Tuneage Tutelage - The Allman Brothers - Part 3

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Thursday, October 02, 2008


You can read Pt.1 HERE
You can read Pt.2 HERE

2008 - (L-R)Jaimoe, Marc, Butch, Greg, Derek, Oteil, Warren

The Allman Brothers had to pick themselves up after the double tragedy. It was the end of 1972 and they were in the middle of recording their next studio album Brothers & Sisters. Lamar Williams was asked to join the group to take over for Berry.

Dickie became the unofficial band leader at this point and contributed more music to this album. "Ramblin' Man" hit the Billboard charts and rocketed to the #2 position and the 7-minute instrumental "Jessica" became an FM radio staple. These two songs were the catalyst for national recognition and the band's popularity exploded.

The band was one of the to concert draws in the country now, selling out arenas from coast to coast. On July 28, 1973 the Allman Brothers joined with The Grateful Dead and The Band in Watkins Glen, NY for what was billed as Summer Jam. It was a one day concert attended by 600,000 people including the author of this Tutelage. The concert entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest pop concert (since eclipsed). It was a day filled with incredible music and comradely for the fans and for the bands.

Although the concert was scheduled to start on July 28th, thousands of music fans were already at the concert site on the 27th. Robbie Robertson of the Band requested to do a sound check, but was perplexed that so many people were sitting in front of the stage. Bill Graham allowed the sound check with the crowd of people in front, and the Band ran through a few numbers to the delight of the audience. The Allman Brothers Band did their sound check next, playing "One Way Out" and "Ramblin' Man". The Grateful Dead's legendary sound check turned into a two set marathon, featuring their familiar tunes such as "Sugaree", "Tennessee Jed" and "Wharf Rat".

The Dead played first for over 3 hours. The Band took the stage for a 2-hour set - which was interrupted by a thunderstorm - and then The Allman's did a 3-hour set. Finally all three bands jammed for about 2 hours.

The success of the Allman Brothers also resulted in the rise to prominence of other Southern Rock Bands including Charlie Daniels, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band (who were given national exposure as the opening act for the Allman brothers during the 1973 tour to promote Brothers & Sisters).

On New Year's Eve, 1973, The Allman Brothers played the Cow Palace in San Francisco and concert promoter Bill Graham had the show broadcast nationwide on the radio. It was a three set evening with guests such as Jerry Garcia and Boz Scaggs.

Throughout the early 70's the members of the Dead and the Allman's would show up to guest at each others concerts.

Moving into 1974, turmoil began to raise it's ugly head within the band. Both Gregg and Dickie began solo careers. Gregg had his infamous on again, off again marriage to Cher and drugs were taking a large part of both Gregg and Dickie's time away from their creativity.

In 1975 the band released Win, Lose or Draw and it was mainly a lose proposition. Band members recorded their parts separately or on some tunes members did not even appear. The Road Goes On Forever was also released that year and did not sell well.

In 1976, Gregg was arrested on federal drug charges and turned states evidence on the band tour manager John "Scooter" Herring. Dickie went to concentrate on his solo career and Chuck Leavell, Lamar and Jaimoe all formed a jazz fusion band Sea Level. The members swore they would never work with Gregg again.

Capricorn Records tried to keep the band alive, releasing the live album Wipe The Windows, Check The Oil, Dollar Gas, which also did not sell well, though I personally think it is a good history of where the band was at. It contains recordings made at different venues between December 1972 and October 1975.

In 1978 the band worked out their differences and reformed with new members Dan Toler on guitar replacing Chuck's keyboards and David "Rook" Goldflies replacing Lamar on bass. The band released Enlightened Rogues and it was well received by the fans.

"Can't Take It With You"

There was not a ton of success in airplay though. The band had lost it's edge and financial problems plagued both the band and their record label Capricorn, which was built on the foundation of the Allman's. In 1979 Capricorn collapsed and the band signed with Arista Records.

Reach For The Sky (1980) and Brothers of the Road (1981) were both utter failures and the band fired Jaimoe before disbanding once more in 1982.

Gregg formed the Gregg Allman Band with Dan Toler and his brother Frankie on drums and began touring small venues and clubs. Dickie, Chuck, Butch and Goldflies formed the cumbersomely named Betts Hall Leavell Trucks Band (BHLT for short).

Neither band had even a nibble from the record companies and BHLT broke up in 1984.

In 1986 the Allman Brothers band reunited once more for a pair of benefit concerts for Bill Graham held in New York and Macon, GA. Allman, Betts, Truck, Jaimoe,Leavell and Dan Toler performed at these. The following year the Gregg Allman Band and the Dickie Betts band co-headlined a series of theatre and club shows. Each band would play a set and then Betts, Allman and the Toler brothers would play a set of Allman music.

In 1990 Epic Records signed both Gregg and Dickie to solo contracts. Gregg had the hit "I'm No Angel" that year and the band followed with the album Just Before The Bullets Fly in 1988. The Dickie Betts Band released the album Pattern Disruptive in 1988 and it did not cause a huge stir.

In 1989 the band reformed and the people began to take notice once more. This was helped by the release of archival material by Polygram Records (which bought the music when Capricorn folded), Gregg's FM success as a solo artist and the band playing a round of outdoor summer concerts.

It also helped that the band enlisted the services of great guitar player Warren Haynes, Johnny Neel on keyboards and harmonica and an excellent bassist, Allen Woody, who joined Gregg, Dickie, Jaimoe and Butch. The band had the stuff with Haynes being a much more accomplished guitarist that Toler.

The band did a 20th Anniversary tour and at the end signed a contract with Epic Records a better fit for the band than Arista could ever be.

Neel left the band and Marc QuiƱones was added as a percussionist.

The band released two critically acclaimed albums Shades Of Two Worlds (1991) and Where It All Begins (1994). In between three live archival albums were released that also helped to generate more buzz; the incredible Live At Ludlow Garage:1970(1991), The Fillmore Concerts (1992)and Evening With The Allman Brothers Band (1992).

In 1995 the original Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and in 1996 they won The Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for "Jessica"

Haynes and Woody had been working with a side project, Gov't Mule for 2 years and in 1997 decided to concentrate full time on that project. Haynes was replace for a short time by Jack Pearson and Woody by Oteil Burbridge.

In 1999, Derek Trucks, nephew of drummer Butch, replaced Pearson on guitar.

Sometime in 2000 Dickie Betts was forced out of the band for "personal and professional reasons". Unfortunately Betts' drug habit had gotten out of control and there were nights he could hardly stand up on stage to play. Betts responded with a lawsuit and the split became permanent. For the summer 2000 tour Jimmy Herring was brought in to replace Betts.

That summer, bassist Allen Woody was found dead in a Queens, N.Y., hotel room on Saturday Aug. 26, 2000; he was 44. The exact cause of his death was not determined.

Also that year the band released Peakin' At The Beacon, a salute to the concerts the band gives annually at the 2900-seat Upper West Side Beacon Theater in NYC. Since 1989 the band has played over 200 shows at this venue and is know as the "Beacon Run".

Also in 2000 Warren began appearing with the band more and more frequently and rejoined full-time in 2001 while he continued to play and tour with Gov't Mule. The prolific guitarist also toured with the reformed Dead in 2004. With Haynes return came a new found desire for stability and productivity.

In 2003 the band release Hittin' The Note which garnered huge fan and critical acclaim. Also that year the DVD Live At The Beacon was released and was certified Platinum the following year. In 2004 another album chronicling the Beacon Runs, One Way Out was released.

In 2003 and 2004 the Allman's received Grammy nominations in the category of Best Rock performance of "Instrumental Illness" which appeared on Hittin' The note and the DVD.

In 2003 Duane (#2 behind Jimi), Warren (#23), Dickie (#58) and Derek (#81 and the youngest on the list) were all named in Rolling Stone MAgazine's listing of the 100 best guitarists. This list has many problems in it and it will be a subject of an upcoming post.

Obviously the band continues to tour today with the same lineup for the last 5 years and have built upon their reputation as being an incredible live performance.

I hope I kept your attention for the last three days. Tomorrow we will post more music and some other general information facts about the band. This is the longest Tuneage Tutelage I have ever done and you must know it as a total labor of love. The entire thing took over 10 hours of research to endure the facts and aother 6-8 hours of writing it all to present to you.

I am curious if this was too specific a Tutelage and if shorter ones are more appreciated.

My list for continuing these grows and I love presenting them, if you, my special guests, do also.

I will leave you with my absolute favorite tune, one I have presented before and (I will warn you) a long one. From the Fillmore Concerts, released on Eat A peach, this is "Mountain Jam"

Resources: wikipedia; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Allman Brothers Band web site; The book, “Skydog – the Duane Allman Story” given to me by my friend TurnBaby; My own knowledge of this band.

15 Of Your Sparks

  1. Schmoop Says:
  2. Oh for all that is holy and good...Please, no more Allman Brothers. ; ) Cheers Vinny!!

  3. MATT-MAN: Suck it up dude...stop whining

  4. I loved it. The answer to your question depends on how much you like/know the band. I've always liked them, kew most of the high (& low) points, but not in this detail. So for me it was all good...

  5. Yah Matt, suck it up! Cause the Allman's own =)

    That list does blow, Vinny. I am looking forward to your post.

  6. Jay Says:
  7. Dude, you could be the Allman's official biographer!

  8. BUD: Thanks ...I am always wondering if I am going too indepth...ah hell...I ain't gonna stop!

    STARRLIGHT: Give him hell Starr...

    JAY: Thanks...but all I do is regurgitate known facts...I do enjoy it even when I have to brush my teeth again!

  9. Tiggerlane Says:
  10. I love the Allman's. Totally. And I thought naming their album "Eat a Peach" was a brilliant move.

    My husband actually took care of Gregg Allman in a Florida hospital back in the day...he was strung out, and even though hubby was a fan, it make him sick to see Gregg in that condition.

  11. Dianne Says:
  12. I don't really like the Allman's but I think this level of research is amazing and you make anything/everything interesting

    I have a 'thingie' for you over at my blog :)

  13. Anonymous Says:
  14. Vinny.....Thank You for that!

  15. TIGGER: It was brilliant..and that is cool/sad that your husband had to see him that way

    DIANNE: Ah shucks...glad you enjoyed even if not a fan

    MICKEY: You are very welcome Sir.

  16. Bar Says:
  17. fantastic, killer post. You know I love these guys! Its so good to know they are still out there bringing the music!

  18. BARBARA: Glad you enjoyed it...and they are

  19. Travis Cody Says:
  20. I think it depends on the band. The Allmans have such a long history that it takes a little more time to go through it. Plus, we know how special the band is to you so we cut you some slack.

    I don't think every band needs 3 days though. Some don't need any more than 3 lines! HA!

    You did good on this one.

  21. TRAVIS: I certainly don't think there is another out there that I would devote this much time to..thanks for the slack and glad you enjoyed.

  22. Excellent post!! I'm a die hard ABB fan. I was fortunate to see the ABB in Milwaukee in 2000.They put out a great show! Unfortunately,no Dickey Betts:(


Music On The Couch