Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes

Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes


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Black Crowes drummer and cofounder Steve Gorman shares the band's inside story in this behind-the-scenes biography, from their supernova stardom in the '90s to exhilarating encounters with industry legends.

For more than two decades, the Black Crowes topped the charts and reigned supreme over the radio waves, even as hair bands, grunge, and hip-hop threatened to dethrone them. With hits like "Hard to Handle," "She Talks to Angels," and "Remedy," their massive success launched them to stardom in the early '90s, earning them a place among rock royalty. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone, MTV played their videos 24/7, and Generation X rediscovered the power of classic rock and blues by digging into multi-platinum classics like Shake Your Money Maker and The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.

But stardom can be fleeting. For the Black Crowes, success slowly dwindled as the band members got caught up in the rock star world and lost sight of their musical ambition. Despite the drinking, drugs, and incessant fighting between Chris and Rich Robinson — the angriest brothers in rock and roll, with all due respect to Oasis and the Kinks — the band continued to tour until 2013. On any given night, they could be the best band you ever saw (or the most combative). Then, one last rift caused by Chris Robinson proved insurmountable for the band to survive. After that, the Black Crowes would fly no more.

Founding member Steve Gorman was there for all of it — the coke- and weed-fueled tours; the tumultuous recording sessions; the backstage hangs with legends like Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and the Rolling Stones. As the band's drummer and voice of reason, he tried to keep the Black Crowes together musically and emotionally. In Hard To Handle — the first account of this great American rock band's beginning, middle, and end — Gorman explains just how impossible that job was with great insight, candor, and humor. They don't make bands like the Black Crowes anymore: crazy, brilliant, self-destructive, inspiring, and, ultimately, not built to last. But, man, what a ride it was while it lasted.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306922008
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 130,510
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Steve Gorman is a founding member of the Black Crowes as well as his current band, Trigger Hippy. He has created and hosted two nationally syndicated radio shows. Hard to Handle is his first book. He lives in Nashville with his family.

Steven Hyden is the author of Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me and Twilight of the Gods. His work has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Grantland, The. A.V. Club, Uproxx, and The Ringer.

Table of Contents

Preface: A Good Day in The Black Crowes Was Just a Day That Wasn't Bad ix

1 The Jump 1

2 Do Not Join This Band, They're Fucking Crazy 11

3 "He is Rotting from the inside Out" 19

4 "No, No, No … Try Open G, Like Keith" 27

5 The KKK 38

6 Michael Corlesne Will See You Now 47

7 Are We Gonna Win or Are We Gonna Lose? 51

8 Uncle Bob 61

9 When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear 65

10 Welcome Home. You're Fired. 69

11 The Exhaustion of Success 74

12 The End of Shake Your Money Maker 81

13 Round Two 89

14 Losing the Grip 97

15 Splat 103

16 High as the Moon 112

17 Tall 121

18 Björk, Hans Gruber, and an Earthquake of Note 132

19 Best Not Buy 138

20 Money 144

21 Just Leave. Go Home and Be Done 153

22 Peking Duck is Now on the Menu 163

23 "Know Em? Hell, I Wrote 'Em, Baby!" 171

24 Three Snakes and One Honorable Man 176

25 Things to Do in Denver When Your Band Is Dead 183

26 To Hell and Band 193

27 "Put on Some Fucking Clothes, Will Ya?" 203

28 The Three-Headed Monster 209

29 Reality Bites 216

30 By Your Side 226

31 The Black Crowes Are Back! (Even if We Never Left) 232

32 "Just When I Think I'm Out … Mr. Jimmy Fucking Page" 237

33 Asleep at the Greek 258

34 Sven Pipien, Over and Out 261

35 Trouble Brewing in Valhalla 272

36 "Which One of Those Two Stupid Motherfuckers Did This?" 280

37 At Long Last … Out 293

38 The Poison Pill 308

39 Me, Hunter S. Thompson, and Bruce Spingsteen Walk into a Bar… 317

40 The Long Goodbye 327

Epilogue: The Headstone 340

Acknowledgments 345

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