Classic Rock

Chris Robinson Gives His Side Of The Story When ZZ Top Fired Them

todayMarch 23, 2024 1

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Chris Robinson, the lead singer of The Black Crowes, recently shared a memorable experience from his band’s journey – the day they were fired by ZZ Top. Speaking with Jimmy Fallon about their new music release after 15 years, Robinson delved into the past during a late-night show. Fallon surprised Robinson with a letter from his teenage years that detailed the band’s dismissal from their tour with ZZ Top.

A Strategic Maneuver for Independence

Robinson recalled the incident, revealing an intriguing tactic that played a role in their departure. When asked if he remembered the moment, Robinson casually replied,

“Yes, of course I do. It was like we were fired. But you know what? It worked in our favor because, well, I’m great friends with Billy Gibbons many years later.”

The reason behind the dismissal unfolded as Robinson narrated the events:

“It was in Atlanta. We were playing the Omni, the old arena there. And they had Miller beer banners since ZZ Top was sponsored by them. We were hardcore about our independence and rock ‘n’ roll. We’d go out there, ‘We don’t sing for this,’ and they were like, ‘If you keep it up, we’re going to throw you off the tour.’ And I did it.”

This stance on corporate sponsorship and maintaining their integrity led to inevitable consequences. Robinson explained how they strategically manipulated the situation:

“We manipulated the situation a little bit because it was in Atlanta, our hometown. We were doing the cover story for Rolling Stone magazine, and there were two shows, and we were like, ‘Don’t –‘ But David Fricke’s coming the second night. ‘Don’t get thrown off the first night. Get thrown off the second night.’”

The Fallout and Future

Despite the sudden end to their tour partnership, The Black Crowes and ZZ Top never shared a stage again. Robinson and his brother, Rich Robinson, disclosed their side of the story in an interview three years ago. They attributed the split to ZZ Top’s manager, Bill Ham, expressing dissatisfaction with Chris’s on-stage comments and the band’s critique of corporate involvement in the tour.

Following their departure from the tour, The Black Crowes pursued their artistic endeavors individually, while ZZ Top continues to captivate audiences with their distinct sound. As ZZ Top prepares for their upcoming tour without opening acts, fans eagerly await the spectacle that commences on June 28, culminating on July 16.

In conclusion, the tale of The Black Crowes’ expulsion from the ZZ Top tour serves as a reminder of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit and the delicate balance between artistic integrity and commercial partnerships in the music industry.

For a more detailed account of the story of the Black Crowes and ZZ Top, watch the insightful interview with Chris Robinson below:

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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