Gregg Allman Still Dreams (Relix Revisited)
Back to California, you stayed when everybody else left. Did you have second thoughts—why did you stay?
Well, I stayed one, because I kind of had to so they could go because they were let off contract. That was back in the age of cross-collaboration, when money came in off the record, I’m talking about writer royalties, publishing royalties, any royalties, the record company got paid back first. They put us up in these apartments. There were five of us in the Hour Glass, so that ran up a pretty damn good bill, you know. So in other words, we never saw any of that dough. Never I don’t think I’ve ever have gotten any, I’ve signed a bunch of the records, but I’ve never gotten any publishing or writer’s [royalties] at all.
So what happened with “Hair,” how was the audition?
Oh it was real hard. You stand out in the middle of the floor and there’s some guy in the dark taking your inventory, and you bring your own music, and all you have behind you is a guy playing an upright piano.
What did you sing?
If you didn’t ask me, I could have told you!
Have you ever had a regular job in your life?
Yeah, I bought my first guitar with money from a paper route. I had 284 papers twice a day; I did that for about a month. Of course then you know Saturday would come, time to collect, and you go to the door and a Doberman would answer the door, and say we’re OP, office payment right? I’d have ‘em marked down if they were OPs, people don’t trust the paper boy.
What paper was it?
The Daytona Beach Morning Journal.
Oh it’s probably not even around anymore.
Oh yes, it is very much so. As a matter of fact the guy who used to work there is one of them that put our one of them terrible books about the Allman Brothers.
Oh the Scott Friedman one right?
That really was a bad book.
Yeah, I mean really.
Oh no, I’m sorry that guy used to work for the Macon Telegraph.
Well it’s a bad book wherever he worked, you know? I mean you must have just wanted to ring his neck.
Well, I’m workin’ on mine, you know. I got about 30 more hours to go. One of the hardest things to do, and the reason I am doing it with this man, is because he has quite a knack at doing it because he’s been with us so long, Kirk West, one of the hardest things to do is remembering the chronological order of things. And seeing as how he kind of took all the shit down, he’s kinda like Moses right [laughs]. He kinda took all the stuff down.
It’s hard for me to determine the importance of things. Are you running into the same problem?
Oh the importance of things, yes. Well it’s good to start with the chapters, you know, how many chapters. And you want to devote at least 20-25 pages per chapter.
What did you start with?
The first ass-whippin’ I ever got was by a woman, that’s how it starts. I was in the fifth grade and I was just figurin’ out about women not really being soft boys, but maybe there might be a little interest here.
I remember back in the day you were like the rock sex symbol.
I was a virgin—well let’s just say two weeks later I was 18.
They were such different times too you know?
Oh yeah, yeah, they were totally different. There was no age, and hippie land and weeee looove.
So besides the paper route was there anything else that you did that was a normal job?
I worked very shortly, I think it was matter of days, but I worked on just two nights, Friday and Saturday night at this big resort I grew up on Daytona Beach, a big beach resort called Castaways. I worked in the combination restaurant/lounge as a busboy, and I had to pick up all the plates and everything. I also worked part-time as a dishwasher in there, so I could watch this guy named Barney Dorsey who played with Houston and Dorsey, Sonny Houston and Barney Dorsey, who I think they might both be dead now, I know Sonny’s dead, anyway. It was two dudes I guess about my age now, I mean they were like in their 50s and they were comedians and they both played Strats and they played them through these echo machines. They had a real, real funny show, and they played there for about 12 years, and then I guess they got too old.
And then so you just quit after their run?
No no, actually I was stealing licks as fast as I could, but I got real real sick. Let me tell ya, you know all this garbage and the smell… uhh. I lasted I think maybe three or four nights. In later years when I came back and told them this, they really got a bang out of it, they really did.
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Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
Crystal Bowersox stops by Relix to perform a song from her new album, All That For This.
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