Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gregg Allman Interview

A man who seems like he never takes a break from touring is Gregg Allman, whether he is out with the Allman Brothers or his solo band - the man just never stops. He's been a concrete pillar of the Southern Rock jam band scene for a solid 4 decades. Gregg is currently out with his solo band "Gregg Allman and Friends" and he is hitting the East Coast and Midwest on this leg of the tour. For more news and tour dates check out www.greggallman.com Gregg checked in for a quick interview to preview the shows.

RAG - When performing live, do you find it a challenge to please fans who want to hear both your solo material and the Allman Brothers material?
GA - We get alot of people who come to the shows for the Allman Brothers stuff. A lot of the people come with the attitude of "Let's see what you got by yourself little brother". (laughing) I've got 5 solo records out in my career. We play songs off of that. Alot of the songs people have never heard before. Whatever Allman Brothers songs we do, they're songs that I've written. We also re-arrange the Allman Brothers songs totally. Like when we play "Statesboro Blues". It comes out funky! We have a big 10 piece horn band and it sounds really good.

RAG - Do some of the songs ever become "old and tired" to play live after so many years of playing them?
GA - You got to pretty much like a song to do it every night. Like with the Allman Brothers, we play every song different every night. At least we try to. There's a lot of jamming going on. It's kind of different when you have a big band like my solo band. It's still jamming, but it's more like jamming on solos and stuff.

RAG - I wanted to ask you about your acting. You did such a great job in Rush years ago. It makes me wonder why haven't you pursued more acting gigs?
GA - Well, my first love is music. I do get a lot of scripts. They keep sending me different ones. I get a lot where they send me some crap like "Harley Davidson Hotel". If I got a really good part, I wouldn't turn it down. Acting is quite time consuming and I would hate to make my living that way. I always did want to try it though. That's why I took on the Rush movie. That was my first shot at it and the reason why I did it in the first place was just to experience what it was like.

RAG - If your brother Duane had never passed away (Duane died tragically in a traffic accident in 1971), what effect would that have had on the Allman Brothers band? Is it possible that the band would have ceased to exist if he had lived? I know that sounds horrible, but I read so many things that were going on back then. It makes me wonder if his passing may have been a "shining light", if you will, for the Allman Brothers to carry on.
GA - I don't know man. My brother might have gone his seperate way. But, I don't think so. It would probably depend on the band as a whole. We were all getting into some real rough, terrible shit at about the time he passed away. If the chemical dependancy hadn't gone haywire, I think we would have probably stayed together. If we didn't straighten up as a band, then it would be highly possible I wouldn't be talking to you today. I was the last one to straighten up. It's been about 7 or 8 years now since I've been clean.

RAG - Who are some of the bands out there today that you like who are carrying on that Southern rock tradition?
GA - The Drive By Truckers are pretty good. I also like Robert Randolph. There are alot of new ones out that I like. But, there are also alot of new ones out that I don't like too. I don't like rap music. It's just too racial for me.

RAG - ...and what does the Allman Brothers mushroom logo represent?
GA - That's just our logo. That's all. No hidden meaning at all. (laughing) The Stones have the lips. The Dead have the skull. We just have a mushroom!

RAG - Any message you want to pass along?
GA - Yeah, I do. I love my fans to death and they are the reason that I keep doing this. They're the main reason and my love for music is the other one. I love to play for people who enjoy it. As long as people do that, what else can you do but keep on playing? It's like something that you never get enough of and it's not an ego thing either for me. It's a really graceful thing and I thank each and every fan from the bottom of my heart.

5 comments:

Mitzi said...

Great interview, yet I'm unclear as to how old this interview is. Gregory has been very clear that he's been clean now for 10 years, not 7 or 8, and states that fact proudly and frequently.

Mydenrocks said...

The interview as from early 2005. I just threw this up for the Allman Bros. fans to check out in anticipation of his current tour. I do have another interview coming from Gregg, but it won't be on until the 3rd week of Jan. I think. Thanks for checking out the site! Archived interview material is going up until Jan. 1...after the 1st fresh interviews will be coming daily. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Nice interview. I am just curious as to some additional color surrounding the subject matter you touched on regarding the "state of the band", if you will, at the time of Duane's death. What was going on amongst the members? Was the chemistry changing? You seem to have alluded to it, and Gregg's response kind of corroberrates it, albeit without providing much detail. I guess I am just curious as to the details. Was Duane fed up with everyone? Was he mixed up in all the chemicals himself? Was he tired of tryinjg to keep the boys in line? Any additional color is much appreciated. Thx -- JB

John said...

I think what Gregg meant, was at the time of Duane's passing, the Band needed a break. They had been pushing hard for 2 and half years. Being around anyone for that long on the road in that era, would get to you. And referring to the Chem abuse, that was how you managed to stay full of fire, if they would have took a break, did some fishin' and started jammin' again for the sake of jammin' and dried out a bit. Things would have been cool. That's what they were doing when Duane had his accident. As far as GA helping other unknown artists and the like. The man's a gem, from personal experience
John

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