Steve Gorman (far left) is best known for his 20-plus years as drummer for The Black Crowes. He's been a guest drummer on various projects, including on the track “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” on Warren Zevon’s final album, “The Wind.” Gorman left The Crowes in late 2001 to pursue other avenues — including a stint on the road drumming for the U.K. band Stereophonics — but in 2005 returned the nest with the re-formed Black Crowes. Perhaps less well known is Gorman’s “obsessive devotion to watching (and arguing about) sports,” which his biography credits as his secret to staying sane on the road. A bit of the drum-beating pundit’s sense of humor shines through here, as he shares the 10 albums that changed his life.
The Bee Gees
Two Years On
The first album I ever owned: I won it as a door prize at a basketball game when I was 5. My life changed immediately as I decided that music was pretty much all that mattered. Thank you, Gibb brothers.
Meet The Beatles
The holy trinity — a three-tiered gift of desperation from an older brother, who was sick of my endless playing of The Bee Gees. The first time I heard “Ticket To Ride” was also the first time I ever played the air drums. My love of Ringo’s drumming started at that moment and has only grown over the past 40 years. Listening through these three albums back to back to back led me directly into a seven-year Beatles tunnel (including solo albums) that I didn’t snap out of until I went to see that god-awful “Sgt. Pepper” movie starring, of course, The Bee Gees.
Earth, Wind & Fire
All 'N All
Thanks to the aforementioned movie, I got my first good look at Earth, Wind & Fire. The costumes, fog, lights and space-age transport tubes that served as a stage delivery system sent me running to the record store. I listened to “Serpentine Fire” about 48 times before I even got to the second song on the album. I worked backwards through their catalog quickly, and, to this day, I’m never more than three drinks away from launching into a Philip Bailey falsetto medley.
Are We Not Men?
I saw Devo on “Saturday Night Live” in 1978. I was confused and excited by whatever the hell they were doing. It didn’t make sense, but I wanted in on whatever they were selling. I am happy to say that for a brief period of time, my two favorite bands were Devo and Earth, Wind & Fire.
I saw U2 on the Tom Snyder late-night show and loved them immediately. They were the first band I ever loved that I didn’t feel intimidated by — that is, I saw them play and I saw them interviewed, and I felt like maybe I could do that, too.
I love rock ’n’ roll music because of The Bee Gees and The Beatles, but I initially became a musician because of R.E.M. What U2 started, R.E.M. finished. I saw them many times throughout the ’80s, and I left every show with a burning desire to get a band together. This album, which has very few decipherable lyrics and is cloaked with such a mysterious and cloudy production, still makes me feel like a college freshman anytime I hear it. So interesting, and weird, and probably the album I have listened to straight through more than any other. (Suffice it to say that I had a lot of free time in 1983.)
I bought by first drum kit in 1987, and at the same time, started listening to Led Zeppelin. I am not sure how I had missed them along the way, but discovering Bonham just as I began drumming was both a blessing and a curse — an eternal source of inspiration and frustration. From the first listen, his playing made perfect sense to me. I remember thinking that those drums were what drums were supposed to sound like, his feel was how drums were supposed to feel. I felt a very deep and immediate connection to his drumming and to Led Zeppelin in general. Better late than never.
The Black Crowes
Shake Your Money Maker
Our first album. I had only been playing for two years when we started pre-production, and I was fairly certain that I would be replaced once everyone figured out that I had no idea what I was doing. I got through it, somehow, and I remember very clearly the day it was released. I was still working a job in a record store in Atlanta, and I stocked the bins with my own album. To see it in the “B” section along with The Bee Gees and The Beatles was all I ever needed to die happy. Everything after that day was cake.