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The Black Crowes Thread


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this was just posted on their official YouTube account 17 hours ago-- I don't know if that means it's truly new, as in they've got a creative team going back and developing new music videos for old songs the way the Foo Fighters did last year for a bunch of stuff off of Wasting Light, or if I've just never seen it before, but-- video for "Sting Me", looks like footage from the Pot Festival in Piedmont Park back in 1992

 

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On 2/10/2020 at 3:12 PM, stc said:

 

that's where i disagree. they've rotated members in and out of the band since the beginning. i personally preferred the marc ford/eddie harsch era...but they didn't cease to be the black crowes when those members left. chris and rich wrote all the songs, they are the band. they get to decide who the other members are. it sucks for steve gorman but tough shit, sorry these assholes fucked you over. 

I respectfully disagree. A band is a band. The rhythm section does not get the RS covers, but there is more magic there than most understand. For example, Steven Adler gets a lot of credit for the sound and energy of Appetite. Honestly, to  your point, you could really stick Chris Robinson in front of a bunch of studio players and arguable have "The Black Crowes." Although Gorman argues, much like Adler, Rich Robinson's lack of technical guitar skill and training is what makes him such an amazing guitarist (in addition to the incredible songwriting talent).

About 2/3 through the book ... realize it is one sided, but pretty amazing:

- Chris is the paragon of poseur - it's laughable how he become a caricature so quickly

- Rich is the paragon of a dick - seems like the most miserable human being in rock

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You don't have to read Steve Gorman's book to see how Chris Robinson became a caricature.  That's very publicly obvious.

Rich's issues, however, are far less obvious and I've been more likely to question the one-sidedness of it.  In regards to Chris, anyone who ever paid attention could see a fairly high level of accuracy in Gorman's portrayal.

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40 minutes ago, Al_4_ISU said:

You don't have to read Steve Gorman's book to see how Chris Robinson became a caricature.  That's very publicly obvious.

Rich's issues, however, are far less obvious and I've been more likely to question the one-sidedness of it.  In regards to Chris, anyone who ever paid attention could see a fairly high level of accuracy in Gorman's portrayal.

True ... but just the level of abject phoniness and poseur was incredible behind the scenes. As Gorman said, it was a 1990s Spinal Tap.
Agree with you - I always assumed Rich good, Chris bad. But man, Rich seems like a super-douche ... but agreed - always two-sides.

Regardless - grateful for the thread to discover the book and re-discover the Crowes.

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18 minutes ago, Kyle said:

True ... but just the level of abject phoniness and poseur was incredible behind the scenes. As Gorman said, it was a 1990s Spinal Tap.
Agree with you - I always assumed Rich good, Chris bad. But man, Rich seems like a super-douche ... but agreed - always two-sides.

Regardless - grateful for the thread to discover the book and re-discover the Crowes.

Chris certainly takes it to a spectacular place.

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4 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

You don't have to read Steve Gorman's book to see how Chris Robinson became a caricature.  That's very publicly obvious.

Rich's issues, however, are far less obvious and I've been more likely to question the one-sidedness of it.  In regards to Chris, anyone who ever paid attention could see a fairly high level of accuracy in Gorman's portrayal.

what's interesting to me about your post is, I don't feel like I learned anything I didn't know or wouldn't have guessed with regard to Rich with the single exception of him telling Jimmy Page "nah that's OK" re: songwriting help with Lions. With Chris, there are multiple things in the book large and small that flabbergasted me. 

And as we've discussed on prior pages, to me it's Gorman's depictions of Chris that felt disjointed, like there was a step missing in how things played out. I have a hard time understanding Chris' behavior as depicted (it not being enough IMO to just say "addicted/high on drugs/bipolar")-- his design of the Amorica or Bust stage show and reaction to Pete Angelus' rework are hard to really believe. Quitting the band in 2002 even knowing it would kill their V2 deal with $4m still to come, is just hard to understand. But, the way Gorman described Rich, even the response to Page, I feel like I understand why he did what he did. His ego and greed were never hard to discern, and he was totally fickle towards everyone in the band. 

I think the truth of the Crowes at this point is, the creative spark that started their music came from the Robinson brothers but never would have gotten off the ground without the contributions of Gorman, Johnny Colt, Ed Harsch, and Marc Ford. So they've really just been varying degrees of a tribute band since August 1997, those degrees influenced by how bought in (or not) the brothers were. By the time Luther Dickinson left the band, any real hope of getting new, interesting music from them was gone. They were and are a full-on tribute band. 

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56 minutes ago, SwanderedTalent said:

what's interesting to me about your post is, I don't feel like I learned anything I didn't know or wouldn't have guessed with regard to Rich with the single exception of him telling Jimmy Page "nah that's OK" re: songwriting help with Lions. With Chris, there are multiple things in the book large and small that flabbergasted me. 

And as we've discussed on prior pages, to me it's Gorman's depictions of Chris that felt disjointed, like there was a step missing in how things played out. I have a hard time understanding Chris' behavior as depicted (it not being enough IMO to just say "addicted/high on drugs/bipolar")-- his design of the Amorica or Bust stage show and reaction to Pete Angelus' rework are hard to really believe. Quitting the band in 2002 even knowing it would kill their V2 deal with $4m still to come, is just hard to understand. But, the way Gorman described Rich, even the response to Page, I feel like I understand why he did what he did. His ego and greed were never hard to discern, and he was totally fickle towards everyone in the band. 

I think the truth of the Crowes at this point is, the creative spark that started their music came from the Robinson brothers but never would have gotten off the ground without the contributions of Gorman, Johnny Colt, Ed Harsch, and Marc Ford. So they've really just been varying degrees of a tribute band since August 1997, those degrees influenced by how bought in (or not) the brothers were. By the time Luther Dickinson left the band, any real hope of getting new, interesting music from them was gone. They were and are a full-on tribute band. 

It wasn't that I found the account of Rich unbelievable, I just hadn't observed that in his public persona (not that there's much of one in the first place).  I might not have been paying much attention, but I had always viewed him as the "good" Robinson that had to bear the weight of keeping his brother in line.

I don't have much difficulty personally believing any anecdote about Chris Robinson.  He seems to be legitimately unhinged to an extent (many intensely creative people are).  I had, for some reason I can't articulate, always believed that Rich was more aligned with the rest of the band.

I would agree with your last paragraph completely.

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On 4/1/2020 at 3:43 PM, Al_4_ISU said:

It wasn't that I found the account of Rich unbelievable, I just hadn't observed that in his public persona (not that there's much of one in the first place).  I might not have been paying much attention, but I had always viewed him as the "good" Robinson that had to bear the weight of keeping his brother in line.

I don't have much difficulty personally believing any anecdote about Chris Robinson.  He seems to be legitimately unhinged to an extent (many intensely creative people are).  I had, for some reason I can't articulate, always believed that Rich was more aligned with the rest of the band.

I would agree with your last paragraph completely.

According to Gorman, the way Chris snaps out of it for Amorica, By Your Side, Angelus ... I am left with questions of whether Chris actually is unhinged or just pretends to be unhinged because he read thats what rock stars are supposed to do.

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3 minutes ago, SwanderedTalent said:

Chris and Rich are going to do at least one live quarantined concert here, upcoming, since the tour's been postponed, and....

....wait for it.....

...it's sponsored by a giant beer company (Budweiser)

folks, we have truly lived a great circle

 

I think somewhere in Gorman's book, probably in the late 90's, Budweiser wanted to sponsor them and everyone but Chris was like "100% absolutely fucking no", and he pushed for it until Pete Angelus talked him out of it.

I relistened to Gorman's book this spring during planting (still entertaining the second time through) and maybe even more than the first time, I think the biggest "winner" in the story is Pete Angelus.  That guy comes off like a miracle worker.

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26 minutes ago, Al_4_ISU said:

I think somewhere in Gorman's book, probably in the late 90's, Budweiser wanted to sponsor them and everyone but Chris was like "100% absolutely fucking no", and he pushed for it until Pete Angelus talked him out of it.

I relistened to Gorman's book this spring during planting (still entertaining the second time through) and maybe even more than the first time, I think the biggest "winner" in the story is Pete Angelus.  That guy comes off like a miracle worker.

heck, it wasn't even the late 90s, it was immediately on the heels of the Miller Lite blowup-- Budweiser (Bud Light) wanted to sponsor their first theater tour after getting kicked fired by ZZ Top. 

agreed on Angelus, from the book I'm like "how are the Black Crowes the only thing post-VH/DLR that he's known for?" Did he really not have a chance to manage another band at that level? Because it seems like ESPECIALLY for his luck with contracts he'd have had offers. 

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wow, in case anyone doubted what a colossal shit Rich Robinson is

https://relix.com/articles/detail/spotlight-marc-ford/

When the Magpie Salute veered off the road in February 2019, after two years of hard touring, guitarist Marc Ford returned home to California, knowing something wasn’t quite right.

“We were all pretty burnt at that point,” he says, calling from his San Clemente home. “We’d gone at it hard and the band was great, but it’s discouraging when you throw everything that you can at it and, for whatever reason, it isn’t working. Rich was making all the decisions with Magpie. He ran it the way he wanted to run it—good, bad or whatever—and it ended up the way it ended up.”

The “Rich” he is referring to, of course, is Black Crowes cofounder Rich Robinson. Ford did two tours of duty with the Crowes (1991-1997 and 2005-2006) and his renewed friendship with Robinson was the nucleus of The Magpie Salute’s 2016 formation.

But, after a few successful runs with The Magpie Salute, Ford started to feel that something wasn’t quite right. Beyond financial issues, there was a vibe hanging over the band, which the guitarist still can’t quite describe.

“We’d been told we weren’t touring again in 2019,” says Ford. “And that’s all any of us knew. Rich and I still talked about things now and again; but, little by little, we were talking less and less. And then, one day, I tried calling Rich and he’d changed his phone number.”

By the time that The Magpie Salute’s second studio album High Water II was released last October, the band members were starting to wonder what was going on. A month later, they found out the answer along with the rest of the world: Rich Robinson had reconciled with his brother Chris and reformed The Black Crowes with a totally new cast of players.

“It’s too bad that it was handled that way,” says Ford. “The rest of us were just waiting around for Magpie to start back up—if we’d known there was no future for the band, we would’ve done other things. Nobody else was calling us—as far as they knew, we were busy with Magpie.”

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Jesus Christ.  Sometimes I would start feeling like Rich is maybe the slightly lesser dick (probably because Chris demanded Rich's share back in 2013 as well as Gorman's), but then there's shit like this and the Jimmy Page story.

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20 hours ago, DougO said:

Maybe throw in Damon Johnson for good measure, and another lead voice and writer.

who do I have to kill to make this happen? Damon Johnson might be the most underrated musician of the 90s. I love that guy's work. I might start a Damon Johnson thread. 

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thrown away line in this interview with Mark DiDia (Crowes manager) is that a box set is coming this year. Three discs/three albums... I was hoping for a lot more, there are still probably twenty-plus unreleased studio quality Black Crowes tracks I'd like to hear.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/353543

We also have a box set coming, which we'll be rolling out mainly on ecommerce sites — the Amazons of the world and our own universe. It's a three-album, three-disc box set. There's a live album that was recorded back on that first tour in 1990, that's going to be part of the box. That stuff's coming between now and Christmas.

...

Our fans still like physical product and DVDs, which is why we're excited about this box set, because it's going to be mainly physical. You'll be able to listen to it on Spotify and all that, but we feel pretty good about selling physical product, and we're going to be doing T-shirt bundles with it.

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First saw the Black Crowes in '91 at the Monsters of Rock Concert somewhere in Germany. SYMM had come out the previous year, and everyone was going crazy when they played Hard to Handle. Sister Luck is one of my favorite songs that I (used to) play on the guitar.

Album wise, I didn't get into SHMC at first, but gave it a second chance after so many of you raved about it. I prefer Amorica. 3 of the last 4 songs were amazing - Ballad in Urgency, Wise Time and Descending. I really wish they had put Downtown Money Waster earlier in the album so I wouldn't have to skip over it everytime.

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8 hours ago, Superhero said:

I really wish they had put Downtown Money Waster earlier in the album so I wouldn't have to skip over it everytime.

Downtown Money Waster was on Amorica, instead of Dirty Hair Halo, Feathers, Exit, Nowhere Stairs, Fear Years, Title Song, etc

one of their many weird, not good choices

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I still say Magpie Salute should just stick together without Rich, pick up Audley Freed or somebody and be a band. Fuck those asshole Robinsons. John Hogg is a fine frontman and writer and they have plenty of creativity without him.

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15 hours ago, DougO said:

I still say Magpie Salute should just stick together without Rich, pick up Audley Freed or somebody and be a band. Fuck those asshole Robinsons. John Hogg is a fine frontman and writer and they have plenty of creativity without him.

Just convince Gorman to join and they might have more of a claim to being called the Black Crowes than the brothers.

 

(not really, and almost certainly not legally, but it sounds good and is a more likeable group)

Edited by Don Johnson
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6 hours ago, Don Johnson said:

Just convince Gorman to join and they might have more of a claim to being called the Black Crowes than the brothers.

 

(not really, and almost certainly not legally, but it sounds good and is a more likeable group)

And see if they can get Jimmy Page to join up. He needs to make some more music before he dies. 

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On 10/9/2020 at 6:51 PM, Ten Bears said:

Digging this tonight from 2008.  They open with Goodbye Daughter's of the Revolution.  Man I totally missed out on that one though the years.  Not anymore.  

 

Warpaint was a great record. I'm in a minority on this one but I think it was absolutely better than Three Snakes, which basically killed their career. 

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Warpaint was a great record. I'm in a minority on this one but I think it was absolutely better than Three Snakes, which basically killed their career. 

Warpaint is the best album they made after “America”. Including the lost ones.

I actually listen to it more than Money Maker these days.
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4 minutes ago, Al_4_ISU said:


Warpaint is the best album they made after “America”. Including the lost ones.

I actually listen to it more than Money Maker these days.

yes, that to me was one oddity of Gorman's book, he was just head over heels in love with Band and while I thought it was better than Three Snakes, to me it had the same sort of uneven feel to it. But I am not sure the word "Warpaint" even appears in the book. I know he said after 2006 he thought of the band as his job, not his band, but they hit such a creative high on Warpaint. 

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On 10/14/2020 at 10:04 AM, SwanderedTalent said:

Warpaint was a great record. I'm in a minority on this one but I think it was absolutely better than Three Snakes, which basically killed their career. 

Agreed. After reading this thread and Gorman's book, I really started listening to Warpaint and love it.

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