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Author: Subject: Planned marketing or coincidence?

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:24 AM
Hey all,

I have been wondering lately about the change in focus of the ABB from a Southern Rock band to a Jamband over the last ten years. It seems to me the change started after Jerry Garcia's death and the end of the Grateful Dead in the mid 90's. After that point, the ABB started using more "tie-dye" and "hippy-ish" artwork on their albums (Back Where we Belong, Shades of Two Worlds, First and Second set, etc.). They also rolled out the magnificent live light show and started playing Franklin's Tower live. The ABB also started being open to members forming their own bands like Frogwings or going on solo tours similar to the Dead. And their shows, particularly the Beacon Run have become known for guest musicians and a ton of songs that are either new or ABB renditions of older classics by other artisits. The whole nature and focus of the band changed and has evolved over time.. It seemed to me at that time, that alot of the Dead fans then gravitated over to following the ABB and the ABB became a great jamband family.

I was just wondering if all these changes were orchestrated by a grand marketing scheme or plan or if somehow they all came together coincidentally. And if it was a grand plan, who was the master behind it all? Or did it happen through the infusion of new, younger members into the band like Derek, Mark, Warren and Oteil?

However it came about, the ABB as a band moved forward and changed, grew, matured and re-formatted themselves in a way that has made them into a new or different kind of band. Unlike their Southern Rock brethren like the Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and the rest who are still trying to ride the Southern Rock train and playing all their old songs over and over and over again....not really doing much of anything new. (Even Skynyrd who has put out some great new music over the past 20 years only plays the old 70's songs for the most part and repackages the old stuff either in studio or live versions). Great bands all around, but they haven't evolved or even tried to evolve or become something different like the ABB.

Coincidence or grand plan, I have to say it was a great way to go.

Any thoughts?

BD






 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:32 AM
Well, Warren was playing gigs on the side long before Jerry died. Gregg and Dickey both had their side gigs in the early seventies. Derek and Oteil came to the band with pre existing things going on outside of the Allmans. Also most of the albums you mention were released before Jerry's death.So I think the basic premise here is flawed.
 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:38 AM
quote:
I have been wondering lately about the change in focus of the ABB from a Southern Rock band to a Jamband over the last ten years. It seems to me the change started after Jerry Garcia's death and the end of the Grateful Dead in the mid 90's. After that point, the ABB started using more "tie-dye" and "hippy-ish" artwork on their albums
I have never thought of ABB as a Southern Rock band ... to me they've always been a jam band. Case in point ... some of the all night shows at the Filmore WITH Grateful Dead ... Watkin's Glen. As for the 'hippy-ish artwork' comment - open the cover of Eat a Peach.

Planned marketing staged to correspond to the death of Jerry Garcia? I don't think so.

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:39 AM
quote:
Well, Warren was playing gigs on the side long before Jerry died. Gregg and Dickey both had their side gigs in the early seventies. Derek and Oteil came to the band with pre existing things going on outside of the Allmans. Also most of the albums you mention were released before Jerry's death.So I think the basic premise here is flawed.


Yeah, some of those things do not support the premise. Still, I think I recall talk about it being a plan in say the late 90's or early '00's, about the same time as Mr Betts left the band. I'm not sure it was related to his departure, but there's no denying that varied setlists came into being in the '00's, which definitely fits the GD model. I think that was certainly more than coincidence. I want to say Butch was behind it, but I really can't recall for sure.

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:43 AM
Berry had electric iced tea in the fridge at the Big House. I think that explains it all
 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:57 AM
quote:
quote:
Well, Warren was playing gigs on the side long before Jerry died. Gregg and Dickey both had their side gigs in the early seventies. Derek and Oteil came to the band with pre existing things going on outside of the Allmans. Also most of the albums you mention were released before Jerry's death.So I think the basic premise here is flawed.


Yeah, some of those things do not support the premise. Still, I think I recall talk about it being a plan in say the late 90's or early '00's, about the same time as Mr Betts left the band. I'm not sure it was related to his departure, but there's no denying that varied setlists came into being in the '00's, which definitely fits the GD model. I think that was certainly more than coincidence. I want to say Butch was behind it, but I really can't recall for sure.


Warren and Mule were doing widely varying setlists again before the Betts departure so I don't see that either. Mule was already up to about 400 songs before Woody passed so I just don't see this as anything beyond Warren's influence and the need to make up for lack of some of Dickey's signature songs..

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 12:54 PM
The ABB was a blues band until Warren took over.

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 02:33 PM
quote:
quote:
I have been wondering lately about the change in focus of the ABB from a Southern Rock band to a Jamband over the last ten years. It seems to me the change started after Jerry Garcia's death and the end of the Grateful Dead in the mid 90's. After that point, the ABB started using more "tie-dye" and "hippy-ish" artwork on their albums
I have never thought of ABB as a Southern Rock band ... to me they've always been a jam band. Case in point ... some of the all night shows at the Filmore WITH Grateful Dead ... Watkin's Glen. As for the 'hippy-ish artwork' comment - open the cover of Eat a Peach.

Planned marketing staged to correspond to the death of Jerry Garcia? I don't think so.


Planned marketing and the ABB are two concepts I have never heard used in the same sentence.

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 02:39 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I have been wondering lately about the change in focus of the ABB from a Southern Rock band to a Jamband over the last ten years. It seems to me the change started after Jerry Garcia's death and the end of the Grateful Dead in the mid 90's. After that point, the ABB started using more "tie-dye" and "hippy-ish" artwork on their albums
I have never thought of ABB as a Southern Rock band ... to me they've always been a jam band. Case in point ... some of the all night shows at the Filmore WITH Grateful Dead ... Watkin's Glen. As for the 'hippy-ish artwork' comment - open the cover of Eat a Peach.

Planned marketing staged to correspond to the death of Jerry Garcia? I don't think so.


Planned marketing and the ABB are two concepts I have never heard used in the same sentence.


Wasn't the term, "Southern Rock" coined by Phil Walden to showcase all these bands?

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 07:40 PM
I apologize for not checking dates before my OP. Many good points made in response. In light of these comments (and more research on my part), I would like to reframe my original premise. It truly not be that the ABB re-imaged themselves following Jerry Garcia's death but I still think there was a conscious effort made on somebody's part to shift the public's view/image of the ABB.

First, in response, the Eat a Peach comparison doesn't work as that album was released in 1972 when to use my words "hippy-ish" artwork was common. No album after EAP had such artwork until the mid-nineties. And Gregg's and Dickey's solo efforts back then, as I recall, were considered more to be the beginnings of solo careers as well as the obvious beginning of the end to the band's current lineup. I have heard that the band never liked or considered themselves to be a "Southern Rock" band, but that was the label they were given by the Powers that be and the media and was the label they have been known as prior to the last decade or so. The band had always been friends with the Grateful Dead as one poster referred to Watkins Glen, but at that time, they were still considered Southern Rockers.

Fast forward to the return of the band to prominence in the mid-90's. Beginning with Shades of Two Worlds we have the first use (since 1972) of lava-light/retro style graphics and the first long jam-style structured song (Nobody Knows) since Ramblin Man and Fillmore East/EAP era. The tie-dye motif continued on "An Evening with the ABB", Where it all Begins" and 2nd Set. On Where It all Begins, the title track is another song structured for a long jam. As in my first post, the lava light/awesome light and video show makes its way into the live show, along with varied setlists and guest appearances at shows. Warren joined the band with Seven Turns and Gov'T Mule was started about three years later in 1994....so the side projects (which were not then considered solo careers at all) came around at that time with Gregg's Searching for Simplicity hitting the shelves in 97. The retro/jamband/hippy-ish look continued onto Peakin at the Beacon and then another song structured for long jams is on Hittin the Note with Desdemona. One last thought of some pre-meditation is that with Warren and Derek, the ABB consistently went on tour while paired with popular jam bands The String Cheese Incident, moe, the DMB, among others and most recently, Widespread Panic. And now the ABB is considered to be one of THE Grandaddy's of Jambands.

Now I am not saying that this is bad at all. In fact I think it was a stroke of genius. My original point, which I admit was poorly made, was that through either a master plan or coincidental string of conscious decisions, the ABB re-imaged themselves and evolved from what they were commonly and historically referred to as a "Southern Rock" band (which based on the fortunes of other SR bands, would have led to a much harder road with a smaller and older fan base) into a Jamband, which has garnered them an audience of young and old alike and allowed them to expand their music, their family of side projects and friendly associates, their influence, and their careers.

Now I am willing to go as far to say that Warren Haynes and Government Mule brought the Jamband genre back from near death, which in turn helped the ABB too. I think Derek and his body of work and reputation helps greatly too. But being a part-time musician for most of my life and seeing how the music industry works, I am too skeptical to believe all these things I stated above are mere coincidence, like some "Big Bang" event. If it wasn't the ABB itself, it was their record company, management, or somebody behind the scenes that brought this evolution and re-imaging about. But either way, it has made them move beyond their past and become a band with a new life ahead of them, instead of one that involves merely re-packaging and playing only their classic songs.

I think it was a great idea (no matter who had the ideas) and it was crucial to keep the band going and growing.

BD

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 08:27 PM
full deano meltdown in effect another name soon to be banned.

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 09:14 PM
I wonder how much of an influence Warren has had in getting these openers. To me it's a good way to go especially the Panic double bill. Its either that or someone like the Doobie Brothers or another "classic rock" act but the bills with Panic I think offers more opportunity for cross band jams which I enjoy hearing. Master plan I dont really think so but more likely just the way things worked out.

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:28 PM
I think it also reflects the confidence and comfort time has given the band. From say 1978-1985, "hippy" was almost a dirty word in marketing circles, and the ABB at that a time were sort of out of fashion and trying to figure out how to make it all work. The Arista years reflect that. I think their hippy jamminess in the 1990s/2000s is that they matured and also that fashions came around and it was OK and cool for them to be their jammy selves again.
 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:30 PM
quote:
Hey all,

I have been wondering lately about the change in focus of the ABB from a Southern Rock band to a Jamband over the last ten years. It seems to me the change started after Jerry Garcia's death and the end of the Grateful Dead in the mid 90's. After that point, the ABB started using more "tie-dye" and "hippy-ish" artwork on their albums (Back Where we Belong, Shades of Two Worlds, First and Second set, etc.). They also rolled out the magnificent live light show and started playing Franklin's Tower live. The ABB also started being open to members forming their own bands like Frogwings or going on solo tours similar to the Dead. And their shows, particularly the Beacon Run have become known for guest musicians and a ton of songs that are either new or ABB renditions of older classics by other artisits. The whole nature and focus of the band changed and has evolved over time.. It seemed to me at that time, that alot of the Dead fans then gravitated over to following the ABB and the ABB became a great jamband family.

I was just wondering if all these changes were orchestrated by a grand marketing scheme or plan or if somehow they all came together coincidentally. And if it was a grand plan, who was the master behind it all? Or did it happen through the infusion of new, younger members into the band like Derek, Mark, Warren and Oteil?

However it came about, the ABB as a band moved forward and changed, grew, matured and re-formatted themselves in a way that has made them into a new or different kind of band. Unlike their Southern Rock brethren like the Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and the rest who are still trying to ride the Southern Rock train and playing all their old songs over and over and over again....not really doing much of anything new. (Even Skynyrd who has put out some great new music over the past 20 years only plays the old 70's songs for the most part and repackages the old stuff either in studio or live versions). Great bands all around, but they haven't evolved or even tried to evolve or become something different like the ABB.

Coincidence or grand plan, I have to say it was a great way to go.

Any thoughts?

BD









??? have you ever seen the inside cover to Eat A Peach...I'd say that it was...very Hippy...

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:42 PM
Maybe you never saw the "hippies" in this picture:

http://www.last.fm/music/The+Allman+Brothers+Band/+images/24252

 

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  posted on 7/30/2010 at 11:42 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I have been wondering lately about the change in focus of the ABB from a Southern Rock band to a Jamband over the last ten years. It seems to me the change started after Jerry Garcia's death and the end of the Grateful Dead in the mid 90's. After that point, the ABB started using more "tie-dye" and "hippy-ish" artwork on their albums
I have never thought of ABB as a Southern Rock band ... to me they've always been a jam band. Case in point ... some of the all night shows at the Filmore WITH Grateful Dead ... Watkin's Glen. As for the 'hippy-ish artwork' comment - open the cover of Eat a Peach.

Planned marketing staged to correspond to the death of Jerry Garcia? I don't think so.


Planned marketing and the ABB are two concepts I have never heard used in the same sentence.



agreed......

 

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  posted on 7/31/2010 at 11:44 AM
lanned marketing and the ABB are two concepts I have never heard used in the same sentence. ">Planned marketing and the ABB are two concepts I have never heard used in the same sentence.

Ditto!!!

Also the ABB was using the Brotherhood of Light very early if not from '89. So wrong there as well. And Brent if Warren hadn't of taken over, there wouldn't have been an ABB since 2000. They've played a couple of good shows since then and put out one fair CD. I think you'd agree.

 

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  posted on 7/31/2010 at 02:40 PM
Sorry, but 1989 is too early for the use of the light show with the ABB.

Actually from the Brotherhood of Light website, the light show first started with the ABB in July, 1990, which would have been the Seven Tours tour before the release of Shades of Two Worlds.

Coincidentally, the Brotherhood of Light show was used by psychedelic bands going back to the late sixties, including Hendrix, Joplin, the Doors and others, including the Grateful Dead. After a hiatus, they returned in 1989 with the return of the Jefferson Airplane, David Lindley and Jerry Garcia. Go to http://brotherhoodoflightshow.com/ and go to "press" for the details

The timing of the use of the BoL show goes right along with the timeline I outlined earlier in my post.

Again, I am not saying this is a bad thing,....but it seems to me that it was a very well orchestrated and brilliant idea to re-image the band to meet the style of the times and move the band forward.

Why is it so hard to accept the fact that the members of the ABB including their management are/were shrewd businessmen who orchestrated the re-imaging of their band in order to make them relevant going into the 21st century? Music is music and the music business is business. Sometimes, in fact most times, like it or not, the two cross and end up being successful. It would be naive to think that major music stars are not also skilled and knowledgeable business people....heck if they weren't they never would have made it and stayed at the top for the past 40 plus years.

That is my only point.

BD

 

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I still have two strong legs and even wings to fly"



Gregg Allman

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