I first got interested in Duane Allman after I got back from Austin City Limits in 2005. I got even more interested after I picked up the Anthology and Derek & The Dominos 20th anniversary of the Layla Sessions. More interested is kind of an understatement. He’s it. If I could only see one person from that past, he is it. If I could pick how, I would be an invisible fly on the wall in those D&D sessions. I wouldn’t want to disturb or alter anything going on in that room.
The liner notes got me to search out all the Delaney & Bonnie discs. I started with the ones with Duane, but I liked it so much I wanted all of them.
As I got more an more obsessed, I found out about the biography Skydog, but Randy Poe.
It’s a great biased history of Duane. I really enjoyed reading it last year. There’s a listing of all the cds he’s played on, since he did a lot of sessions work in Muscle Shoals. I continue to pick up a lot of those CDs over time. I have all the Delaney & Bonnie cds, even the ones without Duane. I hadn’t heard of them until I started this exploration, which got me more immersed in American Roots Music. I also have a few great Aretha discs from that period. I tend to explore the artist and not just the Duane CDs. I have a bunch of Herbie Mann CDs and really like them. I even got the Boz Scaggs disc, which is OK, not really something I needed at all. I would have been fine with just that song on the anthology.
Anyway, it’s a great book and a great way to learn about the history of ABB as well as Duane. It cleared up a lot, especially why they just play the old stuff. He was the brains and innovative one behind the whole thing. I can’t help but fantasize about what he could be doing right now, had he lived. I bet he would have taken music in many different directions over the years. I think he was definitely another Coltrane or Miles, who are in my top 5 of who else I wish I could travel back and see. The other 2 are Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.
Here’s what I wrote in Sept 2005, right after ACL. Since then, I’ve been to a number Beacon shows. I think I went to 3 in 2006 and 5 in 2007. I used to go to 1 or 2 sometimes in the years before. It’s fun to watch it evolve as the nights go on. I don’t know if I want to go at all if it’s not at The Beacon this year. We’ll see.
I now understand it’s this particular version of the band and one of the reasons I didn’t really like them before was because it was a different band in my earlier years.
I finally had my Allman Brothers moment. That 1 hour set was worth the whole trip. I never liked them, and never knew why. I became a Warren fan after those Phil shows, I’m not sure if I knew about him before that or not. I’ve been the Beacon a few times in the last few years and enjoyed the show. But, I couldn’t get past the commercialism. All that merch-pushing and the screen and the high ticket prices. I find the video they show at the Beacon is very distracting. My friends like it because “it makes them trip”. The only thing I have to say to that is that music stands on it’s own. No need for any distractions.
Well, that one hour, no screens, no commercialism, just excellent music. I found myself pondering how genius it is to even think to put Warren, Derek, Oteil and 3 drummers in one band. Pure genius! I needed to know the history. Found this, which explains a lot:
I can’t believe Duane died in 1971 and that the band with him only existed for a couple of years. The way he is talked about, I thought it was in the last 10 years or so and that he had played with them for a long time.
Now, I’m a real convert. I’m going to as many Beacon shows as I can, but not any big venues. I’ve got to get that Fillmore cd at lunch today.