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", has once again said 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 this summer. "To me, it's been an inevitability for years," Steve told Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station. "And I say that not to kick sand in their face on any level; it's just what it was gonna be."
He continued: "I think they both made serious efforts to establish themselves in solo careers that could sustain them, that could provide a living, and I guess that neither one of those really worked out. And so they were always gonna need to be THE BLACK CROWES again. And this tour is an indication of the fact that, to them, they always were THE BLACK CROWES. And to me, THE BLACK CROWES was a band. It wasn't about their band; it was our band. It was six people, or it was five people, or it was four people, depending on the year, but it was always a much greater thing than two brothers who wrote the songs. The success of that band had a lot to do with a lot more than just them, is my point. And the thing that was most special about that band, as I said before, was what six people were able to do when we were on the same page."
Gorman went on to say that he doesn't necessarily fault the Robinson brothers for wanting to keep THE BLACK CROWES brand alive.
"This tour has nothing to do with me — it never did; it never would have," he explained. "THE BLACK CROWES are my past. Now, the music is still around. And if anybody goes to see this tour and decides that they love THE BLACK CROWES now, I think that's fantastic. I'm all for preserving the legacy of the band I was in. I think this tour has nothing to do with that. I think this tour is the two of them needing money. And to that I say — and that's fine. I know what it's like to be concerned about my finances; everybody does. And if you're in your 50s and you can make a living playing music, then, by God, you should be playing music, if that's what you wanna do. So, they're fully within their rights to do it — legally and ethically and morally; whatever. It's fine. It's got nothing to do with me. So, live and let live."
Steve added: "[At] these book events [for 'Hard To Handle'], I have a lot of people saying, 'I can't go see them. I can't do this. This tour makes me sick.' And sometimes they say, 'I don't even wanna listen to the records anymore.' And I always say, 'No, no, no. If you stop listening to the music, all that's left is this book, and that's sad.' There's gotta be something positive from all that turmoil, and I think that the music was. So, please appreciate the music. The oldest saying in the world is 'trust the art, not the artist.'"
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