I spent some time back east over the holidays, primarily catching up with family. It was a good ten days and I had a blast interacting with the mom, the sister, the brother, the nieces and nephews and, to a very small extent, the in-laws. My in-law face time was short, limited to a night spent with my sister-in-law and her husband…and her husband’s friend (from back west!) who was stuck in Atlanta for the night.
So, Jon and his friend are big time jam band fans. I mean, the kind that will travel across the country to see Widespread Panic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that whatsoever, but I just don’t get the jam. At least, not most of it. But when these guys are talking about the jam cruises they have been on, all I can think to myself is how horrible it would be to be trapped on a boat with a bunch of bands that are typically found pigeon-holed in that genre. Again, just not my thing, though there are-as always-exceptions.
One of those “well, that band is okay” bands predates the whole movement. Hell, the Allman Brothers are the godfathers of that scene, are more than okay and likely best the vast majority of those acts on a nightly basis. And as a guy who grew up in Florida, you couldn’t shake an orange tree without a southern rock band dropping to the ground. And in retrospect, yesterday’s “southern rock” bands would now be considered today’s “jam” bands.
However, I can say, with some amount of astonishment, that I have never seen the Allman Brothers. In any incarnation. Now, I have seen an Allman-twice-but it was not during Gregg’s better years. He was living in Florida (Daytona, maybe?) in the late 70’s/early 80’s, and would occasionally venture out to do a local club show here or private gig there. The two times I saw him were on consecutive 4th Of July parties that were held on a large piece of rural farm land outside of Leesburg, FL. Now, there really wasn’t anything going on in Leesburg in the late 70’s, and I highly doubt that has changed today. The area is better known to be down the road apiece from The Villages, a behemoth retirement community that is often advertised on cable television.
However, and somehow, this hippie-leaning husband and wife I came to know due to working at a Bonanza restaurant with the foxy female half of this couple (hey, it was the 70’s, so I can throw around the word “foxy”) invited me to a July 4th party on their property, telling me Gregg Allman was going to be playing. Word. So I show up and the place is littered with all kindsa central Florida outcasts, including a whole bunch of bikers. I believe I was 16 or 17 and the atmosphere was like nothing I had been around before. It was loose, it was fun, but it also had this underlying hint of danger. Sorry, it’s just hard to relax around bikers.
We waited for what seemed like forever for Gregg to hit the stage, with his own band of outcasts. Sadly, it didn’t take long for him to leave the stage as he was completely out of it. I think Gregg pretty much lived “out of it” during this period. So, it ended up being a short-lived show. But the couple actually got him to come back out the following year, and while he wasn’t sober, he was in good enough shape to actually serve up a full set of music. And ya know, it was pretty great.
This reminds me that I need to grab that new Gregg Allman record, produced by T-Bone Burnett. I love the fact that Gregg was so attached to, and was so respectful of, Tom Dowd, that he couldn’t even think of making a record with someone else. Tom Dowd. Now that’s a whole ‘nuther post that I’d love to get to some day. Anyway, someone hooked Gregg up with T-Bone and he found that there was someone else out there who felt music the same way he did. And that’s what I love about music. Well, it’s one of the things.
Seeing as how I missed posting anything yesterday, and seeing as how I have a pair of Allman Brothers records available, I’ll post ’em both. The first is the 1976 2LP live release of “Wipe The Windows, Check The Oil, Dollar Gas”. Not exactly thought of as a must-have Allmans selection, but this collection, cobbled together from a number of different shows, does have its moments. And I do have it cheap, a mere tenner will do it. Oh, and ignore the mis-spelling to sides (“sids”). Please?
Second item is the promo-only 12″ single of “Pegasus”, backed with “Can’t Take It With You” and “Blind Love.” It’s a super nice copy and you can find that here (albeit with another typo. I suck.)…