Former THE BLACK CROWES drummer Steve Gorman says that he understands why guitarist Rich Robinson would want to deny that he turned down an offer to write music with Jimmy Page.
In his book "Hard To Handle: The Life And Death Of The Black Crowes", Gorman said that he learned from Page that the legendary LED ZEPPELIN guitarist wanted to write songs with the Robinson brothers for what at the time was supposed to be THE BLACK CROWES' next record, but that Rich blew him off with a "No thanks! … We don't need more songs." "I was insulted," Page allegedly said to the drummer, who furiously called THE CROWES' manager and told him, "I'm driving to Connecticut, and I'm going to kill Rich in his home."
In a brand new interview with "The Eddie Trunk Podcast", Gorman once again addressed the episode, saying (hear audio below): "Well, I can only go on what Jimmy told me, but it did make sense. I had long suspected that something like that had to have happened — there was always a missing piece — and [then-THE BLACK CROWES manager] Pete Angelus and I talked about it for a year and a half: 'What the fuck do we not know? What is someone not telling us?' We always had that thing. And there are a few people in Jimmy's world, who don't need to be named, 'cause anybody listening won't know who they are, who always made vague references to 'something went down at the hotel.' And they would say that, and they didn't wanna give away Jimmy's confidence. So when he told me, I wasn't surprised — I knew something had happened. And when he told me, I was just so angry and irate.
"The thing that really galled me, and I had a lot of people ask me about this, I wasn't upset over losing a chance to hear Jimmy Page's new riffs; I wasn't upset over what may have happened in the studio — I never even got to that point in my thought process," he explained. "It was just so rude and unspeakably arrogant, and it was just such a human error. Just on a personal level, it was so egregious that a guy whose involvement has just completely resuscitated our career is offering to do something else, and he was met with a hard 'no, thanks.' Just people stuff. And then, of course, add to it, 'Oh, and by the way, that other person's Jimmy fucking Page.' Yeah, that's pretty upsetting."
Page teamed up with THE BLACK CROWES in 1999 and released the acclaimed album "Live At The Greek" the following year. However, Page's tour with the band was called off after 11 of their 55 shows were performed, with the LED ZEPPELIN legend citing back problems at the time.
"When he did leave from 'The Tonight Show', Rich didn't say a word; he made no comment to the news," Gorman recalled. "Jimmy just went home. The tour's over. He didn't say a word. And that always struck me too. He had an uneasy look on his face, but at no point did he ever express sadness or confusion. It just didn't come up again with him."
This past February, Rich told Classic Rock magazine there is no validity to Gorman's account. "Absolutely not true," Rich said. "I remember having conversations with Jimmy, telling him: 'Hey, if you ever wanted to make a record or do anything, I would love to help in any way I can.' Jimmy's a brilliant musician, a brilliant person. I loved playing with him."
He continued: "Jimmy Page wants to write songs for me, and I'm gonna say: 'You know what, Jimmy? LED ZEPPELIN was all right, but I'm not gonna do it'? It's the most absurd thing I've heard in my life."
Gorman, for his part, remains unconvinced by Robinson's denial. "If Rich says that didn't happen… If that happened and it would have been me, I'd probably not wanna cop to it myself either, so I guess I understand it on that level," the drummer told "The Eddie Trunk Podcast". "And with 20 years' hindsight, I imagine that he looks at that and goes, 'I can't believe I did that.' And that's the last thing he wants to talk about. With him and Chris announcing that THE BLACK CROWES are coming back for a tour that flies directly in the face of literally every single thing they've ever said that mattered to them, violating every principle they ever expressed by touring in the way they're touring, he's certainly not gonna cop to blowing off Jimmy Page."
Gorman is not involved in THE BLACK CROWES' upcoming reunion tour, which was originally scheduled for this summer but has now been postponed to 2021. Joining Chris and Rich Robinson 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.