SKF NOTE: Former Alabama drummer Mark Herndon says, “Nobody held a gun at my head…,” but this tale of Herndon’s “non-person” status with the group is troubling. And lead singer Randy Owen’s comments about Herndon to a newspaper reporter make him sound like an insensitive jackass.
This is not the first time I’ve heard stories on in-fighting within popular bands, but such stories almost always cause me to cringe. And the story plots usually hinge on one band member being convinced by management and hangers-on that he/she is the real star of the group while the other bandmembers are easily replaceable.
It’s a great lesson for everyone thinking seriously of going into the music business.
Former Alabama Drummer Describes Conflict Inside the Band
The former drummer of country band Alabama is speaking out about his rocky relationship with the group’s other members over the years.
Mark Herndon’s new book, The High Road: Memories from a Long Trip, looks back on the many years spent on the road with the legendary band and what led to his eventual departure.
[Herndon] was not considered an “official” member of the band. Lead singer Randy Owen told the Tennessean in 2013 that the decision to include Herndon on album covers and in public appearances was decided by their record label.
“They wanted the four (members) so they could compare it to the Beatles,” Owen said. “I never thought anything about it, because everybody knew Mark had nothing to do with the structure with Alabama. He didn’t play on the albums. He was just on the stage with us, as were several other people. Had we been smart enough, there never would have been four people in the pictures.”
However, no one from Sony Music has publicly corroborated these claims. In The High Road, Herndon…says he was banished from the band’s tour bus, …paid a much lower salary than his bandmates due to his contractual agreement.
“Nobody held a gun at my head and told me to stay there,” he says.