The Black Crowes' Rich Robinson revealed that he and brother Chris needed to completely clean house and level the playing field in their musical and business interactions before finally reuniting. The brothers are currently in the midst of a brief two-man acoustic run, dubbed the “Birds Of A Feather” tour as they warm up for their upcoming 30th anniversary trek celebrating the Crowes' debut album, Shake Your Money Maker.
Younger brother Rich Robinson spoke to USA Today about reuniting with his brother for the first time since 2015, and looking back on the band's 1990 debut set, admitting, “I hadn't played guitar a long time before we started writing Shake Your Money Maker. I mean, I didn't start playing until I was 15. The cool thing is that Chris and I wrote all of those songs in my mom and dad's living room. I mean, I was 17 when I wrote the music (to) 'She Talks To Angels' and 19 when we recorded Shake Your Money Maker. In between those two years, Chris and I wrote all of the songs, recorded them on a little boombox that he had, that we sent out to (producer) George (Drakoulias).
What I like about it is you can tell we were honing our craft. We were focused on the songs, and to me, that's the gift. And I really like how direct it is. We were trying to merge (AC/DC's) Powerage and (the Rolling Stones') Exile On Main St., somehow. Two very rock n' roll albums with a very different approach for each.”
Rich spoke about how he and Chris defied the odds by reforming — in a way they maintain is both true and organic: “We just said, 'Look, the only way this is gonna work is if we continue to stay healthy, get along and speak to each other, and we don't have a scenario where people keep getting in our way and trying to pit us against each other. The only way to do that is to bring in all new people. No one from our past — no one in the crew, no one in management, no one in the band. It just has to be new. It has to stay positive.' We want to stay in each other's lives, and we both would love to make music again in the future.”
Rich Robinson played a key role in bringing it all back home for a slew of '80s-era guitarists that simply couldn't ride the hair band wave at the turn of the decade. We asked him about the gear he was using on the Shake Your Money Maker tour — which included some high profile gigs supporting Aerosmith: “I had, like, three guitars. I had a Tele(caster), a Les Paul, and then I bought a (Les Paul) Junior. So, either I bought a single-cutaway tobacco sunburst Junior, or it was T.V. yellow Standard. I didn't get a (Gibson) 335 until the end of (the) Moneymaker (tour). And, so, I remember, I got it and I used it for (The) Southern Harmony (And Musical Companion sessions). That's when. . . kind of, when I got home I got it and that was it. And so, yeah, on 'Hard To Handle' on (the) Aerosmith (tour), I remember I had that T.V. yellow Les Paul Special.”