Why ZZ Top Fired The Black Crowes on Tour
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories, we take a look at why ZZ Top fired the southern rock band The Black Crowes on Tour.
What’s going on my fellow rock n’ rollers. Don’t forget to hit the bell notification icon to be notified every time i put out a new video on my channel. The Black Crowes Singer Chris Robinson is never afraid to let his opinion be known even if it lands him in hot water. That’s exactly what happened when in the early 90’s his band The Black Crowes opened for The Texas Rockers ZZ Top and got fired from the tour. Stay tuned for the full story. At the beginning of the 90’s The Black Crowes were one of the hottest new bands having released their debut album 1990s Shake Your Moneymaker which spawned four big singles including their cover of Otis Redding’s 1968 song Hard to Handle,, She Talks to Angels, Jealous Again, Twice as Hard and Seeing Things. The band’s debut album was certified 5x platinum just in the United States by the middle of the decade and peaked at number 4 on the charts. Also bolstering the band’s image was their anti-establishment attitude, which also created headaches for them along the way. As part of the tour to support their debut album they landed a prime spot opening or the Texas trio ZZ Top in early 1991.. ZZ Top were out supporting their 1990 album Recycler which went platinum but failed to garner as much commercial success and fan fare as their previous releases Eliminator and Afterburner. The tour to support ZZ Top started in January and was supposed to go until May but unraveled halfway through. The Black Crowes claimed their dismissal had nothing to do with music, but rather business disagreements. The tour was scheduled to make a three date homecoming stand in Atlanta at the Omni Coliseum in Mid March, but after only two nights the black crowes were let go. Brothers Chris and Rich Robinson would appear on MTV’s Rockline to tell their side of the story and they pointed the finger at ZZ Top’s Manager Bill Ham. They claimed Ham was upset with remarks Chris had made on state criticizing ZZ Top for using corporate sponsors on their tour, more specifically Miller Brewing. According to the LA TImes who ran a piece about the dismissal in 1991 claimed That the band ran into trouble when ZZ Top’s management company Lone Wolf Productions who warned Chris to stop making statements between songs about corporate sponsorships. For example one of the lines Robinson told a crowd at a show was “This is live rock ‘n’ roll being brought to you commercial free.” The brothers would appear on MTV’s rockline immediately following their dismissal and discuss what happened as you can see here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSUGE… (2:40) Following the band’s dismissal ZZ Top’s management company issued a statement to the press that read This decision was arrived at entirely within this organization and not as has been suggested as a result of corporate pressure,” the company said in a statement released Tuesday. “Miller Brewing has been a partner in this tour since its inception and has been very accommodating to ZZ Top and has asked absolutely nothing of the opening acts which have appeared. It is out of a sense of common decency and courtesy coupled with a moral and ethical obligation that this action has been taken.” The Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson disputed these claims and even went on to say the band basically dared Miller to throw them off the tour telling Q Magazine in 1991 Miller said, ‘You don’t say that, and if you do, we’ll throw you off the tour.’ We said. ‘Hey, we don’t have a contract with you. We thought we were going on tour with ZZ. If you wanna throw us off, throw us off.’ And they did,” “Miller faxed ZZ, saying, ‘Get rid of them, we don’t want this press.’ ZZ had no idea themselves; it was their manager Bill Ham. He sees Miller giving them millions of dollars, and then sees those millions being pulled away if he doesn’t do something. So we were thrown off.” Of course since the firing happened in The Crowes home state of Georgia, the story quickly picked up steam and made up a lot of the band’s press coverage around this time. Both bands appeared to leave the tour unscathed as ZZ Top continued to tour with a variety of openers replacing the Black Crowes, most notably Bryan Adams. The Black Crowes meanwhile stayed on the road Q, Chris chalked the disagreement up to a generational divide. “I’m 24 years old, and this is the first year I’ve been doing it. We’re still angry and we’re still sexy and we’re still dangerous and still tryin