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Author: Subject: GREGG ALLMAN has NEVER got his proper due, imo.

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 03:41 AM
I got to thinking about this after I picked up his anthology a while back. I really dont think Gregg has ever really got the respect and acclaim he should have. When you read reviews of the Allman Brothers Band, even from early on, theres so much of an emphasis on Duane,(rightfully so, of course) and the guitar interplay, the percussion, etc, but many times Gregg just gets a passing mention regarding his awesome singing and excellant organ work.

There is so much more to Gregg than that.

Here is an incomplete list of songs written by Gregg Allman:

Midnight Rider
Whipping Post
Black Hearted Woman
Every Hungry Woman
Please Call Home
Aint Wastin Time No More
Dreams
Its Not My Cross to Bear
Dont Keep Me Wonderin'
One More Try
Multicolored Lady
Wasted Words
Bring it on Back
Queen of Hearts
Oncoming Traffic
Melissa
Come and God Blues

To me these are not just good songs, these are "bases loaded grand slam" songs. The ones on the earlier albums are some of the greatest Rock/Blues songs ever written, imo. Its stunning to think that someone as young as Gregg Allman was at the time could write songs as POWERFUL as Dreams, Whipping Post and Dont Keep Me Wondering. You would think it would take a lifetime of hard knocks to write those songs.

And of course the sheer beauty of songs like Multicolored Lady, Please Call Home, and Queen of Hearts is almost beyond words.

And on the Anthology album you get stuff that never, or rarely, got on ABB records. Wonderful country/blues fingerpicking on guitar, fine FINE piano work, and of course VERY soulfull singing.

This man is an ARTIST of the highest order...I'd venture to say he is multi-colored...and yet most people in the general pop/musical landscape just think of him as the singer for the ABB, and all of the People Magazine stuff with Cher in the 70's. What a shame and a pity.

I wish that would change. Good grief, I would think the body of songs he has written would warrant Gregg being indicted into the R&R Hall of Fame as a SOLO inductee, to go along with the ABB being inducted.

Gregg, if you read this we think you are AWESOME in so many ways. You are a MAJOR artist and musician. We love you and wish you would get the credit you deserve.

"D"

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 07:22 AM
I think everyone one this site holds him in the highest regards. I've never read anything since I've been a member here about a lack of talent or ability. Nothing but love for the man!
 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 07:55 AM
Somebody put the Allman in ABB.

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 09:08 AM
Well, let's be fair: A lot of Gregg's early songs were heavily re-worked by the band.

"Whippin' Post," for example, was a simply blues tune. Berry Oakley added the riff and the time to the song (Gregg had it in 4/4, and Berry made it a 3/4, with the 11/4 intro riff) and should have been given writing credit for it.

I think the problem is that Gregg just stopped writing. His appetite for fame was so insatiable in the 70's/80's that he let it affect his better judgement, musically. Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Cray proved that you could play pure blues in the 80's and get along, but Gregg released two poppy albums, tired his at at small-bit acting and stopped writing new music, save a set of lyrics here and there.

That's really the issue: Gregg just hasn't written enough. Since 1973, only 35 Gregg Allman songs have turned on ABB/solo CD's. That's 35 songs in almost 35 years, which is a very paltry output for someone that really has the ability to do a lot more. Of those 35, a few ("End of the Line," "Seven Turns," "Rockin' Horse," etc) received only touch-up work from Gregg, which others ("Night Games," "Anything Goes," etc) are just 80's throwaways.

Sure, what Gregg has done over his career is remarkable, specifically between 69-73, when he was very prolific. I often argue with this with friends: about he and Dickey deserve to be mentioned along-side the greatest songwriters of the rock/pop era. They often disagree, however, especially re: Gregg, since the songwriting output is so low.

Bruce Springsteen, for example, has put out three albums since 2002. That's almost 35 songs in five years. Neil Young's got a new batch just about every year.

I think Gregg has erred in not doing more with his voice. He should have recorded a few more albums in the vein of Searchin' For Simplicity, especially since it comes so natural to him. THAT will be his legacy: as the hands-down greatest white blues/soul singer of all-time.

I just wish he'd build on that legacy now, while he's still in good voice.

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 09:08 AM
quote:
Somebody put the Allman in ABB.


Well, it is Allman BROTHERS, so that would be Gregg and Duane.

However, I tend to agree with the premise of the original post. Many here extoll the virtues of the great jam guitarists, past and present. Highlights of shows are the extended jams, in which Gregg generally, as he puts it, provides the "Gravy, not the meat".

When you read reviews/comments on shows, people point to these, and songs written by or featuring Gregg, seem to be palate cleaners. How often is a song like Trouble No More sandwiched in between a jam and a Warren song. For some, due to its familiarity/length, it's like a sorbet, but for me, and many others, it's a highlight. People complain about hearing Midnight Rider too much, but I'm disappointed if I DON'T hear it.

To me, the crux of the issue is Dickey's firing. Many here want him back, yet still adore the band. Lose Gregg, and to me, the ABB is over. While Gregg's organ may indeed be the gravy, his SOUL in the songs is my connection to the band and I would rather hear him sing Midnight Rider, or Please Call Home or any of 100 songs, rather than another solo. But that doesn't mean I don't like the solos, just what I prefer.

So I think your overall impression, that Gregg is underappreciated, is maybe not true. I think the posters here are just really into the guitar work, so that's what gets the focus on the site, but I think many would agree with me, that Gregg is the heart and soul of the music, regardless of who has the spotlight longer.

Greg

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 09:23 AM
Gregg is the reason that I'm an ABB fan!
 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 09:33 AM
i agree with D. i'm not objective because gregg's songs really touch me.
with respect to the comment on greggs song writing output. you know, i
think the low output works to his favor. how many springsten songs do any
of us know from 2002 to present? more is not always better. for example
when i hear a dj play queen of hearts or multicolored lady they almost always
say something to the effect "man, i could listen to that tune all day long".
that is the kind of, to use D's terms, grand slam, stay with you forever, hit
you right in your soul songs brother gregg writes. people who know music
know greggs songs. i do wish he would have written more, we probably all do but
he had some major problems. i think to dig at gregg for low output it really missing the
point of D's post. Thanks for posting D!

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 10:02 AM
I don't know...I think Gregg gets his" Due" every time he walks to the mailbox and opens another songwriting royalty check.....

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 10:30 AM
Interesting post D28Guy ... while I love Gregg and you for that matter; however, I tend to agree with CWMoss:

quote:
I don't know...I think Gregg gets his" Due" every time he walks to the mailbox and opens another songwriting royalty check.....



Let's be honest ... everyone of the great songs you mentioned whether they were reworked or not were written pre 75 over 30 years ago. I mean what have you done for me lately. One gets the feeling without Warren or a few other selected co-writers, there wouldn't be any new "Gregg" songs. As a matter of fact, correct me if I'm wrong, the only song that Gregg is listed as the sole writer in recent memory is "I Love The Poison" off Searching For Simplicity. And certainly Jack Pearson's guitar and Oteil's bass are as memorable as the lyrics.

Secondly, if it would have been up to Gregg to keep the band together as a leader after Duane died, since the 89 reunion and after Dickey's departure ... well it just wouldn't have happened. I don't think there is any argument about that. Also I don't think that Gregg would argue that he certainly has reaped the lion share of rewards from the efforts of a lot of other band, crew, business associates, etc.

Yet, Gregg has been blessed with an incredible voice and it has carried him far. Mucho kudos to him.

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 11:37 AM
If not for Dickey Betts I think the Brothers would have died in 71 with Duane. he is maybe my favorite vocalist on the planet, and a very competent organist/acoustic player but I don't think he's a very strong willed person. From what I've read he's quite lucky he made it out of the 70's alive himself. I love some of his 80's music with Dan Toler, I'm no Angel might be the very BEST solo song from any member of the Allman brothers band. But he's just not a leader. Sorry if this pisses off a few here, but Gregg is just not one to ever step out from behind that organ so to speak. It is what it is. But he does have the best pipes I've ever heard.

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 12:35 PM
Gregg was vital to the original band because of his unique vocals and because he was the only one who had songs. On the first two albums Gregg wrote all but the two songs written by Dickey on the second album and the two blues covers. After that, his muse began to dry up. On Eat a Peach, he only offered two new songs (Melissa had been written years earlier) and on Brothers and Sisters he only wrote two. Betts took up the slack and began to write some of the finest songs in the band's history. With Dickey also singing two or three per album, Gregg's presence seemed to diminish a little. For whatever, reason, Gregg's songwriting drought continued on into the 90's. On all the albums right up until Where it All begins, he wrote maybe two an album. When he formed a partnership with Warren Haynes, he was able to write more prolifically and as far as I know, all the ABB songs credited to Gregg from 1994 on were co-written by Warren.

To wrap this up, I don't think the ABB would have had the greatness it did without Gregg because of what his songwriting and blues singing added to the band. Duane knew it which is why he insisted Gregg join. I also think people realize it. Only the general public thinks of him as the long haired guy who married Cher.

Doug

 

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  posted on 10/13/2007 at 01:07 PM
I think Gregg should be inducted into the Rock and Roll HOF as a solo artist. Many who have contributed less to rock and roll and with less talent have been inducted. I am a Gregg fan first, then an ABB fan. But I do love the ABB. Gregg's voice is so soulful. He can make you feel the song. Gregg's singing can bring tears to my eyes, Springsteen can't. Gregg's accomplishments are many. Here are a few.

A classic album and one of the very best ever - Laid Back 1973 and still sounds fresh today
The best voice in rock and roll since the late sixties. And still is.
Has written many fabulous songs, and co-wrote many also.
His songs are rock classics. How many others have recorded Midnight Rider?

I have noticed some resentfulness towards Gregg by some here. Without him, we would not have an ABB. I love the sound of the guitars and drums, but Gregg's voice defines the music as much.

Gregg is a laid back kind of guy, a cat with nine lives. I hope he continues for a long long time.

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 01:16 AM
quote:
"I think everyone one this site holds him in the highest regards. I've never read anything since I've been a member here about a lack of talent or ability. Nothing but love for the man!"


My reference to Gregg being underappreciated was mostly regarding the general public. Newspaper concert reviewers, etc.

"D"

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 01:26 AM
ruthlane.

quote:
I have noticed some resentfulness towards Gregg by some here.


Me too, although not much. Just a little bit. Maybe Dickey fans.(of wich I am one)

Regarding the several comments about his song writing drying up, I agree that his production has decreased drastically, but the songs he did write back in the 70's are SO exeedingly good, that even if he never wrote another song after 1975 he should be still be held in extremely high regard as a songwirter. These songs of his are stunningly good imo.

Robert Johnson only wrote a handfull of songs that got recorded, but they were so good that he is still hailed world wide for them.

I believe Greggs songs are every bit as stellar, in Greggs style, as Robert Johnsons were in his style.

"D"

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 08:49 AM
Hey D28guy, are you my neighbor Lee?

Teresa from across the pond


Gregg is the man and his songwriting, voice and geetar and organ playing are the best

I have always really loved "Oncoming Traffic". It's perfect.

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 11:07 AM
Well...y'all know how I fell. I agree D.

quote:
I think everyone one this site holds him in the highest regards. I've never read anything since I've been a member here about a lack of talent or ability. Nothing but love for the man!


Wish that were true.

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 01:15 PM
Three of those songs listed in the first post have co-writers. Co-writers who also never get their proper due.

Anyone want to guess which 3?

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 01:20 PM
Does the R&R HofFame have a living legend category?
 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 02:14 PM
quote:
ruthlane.

quote:
I have noticed some resentfulness towards Gregg by some here.


Me too, although not much. Just a little bit. Maybe Dickey fans.(of wich I am one)

Regarding the several comments about his song writing drying up, I agree that his production has decreased drastically, but the songs he did write back in the 70's are SO exeedingly good, that even if he never wrote another song after 1975 he should be still be held in extremely high regard as a songwirter. These songs of his are stunningly good imo.

Robert Johnson only wrote a handfull of songs that got recorded, but they were so good that he is still hailed world wide for them.

I believe Greggs songs are every bit as stellar, in Greggs style, as Robert Johnsons were in his style.

"D"


I totally agree.

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 06:55 PM
When I saw Gregg and friends play back in 11/06, it made me feel like I was watching the patriarch of American Rock N' Roll.

Whether he'll be considered a great one all depends on personal tastes. For me, I appreciate his and the band's talents more and more.

Hopefully performing will still remain fun for Gregg. I hope I get to see him some more times. If not, I've got some good memories and plenty of CD's to keep the vibe alive.

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 07:51 PM
quote:
I have noticed some resentfulness towards Gregg by some here.


Huh??? I hope we don't mean moi? I said I loved Gregg as well as D28Guy (well maybe I just would like a D28.) Anyway Ol' D28 titled this thread:

" GREGG ALLMAN has NEVER got his proper due, imo."

Which in my opinion is about asinine (sp?) Gregg Allman in spite of himself has achieved what very, very few in the music world have. True had he not wrote another song or performed after 75 his place in Rock History would be assured. Like that of his brother. The fact that he is still an incredible and viable singer is testament to his God given talents. But the fact that he is still here and has a band to play in is due in large part to the efforts of others Dickey Betts for one and Warren Haynes for another. There are/were a ton of people behind the scenes that we are learning about (unfortunately after their deaths) who Gregg and the band count on with their lives to get them to and from shows and take care of the business and money. I'm not sure what D28 would consider Gregg's proper due to be? I mean you couldn't swing a dead cat here on Hittin'theWeb and not hit somebody who wouldn't kiss his ass.

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 08:23 PM
Charlesinator,

quote:
"I'm not sure what D28 would consider Gregg's proper due to be?"


Well, I thought I articulated my position adequetly in my 1st post, but here it is again from that post...

quote:
"I really dont think Gregg has ever really got the respect and acclaim he should have. When you read reviews of the Allman Brothers Band, even from early on, theres so much of an emphasis on Duane,(rightfully so, of course) and the guitar interplay, the percussion, etc, but many times Gregg just gets a passing mention regarding his awesome singing and excellant organ work.

There is so much more to Gregg than that."


And further...

quote:
"The ones on the earlier albums are some of the greatest Rock/Blues songs ever written, imo. Its stunning to think that someone as young as Gregg Allman was at the time could write songs as POWERFUL as Dreams, Whipping Post and Dont Keep Me Wondering. You would think it would take a lifetime of hard knocks to write those songs....And on the Anthology album you get stuff that never, or rarely, got on ABB records. Wonderful country/blues fingerpicking on guitar, fine FINE piano work, and of course VERY soulfull singing."


Rather than being known for that, its usually...

quote:
"yet most people in the general pop/musical landscape just think of him as the singer for the ABB, and all of the People Magazine stuff with Cher in the 70's. What a shame and a pity."


Hope that clears it up.

"D"




[Edited on 10/15/2007 by D28guy]

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 08:41 PM
Actually, Gregg didn't write 'I Love the Poison' on Searching For Simplicity. It was written by Gary Nicholson and W. Wilson. And he was only one of four writers on 'Wolf's A Howlin' and co writer on 'House of Blues' and 'Come Back and Help Me' with Jack Pearson. I just want to give the other writers their proper credit, not diminish Gregg.

[Edited on 10/15/2007 by bigann]

 

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  posted on 10/14/2007 at 11:44 PM
It's that voice -- songwriting or lack thereof doesn't come into it with Gregg, the guy is a musician through and through -- a great "interpreter" as Dickey once described him --
Rock star? It's not like that with Gregg -- he's a normal, vulnerable everyday human being who goes through the same hard times & joys, miseries & triumphs that anyone else experiences -- only on a greater scale, since he's famous & is a target for people who want something from him while pretending to be his friend -- that's what I hear in his music -- the songwriting aspect of things never bothered me one way or another -- he could sing Old McDonald Had A Farm & make it special

"the mountains I have climbed would've killed a thousand men" -- these are true words
some of the music on One More Try, such as the demo of Win Lose or Draw with Johnny Sandlin & Bonnie Bramlett -- chilling -- unbelievable

I love Gregg Allman -- can't think of many here who don't

 

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  posted on 10/15/2007 at 12:03 AM
My favorite vocal performance from Gregg is on the Masahiko 09-04-70 remaster.

 

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