Chris Robinson made his way onto the Howard Stern Show this morning, and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood frontman didn’t pull any punches during his 75-minute interview. During his conversation with Stern, Robinson found time to criticize John Mayer, his brother and Black Crowes cofounder Rich Robinson, the current state of the Grateful Dead, and more. However, it was not all negative, as Robinson shared funny and affectionate anecdotes about Warren Haynes, Gregg Allman, and Robert Plant, among others. Chris Robinson also spoke about his upbringing, including his father as a musician, and at points, was joined by his wife, Allison.
To start off the interview, Robinson and Stern discussed Led Zeppelin and the guitarist’s relationship with Robert Plant over the years, particularly in attention to the fallout after naively revealing years ago that Steven Tyler and Robert Plant used backing tracks on tour and following The Black Crowes’ tour with Jimmy Page. The conversation took a more discrete turn later on, when Robinson shifted the conversation by saying, “Donald Trump is president, John Mayer’s in the Grateful Dead and my brother is in a Black Crowes tribute band.”
Stern prompted Robinson to elaborate on his thoughts on John Mayer, with Robinson eventually adding “I’m not a big John Mayer fan. Jerry Garcia is a hero of mine. Everything that Jerry Garcia ever talked about or stood for, John Mayer is the antithesis. . . . [Mayer] knows all the licks, there’s nothing unique about his playing. Jerry was one of the most unique musicians in the world. Jerry never played anyone else’s licks and now here’s John Mayer playing everyone else’s licks.” Robinson also noted that “the Grateful Dead has turned into this giant nipple that everyone sucks off of to get money.”
Robinson also reiterated his dislike of his brother, Rich Robinson, criticizing Rich’s songwriting skills. While Chris Robinson was more tempered in his feeling toward his other Black Crowes’ bandmates, he also stated that he would never perform with them again—even if the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
You can listen to the whole interview below, along with selected clips from the segment, including Robinson recounting meeting Warren Haynes and Gregg Allman and Allman’s less-than-enthusiastic greeting, below.
For a more positive feel-good palette cleanser, you can also read our interview with Chris Robinson and the Grateful Dead taper, Betty Cantor-Jackson, here.