Exclusive Excerpt: Gregg Allman My Cross To Bear (On Recording The Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts, Bill Graham…)
We went back up to the Tea Party four or five more times later in the year, and after the last time, we stopped off for three shows back in New York at Ungano’s, and then did a gig at Ludlow Garage in Cincinnati. They had rocking chairs in there and a concrete floor. That first time, the fucking place was empty, but eventually we saved that club from going under two or three times.
It was in the last week in December 1969 that we played the Fillmore East for the first time. Man, that venue was something special, and we always had a special connection to it. The acoustics in there were incredible—the kind of perfect sound you almost never get. There was this large, open main floor area where you could just look out at the crowd, and then up above was this killer balcony—all together the place could fit a couple thousand people. Once upon a time it had been a Yiddish theater, but I can’t think of a better place to play music.
Having been to the Village a few times by then, I loved it there, and I loved this guy Bill Graham because he was such a straight shooter with us. There were never any confrontations, and he always came back and shook our hands, telling us that we had put on a hell of a great show. He would ask us if we thought the light show was okay, and if there was anything he could to make the show better.
Iconic promoter Bill Graham invited The Allman Brothers Band to deliver the final performance at the Fillmore East on June 27, 1971. (The group appeared following The Beach Boys, who became disgruntled after discovering that they would not be the closing act. My Cross to Bear includes an image of a signed letter from Graham that reproduces his brief speech before the ABB took the stage.
“The last few days, we have had the privilege of working with this particular group. And in the past year or so, we’ve had them on both coasts a number of times. And in all that time, I’ve never heard the kind of music that this group plays. And last night, we had the good fortune of having them get on stage about two-thirty, three o’clock and they walked out of here [at] seven o’clock in the morning. And it’s not just that they played quantity, and for my amateur ears, in all my life I have never heard the kind of music that this group plays—the finest contemporary music. We’re going to round it off with the best of them all, The Allman Brothers Band.”
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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