‘Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes—A Memoir’ by Steve Gorman With Steven HydenGET IT
The Black Crowes have announced a much-hyped reunion tour for 2020, and initial ticket sales have been fairly brisk. And why not? The band sold out arenas and played the jam-band circuit throughout the ‘90s, and its early hits are still popular on Classic Rock radio. And, clearly, on the reunion-tour circuit.
Despite occasional flashes of brilliance, the band eventually imploded under the weight of brotherly discord and failed expectations. It officially broke up in 2015—but hadn’t been truly relevant for a decade or more.
Even casual fans of the band are aware of the rocky history between Chris and Rich Robinson, so interest in the brothers’ Black Crowes’ revival in 2020 is understandable.
But before you buy your tickets for this summer’s reunion tour, you might want to check out this memoir by the band’s former drummer. Steve Gorman was a founding member of the Crowes; indeed, he and Chris played together in various Atlanta bands long before enlisting Chris’ talented little brother. He had a front-row seat to all the drama—he was Chris’ best man at his wedding to Kate Hudson.
Gorman’s memoir is a fun read, an honest take on the perils of too-soon stardom. But the author’s position is the Robinson brothers’ rampant egotism, inability to take criticism, and penchant for self-sabotage—and of course, plenty of good old-fashioned greed—were what led to the band’s demise in the first place. And before you tack those hard feelings up to sour grapes, consider that Hard to Handle was released last summer— long before the announcement of this latest reunion tour.
If you’re like us, you may have spent plenty of your hard-earned money on the Black Crowes over the years. Before you do it again for the 2020 reunion tour—which includes the Robinson brothers and some hired guns, but none of their past bandmates—check out Hard to Handle. It’s an eye-opener.— Jon Langston, Commerce Editor
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