Black Crowes Hint at Retirement

Drummer Steve Gorman says the likelihood of the roots-rock group working together again is "as low as it's ever been"

Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes Credit: Erika Goldring/Getty

When the Black Crowes finished the final gig of their tour last year in San Francisco, drummer Steve Gorman says the Robinson brothers — singer Chris, guitarist Rich — and the band all shook hands and congratulated one another on a successful run. Then they went their separate ways — possibly for good.

"I've said in the past, 'I know we'll work again' or 'there's no way we'll work again,' and I've been wrong. But right now, the likelihood of us doing anything again is as low as it's ever been," Gorman tells Rolling Stone. "We could obviously all see things differently in a year, but I'll be surprised if the Black Crowes do something again. Ever."

Gorman's prediction is particularly surprising given the upcoming milestone anniversary of the throwback rock band's debut album, Shake Your Moneymaker. Released in 1990, the LP spawned the radio hits "Jealous Again," Hard to Handle" and "She Talks to Angels."

"You know, 2015 is the 25th anniversary of our first album release and we're not working," Gorman says. "You could certainly make a strong case that we should tour next year, but we're all doing our own projects."

Chris Robinson released the latest Chris Robinson Brotherhood album, Phosphorescent Harvest, in April, while younger brother Rich put out his third solo project, The Ceaseless Sight, in May. For Gorman, his attention is on his Americana supergroup with Joan Osborne, Trigger Hippy, which recently debuted their self-titled album.

"I'm solely consumed with Trigger Hippy. I'm not at all interested in getting in a room and trying to figure out Black Crowes music. That doesn't do anything for me. I'm just so thrilled that [Trigger Hippy] is where it is," says Gorman. "And I can't speak for Rich or Chris, but I'm fairly confident that's how they are with their things. We've done right by what the Black Crowes were and I think everybody is very happy to be looking forward to different things."

Although Gorman does reflect fondly on the heady days of the Shake Your Moneymaker era, when the band, catapulted by exposure on MTV, landed an opening slot on Aerosmith's Pump Tour in 1990.

"That was our first big tour. We did two club tours as an opening act and then went out with Aerosmith. Talk about in over our heads," he says. "We didn't know what we were doing. We were figuring it out, but we jumped straight into the deep end."

Gorman's Trigger Hippy is currently on a California tour, while the Chris Robinson Brotherhood kicks off a trek October 16th in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Rich Robinson has dates scheduled with the Experience Hendrix package tour, a celebration of the music of Jimi Hendrix, through the end of the month, before launching a U.K. tour in November.