Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To 1974!

 March 13 and 14, 1970, was the first time the Allman Brothers played the Warehouse in New Orleans. The place was magic. It was an old cotton warehouse on the docks where they use to store cotton for shipping. It was built of wood and had the best acoustics and the best vibes of just about any venue we played back then. December 31, 1970, was the first time we played The Warehouse on New Year's Eve and this led to us doing the same thing every New Year's Eve until Dec 31, 1972. By this time Eat a Peach had gone multi-platinum and we were selling out places like Madison Square Garden and the Spectrum so playing a 2,000 seat venue, like The Warehouse was something we did because we had a ball playing there and those New Year's Eve gigs became the stuff of legend. We loved playing there for New Years and did for three years until it closed in 1973.

We were facing New Year's 1973, without The Warehouse and management and Bill Graham came up with the idea that we play The Cow Palace in San Francisco for two nights, December 31, 1973 and January 1, 1974. Both shows sold out very quickly and it was decided to put the show up on live, coast to coast radio. This was to be and it actually did turn out to be the largest radio audience since FDR's Fireside Chats. I believe it is still the largest radio audience ever.

Anyway, here we are getting ready to play for 20,000-30,000 people live and millions on the radio and someone tells me that The Dead had showed up to jam. Well I had had an adventure once before when we played with The Dead at The Fillmore East. The Dead had a "roadie' named Owsley Stanley that was the chemist that made the LSD for most of the civilized world. It was his goal to dose every living person, That night at The Fillmore Owsley poured enough pure acid into our garbage can of beer that if you drank a beer you'd get enough LSD from the ice water around the can to get totally loaded. I had more than one beer and by the time we were half way through our show that night I was unable to play.

Upon hearing that he was around that New Year's eve at The Cow Palace I grabbed my bottle of wine, open the lead and held it close and made sure that I drank nothing else. I did not want a repeat of what had happened at The Fillmore. Well...... New Year's came after our first set. Here's a link to the radio broadcast of 1974 arriving.


http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/the-allman-brothers-band/concerts/cow-palace-december-31-1973-set-2.html

So far, so good. We then kicked off our second set and about an hour or so into the set, just before Les Brers in A Minor, that was to include Jaimoe and my drum duet, my drums started just drifting off into space. When I could actually hit one it was like hitting a marshmallow. I just went, oh hell, he got me again. I turned around and there stood Bill Kreutzman looking just like Jesus, complete with the halo, and I held out my sticks and asked him if he would play my drums, I couldn't catch them. He did and went on to play what was to be my big time in the sun before an audience of millions. I moved to the side of the stage and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the show which included the following jam with Jerry Garcia and Kreutzman still on my drums.

http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=5727369088532211108

Years later I ran into Owsley and he told me that he had filled a water gun with LSD and got close enough to my wine bottle that was under one of my floor toms and shot it till he hit it enough to do the trick. Well it certainly did.

Thought it was time to lighten up the conversation.

59 comments:

  1. One of my all time favorite shows to listen to.

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  2. Since you have brought this subject up, I would be very interested in knowing how often you have played in front of an audience on psychedelics, and what that is like exactly. I have a hard time imagining someone getting up on a stage in front of 10,000 people while tripping balls and playing music, but this seems to be what you guys do,or did. Did you have to fight the effects or were you able to incorporate them into your playing? How did you avoid becoming distracted? I remember Jerry Garcia in an interview saying that when he did psychedelics the last place he wanted to be was onstage. I would very much like to hear you expand upon this subject some, that is if it's not too incriminating for you to do so.


    Brian

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  3. Those two times are the only two times in my life I was ever on stage under the influence of psychedelics. I was never into them that much. I am just your plain old drunk, preferring booze over most any other drug. I can't get everything in synch when I'm tripping. Too many moving parts. Way back in 1979 I decided that playing with a clear head is going to give you your best shot at playing your best. I have not taken so much as an aspirin before playing since then. Now that Gregg stopped drinking about ten years ago we are all pretty much of the same mind. We did, in our younger days, get pretty ripped at times and play but those days are long over.

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  4. Thanks for the reply, Butch. Whatever it is you do or don't do, keep it up. You guys are sounding great.

    Brian

    ps:I avoid aspirin at all costs too.

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  5. Thanks for sharing! Any chance a show from '73-'74 will be released in fidelity similar to the Fillmore Deluxe/Atlanta Pop shows released in 2003? Say Wolfgang's vault Winterland show from '73 with the awesome You Don't Love Me->Amazing Grace->Les Brers?!? Always loved the tracks from that show on Wipe the Windows...

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  6. Bummer...
    No Art photos this Blog?

    OMG What a F**** Nightmare...
    Last time I willfully dropped Acid I went to my own funeral party (was a keg party in the woods at the ovens)Crazy azz shit!!!
    Couple years later was at a party at "a so called friends house" and was dosed...
    ended up in the frigging nut house again

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  7. Hey Butch,

    My best buddy and I (he flew down from NY & I flew up from Argentina) had the great privilege to pay our respects at Rose Hill this past weekend. While we were there, a red pick up truck pulls up and this dude gets out, climbs down the hill towards us and says that he's got the wooden rafters from The Warehouse in the back of his pick up. He had sifted thru the burned out remains of the place in order to bring them down to The Big House. He was hoping they would put them on display as Duane and the Band had played beneath them on many an occasion. When we arrived to the Big House later that afternoon...there they were, out by the bandstand...waiting to be raised above the stage! You all have brought us so many, many great memories and great times. Thank you!

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  8. Always one of my favorite stories Dad!

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  9. Thanks for the link to the show! Weren't you pissed off at the guy afterwards? If someone did something like that to me, I think I'd want to rip the s-o-b's head off.
    Although I'm sure I could laugh at it 40 years on...

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  10. Pissed off? Nah. I was a disappointed that I wasn't able to finish the show, but I did have a great time listening to Jerry and the guys back when they were still really playing. And if you know Owsley "The Bear" there is no way on earth you could ever get mad at him. He was a big man (thus the nickname) but a kind and gentle soul with a mission. He truly believed, and I tend to agree with him, that people's minds would be more open after taking LSD. The few times I took it when I was not playing it did change my perspective for the better. I did see things from a different more involved perspective. It opened me up to being a part of, rather than apart from, the world in which I live. I know a shit load of politicians that could use a good dose right about now.

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  11. Butch, no joke, it is so cool having you share these stories. It takes a lot of openness to invite the public and fans into your world, to willingly take things out of your own control. Good for you, and us.

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  12. Butch,
    I'm not biting my tongue on this one
    How can you not be pissed off at that?
    I mean I know it was a cultural thing and most of us had a sick distorted self destructive mind set back in the 70's when it came to partying and drugs and what we considered fun. (at least everybody I knew did)
    But the truth of the mater is that what he did was put four bullets in a six shooter and play Russian roulette with you and everyone else...
    I bet you can't even count on both hands (Twice)how many friends and loved ones that died and you lost or OD'ed as a result of drug use...(Far to many friends of mine have) What a fucking waste...(parden my French) I now hate drugs

    Understanding our mindset and the times that influenced us in the 70's and forgiveness is one thing...
    But condoning it and glorifying it is a completely different thing...
    And that's what this post does...
    Seriously man...
    How would you feel if someone dosed your kids?
    Would that be ok?
    Butch after reading this and your responses I feel you are not right in the F*** head....

    Wired...

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    1. The people who died or OD'd didn't do it as a result of LSD, which is a harmless substance. LSD destroyed no one.

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    2. The people who died or OD'd didn't do it as a result of LSD, which is a harmless substance. LSD destroyed no one.

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    3. The people who died or OD'd didn't do it as a result of LSD, which is a harmless substance. LSD destroyed no one.

      Delete
    4. The people who died or OD'd didn't do it as a result of LSD, which is a harmless substance. LSD destroyed no one.

      Delete
    5. The people who died or OD'd didn't do it as a result of LSD, which is a harmless substance. LSD destroyed no one.

      Delete
    6. The people who died or OD'd didn't do it as a result of LSD, which is a harmless substance. LSD destroyed no one.

      Delete
    7. Sorry for multiples. Site said I typed the captcha wrong. After 6 tries, I gave up, only to discover that the site posted my message on EVERY failure of the human test. The _last_ thing I was expecting. Apologies again.

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  13. Hey Wired,

    I'm sure people liked you better when you were on drugs. Now a days, you're just a dick. Piss off.

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  14. Lizard,
    My popularity among friends and acquaintances Is trivial and insignificant.
    I speak the truth Dude
    My comment was not meant to belittle Butch or anything like that.

    Aside from that...
    Butch gave us all permission to post our thoughts and opinions...
    If he can't handle it then I would recommend he adjust the settings so the comments are to be pre approved before they are allowed to be posted.

    and likewise with you...
    If you can't handle people's opinions and comments and they have that much of an effect you emotionally that they piss you off then you also have issues and maybe shouldn't read the comments.

    I guess the point here and my war cry on this is that we need to put this issue in the proper perspective.
    That shit destroyed far to many of us dude...

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  15. "he-he-he" says the man with the acid filled water gun.

    "Leave your mind alone and just get high"

    Peace and Allman Brothers

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  16. Butch I love your stories.Keep them coming.Have you ever wrote a book?



    thanx
    gerry

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  17. This is one of the most amazing and saddest stories I have ever watched. It is very rear that something I watch on TV brings tears to my eyes but this documentary was so moving I had to shear it with you all. The title of the documentary is...

    “Lobo, The Wolf that changed America”

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/the-wolf-that-changed-america/video-full-episode/4414/

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  18. I love that story (heard it before, but with Chuck L it was a bottle of water not wine). I agree with the world would be a better place if more people tried psychadelics and certainly am glad for my journeys. I always assumed you guys jammed alot on psychedlics in the old days (I have a show where duane says something about taking a break for some electric wine), maybe it was more some of the other guys. I still need an occassional mental clensing with all the crap in the media and the world but only in the right environment (like one of your shows). But good story
    joe

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  19. BTW, pretty sure there was no risk of Butch dying from an LSD overdose (on anyone in the history of mankind). I am also very confident that the worse that would have happened is a bit of freaking out and I guarentee there were numerous people who could help settle things down (many expierenced trippers around)if someone was losing it/ couldnt deal. anonomous wired above is a perfect example of someone whose mind could be open with a trip. Mushrooms and marajuana are plants in my book (not drugs). But it seems like you bought into the media scare for drugs 1000%. Refer Madness is a joke. This attitude is what leads to harder drug use and makes sopmeting like pot a "gateway" drug, becouse where a kid first tries it, they realize they have been lied to there whole life and what else have they lied to me about that is just harmless fun. You know the effects of psychadelics and pot and drugs like crack, and herion are completely different. Especially since the first ones are not addictive, and the other one are (and alchohol can go in the second group, a person can actually die from alcohol withdrawl). You are obviously just so clueless on the subject. An massive overdose on LSD, would just make you crazy- see Syd Barrett, not dead
    joe again

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    1. Syd Barrett went nutty from Quaaludes (which they call Mandrax over there), not LSD.

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  20. Butch, really enjoy reading these stories!

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  21. You are obviously just so clueless on the subject....

    Ya OK Buddy!!!
    What ever you say...

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  22. Anonymous...
    Just one more thought...
    perhaps if Moses and the Isrealites Kept there asses sober and laid off the Shrooms in the wilderness (I think they called it manor back in those days)
    He Moses would not have screwed up the first history books Genesis etc...Ha Ha Ha
    I've indicted Moses and am putting him on trial for Shroon abuse, Dosing the Isrealites with that cactus liquid called mescaline,and polluting and misleading the world...(Ha Ha Ha)
    Stop over and expand your mind on some truth and reality
    http://thewiredjournal.wordpress.com/

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  23. I didn't really mean I would be mad about risking my health or whatever. But surely about someone sabotaging my ability to complete an important performance.
    Well, I guess those were different times...

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  24. Butch,

    I love the stories about the band. Those hippy days were an adventure for all of us. When I think back about the sex and drugs, it is so foreign to my life now. But I am glad I lived through those times, the good and the bad.

    Wired,
    Why are you on this blog?

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  25. With some people you just can't win and they will indict/prosecute/crucify you for anything you say....Butch, kudos to you for having "steel balls" enough to expose yourself on this blog to everything from valid, educated opinions/points of view (that might differ from yours) to completely moronic statements with minimal relevance at all....This blog is like a microcosm of our beloved Democracy!!....Keep the interesting reads coming Butch...Especially the ABB related stuff....

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  26. KB,
    Wired,
    Why are you on this blog?

    Good question.
    I'm not sure... beginning to wonder about that myself.
    I've never been a follower of anyone, (rich, powerful, famous, movie stars etc etc. (could care less what others do)
    I just happen to stumble on this blog and liked it. although I'm getting the feeling I irritate a lot of you with my opinionated outspoken and sarcastic nature. (maybe even my flakiness, nuttiness and lack of blog etiquette pisses a few of you off)
    I guess I'm still here cause Butch hasn't booted me yet and blocked my mac number and IP address yet. (laughing)
    What can I say? I am what I am? and I am who I am!!!
    I've always been one to tell it like it is...
    And never been one to kiss someones azz and I won't do it to Mr. Trucks just because he happens to be a very talented musician and a drummer for one of the many great bands that bands that came out of the 60's and 70's. That's just not me. And I won't apologize for my sarcastic comment saying he's not right in the head. (yes it was sarcasm and not meant as a personal attack)the problem and one of the pitfalls with the written word I guess...
    Everyone's Perception and interpretation is different but that's the way I talk...and there was no malice intended...

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  27. "Wired,
    Why are you on this blog?"

    Because he knows it will get alot of views and he is trying to bring attention to his own blog.

    Brian

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  28. Butch
    Philly & Boston !! So happy today.

    Janine/Long Island NY

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  29. hay butch every time i here mountain jam i skip through the drum solo and play the parts that made u a millonare

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  30. "Wired,
    Why are you on this blog?"

    Because he knows it will get alot of views and he is trying to bring attention to his own blog.

    Brian

    But that don't change the fact that I still speak the truth...

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  31. Bro, go back and read the blog I did about Richard Rorty. You don't speak the capital T Truth. All you speak is the world as you see it and are capable of relating it to others. What you say is no more the Truth than anyone else. That's one of the things I have been trying to pound into everyone's head. Let's stop with this crap that any of us has his head around the Truth and everyone else is just wrong. Let's stop this debate and start having a conversation. I would suggest that anyone that can't abide by this philosophy really does not belong here. I am doing my best to get people talking to each other and open their minds to alternate views with the knowledge that what you know is founded completely in your experiences and your ability to express that knowledge is limited by whatever vocabulary you possess to express it. Again, no one alive nor anyone that has ever lived has ever truly known the Truth. Imagine a world where everyone thought this way? Imagine religions keeping their values and teachings and dropping their dogmatic zealotry. Imagine our congress actually listening to each other and seeing the possibility that the other side may have some valid policies? Please, Do not ever use a phrase like "I speak the truth" here again.

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  32. The 70's was a magical time for me. Thanks for bring it back so vividly.

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  33. Whoever you are. I guess you have a reason to come here and tell me that you play Mountain Jam and skip what Jaimoe and I play on our own. By the way a solo is a performance by "one" person. Jaimoe and I always played together, ergo, we have never played a "drum solo" on an Allman Brothers Band recording. Why you felt the need to say that it is the rest of the tune that made me a "millionaire" I don't know. Care to elucidate? And I guess you meant to write every time you "hear." That would make more sense. Whatever you listen to thank you for helping make me a "millionaire." Would that it were so.

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  34. Whoooaaa there !!!…
    Hey wait a minute here…
    whadya mean I my truth is no better than anyone else’s. Screw you!!! (laughing) …
    Just kidding, don’t everyone get all pissed off and offended here and get there panties all in a wad….
    Seriously though…
    Butch that’s a good post about Rorty and you make some valid point about our elected officials needing to work together. But you also inject your own bias and blame this mess on the tea party and republicans. That’s not the truth that’s just your opinion and not factual. You made one quick reference saying progressives are at fault to but the whole second paragraph is directed to attacking the tea partiers and republicans or as you put it the far right.
    I really don’t know what to say but I think it goes without saying that we all agree The Washington machine is a mess and a major cluster F**** and riddled with corruption.
    I don’t have any answers but I read some ideas about what seem to be (sounded like) good ideas to put us back on track.
    Some of which I sent you links via email response when your posts came to my email box. And I also asked you about them and if the numbers looked right to you and made sense etc etc. one of which was the Heritage Plan. But you never got back to me (or blogged about them, which I was hoping you would)
    I personally like and endorse Newt Gingrich.
    But anyway nough said…
    By the way…
    Just curios…
    Are you gonna jam with your nephew Oct 15 lynn city hall auditorium? Would love to buy you a beer, and then I could bully you in person….LOL LMAO

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  35. I am amazed. Dude, you're like a hundred years old and you still play great. Your band is like a great jazz band now, just the way it should be.

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  36. You know, it boggles my mind that Republicans even listen to Rock 'n Roll. It's pretty damned obvious they don't understand it.

    For me, it just fuckin' cracks me up every time a Rethug politician uses an artist's song without permission and then gets sued or sent a cease and desist order. It proves my point that they just don't get it.

    As for our troll here on this blog, have you ever listened to "Revival" from Idlewild South? The lyrics are pretty simple, so give it a listen and stop listening to the voices in your head (it's not god), you might learn something.

    BTW Butch, your drum "solo" at DAR Constitution Hall with those other 3 drummers was amazing.

    Good News: ABB hits the road in November and December. Unfortunately for me, no dates down South.
    http://www.ticketmaster.com/Allman-Brothers-Band-tickets/artist/734412

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  37. hey Butch - on the lighter side of life what do you think of "The Allman Sisters Band" ?

    Dreams, Black Hearted Woman, Les Brers in A Minor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aC7WwD8jHc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGJwRGFdKvw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KAVNk3VY3A

    Glad to see the Brothers doing some more 2011 dates in Nov/Dec and hoping we see Moogis return in March.

    best
    boe

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  38. LOL @ Lizard...
    I know you ain't talking to me now...
    Cause I'm much prettier than a troll. However I'm Not so sure You can say the same though with a name like MR. Lizard...

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  39. Mayor of Moogis

    Thanks for the links on the Allman Sisters, pretty damned cool if you ask me. Did you notice that they are reading it off sheet music?

    I don't know where they're from but I do know that when my wife posted our pics from the ABB show in DC on her blog back home in China,lots of people like ABB on the Mainland.

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  40. Butch...
    Dude I shit you not...
    I speak the truth man....
    This is a kick ass get-er Done plan...
    And exactly what we need here in the U.S. ...
    A Must read...
    So simple and such a common sensed approach a frigging liberal can understand it

    http://www.newt.org/contract/legislative-proposals

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  41. I confess that the drums on EAP didn't move me for a long time. When I first got sober and went to school, I stayed up all night studying with classical music on. I think i learned about music subliminally. then I saw taiko drummers. that is so powerful, you can feel it. so I wouldn't say epiphany but I recall hearing MJ and going "aha." the Jabumas or what they have morphed into are like taiko to me. Adding Marc to the band was great.

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  42. "Just one more thought" - TWJ



    For fucks sake, if it were only true...


    H.Finn

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  43. To the blogger that doesn't care for the drum "solos"; If you have had the fortunate opportunity to witness the magic Butch, Jaimoe and Marc have on stage in person like myself, you would not have made such a comment. I realize you have your opinion. With that said, I have been extremely fortunate to have seen ABB perform many times in person both back stage and in the crowd and I always look forward to their drum solos. I have to admit some nights are better than others but when they are truly in the groove and "hitting the note", it's something that sends chills up your back and truly unforgettable. It is note easy for multiple drummers to successfully perform in a band, that's why it is not often done. When these gifted musicians get it right and play something that's not rehearsed and completely improvised it's unbelievable. I say to you, check them out in person and if you have a fondness and love for their music, you will see what I mean. Rock On Baby !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  44. C'mon Butch, waiting for your take on Occupy Wall Street.

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  45. I think Anonymous meant "I skip TO the part" of Mountain Jam where you guys (duet?). That would explain why he says it made you a millionaire: you guys are awesome.

    Hey, what's with the photo at the top of the post? Duane's not in the picture -- maybe he took it -- and it looks like CLeavell and Lamar? No Berry?

    ps. LOVE your political comments. Seems like these days, brains and conscience don't count for nuthin'... It's all about "Shout 'em down" discourse. I seriously wonder if the day will come when those who believe in American principles just have to leave, like those folks from Germany bak in the 30s...

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  46. When we played that show, New Year's Eve 2003 Duane had been dead for a little over two years. The band consisted of Gregg, Dickey Betts, Jaimoe and myself from the original band and Chuck Leavell on piano with Lamar Williams on bass. Those are the people in that picture.

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  47. Loved you and the Allman Bros Band. I fondly recall a June 1973 show at MSG. The Garden was shaking that night (o:

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  48. Hey Butch, I was in the audience that night and really enjoyed the show. In my mind, it was like two separate shows... first part was the "classic" and fantastic Brothers & Sisters set list and the second part was the incredible jamming part.

    Question: I now understand why you had to stop playing, but am now wondering if that was the same reason Gregg had to stop. Do you feel comfortable sharing his secrets? :-)

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  49. Stelz Jr here. Great story. Big Stelz just turned me onto your blog. The politics runs in the family!! but its the music stories I keep reading and Bob's sort of rolling his eyes at me as I love all dosing stories :0

    btw-check last link to Garcia and Kreutzman jam you mention as its misdirecting and I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again for the great story. Peace to you and Melinda.

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