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Up and down with The Black Crowes: former drummer tells all about his time with feuding Robinson brothers

Last Updated Feb 9, 2020 at 12:12 pm PDT

Cover of with Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of The Black Crowes, A Memoir by Steve Gorman (John Ackermann, NEWS 1130 Photo)

This week on #1130bookshelf, John Ackermann speaks with Steve Gorman

Gorman is the author of Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of The Black Crowes, A Memoir

The book narrates Gorman's ups and downs with the legendary rock band, The Black Crowes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Rock n’ Roll is known for its feuding brothers, from Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks to Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis.

Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes are also part of that fighting tradition. Now, they’re the subject of a new book, written by their former drummer.

Steve Gorman is out with Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of The Black Crowes, A Memoir.

“You know, while I was in the band, which was 27 years or so all told, it always struck me as a great story,” he says. “Everybody used to joke, ‘Oh, you’ll have to write the book one day.'”

LISTEN HERE: Hard to Handle

He was there from the beginning, through all the ups and downs. “We got into a band and we wanted to be great. We wanted to make great music and we wanted to leave behind great music. And we did that.”

But he admits the tension that made the band great was also its undoing.

“You’re having fights over what the chorus of a song should sound like and then that lends itself to a fight over what we should order for lunch! And it just never ends.”

The Crowes, now just made up of the brothers themselves, announced a reunion tour late last year. But for the first time in their three decade plus history, Gorman won’t be joining them.

And he’s just fine with that. He has a new band, Trigger Hippy, and a day job too, as a radio host. “The Black Crowes are seven years in the rear view mirror for me. That last tour was in 2013,” he explains.

“And I don’t say this for a catchy line or anything, it’s just a fact. The last seven years of my life have been the best seven years of my life.”

He also doesn’t mince words about what brought the notoriously combative brothers back together.

“Well, I knew that was going to happen. I mean, that’s the least surprising development, I think, in the history of the Black Crowes. They both need money.”

Gorman’s memoir is a close-up view of a band that had an undeniable knack for self-sabotage.

“There was no shortage of talent and ambition but all the internal conflicts just kept it from realizing its potential.”

But for all the infighting, Gorman doesn’t seem to have any regrets.

“If you had asked me asked me in 1987, do you want to be in a great band that’s a mess, or do you want to be in an okay band where everybody’s really cool to each other, I would have said give me the great band every time.”

Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of The Black Crowes, A Memoir is available through Da Capo Press.