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Author: Subject: New Gregg Article - Ohhhh Mitzi!

Zen Peach





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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 11:28 AM
New Article!




Eggs, Tea, and a Georgia Peach: An Interview with Gregg Allman

[9 March 2007]

The way things have gone, Allman explains, he might have been better off as a dentist.

by Martin Halo

While greeting a newly-born Georgian afternoon, Gregg Allman casually prepares for an extended dialog focused on the legacy of one of America’s most beloved and influential creative achievements, the Allman Brothers Band. From his home, settled in as part of Savannah’s picturesque countryside, Allman charmingly requests another cup of coffee before sharing his mind and explaining the mechanism behind why music has captivated this southern son’s soul.

“Like it says in the Bible, music soothes the savage beast,” he says. “It could take you back to a time or place in your life that you would like to remember, or it might even remind you of an old girlfriend.”

“God,” he says, “can you imagine a world without music?”

“It happened little by little by little,” Allman explains of his music. “When I first picked up a guitar, I had absolutely no inclination about being in a band; the thought never crossed my mind. All I wanted to do was mess around with it because it brought me a lot of happiness.”

“When I was ever in doubt ... well, when in doubt play,” he remarks. “If I ever had heartache or was bummed out I could just go play something on the piano and everything would be alright. My grandmother used to tell me stories about other people in the family who were bible layers, preachers, or moon shiners but she never mentioned any musicians. Music was just my diversion if anything was every bothering my heart.”

Allman’s southern drawl then shifts from ancestry to the origins of the band.

“In the beginning everybody would bring their own music, the music they liked of course. So when we first got a bus, if you would even call it that, it was a place where everybody was kind of forced to listen to the same music. We were trapped you know,” he laughs.

“When we were on the way to gigs we were listening to all of this jazz, like we had Stanley Turrentine and Leon Thomas. That is really where all the influential stuff started happening.”

“It came down to spontaneity,” says Allman, “‘cause when you start playing and jamming on a tune things start to happen, real magical things. You certainly wouldn’t stop playing the song! So from that came the jams that the Allman Brothers do and became famous for.”

Thinking back on that time, Allman considers the migration of Southern artists. “Back then it seemed like anybody that got into the music business and made any headway moved to New York or Los Angeles,” he says. “So everybody thought that music just came out of those two cities. I bet you that they didn’t stop and think that all of these people were not born in the two hubs of the entertainment industry. I always thought that The Band living in upstate New York was bull **** because half of them were from the South,” Allman says with playful reverence. “Levon Helm was from Arkansas and you could tell in a second from just talking to him.”

Allman’s ideology on music is pure as he relates to the trends that he watched the American arts constantly endure. “The only time I have looked at rock ‘n’ roll and said that is not what this is supposed to be was when everyone started teasing up their blonde hair and putting on black leather pants. It was like the uniform of the day.

“When you are first starting out, and what the lasting musician ultimately has going for them is passion, the passion for the music. If you can’t keep that, then you got nothing. It will make you want to go out and play and it will make you want to better yourself. When that stops you have had it, it’s over, goodbye.

“I think what I am trying to say here is that it has never been about fashion or any of that stuff with us. It has always been about the music,” he says.

With 30 years in the business behind him, Allman’s opinion on how the industry has changed and transcended is next on the list of topics; as he touches on subjects of listening formats and integrity. “Well, I would say a big difference or change would be that you don’t have LPs anymore. No more pictures to look at or any kind of extended information included with your music. The transition from LP to CD made everything more limited and now it’s the iPod and nobody knows **** about the damn artist anymore,” says Allman.

“Now people just download music and people miss out on the larger statement. I mean they could sift through and see if there were any others songs they wanted but people don’t usually do that. I would like to think that it is going to be better in the long run because there are so many different ways to listen to music these days with your computer or telephone. That I think is a good thing, but what is not a good thing is all of the piracy that is going on,” he admits.

“As far as the business goes if I had to start over today, I think I would take a different kind of work. I wanted to be a dentist before this all happened.”

Considering Allman’s thoughts on the business and its recent changes, conversation drifts to the compromised integrity of Ashlee Simpson, and Allman responds without hesitating..

“Ashlee who, who is this? Well a musician is going to want to go out there and play, why they would want to go out there and lip synch is beyond me.”

After a short gasp he continues, “Good God, make up your mind, either you want to go out and play or you don’t. Anybody who thinks they could actually fool everyone out in the audience should be considered crazy. That is your moment of truth you better show the people what you got.”

At least somebody still cares, but shouldn’t the daunting task of preserving the arts as sacred be the burden of journalists and media outlets? Shouldn’t rock fans be able look to the giants of MTV and VH1 to bring principles back to modern musicians, whose programming in the past used to contribute really cool things for music?

“That’s right, they sure did,” replies Allman. “I remember when Rolling Stone was really an amazing music magazine. Now they got in there all politics and all kinds of **** , you got to dig around a little to find some music. They still do some good stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t read it. Mojo is a good one, though.”

But in the midst of mainstream smothering Allman has found an artist that has touched his soul.

“I greatly respect Ray Lamontagne’s music. Warren [Haynes] knows him and turned me on to him. He has been trying to get us to meet. I would love to play and work with him sometime. I love his voice and his attack. It is not like a frontal attack; he kind of comes up around ya and caresses your soul.”

Recently coming off a summer tour with the Allman Brothers Band the lifetime musician has found creative artistry in a side project that has been harboring his energies outside of the larger entity since 1973. Like his current bandmates, Derek Trucks (Derek Trucks Band) and Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule), who are heavily involved in highly successful side projects of their own, Allman is embarking on solo dates before the highly anticipated annual March Madness Beacon Theatre run.

As far as continuing to stay on the road Allman’s response graciously ends the interview, “As far as I know, with God willing and if the creek doesn’t dry, we will see you.”

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 11:29 AM
Ms. Jolie isn't the only one who's going to be running a fever today, huh Eric? Ice! Towels! Stat!

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 11:31 AM
quote:
I greatly respect Ray Lamontagne’s music. Warren [Haynes] knows him and turned me on to him. He has been trying to get us to meet.



AWESOME! i love that i love this album! i've been gushing about Ray Lamontagne for a few months now so its validating to me to learn that Gregg digs him too. Not that it matters in the big scheme of things, but i would love to see a collaboration between those guys.....yummmmmmm

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 11:33 AM
Actually, other than Levon, the rest of the Band were all Canadians ...

Good article though. I hate Ashley Simpson with a passion and glad they touched on that travesty of what's wrong with the indusrty right now.

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 11:44 AM
good read
Thanks Eric



Mitzi where are you???

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 12:26 PM
Great Interview! It really reminds me of why I dig the Brothers so much, they are just down to earth, focused on what matters, playing music that is real. They are not interested in putting on a"show". Gregg has been through all the battles and it's evident that the thing that matters is the honesty and integrity of the music. The artist must lay his soul on the line when sings, plays, acts ect. or it isn't real. But when that artist does lay it out there, and the magic of the moment reaches you, it touches something on the inside of us as humans that is awesome. It's like a drug that you keep coming back for, you want to relive it over and over. (Does it sound like I dig music?)
Also, this Ray Lamontague cat is over the top, he reminds me of a modern day Van Morission. I got a chance to see him at this past years Austin City Limits festival and boy howdy, he is the real deal. When he plays it's evident that he just completly loses himself into the music. Highly reccomend either one of his albums.

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 12:34 PM
Ray LaMontagne 11/29/06 Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL



Empty
Barfly
Gone Away From Me
Hold You In My Arms
Shelter
Three More Days
Jolene
Narrow Escape
To Love Somebody
Trouble
Till The Sun Turns Black

E:
Forever My Friend
Can I Stay
Burn
All The Wild Horses

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 12:36 PM
I'm right here!! Just settlin' in with my ice and towels. I LOVE Ray LaMontagne. LOVE HIM!! I had never heard of him until Gregg said something about him in an interview. If y'all haven't heard Ray's music...you just have to, that's all. hehehehe

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 12:39 PM
Having problems with that show try this instead

LaMontagne Links

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 12:41 PM
http://www.myspace.com/raylamontagne





[Edited on 3/9/2007 by rottinpeach]

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 12:44 PM
JOHN!!! Muchas gracias!!!

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 01:17 PM
awesome thanks for posting that eric!

but i can't listen right now, my radio station just played OWO from LAFE......i cannot turn that off no matter how often i hear it!

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 01:30 PM
Just forgot to post the live show setlist. My bad.....Includes an interview as well


Set List

Empty
Be Here Now
Barfly
Gone Away From Me
Hold You In My Arms
Shelter
Three More Days
Trouble
Forever My Friend
How Come
You Can Bring Me Flowers
Lesson Learned
Till the Sun Turns Black
To Love Somebody
Jolene
Burn
Can I Stay


 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 01:33 PM
Very nice - thanks for posting!
 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 01:53 PM
Reminds me of a Howie Day song I love. "Ghost" but acoustic and he loops rythms during the performance

 

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  posted on 3/9/2007 at 03:15 PM
Very cool !!!

Pete

 
 


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