The Black Crowes Are Finished: After 24 Years, Power-Grab Claims Tear Band Apart

Frontman Chris Robinson's alleged demands for total control of the band has resulted in The Black Crowes disbanding for good.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

If you were holding out hopes for a reunion of the mighty bohemian rock outfit The Black Crowes, disappointment arrives now. The highly influential rockers have gone their separate ways for good, and according to founding member Rich Robinson, the decision comes on the heels of a bad-blood business decision by his brother, frontman Chris Robinson.

Rich, the group’s guitarist and chief songwriter, formed The Black Crowes in 1989 with his brother, and their debut Shake Your Money Maker was a smash success (5x platinum). Several high-profile albums later, as well as a legendary live collaboration with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, the band is imploding. Two hiatuses (2001-2005 and 2010-present) could not right the ship among members.

In a statement, Rich explained: “It is with great disappointment and regret that after having the privilege of writing and performing the music of The Black Crowes over the last 24 years, I find myself in the position of saying that the band has broken up.”

He continued: “I hold my time with The Black Crowes with the utmost respect and sincerest appreciation. It is a huge swath of my life’s body of work. I couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished and deeply moved by the relationships people created and maintained with my music. That alone is the greatest honor of being a musician.

“I love my brother and respect his talent, 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.”

Robinson concluded: “There are so many people who have helped and supported us along the way. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our fans, our friends behind the scenes, and to everyone who was a part of The Black Crowes.”

The Black Crowes’ final performance took place on December 14, 2013 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. 

They will be deeply missed. Check out a memory-lane run through a few of their most prominent streaks of excellence: