Ex-Black Crowes Drummer Steve Gorman Explains Why He's Not Part Of Reunion
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
November 12, 2019
Between everything Steve Gorman has going on, you could understand why now would not be an ideal time for him to reunite with The Black Crowes.
Why he wasn't invited back, however, is another story.
The multi-platinum band's co-founding drummer just released a new album, Full Circle & Then Some, with his band Trigger Hippy. He does a syndicated rock radio show every night. And the release of his recent memoir, Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes, is only looking more timely by the day.
But Gorman wasn't asked to rejoin The Black Crowes for their upcoming reunion. He tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke that he didn't expect to be part of the Robinson brothers' reconciliation.
Gorman's book details constant chaos between the Robinson brothers over his 27 years in a band with them, and he offers a play-by-play of exactly what happened when The Black Crowes disbanded in 2014. Though he still doesn't understand what Chris's problem with him is, the frontman made it clear prior to the band's breakup that the two had a problem.
After touring extensively in 2013, the band planned to take the following year off to recharge for what they agreed would be a Shake Your Money Maker 25th anniversary celebration and farewell tour in 2015.
"We did discuss this, like how important it is to end it right, to just go out with some self-respect and dignity and appreciation for all we had done and the fact that we're still here and that we have an audience and all of these things," Gorman recalls.
The three remaining co-founders to that point split revenue equally. They had a verbal agreement about their proposed farewell, but when it came time to discuss specifics, Chris quickly demanded 75 percent of the money and that Gorman be "removed from the band."
"I did a sports talk radio show in Nashville at the time, and it got picked up by Fox Sports Radio," Gorman explains. "Suddenly my show went national and [Chris] was not happy about that, for reasons that only he can answer. ...Just the idea that 'Who are you to create something outside this band?' I don't know... He was very offended by that somehow, and then he had a million other grievances."
When Rich refused those terms, "that was the end of the band," Gorman says.
Gorman shoots straight in his book and includes copies of correspondence between himself and his band mates to document the downfall of the founding core of the group.
Chris's reasoning for his demands remains a mystery. While the singer said recently that he apologized to his brother for much of his behavior during that time period, he hasn't offered Gorman the same courtesy.
Looking back, Gorman realizes that the band's meager end — or the end of his tenure with it — was foreshadowed many times. And for all of Chris's public mea culpas, Gorman points to the new Black Crowes, which only include the brothers as official members, as proof that little has changed.
"Three decades of talking about what the band means and the power of music and the importance, and it comes down to you said one thing, you do another and here we are," he says. "It's not a surprise to me at all."
Despite his exasperation, Gorman appreciates the distance from The Black Crowes the past five years have afforded him. He has pride in the music he helped create but no longer has to deal with fallout from the toxic environment in which it was created.
He adds that Chris and Rich were "at each other's throats" when he met them in the '80s; fighting was a routine for the band.
..[Y]ou're in this bubble, you come out of it and those sort of things just are normal," he continues. "...You lose sight of how unhealthy it is and just how dark it can actually be."
Check out the full interview in the video player above or here.
Here's "Don't Wanna Bring You Down" from Trigger Hippy's new album Full Circl And Then Some: