Last week, my friends the Black Crowes were in town for a couple of shows. Good times were had and reminiscing were done by all. Hilarity took place before each show (most of which can’t be repeated here). When their road manager came in to tell them that they had five minutes till show time, I turned to the band and said- “Guess I will go home now- nothing you do on stage can beat that conversation!’ Steve, the drummer replied “Yeah, it’s all downhill from here.”
I first heard about them from Chuck Leavell, the keyboard player for the Stones. Sitting around after a show on the Steel Wheels Tour, Chuck told me about this band from Atlanta who’s record he had just played on, and told me to see them when they came to Chicago. So, four months later, hearing that they were coming to town, I set up a photo shoot. A few days before the show, I got a phone call from my friend Keith Van Horne (Chicago Bears 1985 Super Bowl team). Keith: “Have you ever heard of a band called the Black Crowes?” So I invited him to join me for the show. We arrived at the club and I introduced myself and Keith to the band, and we went out to the back of the club and did a photo shoot.
They kept staring at Keith, and when we were done, Chris said, “Man, I have never seen such a large photo assistant!!” (Keith is 6’7’ tall and over 300 pounds. I explained who he was and we all became fast friends. After the show, we walked back to the dressing room, and Chris said, “You guys are from Chicago- take us to a real blues club.” So I piled them in my car and we went to see Sunnyland Slim. They still talk about that night- last week Chris described that night exactly!
I have watched them grow as a band, and as people, for the last 23 years, and this week was one of the best shows I have ever heard them do.
Over the last few years, they have added an outside guitar player to the mix. For the last couple of tours, Luther Dickenson of the North Mississippi All Stars was the second guitarist. This year they added Jackie Greene, a young guitarist from Central California, who had come over to my house for a photo shoot when he was about 16 years old.