Former THE BLACK CROWES drummer Steve Gorman, who recently published his tell-all memoir, "Hard To Handle: The Life And Death Of The Black Crowes", says that he was not surprised to see brothers Chris and Rich Robinson teaming up with new musicians to perform the band's entire debut album, "Shake Your Money Maker", on a 30th-anniversary tour in 2020.
"I think that they have painted themselves into corners that only have one solution, and that is to call themselves THE BLACK CROWES and go play old songs again," Gorman said during a new interview with Favazz and Lern of the Missouri radio station KSHE 95 (hear audio below). "So that was gonna happen regardless. I knew that was happening a long, long, long, long time ago. I sensed it, and I would have bet the house on it. And then I knew for sure well before [my] book came out… I think they would have done it regardless, but it certainly gave them an impetus to work a narrative where they're now great friends again — which is, I'll just say, hilarious, maybe. And I also think it's so counterproductive. It's, like, no one wants you to like each other; go hate each other. You're going against brand. You can't even do it right when it's just… You got rid of everybody else, you got it all to yourselves, and then you still go against the brand."
When the interviewer pointed out to Gorman that it's weird to see a BLACK CROWES "reunion" announced where no one has heard of the other members of the group, Steve replied: "But it's the least surprising aspect of the whole thing. This is not a tour that is being formulated and planned and executed over the love of music. And that's obvious, because they didn't call me, they didn't call Johnny [Colt] or Sven [Pipien], they didn't call Marc [Ford]. If you wanna do a BLACK CROWES tour, you call the guys that made THE BLACK CROWES, THE BLACK CROWES. If you wanna go out and bail your ass out because you're broke, then you just call it THE BLACK CROWES and go out and find a bunch of no-names. And that's not a knock on those [guys] — those guys are all great players. I know who those guys are; musicians know who those guys are; but they have no connection to THE BLACK CROWES. And, by the way, as a blanket statement, that's fine. I mean, it's got nothing to do with me. If they had called and asked, the answer was 'no.' So it's not like I'm sitting here going, 'I can't believe they didn't call me.' I would have fallen out of my chair if they had called me. And then I would have pressed 'record' on a device and then had some fun."
After the interviewer recalled Rich Robinson slamming his brother for performing THE BLACK CROWES songs following the band's most recent breakup, Steve said: "It's funny, but it's also sad. Johnny Rotten, when the SEX PISTOLS did a big reunion tour, they did a press conference, and [a journalist asked him], 'You said this would never happen. What's the reason?' And Johnny Rotten said, 'We found something that we could all rally around, a cause that we all believed in.' And the journalist said, 'What's that?' And Johnny Rotten said, 'Your money.' It's, like, just own it — it's more fun if you just own it.' And, again, all this, it really doesn't matter. At the end of the day, if somebody wants to go hear the songs from the first album, go. I hope it's good; I really do. It's my music too. I'm not playing it, but that doesn't mean I don't want people to enjoy the music."
THE BLACK CROWES launched the reunion with a concert on November 11 at New York City's Bowery Ballroom and took the stage again on November 14 at Los Angeles's Troubadour club. The official tour kicks off properly on June 17 at Austin's Austin360 Amphitheater in Austin wraps on September 19 at the Forum in L.A. Joining the brothers will be a all new lineup of THE CROWES featuring EARTHLESS guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, former TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND bassist Tim Lefebvre along with ONCE AND FUTURE BAND members Joel Robinow on keyboards and Raj Ojha on drums.
When THE BLACK CROWES announced their split in 2014, Rich issued a statement saying that he loved his brother and respected his talent but that "his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100 percent of his share … is not something I could agree to."
Photo courtesy of Westwood One