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Author: Subject: My Favorite Memory of Gregg Allman & The ABB

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  posted on 6/2/2017 at 02:15 PM
My very favorite Gregg Allman memory (and my favorite Allman Brothers Band memory as well).

Saturday July 8, 1989 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland for the ABB's Dreams Box Set Reunion Tour. I had never seen the ABB in concert and I camped out at my local record store on Saturday June 10, with a chair and got 4th Row Center tickets!

Then 2 days before the concert my favorite radio station, DC101 who had been giving away tickets all week, ended with a grand prize, a backstage pass for the 10th caller!! I was at my regular day job and had DC101's phone number on automatic speed dial because you had to call in while Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" was playing. LOL! When the DJ Rick Levinson answered and said I was the 10th caller I literally screamed. LOL!

I got to Merriweather about 4:30pm with my book from the "Dreams" boxed set which I wanted to get autographed and a camera ready to meet the band and my favorite singer Gregg Allman!

After chilling out early at Merriweather, then DC101's Steve Sutton came onstage to introduce the band and the audience roared when the ABB broke into Spencer Davis's "Don't Want You No More" and Gregg's "It's Not My Cross To Bear".

Of all the times I got to see the ABB since, this was the only time that Gregg (and Dickey) did some of their solo songs! Gregg did "I'm No Angel" which I had already bought the album and single 45 so I went nuts!! Dickey did "Duane's Tune" from "Pattern Disruptive" and I was the only person in the Pavilion dancing my ass off, but I didn't care because I was having a blast!

I brought my binoculars and even though I was sitting close, I used them to see Gregg up close playing Hammond B3 and playing his acoustic guitar when he came out center stage to strum and sing "Melissa" and to see Dickey burning up his Les Paul, especially on "Dreams" which was the most stunning passionate performance I ever saw Gregg give.

When the show was over, DC101's Main DJ Steve Sutton and his wife Harriett, met with me at the front of the stage and first they escorted me to a catered area backstage outside with tons of fresh fruit and cold cuts which we munched on. Then they escorted me to the inside lounge outside of the dressing rooms. One by one each band member came out. Alan Woody was a perfect Southern Gentleman who called me Maam, gave me his pick with a silver Southern Cross and strummed some chords on an acoustic guitar for me. Butch talked shop with me and when I asked him (after Alan signed my Dreams book) to sign my Dreams book too, Butch said he hadn't really had a chance to see the LP sized biographical book yet and asked if he could check it out for a few minutes, but of course I said!

Dickey came out of the dressing room and I remember that DC101's DJ YDB aka "Young" Dave Brown came out and like a little kid he goes to Dickey, "Mr. Betts, Mr. Betts, will you please sign my T-shirt?" LOL! He leaned over and put one of the tour shirts across his back which Dickey autographed. I thought this was really so sweet. This street smart savvy rock DJ who had to be in his early 40's, late 30's, just melted with childlike wonder at his hero Dickey Betts! I likewise melted when Dickey signed my book because Dickey, next to Duane Allman and Eric Clapton is my favorite guitarist!

Jaimoe then came out and also signed my book.

But WHERE was my Gregory!? All night I just knew I had to meet Gregg Allman!! DC101's Steve Sutton said to be patient, that Gregg was freshening up and changing (no doubt because it was a muggy swampy 102 degrees that night and humid and sticky as hell! Macon probably felt cool as a mint julip compared to a July in Maryland!! LOL! Then about a half hour to 45 minutes later, after most everyone in the lounge area including the other band members had left, and the room was very quiet, Gregory Lenoir Allman himself gently and quietly came into the room, all freshened up in a white tour shirt with a peach on the front and his hair tied back in a pony tail and said Hi as polite and sweet as could be.

Gregg then apologized for being late, and said that it was his (as I remember I hope correctly) his Grandmother's birthday or he may have said his Mom's Mama A but I thought he said his grandmother's) birthday and he had just called her after the concert to wish her a Happy Birthday, which I thought was just so sweet. And the way that he said it was so sweet as well, this badass rocker just wanting to wish his grandmom a Happy Birthday.

That still just warms and touches my heart so to this day. I told him there was no need to apologize and I said Happy Birthday to his grandmother to Gregg. Then I told him how amazing the concert was and especially his performance and sublime vocals. I was surprised at how soft and gentle his speaking voice was. Gregg was a perfect Southern gentleman and when I complimented his gorgeous vocals and musicianship he smiled and thanked me and was so kind. He took a photo with me and autographed my Dreams book and I about lost it when he took a photo with me but I only lost it on the inside and I stayed calm on the outside. LOL!

Gregg then thanked me for coming to the show and said "God Bless" and then had to join the band to leave so DC101's Steve Sutton, his wife, and "Young" Dave Brown" all escorted me to the Pavilion and I thanked them for everything.

It was exactly midnight!! The Pavilion was empty but the road crew was onstage breaking everything down.

And I could see and hear the crickets chirping on this beautiful and magical summer night, and I could see and hear the Load Out going on, onstage.

I started singing Jackson Brown's "Load Out" to myself (which Jackson recorded live at Merriweather Post Pavilion) and I just stood there taking it all in and knowing that I just had my "Dreams" come true. I wrote everything down that happened that night so I would never forget. A few days later I called DC101's Rick Levinson whose show I had won the backstage pass from and thanked him.

I treasured that autographed "Dreams" book and my photo with Gregg Allman and the memories of that night forever and looked at them often.

Through fate's sometimes cruel circumstance my photo with Gregg and my signed Dreams book are now long destroyed and gone, but the memories will always be in my heart and mind. Those I will ALWAYS have.

That night, gave me the hope and inspiration and courage to go through and face life and the courage and passion to become a writer which was not easy with the life I have had.

I will always think of that night, of The Allman Brothers Band and especially of Gregg (all of who I would see and meet many more times and get to review and photograph in concert, and Gregg who I would be so very blessed to interview twice), and...... especially meeting my greatest musical inspiration, Mr. Gregory Lenoir Allman with love, light, affection, admiration, inspiration, uplifting happiness and hope, and an otherworldy, ethereal childlike wonder and joy that will forever take me to a better place and time that will live in my heart forever. Love you and miss you dearest Gregg. God Bless you and keep you always. xo

[Edited on 6/2/2017 by ArleneWeiss]

[Edited on 6/2/2017 by ArleneWeiss]

[Edited on 6/2/2017 by ArleneWeiss]

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/2/2017 at 02:32 PM
Really nice!, thanks for sharing that.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/2/2017 at 03:37 PM
Thanks for sharing that special memory!

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 6/2/2017 at 04:40 PM
Thanks for sharing this.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/3/2017 at 10:27 AM
Beautiful memories indeed. Thanks for sharing!

 

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