After months of rumors, the Black Crowes announced a 2020 reunion tour on Monday where they’ll play their 1990 debut LP Shake Your Money Maker straight through at every show along with a set of other hits. Chris and Rich Robinson are the only returning members from any prior incarnation of the band. “That was the first thing Rich and I agreed on,” Chris Robinson told Rolling Stone. “We don’t want anyone from the solo groups. We don’t want anyone from the past.”
They group broke up in early 2015 after years of acrimony. “I love my brother and respect his talent,” Rich Robinson said in a statement at the time, “but 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% of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to.”
This was actually their second breakup. They’d previously split in 2002 and re-formed again three years later, touring heavily until early 2014. Here’s video of them playing “She Talks to Angels” at the Lockn’ Festival on September 7th, 2013. By this point, Gorman was the only member of the original band, though bassist Sven Pipien had been around since 1997. Pipien played with Rich Robinson in his Black Crowes spinoff band the Magpie Salute, but he was one of many ex-Crowes left on the sidelines when the group re-formed.
Gorman just published his tell-all memoir, Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes, and has been very vocal with his feelings about this reunion. “If people want to go hear Shake Your Money Maker in its entirety played by men in their fifties, then, by all means, go see it,” he said the other day on State of Amorica: A Black Crowes Podcast. “It’s perfectly fine if they wanna [do it] — I mean, they have every right to do it. And, again, I don’t begrudge anybody that goes to see it, but it’s sad — it’s always gonna be sad.”
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Understandably, the Robinson brothers don’t have much to say about Gorman’s book. “It’s in the past,” Rich Robinson told Rolling Stone. “Everyone has a perspective. Whatever.”