Friday, August 26, 2011

Allman Brothers - Seven Turns - Dickey Betts - Ghosts and Pasta

When the album Seven Turns first came out I was so damn happy. I was still in radio and had been championing the Allman Brothers Band for a decade while they were completely off the radar. Nobody cared except the hard core fans. Nobody in the main stream gave a shit. There was a whole generation of kids who didn't even know them. It was a labor of love from Beginnings to Duane's two Anthology Albums, Highway Call and Laid Back I played everything of there's I could get my hands on. I mixed them in and out of blues sets, rock sets, country sets, bluegrass sets, acoustic and electric. They're catalouge was such combined with all their individual efforts I was able to do that. It was awesome and one helluva lot of fun.

The bizarre eighties had its merits - Mark Knopfler comes to mind - right - but basically I felt pretty alone championing their music on the airwaves, tilting at wind mills, bucking the trend and the fashion. I was having a blast and being right outside of Atlantic City New Jersey having an audience as well!

First time I heard Seven Turns I was all alone in my old Victorian. It was a cool old place in an old sea side ship faring neighborhood up from the docks. They used to roll the cargo right down the street outside my window right to the ships in the old days. Bob Dylan called Levon Helm and the Band back in the 1960's while they were residing at a club across the street to join him out on tour as he went electric for the first time. There must be something about that neighborhood - magic! I swear the place was haunted.

I had many experiences while playing Native American music, and was seeing a girl who was wildly into Native culture, the great spirit and the power of the mind. Mysterious visits from old musicians in broad daylight with admonishments about loosing old friends and mates, and then who disappeared from view as I searched up the street after them.

Wild dreams of Garcia and Native American Chiefs sitting around my living room reading my transcript of Journey Home nodding with approval and this before Jerry died. Windows closing by themselves and apparitions at the foot of my bed even after waking then vanishing after I freaked and shooed them away. Astral projection dreaming unbeknown to me until I awoke my spirit falling back into my body startling and scaring the life out of me. Hooded mystics presenting themselves smiling at me I know you!

Wild, wild stuff and none of it embelished or drug induced. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, living without television, writing, loving, and playing guitar, and trippin my balls off "without" Owsley's help.

The Old Victorian was where a majority of "Journey Home" was finalized and fleshed out. So I'm cooking up a little pasta and place "Seven Turns" in the CD player.

As the music filled the entire second floor I was inspired and impressed and fired up. I thought to myself, "Gregg- Your older brother must be so proud of you," and in the next few moments as I left the kitchen dinner in hand and turned a corner.....there in the middle of my living room lay "my" older sisters fedora hat feather and all. She had been dead a decade and I clung onto her old hippie hat for life. It had a place of honor way up high on an old bookshelf that happened to also belong to her.

The Allman Brothers hadn't put out an album in a decade. She had been dead a decade. I didn't put that together until today. Believe me I had that stereo cranked many, many, many days and that hat never moved. I took it upon myself to clean up the old property even though I was just renting and trimmed bushes, did roof repairs, swept broken glass, watered and mowed the lawn and made it nice for myself - all while blasting music out the windows. That hat never moved.

I had many a jam sessions and my living room was neat as a pin - so that hat when I found it on the floor sat squarely in the middle of the room all alone on the carpet and dead center of the entire floor. Its a mystery to me - Brothers & Sisters!

I've wanted to tell this story to Gregg and Dickey for a long time. So please pass it on to them if you can and enjoy this great music, inspiring lyrics and Native American vibe - its no coincidence - there's no such thing.


Donna said...

What a beautiful story Paul. Loved the video. You never know, this message will get passed around and maybe the Allman's will receive it.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully put--so glad to read this, thanks again for all you do!