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Author: Subject: Skydog book - nice one Randy...

True Peach



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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 10:04 PM
quote:
P.S. And I KNOW Duane was a very "spiritual" guy --- I just wondered where he got his early religious Sunday schooling.


Gosh -- in the stuff I've read & learned about Duane over the years, I don't recall anything about the fact that he was a religious person, in the Christian, church-going sense.
We do know of his well known quote, however, that "we're spreading a religion here" in reference (I had always thought) to the music his band was playing -- however, since he is wearing a cross in the photo, perhaps he did quietly make a point of prayer every day, or read from the Scriptures/go to church every Sunday -- indeed, at the end of the 6/26/71 concert at the Fillmore, Butch recalls Duane looking out at the crowd leaving in blissful silence, stunned at what they had just witnessed, with the morning light shining through the doors -- and saying, "Godamn, it's like leaving church."

Well -- religion is a subjective thing I guess -- all I know is some wonderful (& indeed, spiritual) sentences have been posted recently, particularly Buppalo1's observations posted at 10:43 AM this morning, and also the sentence posted yesterday by Asa on another thread in Duane's forum, which many have said should be etched in stone (I don't recall the specific wording).

[Edited on 12/27/2006 by Stephen]

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 07:38 PM
Hi, Bigann,

Sorry if I was unclear. I was referring more to those who either take stuff away (such as Yoko Ono squeezing Julian Lennon out of the picture) or the kinds of folks who have essentially made it much more work for Galadrielle and other descendants to benefit from their predecessors' legacies. I wasn't referring to legitimate overseers.

The coldest example I can think of was Colonel Tom Parker. Supposedly when he heard that Elvis had died, he commented something to the effect that Elvis was worth more to Tom dead than alive.

Billastro

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 07:03 PM
Yes, you are being a little too cynical. People leave estatest to heirs every day. If someone you love created a gadget that he or she put a lot of work into creating and then left you the patent, do you think you'd appreciate everyone taking away your rights to exploit it?

As with music, and I speak here from experience, it's a life's work....it's what a person's legacy is to his or her family. I have song copyrights I want to leave to my children...they're not making much money now, but maybe one day....and perhaps the money will come when one of them needs it for an operation or something else to make life better. Johnny has invested his life into his music. It's how he makes a living...it's his legacy to his family. It's what he would leave to me to live on if he passes first. It's his savings account.

For someone to come along and profit off of another's work is not right...and it's not being a vulture to want to oversee the legacy. If someone left you some money, would you sit back and do nothing while someone else spent it on a new car for themselves maybe while you were having to use public transportation? It's the same principle and I don't understand why people don't understand it.

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 06:51 PM
quote:
First, I point out that the writer of the quote was trying in a round about way to say Donna and Duane were divorced without saying it.

However, addressing your specific question....Galadrielle has, over the years, had to litigate to obtain the royalties that are rightfully hers as Duane's heir. I'm not certain if Universal is the record company that distributes the Layla album, but if it is, then she has been in years long litigation to recover monies the record company has refused to pay for Duane's work. The original record company paid Duane's estate for the work, however when that label was absorbed by the current one, the current one refused to pay claiming Duane wasn't entitled to payments.

Hers has been a life long battle to protect Duane's name and image from those who would unrightfully profit from both. It's not an uncommon story when a celebrity dies, just a really sad and frustrating one.




Or am I being too cynical about the owners of artists' rights, and their relationships with the heirs?

Billastro

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 04:37 PM
First, I point out that the writer of the quote was trying in a round about way to say Donna and Duane were divorced without saying it.

However, addressing your specific question....Galadrielle has, over the years, had to litigate to obtain the royalties that are rightfully hers as Duane's heir. I'm not certain if Universal is the record company that distributes the Layla album, but if it is, then she has been in years long litigation to recover monies the record company has refused to pay for Duane's work. The original record company paid Duane's estate for the work, however when that label was absorbed by the current one, the current one refused to pay claiming Duane wasn't entitled to payments.

Hers has been a life long battle to protect Duane's name and image from those who would unrightfully profit from both. It's not an uncommon story when a celebrity dies, just a really sad and frustrating one.

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 03:42 PM
quote:
Donna was no longer considered Duane's wife at the time of his death. Otherwise, the courts would have named Donna and Galadrielle both as heirs to the estate, as opposed to just Galadrielle. When Galadrielle sued Universal Music Group, she did so as the "sole heir of the estate of Duane Allman."

Can someone patiently explain the above to me? I've looked for an
explanation and perhaps I've missed it. What exactly were the circum-
stances surrounding Galadrielle sueing Universal Music....and what was she hoping to gain from this?

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 01:45 PM
Charlesinator (and anyone else interested): Please read my post carefully,
"...I've just always hoped (and I don't want to start anything here) that, in line with my beliefs, he was "saved"..."

At no time have I judged, accused, condemned, compared myself to, agonized over, or worried about ANYONE's salvation other than my own. For that matter, I didn't even claim to be a Christian in my post. I thought when I was first typing it that there are some people out there who will jump on this if I'm perceived as evangelizing or judging, so I tried to word it as innocently as possible.

It all started with an innocent question to Randy about something I've wondered about occasionally in the last 20 years (since I was "saved" in my early 30's), and I figured he was the go-to-guy who'd have an answer.
I never desired to start a theological debate or scripture-quoting contest in this forum.

P.S. And I KNOW Duane was a very "spiritual" guy --- I just wondered where he got his early religious Sunday schooling.

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 12:10 PM
DobroDen, as Christians or as people trying to be Christians, we probably should be worrying more about whether WE are saved rather than whether somebody else who is dead was saved. According to the Bilble in Matthew 6:25-34 we shouldn't spend our time worrying too much anyway or at least certainly about things over which we have no power. Oh yeah Matthew Chapter 7 has some good advice on "judging others" which is borderline what "Christians" or people trying/pretending to be Christians do when they roll out the "saved" spiel guilt trip on others (or themselves?). Hey I love Duane as much as anybody, but I do love Jesus Christ more. Whether or not brother Duane is in heaven shouldn't color in the slightest a real Christian's desire to get there. I'm sure whoever they have on guitar in the angel band is pretty good.

 

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  posted on 12/26/2006 at 11:43 AM
We know that, somewhere inside him, existed spiritual songs like Will the Circle Be Unbroken and Joy to the World, because they manifested through his guitar when he let his spirit flow through his music. As the music of Coltrane and T-Bone became part of the mix inside him, so did some spiritual music, FWIW.
 
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  posted on 12/24/2006 at 06:48 PM
Saved or not, I beleive we're all God's children and have no doubt we'll hear him play again one day on the other side. With all the friends and family who have made their transition....it's gotta be one heck of a jam session going on!!!

 

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  posted on 12/24/2006 at 06:29 PM
Randy, thank you for your answer; it was pretty much what I expected. If anyone, Gregg (or Mama A) might know if he went (& where) to sunday school as a lad. I know he (Duane) seemed to have a grasp of some Bible concepts, played some hymns & gospel music, & was very well read, especially Tolkien, whose work had Christian undertones.
I guess it was just something I've been curious about all these years... I know he had a good heart (and great ears & hands). I've just always hoped (and I don't want to start anything here) that, in line with my beliefs, he was "saved". My motives are not entirely unselfish; I'm hoping to hear him in the next life (and a lot of other great musicians passed).
I know Duane never saw himself as a "messiahnic" figure or starting a new religion; he seemed too humble for that. His pride & ego only seemed to show when it came to his music, & there's nothing wrong with that.
That whole "new religion" thing didn't start 'til after he passed.

 

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  posted on 12/24/2006 at 01:44 AM
There are a lot of intentional religious overtones in the book. One of the most obvious is the "Epiphany" chapter, where I talk about the Magi bearing the gift and Duane being there to receive it. I also used a lot of quotes by Butch that were laced with those kinds of references: "Duane had given us the religion, and we were going to keep playing it.'' Butch also said, "Spirituality has to be there or it isn't music." And picking up on those cues, toward the end of the book I was making an obvious reference to Moses when I wrote, "After wandering for years in the wilderness, with the formation of the Allman Brothers Band Duane could deliver the musical message he had been carrying in his soul."

From what I have heard, I don't belive Duane ever considered himself the leader of any religion....I believe he just played the music and people found God listening to it. Certainly Johnny has never mentioned any affiliation he was aware of.

 

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  posted on 12/23/2006 at 12:27 PM
I think it's ironic, amusing even, that the ABB considered calling themselves Beelzebum and the Grateful Dead were once the Warlocks. Does anybody know if members of the two bands knew each other during these formative periods?

 

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  posted on 12/23/2006 at 07:50 AM
A review of the book from last Sunday's Tennessean (Nashville's daily paper)

http://tinyurl.com/yzfo55

My favorite part of the review: "Throughout 'Skydog', Poe aptly describes the music played by Duane and the Allman Brothers, along with the guitarist's memorable appearances on other artists' records (including Derek and the Dominos' 'Layla'). With his precise language, the Allmans' songs come alive."

DobroDen, you ask an excellent question about Duane's potential religious affiliations. It was something I was interested in too. (That sort of thing is unavoidable when you're the son of a Southern Baptist minister from Alabama.) I wasn't able to make much headway on the topic. I was hoping I would because I knew I was going to be making a lot of parallel references throughout the book. (The title of the above-mentioned review, BTW, just happens to be "'Skydog' is Intro to the Allman Religion".)

There are a lot of intentional religious overtones in the book. One of the most obvious is the "Epiphany" chapter, where I talk about the Magi bearing the gift and Duane being there to receive it. I also used a lot of quotes by Butch that were laced with those kinds of references: "Duane had given us the religion, and we were going to keep playing it.'' Butch also said, "Spirituality has to be there or it isn't music." And picking up on those cues, toward the end of the book I was making an obvious reference to Moses when I wrote, "After wandering for years in the wilderness, with the formation of the Allman Brothers Band Duane could deliver the musical message he had been carrying in his soul."

On the other hand, Red Dog points out that Duane's original name for what became the ABB was Beelzebub, so one could conjecture just about anything from that!

I had planned to touch on some of those topics with Gregg, but in my last scheduled interview with him, he had just had mouth surgery. I could tell it was really hurting him to talk at all, so I chose not to drag the interview out any longer than I already had.

In 2 1/2 years of research, I certainly didn't find any overt references like one would come across when studying the lives of folks like Jerry Lee Lewis or Elvis. Outside of the interview you reference where Duane talks about "grace," the subject never came up in any of the Duane interviews I was able to find - and I think I found all of the print and audio interviews that exist. Maybe someone else here knows, but I'm afraid that potential part of his life ended up being vague, at best, when I was doing my research on him.

Best,
Randy

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  posted on 12/23/2006 at 12:58 AM
You're right about her filing the suit as Dixie Allman as presented in Midnight Riders. However, further on, Mr. Freeman does clarify the situation with the information that 'lawyers learned that Dixie was legally married in Mississippi and had been the entire time she was living with Duane" after Donna protested Dixie's request for money from the estate.

I know some people find details such as this tedious....I totally respect and understand their feelings. Personally, I can't read anyone waxing eloquently over which note was played in which bar of what song without my eyes glazing over. But the diversity is what makes this forum so great.

 

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  posted on 12/23/2006 at 12:55 AM
"... Thanks for expressing this point so much better than I've managed to do myself in my various rambling posts....Thanks again, DobroDen for your post..."
_____________________________________________________
Randy;

Glad to help out, and thank you for giving an old Duane fan (me) some fresh info & memories (your book). I really didn't want to get into the fray, but my old latent sense of justice compelled me to try to rescue a (it seemed) "drowning" guy. Not that it isn't an important issue, especially to the ladies; I just felt you were getting "picked on" in an area where we can only speculate.
_____________________________________________________

"...Duane clearly had some issues when it came to women. The one thing that I thought was going to be extremely obvious to everybody ...there is not one single interview with any woman who was part of Duane's life...They simply did not want to talk. Not one ... Why? Because women were clearly not the primary focus of Duane's adult life..."
_____________________________________________________

That explains volumes, like why no comments from Donna, Big Linda, other old girlfriends or for that matter, Geraldine Allman . I guess I never really stopped to think about Duane's "issues".

This may sound trite, but I think he was "married" to his first love, the guitar, "I got rid of my old lady and my kid. I said,'No old ladies, no kids, man. Just guitars."

He was raised without a father. That, and it was the '60's & the age of "free love" and the beginnings of feminism & the questioning of institutions like marriage and family (and Viet Nam). I vaguely remember the times, not to condone the behavior but just to try to understand.

I don't think I was capable of a mature relationship until well into my 30's (read: didn't grow up 'til dang near 40), and Duane was only a "man-child" when he passed on at almost 25. Had he lived awhile, I'll bet he would have made things right. But at 24 with the success of the band & LAFE, travel, the free sex & drugs... forget about it.

NOW I remember what I wanted to ask you, Randy. Did you hear anything about Duane's early religious affiliations growing up in the south? I've noticed pics of him wearing the cross and heard him likening music to "grace"(as in God's love) in an interview.

 

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  posted on 12/23/2006 at 12:36 AM
According to Midnight Riders, after Duane's accident Dixie Meadows filed a $6 million lawsuit using the name Dixie Allman. She claimed to be "the surviving widow of Duane Allman," and said (quoting from the book) that "the amount of money she was demanding was equal to the value of the full value of the life of Duane Allman."

The point is, it's stuff like this that makes the official record so difficult to discern. For every one story, there's another to contest it. And all this happened a long number of years ago -- as Billastro said, after 35 years, the blur factor becomes pretty strong.

IMO stuff like this might make interesting reading as part of a legal treatise or a case study in law or something like that (or even more so, a blatantly unscrupulous attempt from a low-life leech trying to get something out of Duane practically before he had even breathed his last), but otherwise...


[Edited on 12/23/2006 by Stephen]

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 10:29 PM
Kim Payne said to the best of his knowledge when he joined up with the ABB Duane and Donna were already married, legally, not just common law.
We have all known the name Donna Allman all along but we never heard of Dixie being anything but Dixie Meadows, not Dixie Allman.
I am not going to search out public records as I will just take Kim's word for it.

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 09:42 PM
Although Dixie claimed to be Duane's wife, she was not....just the woman he was living with....and you're right, she was already married. I've never ever heard he had any kind of ceremony nor lived as man and wife with her in the past.

And common law may or may not have played a part in the early relationship with Donna, but I'm pretty certain there was a legal ceremony at some point....I just don't know if it was sooner or later. The birth of Galadrielle had nothing to do with making their union legal, to my understanding, under state law.

Not that any of this actually matters to the story of a driven musician, but perhaps to the fans who are purists and and wish to pursue historical accuracy.

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 08:42 PM
Billastro--

"... in Minnesota (where I live), if a common-law relationship continues for more than seven years, then it becomes a legal marriage. Other states, if they have this as a statute, could have different lengths of time..."

It seems Minnesota has NO common law statutes(Just the ambiguous term "significant other"). Other states do have the aforementioned 7 year rule, but I'm pretty sure that Duane never had a relationship half that long, due to his young age.
It was probably deemed "common law" due to the fact they had Galadrielle together.

"... at the time Duane died, he was considered legally married to both Donna and Dixie. ... in the eyes of some, he was a bigamist, ..."

And it turns out Dixie Meadows "...was legally married in Mississippi and had been the entire time she was living with Duane." (I doubt THAT was inadvertent...) So what do you get when you join 2 bigamists? A quadramist? Or another country-western song about cheatin' ? (Just kiddin'...) I really doubt Duane was ever legally married to Dixie.

"...But after 35+ years, the blur factor becomes pretty strong. As DobroDen indicated, even yesterday's memories are sometimes fuzzy..."

Case in point, I recall how I remembered seeing the classic ABB at St. Kate's in Fall of 1970. Then you gave me the tape where I discovered it was 2nd show, March of '71.
And I didn't know until 30 years later that I saw Duane at the SuperBall Festival on my 18th birthday until you set me straight (Again, just kiddin'...).

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 05:38 PM
I figure since I'm the one writing Johnny's story he's not going to share any 'chick' information with me beyond that which I already know.....he's not stupid and he certainly doesn't want to live dangerously!

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 05:35 PM
Well Kim's book is sure going to have some chick info in it! While I am on that subject I really want to call this book, "Not Another F@ckin ABB Book". But Kim is the boss and he will choose the title.

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 05:10 PM
Thank you, Stephen, for putting my thoughts in perspective. And as a side note, although I didn't know Duane well, I did know him, but that's irrelevant. Johnny is was one of his best friends and knew him far better than most.

I never meant that Skydog should dwell on Duane's relationship with women....Lord knows from being around everyone, should someone write about that in connection with the band, it would consume several volumes! And I know JOhnny doesn't plan to discuss that aspect of his or anyone's relationships in his book...rather it will be his story about the music. All I wanted and expected from any book, not just this one, is that if a relationship is mentioned, it's mentioned accurately.



 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 04:00 PM
Hey DobroDen,

Thanks for expressing this point so much better than I've managed to do myself in my various rambling posts. Duane clearly had some issues when it came to women. The one thing that I thought was going to be extremely obvious to everybody when the book came out is that - with the exception of a sentence or two from Bonnie Bramlett - there is not one single interview with any woman who was part of Duane's life anywhere in "Skydog." Lord knows I tried. They simply did not want to talk. Not one.

I thought the near-complete absence of any female point of view on the subject of Duane Allman would speak volumes, but not one critic has mentioned it in print, and not one forum poster has mentioned it either. Why? Because women were clearly not the primary focus of Duane's adult life.

And THAT's the point I was trying to make by including Duane's famous rant on WABC-FM in the book. "I got rid of my old lady and my kid. I said, 'No old ladies, no kids, man. Just guitars."

Letting Duane make the point himself meant there was no reason for this writer to go into any excess detail about the technicalities of Duane's marital relationship with Donna. That's a subject that is, no doubt, the concern of people who are close to Donna. I respect their concerns, but "Skydog" isn't the Duane and Donna story. It's the story of Duane's life and music from birth to death. I'm sure Donna is a wonderful person. I've only heard good things about her. I'm sure Galadrielle is too. As I wrote in the back of the book, Galadrielle sent me a wonderful, warm, friendly email when I first started working on the book, encouraging me to write mine even as she was in the planning stages of writing her own book.

Ultimately, Galadrielle's book - not mine - will be the one to read when it comes to Duane's relationship with her mother.

I'll happily fix every last technical error that might have appeared in the hardback version of "Skydog," but I don't have any desire to delve any deeper into the subject of Duane's relationships with the opposite sex than I already have. He covered the subject himself in his radio rant. It's not this reporter's job to say, "Okay, that's what he said, but that's not what he really meant." And, since I was reporting, rather than commentating, I also didn't write something like, "It was really cruel of Duane to say those things." I didn't have to write it. All you have to do is read what he said, and you automatically think to yourself, "Wow! That was vicious."

Okay, I don't know what else I can possibly add to this thread. Obviously, I'm going to go back and do some more research to find out if there was an actual marriage, etc., because I do want to make sure the paperback version is as accurate as possible. Thanks again, DobroDen for your post.

Best,
Randy

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 03:17 PM
Fantastic discussion, marked as always here in the forum by the fact that wildly divergent viewpoints are being discussed/argued in a friendly, civil, articulate manner. Good folks all.

Personally, I see Randy's point of view in the sense that it could be easy to lose readers' interest by going into too much detail about that official status of Duane's and Donna's relationship. The buzz on the book, before it was published, was that it would be about Duane the musician -- the forces that shaped his musical personality, how he was to work with among the vast array of people he played with etc etc. It's commendable that he stuck to that premise.
It is all in what and how much the reader wants to know. I skipped over most of the "US vs. Scooter Herring" chapter in Midnight Riders, just because it wasn't of that much particular interest to me. I'm sure others found it quite stimulating, and others still, superficial. But the fact that it was researched and put out there as part of the public record, is a good thing. It also shows diligence on the part of the author, even if some readers could have done without it.
I noticed the "nitpicking" aspect of the discussion some posts back, and I think we need to remember that Ann has a unique perspective on this -- maybe she didn't know Duane personally, but her husband was one of his best friends & a band member in The Hourglass. Ann comes from a more knowledgeable perspective than most of us, so that what might seem like nitpicking, is actually information from someone who knows more than most about Duane's/Donna's relationship.

With that in mind, the fact that Johnny himself is writing a book assures us that more information is forthcoming -- I imagine it will include plenty of information on Duane. Galadrielle Allman, Duane's daughter, is also said to be writing a book, and this is heartening and exciting news for those of us who continue to be inspired by the life of this amazing musician. Goodness what he left us in his short time in this earthly dimension.
Peace and happy holidays to all the good brothers and sisters here in the forum.

[Edited on 12/23/2006 by Stephen]

 

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"I know y'all came to hear our songs, we like to play 'em for you but without Gregg here it's really hard for us to do. He sings & plays so much & does such a good job. He's really sick, 103* He might've come, but no one would let him." Duane

 
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