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Author: Subject: Historical ABB Touring

Zen Peach





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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 01:17 AM
This exchange between OTF
quote:
Of course, back in those days they did about 250 to 300 gigs a year.

And ABBDutchFan
quote:
Sorry to say but that's a myth.
The ABB hardly ever played more than 100 shows a year.
Only in the early seventies they played about 120 shows or a bit more.
Maybe with some unlisted shows or with early and late shows it still would be
about 150 shows max.

In this thread got me curious about how many shows the original band ('69 - '71) really played. OTF's figure is from Butch, I think on this site. So I tried to use my knowledge from the Intro to Statistics class I had to take a few years back and figure out a method to calculate it.

Unfortunately, I did very badly in Statistics. But I did come up with a kind of system.

I went through the ABBbase and tallied up the gigs the band played during Duane's day. There are about 150 listed. Looking at the dates, I figured out when they were out on tour and when they might've been 'at home.' The records, especially early on, are spotty. So I decided that when they were on tour and there was nothing in the ABBbase, there was a 2/3 chance they played that night. Nothing really scientific about that number, but I thought it was reasonable. In 10/71, they were out for 17 days and we know of 11 dates, and that's basically 2/3. (By the way, the most dates we KNOW the ABB played in a month is 17, in 5/70.)

I skipped April of '69 altogether. I figure they rehearsed a lot, and I wanted to be conservative with this estimate. When the band played a show in or around Atlanta (Atlanta, Byron, Macon, etc) and there was nothing else for more than four or five days, I assumed they were off until that next gig, wherever that might be. The exception to that was May of '69, when they were obviously just playing in Atlanta and Macon until the end of the month. It's likely they played two shows in a night more often than I gave them credit for. I assumed there was only one show unless the ABBbase said there were two. In a month with very few listed gigs, that would give them about 21 shows.

The exact number I came up with is 653 shows in about 29 months. That's 22 1/2 shows a month, or 270 per year. That's right in line with Butch's 250-300 estimate. The exact number doesn't really mean anything because I had to fill in these details with guesses, but I think it gives you a rough idea of how often they played.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 01:35 AM
Wow Marley.... wow... I'm not going to argue or validate, I trust ya

If only a rogue millionaire had followed them early on...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 01:38 AM
Looking at the exact details of some of the trips they had to make kind of makes Twiggs's murder defense - that living with this band would drive anybody crazy - make sense. (Doesn't make it a valid defense, but between the travel and the drugs it's easy to see that this would not be great for your sanity.)

Here are the longest one-night trips the band had to make. Some of these are unbelievable.

*Ft. Lauderdale to St. Paul, MN, 2/28-3/1/70 (1762 miles)

*Gainesville, FL to St. Paul, MN 4/17-4/18/70 (1755 miles)

*New Orleans to Miami after two shows at the Warehouse, the second at 11 pm, 5/16-5/17/70 (865 miles)

*Dania, FL to New York City, 5/30-5/31/70 (1277 miles)

*New York City to Athens, AL, 5/31-6/1/70 (980 miles)

*Atlanta to San Antonio, 6/9-6/10/70 (1007 miles)

*San Antonio to Cocoa Beach, FL, 6/10-6/11/70 (1230 miles)

*Boston to Macon, 12/14-12/15/70 (1118 miles)

*Tuscaloosa to Minneapolis, 3/24-3/25/71 (1130 miles)

*Virginia Beach to St. Paul [what is it about Minnesota?], 7/23-7/24/71 (1298 miles)

*Minneapolis to San Diego, 9/30-10/1/71 (THE CHAMP - 1990 miles)

*Los Angeles to Woodinville, WA, 10/2-10/3/71 (1151 miles)

Literally unbelievable. I'm not sure what kind of documentation some of these shows have, but MapQuest says that a few of those cities are more than 24 hours apart, and they'd have had less than 24 hours to get there. I don't know how fast that site assumes you drive, but it says Minneapolis to San Diego should take 30+ hours. If the guys really did it, I don't know how. More than one kind of speed might've helped, but still. They must've flown some of these, but they can't have flown to all of them, can they? Especially early on...

[Edited on 2/15/2005 by Marley]

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 01:49 AM
At, let's say, 80 mph:

*Ft. Lauderdale to St. Paul, MN, 2/28-3/1/70 (1762 miles) - 22 hours

*Gainesville, FL to St. Paul, MN 4/17-4/18/70 (1755 miles) - 22 hours

*New Orleans to Miami after two shows at the Warehouse, the second at 11 pm, 5/16-5/17/70 (865 miles) - 10:50 hours

*Dania, FL to New York City, 5/30-5/31/70 (1277 miles) - 16 hours

*New York City to Athens, AL, 5/31-6/1/70 (980 miles) - 12:15 hours

*Atlanta to San Antonio, 6/9-6/10/70 (1007 miles) - 12:35 hours

*San Antonio to Cocoa Beach, FL, 6/10-6/11/70 (1230 miles) - 15:20 hours

*Boston to Macon, 12/14-12/15/70 (1118 miles) - 14 hours

*Tuscaloosa to Minneapolis, 3/24-3/25/71 (1130 miles) - 14:05 hours

*Virginia Beach to St. Paul [what is it about Minnesota?], 7/23-7/24/71 (1298 miles) - 16:15 hours

*Minneapolis to San Diego, 9/30-10/1/71 (THE CHAMP - 1990 miles) - 25 HOURS!

*Los Angeles to Woodinville, WA, 10/2-10/3/71 (1151 miles) - 14:20 hours

even at 100 mph, the longest is 20 hours...

WOW

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 01:59 AM
Yeah... some of these had to be flights. I just wonder which ones weren't, because flying everybody and the equipment would've cost a lot for a young band or their label...

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 02:13 AM
Also, what would happen to the van/car/thingy. They would have to either fly back down and do another gig there, or have someone drive it, while the band flew. I have no idea, though. I'm just throwing out ideas

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 03:31 AM
even at 80 mph you have to consider that they were in a Ford Econoline van that at best got 15 mpg. Just going by my truck that has a 20 gallon tank they would have to stop about 6 or 7 times for gas on a 1700 mile trip.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 04:58 AM
Marley,

Your statistics teacher did better than you think.

Resubmit this article for a grade!

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 08:35 AM
I appreciate that. Seriously, nothing I learned there (assuming I did) is involved, just some guesses and calculated. Anyway I graduated a year ago anyway and Intro to Statistics was possibly the worst class I took in four years of college.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 09:06 AM
I think you should take into concideration the time zone changes and the actual show times as well. Still seems like they had to do a little flying though. Now we know were Warren learned this from, lol....

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 09:12 AM
And take into consideration gas and piss stops. Even at 80 MPH, factor in the stops and they would have probably averaged 65 MPH. I made the drive from Indy to Augusta several times before I finally moved south. It was 700 miles. I would drive 80, and average 65 with stops. 700 miles would generally take 11 hours for me, +/-.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 09:34 AM
I would imagine that on the longer trips that the band and crew flew and rented equipment (amps, B-3) for the gig. Of course, I'm sure Duane, Dickey and Barry took their guitars and basses with them. Seem to remember an article in RS where it talked about them asking for a seat belt extender as they had bought a seat for the guitars.
 
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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 10:01 AM
A most interesting thread. Some of these trips, especially in later years, after the fame, had to be flights. Another point, in those days the Interstate system was far from complete. In 1971 and 1972 I drove from Memphis to Flagstaff, AZ and back. Much of I-40 didn't exist, Route 66 was used. It went through small towns, much of it was 2-lane.

And never forget that Duane did this by choice. He was an accomplished studio musician, known throughout the industry. He had the record deal with Liberty. He could have hung out at Muscle Shoals, gone out to LA once or twice a year to do an album, lived comfortably. He chose to give this up to take his band on these grueling road trips in order to play the kind of music that was in his heart. Music which, in the beginning, had a limited audience. Music which evolved into the current jamband scene.

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 10:18 AM
"Music which evolved into the current jamband scene."

You know I wish people would please not put the ABB in the "jamband" catagory. The truth is the ABB has always, at it's core, been a blues band with the understanding and the ability to incorporate jazz improvisation to their music. Jazz improvation and jamming are two completely different things, a distinction I think that has gotten lost to a lot of people. To me calling the ABB "a jamband" is somewhat disrespectful to the music that Duane Alllman set out to have the band doing and to which they have successful return to in the last few years.

 
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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 10:19 AM
Nice work, Marley!

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 10:32 AM
*Virginia Beach to St. Paul [what is it about Minnesota?], 7/23-7/24/71 (1298 miles) - 16:15 hours

My brothers Keith and Carl went to the Virginia Beach show and my brother Ken and I went to the Minneapolis/St. Paul show. Duane made the comment in Minn that some places were a real pain in the ass to play and Virginia Beach, Virginia was one of them. Ah, my home town.

I had heard that they actually had two sets of equipment so as they were playing in one locale, they equipment was sent ahead. Also, as alluded to earlier, I believe they either rented or required the venue to provided some of the equipment. Any validity to either of those scenarios?

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 10:37 AM
CUH, I was referring to the concept of spontaneous creativity. In early 1969, it was almost unheard of in popular music. We were in the final days of the Brittish Invasion, the Acid Rock scene in San Francisco was just evolving. The closest thing to the Brothers at that time, IMHO, was Santana. Over its 3 years of existence, the original band evolved too, expanding from its early, primarily blues book, to the long creative pieces like Whipping Post, Liz Reed, Mountain Jam, Hotlanta, Blue Sky. These are the pieces that made the band so unique, so different from anything that came before, IMHO, and the pieces that bring historical signifigance to the band.

Earlier this year I spoke with Johnny Sandlin, the producer of Widespread Panic. He is of the strong opinion that the jamband scene evolved directly from Duane's concept for this part of the band's repoitrie(sp?). It's an opinion I strongly share.

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 10:41 AM
good work Marley. good read.
 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 10:43 AM
cool thread........nice job Marley

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 12:54 PM
quote:
My brothers Keith and Carl went to the Virginia Beach show and my brother Ken and I went to the Minneapolis/St. Paul show. Duane made the comment in Minn that some places were a real pain in the ass to play and Virginia Beach, Virginia was one of them. Ah, my home town.

That's very funny! I meant to say that that Powerball Fest show about the only one I included that I know for a fact was played as listed. And that's 100% because of you.

quote:
I had heard that they actually had two sets of equipment so as they were playing in one locale, they equipment was sent ahead. Also, as alluded to earlier, I believe they either rented or required the venue to provided some of the equipment. Any validity to either of those scenarios?

That's an interesting possibility. I remember hearing about a show where either the ABB had to use the Grateful Dead's equipment, or the Dead had to use the ABB's... if it was the first one, that might argue against two sets of equipment. But I don't know; I've never heard this idea before.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 01:02 PM
Ditto piacere and leftyblues -- excellent research Marley. As you say -- "literally unbelievable." It took more than youth/stimulants to do this -- no one else in any chosen profession could have worked as hard as this band did.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 02:58 PM
so heres the dealio
these are confirmed paid gigs that contracts exist for or routing books verify

1969---78
1970---185
1971---183---the last 14 without duane
1972---85-----the last 6 without berry
1973---62
1974---29
1975---38
1976---13
1979---66

the reality is that in 69 and 70 there were many free gigs set up on days off that are lost to history
club jams in macon and atlanta in the parks etc and those will never be definately confirmed
by 71 the space was filled with more rehearsals sessions and sit-ins with other folks on gigs and sessions
the contracts and routing books have supplied all the data along with confirmed fan reports supported by press ticket stubs or ads
remember 69 started in march and included an album session in nyc and spotty gigs in new england
they had no rep and capricorn was just beginning as a label and had no juice
many of the 69-71 gigs were two per night such as the fillmore and ludlow stands the steel pier in atlantic city was 3 shows a day
the travel was 2 ford econoline vans in 69 winnebago and rental truck in 70 and in 71 flying with most of the band gear and using a rental b-3 and leslie
this is an interesting thread
marley did great with the estimates and i thought i come out of lurkin to share what ive come up with over the years
seeya
t mystic

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 03:00 PM
Thank you Kirk.....

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 03:07 PM
quote:
It took more than youth/stimulants to do this -- no one else in any chosen profession could have worked as hard as this band did.

Thanks Stephen. And yeah- just looking at the paths they travelled was kind of tiring. They went all over the place, especially the South and East Coast. I was surprised to see how they seemed to get popular in specific cities. They played more dates in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul than I would've guessed. They were big in California - lots of Fillmore West dates, of course, but also San Diego and LA (maybe the Hourglass's live shows helped?) - but they only played one Pacific Northwest date that we know of, 10/1/71 in Washington.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 03:11 PM
Wow.

Thank you very much, Kirk.

 

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