Gregg Allman, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, the incendiary group that inspired and gave shape to both the Southern rock and jam-band movements, died on Saturday at his home in Savannah, Ga. He was 69.
His publicist, Ken Weinstein, said the cause was complications of liver cancer.
If you were a Southern boy growing up in the sixties and seventies and you didn’t listen to The Allman Brothers Band — a lot — well, buddy, that made you a little different. Even a certain US President was known to do that.
Sure, the guitar play between Duane and Dickey was mesmerizing, but for me even more, it was that voice. From the first moment “yeah, yeah, yeah” came blasting out of my speakers on “Not My Cross To Bear”…
… I was stunned. How could a white kid sound so emotionally authoritative delivering the blues?
Beginning with a show at Georgia Tech, I saw the band more times than any other during my high school years. I remember the sadness I felt upon learning of Duane’s passing and the shock of Berry Oakley’s death the next year. Somehow it came out all right once I felt the comfort in the sound of Greg’s voice on Eat A Peach’s first cut.
I still remember Rolling Stone’s review of Eat A Peach, particularly the send off:
The Allman Brothers are still the best goddamned band in the land, and this record with three sides of “old” and one side of “new” is a simultaneous sorrowed ending and hopeful beginning. I hope the band keeps playing forever — how many groups can you think of who really make you believe they’re playing for the joy of it?
The spirit lived on. It still does. Rest easy, indeed.
This is the official music video of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”.
Consider this my apology for leaving the name that caption post up top all weekend.
Song ain’t half bad, either. Always loved that guitar.
We’re at the 47th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, one of the strangest events of my adolescence. I wasn’t politically aware at the time, but the news of killing four unarmed students on campus was unsettling to me, to say the least.
It inspired what The Guardian called “arguably the perfect protest song: moving, memorable and perfectly timed”, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Ohio”.
I think what really makes that song work is that Young wasn’t trying to change the world with it, so much as vent his anger. He’s right that it was the best thing he ever did with the group. It’s still a moving piece of work after all these years.
Continuing in the spirit of yesterday’s MPC, here’s Rick James as you’ve never heard him before.
Imagine, if you will, the Hokies entering Lane Stadium to the accompaniment of this version of “Enter Sandman”.
I went and saw The Zombies Saturday night at Variety Playhouse. The group, both in its current configuration and also in the one that brings together the four surviving members of the original group, are touring in support of the fiftieth anniversary of the recording of their second album, Odessey and Oracle.
That album is one of the more ill-fated stories of pop music. (Wikipedia has the back story here, if you’re interested.) Aside from the “group makes great record, then promptly disbands” part of it, the album itself is a minor miracle, given keyboardist and musical leader Rod Argent’s tendency towards stylistic self-indulgence (something that was on display in a rather up-and-down first set Saturday) combined with the surprising decision to let the group produce the album itself.
Happily, though, the final product was a taut effort, with not a single wasted note on twelve songs clocking in at a tick over thirty-five minutes. (If you’ve got the time and like late sixties British pop, give it a listen.) The band performs the album live virtually note for note, which made for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Anyway, the album may be obscure, but it was the source of the group’s monster hit, “Time of the Season”, which was recorded in 1967, released as a single six months later and became a chart success in 1969. It sounded as great the other night as it did the first time I heard it on the radio.
UPDATE: Talk about your small world.
(Sixty one years ago today), Elvis Presley appeared on ABC-TV’s ‘The Milton Berle Show’ live from the flight deck of the USS Hancock in San Diego, California. He performed ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ It was estimated that one out of every four Americans saw the show.