sympathy from everyone. "It is difficult to deal with it," Adam told Songfacts
. "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," he continued. "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."