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Posts Tagged ‘Duane Allman’

Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman

“I’ve got to run to keep from hidin’
And I’m bound to keep on ridin'”

The 1973 reference is when the Allman Brothers were the biggest band in the country.  Duane had died two years before, but the band carried on, ate a peach, and emerged with the “Brothers and Sisters” album that was so prevalent we were all ramblin’ men and women.

Remember 1973…  scratch that, you probably weren’t even alive back then. The preoccupation of young males was the stereo shop on Saturday afternoon followed by some tuning of your ride.  Back in the day music used to be a commitment.  You actually had to step out of the house and go to your local store to buy the vinyl album.  After paying with hard earned cash you returned home to the Marantz amplifier and Advent speakers, dropped the Dual turntable needle and digested it.

America has a bit of an outlaw culture.   Boomers understand this as the great American pastime was to get in a vehicle or put some wind in the face and set off across this great country of ours, where no one knew where you were going, or where you were, which is exactly how you liked it, because we don’t really want to be boxed in, we want to be free.

So, today I’m driving north on the spot where all commuters know traffic grinds to a halt, pushing the buttons on the satellite radio and I hear “Midnight Rider.”   It’s the track that got all the airplay from the “Laid Back” album.  And I’m instantly transported back to that high-school swagger in art class with this playing in the background.  Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ve become a member of the over-the-hill gang.

Probably, but I’m past the point of caring.

Do we really have any choice but to keep on keepin’ on?  We keep on ridin’ because the road really does go on forever.  Around every bend are not only unforeseen potholes, but a lot of pleasures.  And just like the hopeful grooves in those old vinyl favorites they are as powerful today as it was back in 1973.

Older?  Yes.  Over the hill?  Hardly.

We’re still ridin’ and groovin’.  We’ve got the wind in our face, the power of music in us and no one is going to catch us midnight riders!

Original version of “Midnight Rider
Alternative version of “MidnightRider” with Vince Gill, Gregg Allman and Zac Brown

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

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Allman_Brothers

Allman Brothers Band

I was born in Georgia and “eat-a-peach” has always had a special meaning to me.

It was 38 years ago last week when Duane Allman kick-started his Harley-Davidson Sportster on an autumn evening in Macon, Georgia.

It had been only a couple months after the summer release and success of the At Fillmore East album which was one of the greatest and high-quality live performances ever recorded.  Stormy Monday (listen to it HERE) is the ultimate blues song.  Duane was taking a break from touring and recording while riding his motorcycle.  A few miles down the road, an oncoming Sam Hall & Sons construction truck was turning well in front of him, but suddenly stopped in mid-intersection and Duane clipped the rear end of the flatbed truck, sustaining fatal injuries. The lead guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band was dead on October 29, 1971 at age 24.

It’s easy to understand how this album is one of the all time great live performances with Gregg Allman’s gritty vocals and dual lead-guitars of Duane and Dickey Betts. The long improvisations on the album never get old.  It was also eerie when bass guitarist Berry Oakley who died in a similar motorcycle accident just 13 months later within 3 blocks of Duane Allman’s fatal accident. No matter what the circumstances, deaths in the world of rock and roll tend to be romanticized over the years and less to do with the tragedy than it does with having good memories.

Duane Allman was one of the most influential guitarists of our time and this post is to remember Skydog.

Photo courtesy of Def Jam Music Group.

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