Thursday, September 07, 2006
Black cloud over the Crowes
Ford's departure was announced on Sept 5. by band manager Peter Angelus: "Yesterday, the Black Crowes were notified by Marc Ford's attorney that Marc was quitting...effective immediately. Two days before the start of the fall tour, which begins on Sept. 7, the Black Crowes' attorney received a fax from Marc Ford's attorney immediately terminating his agreement with the Black Crowes... I am not going to comment on the timing of this notification or the way Marc has elected to handle his personal and business affairs with the Black Crowes; however, I will state as a matter of fact that this is not the first time that Marc Ford (pictured at left) has breached his agreement with the Black Crowes."
Angelus added that Ford's contract requires he give four months' notice. He was replaced by Paul Stacey, who played guitar and co-wrote songs with Chris Robinson's solo band, New Earth Mud, in 2004. Stacey also mastered the band's upcoming double cd, The Lost Crowes, which is scheduled for a Sept. 26 release. It contains songs written between 1992 and 1994, such as "Wiser Time" and "Conspiracy."
Ford actually replaced Jeff Cease as the band's guitar player for their second and best album, 1992's Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. He played on Amorica and Three Snakes & a Charm before being fired by the band in 1997. Ford rejoined the Crowes in 2005 after the band's two-year hiatus.
Harsch's tenure with the band was much less contentious. He too joined the Black Crowes in 1992 for the Southern Harmony album. When I interviewed Chris Robinson for a High Times cover story that year, Harsch accompanied us as the designated joint roller. At one point during the interview, he asked me, "Is there anything new and organic that we haven't tried yet?"
On Aug. 29, the band simply stated that Harsch (pictured at right) left for "personal reasons." However, his replacement, Rob Clores (he's played with Rich Robinson, Jesse Malin, Southside Johnny and the John Popper Band), disclosed on his MySpace page that "my opportunity comes as the result of Ed's unfortunate circumstance. I have never met Ed, but I have the utmost respect and admiration for him - and I am truly saddened by his health situation. If the band could have its way Ed would still be there. Let's send positive vibes his way." He, nor anyone else close the band, has stated publicly that Harsch is suffering from a particularly ailment.
All of this turmoil comes just weeks after lead singer Chris Robinson and his movie-star wife Kate Hudson filed for divorce. Hudson is reportedly carrying on an affair with her You, Me and Dupree co-star Owen Wilson.
And who could forget my ugly spat with the Crowes over press ticketing. Bad karma is a bitch, right?