Breaking up in real time

The intersection of sports and music can be messy, often littered with novelty songs and athletes turned dreadful singers, dancers and musicians.

But music and sports intersected in a most remarkable way the other day.

Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson announced Thursday that the band had broken up after 24 years. Here’s how I saw the news.

That’s a tweet from Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, who also hosts a show on Fox Sports Radio. His show hit the air about 20 minutes after Robinson’s statement came out.

So, at the top of Thursday’s show and then for the first 13 minutes of the show’s second hour, with rarely-heard grace, candor and insight, Gorman broke down the breakup in real time. Here’s the audio of the latter segment (which won’t embed, sorry, but is worth hearing):

Robinson’s statement, and the news, came as no surprise to Gorman, who spent much of his time expressing heartfelt appreciation for his time with the Black Crowes, and especially for fans’ support for the band.

Even so, Gorman did drop a couple of bombs.

On lead singer Chris Robinson’s demand that his brother Rich and Gorman give up their shares in the band, reducing Gorman to a salaried employee:

“There was no chance in a million years that would be agreed to.”


On Chris Robinson, in response to questions from co-host Jeffrey Gorman, his cousin, who worked for the Black Crowes for most of the ’90s:

“He was a great rock ‘n’ roll singer at one time and he wants to do something different, obviously. …  I can’t speak for what’s going through his mind. I can just tell you what he did, and I can tell you what the response was, and therefore there’s no more band. … You threw Axl Rose out there, I’d say just simply add a private education and a boatload of artistic pretense and there’s our boy.”


But Gorman, ever gracious, followed immediately with this:

“These things happen. Rock bands break up all the time.
We had a fantastic run. What are you gonna do?”

When was the last time you heard something like that, not run past publicists, not sanitized beyond comprehension, in the wake of a band’s breakup?

Don’t worry about Steve Gorman.

His radio show, Steve Gorman SPORTS! is that rare thing that deftly blends sports, music, comedy and social commentary, as it did Thursday. It airs and streams live from 5 to 7 p.m. Central. Highly recommended.

His band, Trigger Hippy, is starting to make a name for itself after almost five years together, on and off. Gorman calls it “a rock band that can jam.” I bought their debut record yesterday. (You can get the mp3 version of the LP for $5, much less than I paid for the vinyl, for a short time via Amazon.)

trigger hippy lp

“Rise Up Singing,” Trigger Hippy, from “Trigger Hippy,” 2014.

This is the lead cut, which pleasantly treads some familiar Americana/R&B/soul territory. That’s Gorman on drums and Joan Osborne on vocals, along with guitarist Tom Bukovac, guitarist/keyboard player Jackie Greene and bass player Nick Govrik.

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Filed under January 2015, Sounds

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