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Rich Robinson Announces the Black Crowes Have Officially Broken Up

The Black Crowes
Matt Kent, Getty Images

This was not the news we wanted to hear. In an update on his official Facebook page tonight (Jan. 15), guitarist and founding member of the Black Crowes, Rich Robinson, announced that the band is breaking up.

“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 says. “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.”

This announcement may not be a huge surprise to fans as the Crowes have been on a hiatus since December 2013 (their last show was on Dec. 14, 2013 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco), and it wasn’t long ago that longtime drummer Steve Gorman said he didn’t think new Crowes music would happen anytime soon. “The likelihood of us doing anything again is as low as it’s ever been,” he admitted last year.

Still, the news is extremely disappointing considering the impact the Crowes have made on their fans and the fact that their influence is clearly heard throughout rock and roll as we know it today.

It’s also disappointing why the Crowes are calling it quits. As Rich explains about his brother and frontman, Chris, “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-percent of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to.”

Rich wraps up his thoughts: “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.”

There are always two sides to every story — and with this one, there may be a lot more — but Chris has yet to make any official announcement regarding the Crowes or his brother’s remarks. Though, in an interview earlier this week, he wasn’t exactly optimistic about the future of the band. “I’m super proud of what the Black Crowes accomplished and a little bit sad that we couldn’t have accomplished more,” he told Smashing Interviews. “Sad that not everyone could get together on the music and be in a groove and figure out the next play. On the other hand, that’s the way things happen.”

The Black Crowes’ debut album, 1990’s ‘Shake Your Money Maker,’ has sold more than five million copies. Since that release, they’ve given fans eight more studio albums, including 2010’s double acoustic compilation, ‘Croweology.’

While we all keep our fingers crossed that the brothers Robinson can reconcile, in the meantime, take a trip with us back to a better time — 1990, when the Crowes made their network TV debut with David Letterman:

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Next: The Black Crowes’ ‘Amorica,’ 20 Years Later

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