Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tune of the Day - Allman Brothers Band

This is a rare 'oldie but goodie' from the Fillmore East ballroom in New York. The Allman Brothers Blues Band, knocking out Greg Allman's 'Whipping Post' in jam style. There was never, and never will be a band to compare with the Allmans. This performance was one that I think was included on the famous 'Live at Fillmore East' double album. Duane Allman hits a couple of bum notes towards the end.

Band leader Duane Allman, at that time, was making a name for himself as THE premier session guitar player in the rock milieu, going on to support Clapton on the Layla album. On this one, he duels with Dickey Betts who after a couple of years eventually assumed the leadership of the band, after the death of Duane (age 24) within a few months of this being recorded.

Little brother Greg Allman, who wrote this song to ask his brother to get off his back, was a competent vocalist and organist, but a real screwup; He even married Cher in the mid-70s; The marriage was dissolved after about a week, when Cher figured out just how much heroin Greg was on.

As well as the guitar battle, the two drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks seem to be having a rare old war, but always keeping perfect time. Jaimoe had a big jazz background, so it is obvious that he is leading and Butch is watching him for the changes.
The 2 drummer thing is interesting - later copied by the 'Doobie Brothers', 'Steely Dan' and 'Adam and the Ants'!

Heavy bassist Berry Oakey died one year after Duane in a similar motorcycle accident. This threw the 'brothers' into further chaos but they regrouped and released occasionally good music throughout the 70s.

One thing about the ABBB was that they never sunk to Lowest Common Denominator levels by parading around as a 'good old boy, Dixie-whistling' southern band, like semi-racists Lynyrd Skynyrd, who followed in their trail.

Anyhoo, they are back together these days (Greg, Jaimoe, Butch), with Butch Truck's nephew Derek doing the Duane Allman lead & slide guitar role, to great acclaim. Hope they come to Europe some day...

Here is one of the most recent appearances, live on Letterman:

Jayzus - look at the hair on them. Wouln't want to be the cleaner who has to do the shower after this mob has been and gone!

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