My short bio:

Hi Reddit music fans and book lovers, this is Alan Paul, the Allman Brothers Band biographer and author of "One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band", which debuted on the New York Times Top 10 Best Sellers list. The expanded paperback, which includes an extensive chapter on the band's final year, came out 10 days ago.

Lots to discuss about the band's past, present and future, as well as Gov' MUle, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gregg Allman Band and more.

"One Way Out" on Amazon:

I am also the senior writer for Guitar World magazine and the frontman for a blues band. My first book, "Big In China", is a memoir about my years as an expat playing music in Beijing being developed for a film by Ivan Reitman. So if you are curious about life in China, ask me anything!

I'll be online for the next 12 hours, maybe longer, answering your questions, so let's rock!

My Proof:

Comments: 277 • Responses: 103  • Date: 

Frajer7 karma

do you think they're truly finished?

alanpaul9 karma

Sort of.

that sounds like a cop out, but... I believe that there are no plans to continue and that was all legit. But I also beleive that if the right promoter makes the right offer, anything is possible. I don't think we'll ever see that exact band again, though.

SpookZero2 karma

Who would be the holdout? Butch probably?

alanpaul2 karma

Not at all. Butch is rarin to go I think. The young 'uns.

sheeeed2 karma

Would Dickie ever consider a return you think?

alanpaul2 karma

"consider" yes for sure. But it would be a complex negotiation and who knows.. the older everyone gets the less likely it seems to me. But one last tour together would be awfully cool.

sheeeed3 karma

I sure hope so. Also, I read your book last year after picking it up at a bookstore in Asheville, NC. You were gonna be doing a signing I think the next week but I was only in Asheville for the weekend. Can I send you my copy for you to sign?

alanpaul3 karma

Yes. I always hate to do this, because it gets a bit complicated. I can practically sell you a paperback incl. shipping for what you will pay for shipping hardcover to me and back. Write me through my FB page or email.

yourmybluesky6 karma

Alan, one simple question. Why do I never get tired of listening to this band?

alanpaul4 karma

Beause they never get old! I feel the same way.

yourmybluesky2 karma

My older brother turned me on to ABB in the 70's. It was just after Eat a Peach was released. Unfortunately, Duane was gone by then. I first saw them in 1973 at the Spectrum in Philly. They had just released Brothers and Sisters. I was 17.

When I went off to college and subsequently built a career (not in music), I got exposed to lots of other music and drifted away from ABB only to come back in the first decade of 21st century. I rediscovered everything I missed in the 90's which I happen to believe was their peak performance point.

I lament not seeing Duane. I don't know if you believe in God but as far as I'm concerned, Duane is proof that God exists.

alanpaul1 karma

My older rbother turned me on, too. Goolder brothers!

I understand about Duane.. I also lament never seeing him live.

senorglory2 karma

thanks for sharing your genuine enthusiasm, in this thread. you've inspired me to go listen to some music. and read a book.

alanpaul2 karma

Well that makes me proud. My two favorite sedentary activities.

BrotherRick5 karma

I think my favorite part of the book was Tom Dowd's story about Duane and Clapton where each of them refers to the other by playing one of their solos note for note ("You mean this guy?"). Are there any other vignettes you can share about this kind of musical affinity between ABB members and other musicians?

alanpaul3 karma

Yeah, that was cool, huh?

Doucette told me a great story that didn't make it in about him and Duane siting in with Bobby Bland and howmuch Bland loved Duane and offered him a gig.

alanpaul2 karma

Rick Hall was also effusive in his praise for Duane and liked his stories about Wilson Pickett and all the guys and how much they loved him.

BrotherRick2 karma

Oh, man! I'd have loved Duane's take on "I'll Take Care of You"?

alanpaul4 karma

Apparently, DA and TD were in the front row. Bland's guitarist knew who duane was and at break told BB, who invited him to play. He went home nad got axe and he and TD both sat in. Bland was astounded. Should have been in the book. sorry.

Jbuchberg5 karma

Do you see the Derek Trucks Band performing again any time soon?

alanpaul5 karma

No I really do not. Derek is not one to look back over his shoulder. He's moving forward and very happy with the TTB.

Jbuchberg6 karma

TTB has progressed so much since their early days. While its a bummer to hear DTB may not be back, its nice to see that TTB has incorporated some of those songs with Mike Mattison!

alanpaul4 karma

I think that TTB is getting better and better. Saw them a few weeks ago in Wilmngton DE and def. thought it was the best show I've seen. I know that a lot of fans miss DTB but I think Derek is all systems go.

Jbuchberg4 karma

So how big are you in china?

alanpaul2 karma

Pretty small, really, especially now, in 2015. I had my moment, though.

The title of the book was kind of a joke and also reflective of how I grew in so many ways... if that makes sense...

gsmith1404 karma

Has there ever been a slide guitarist with more unique style/tone than Derek Trucks?

alanpaul4 karma

Hmmmm... I guess I'll say so - in rock, because of his deep incorporation of both sacred steel and Indian musics. Microtones!

skydog123 karma

Hi Alan, great to see you back doing another AMA again. You know when the Brothers are gonna release some of their live recordings? I recall you mentioning hearing a fantastic version of mountain jam in your last AMA haha. Never got to see the band live, and you know how hard it is coming across some of their live recordings, especially here in China. Thanks. Also, what was it like coping with life in the mainland?

alanpaul1 karma

Wait. You are the intersection of my life? an Allman Bros freak in China?

I just mentioned that Mtn Jam again below actually.

I think that some of the live recordings might flow a bit more now that they are not active, but no one has told me that officially.

alanpaul1 karma

Life on the mainland was always exciting for me and we didn't hit any really bad road bumps. it has gotten progressively more difficult in several regards since I left in 2009... including the air pollution, which was bad enough when I was there... It did inspire my gretest song, "Beijing Bues":

brbadg3 karma

Are there any plans for the TTB to offer live downloads? Lots of Allman Bros fans here,but damn this band is sounding really fine these days.I completely get that it's not the same as being there,but I'd sure like a nice sounding souvenir.

alanpaul1 karma

I don't know but going to check on this... stay tuned.

alanpaul4 karma

I asked management and they said: "Yes we’re hoping to start doing that later this year."

I'm working for you!

dgf16303 karma

Hey Alan, I bought your hardcover book and thanks for signing it by the way, but I'm mildly disappointed that the paperback version just released has additional info and pics. I realize you had more material to add, but it just seems backward, what about those of us that bought the hardcover? Don't we deserve to get the additional material and pics? Or is this just how books are marketed these days? Thanks for a great read !

alanpaul2 karma

Thanks for buying the book.

I'm not sure how it's backwards. I totally understand being frustrated by this, but the fact is, the story continued and I reported on it. There was, of course, no way that material could have been in the first edition. It had not happened yet! I can see how spending an extra $15 or so to get it would be annoying, but look at it this way; those 30 pages were literally a year's work for me.

It also included about 15 new photos - all of which I paid for.

alanpaul2 karma

Also should note that those photos include not only Kirk West's great work from the final show, but the FINAL PORTRAIT EVER - by famed photog Danny Clinch. And two shots taken at rehearsals by Derek Trucks.

None of this stuff is just slapped together.

gordonstsg3 karma


What in your opinion prevented the ABB from releasing a studio follow-up to "Hittin' the Note"? The fans would have loved a clean recording of "Egypt" and more.

alanpaul1 karma

A confluence of factors.

with other groups touring more, they were scaling back their touring. No use commercially putting out a new record if you're not going to go out and really hump it.

Economy of putting out records totally changed after 2004. Incentive wasn;t quite there, ie they weren't going to make much $ or change their touring reality much.

Given lack of interest from older members due to the above, not much incentive for Warren, the only real songwriter, to bring his new tunes to the ABB instead of elsewhere.

All of the above is my opinion only. Not things anyone really told me.

HH9123 karma

ABB was my 1st concert when I was 13 or14 (circa 95), and have seen them approximately 12 times since. I have seen them with dickey and warren, dickey and Jack, dickey and Derek, Derek and jimmy and Derek and warren. They all sounded very different in styles especially slide. For example the early 90s sounded a lot edgier with warren on slide and woody on bass. The last line up was more jazzy and experimental with Derek maturation and exploration. What was your favorite line up musically (post 89 revival), and why? (By musically I mean take out drama and personal beefs - strictly performance).

Edit date of 1st show was 9-3-95

alanpaul2 karma

Good for you. who took you to that show?

I love all the eras and was lucky enough to see many shows in all of the above... Derek and Warren were the most consistent... Derek and Jimmy the most out there and winging it... Dickey and Jack had some great shows, before things started getting weird... and there are some really strong Jack/Derek shows when Warren was sick...

But I have to go with Dickey and Warren... Following answer posted from below:

I think throughout 91-92 and into 93, the shows were consistently great... all excited to be back, warren on fire and pushing dickey, woody finding his groove, Gregg in good shape... etc...

HH9121 karma

My dad did! I was starting to get into the blues and 60s music and he thought I would enjoy it. Let's say it was life changing. As someone who started playing drums at 10 seeing jaimoe, Marc and butch was as revelation. Life should not be lived in just 4/4. :). Warrens slide ruined me. Nothing beats his playing or tone back then for me. It was the next step in the evolution of blues. I also love early mule for the same reason. I'll never for get that show too. (Columbus, Polaris ampetheater).

alanpaul2 karma

Good job dad! The ABB drummers make everyone else sound like mush to me.

HH9122 karma

Funny thing - my first concert ever too. We were in the lawn and my dad turned to me and asked if I knew what that smell was. LOL he still teases me about that moment.

Ps. If you've never listened to it, check out 7-13-05 at Columbus. Not a dickey/warren show, but one I was at. Absolutely incredible. Start and end with mountian jam. School girl was great, best intro to hoochie coochie man I have ever heard, and dreams is face melting. Nothing beats this band especially when they are cooking. I listen to a lot of shows, but this is one I always go back to. I pinch myself in disbelief I was there in person.

Ps - loved one way out. Need to get the paperback so I can read the last chapter now that it's over!

alanpaul2 karma

Really really strong shows throughout 2005. Will look for that.

Funny story. I took my son to his first beacon show when he was 2. He's 17 now.

bjrodgers83 karma

Do you think the influence of Delaney Bramlett is under appreciated?

alanpaul3 karma

Yes! Look at gutarists who were dying to play with him: Duane, Clapton, Harrison... and EC may never have sung without Delaney's prodding... and when he did, he tried to sound just like DB!

I spoke to Bonnie the other day. She's going to write a memoir and it is going to be great.

dgf16302 karma

Do you think Derek Trucks and Jimmy Herring will ever get together and record anything?

alanpaul2 karma

I'd have to say yes. Weird that they not done more... close friends and great admirers of one another. and now related. Derek's brother is married to JH's daughter.

scottyo632 karma

Do you have any insider info that you can share about what did / did not happen during the final Beacon run with regards to inviting Dickey to the show? ... or is that in the paperback ??

alanpaul1 karma

It is in the paperback. I believe that the managers talked but it never came close. as I wrote in the book, I don't think it was the right time or place.. too intense. too much baggage. A summer time festival sit in would have been a much better icebreaker IMHO.

jcattier2 karma

Do you think either the Mule or TTB will take over the ABB March run at the Beacon over time? Are you surprised to see both bands covering ABB material so soon? Do you have a favorite song performance from the last night?

alanpaul1 karma

  1. No. Both seem happy with their Sept. and Dec. runs. I did thnk more of them would play in the area right now... Mule up at the Cap, though.

  2. No. I'm happy about this. Was hoping it would be the case. The catalog has to live on.

THEScheister2 karma

First, i just want to say that I loved "One Way Out," and couldn't put it down until it was finished. I really enjoyed the way it was set up, showing so many different perspectives. Thank you for writing it. My question is, if the Brothers were to pick the torch back up again somewhere down the line, what would be your ideal (and plausible) line up? It sounded to me like Warren and Derek were done with it before the band even decided to stop touring.

alanpaul2 karma

Jack Pearson and Chuck Leavell.

Jack and Warren.

Jack and Luther D

Hard to imagie not having someone with pedigree in the band's past, but JP still has the tinnitus issues and won't fly... but he can drive to Peach Fest and Wanee!

And thanks on the book.

skydog72 karma

Also have to replace Oteil, no? Who does that?

alanpaul1 karma

Never was totally clear to me that OB would not have stayed. If the right people came on and the right offer was made, I think it's at least possible he would have.

scottyo632 karma

A little bit off topic, but why is Warren not joining in on the Dead's 50th Fare Thee Well tour?

alanpaul2 karma

Because they hired Trey.

not to be flip, but who knows why those guys do what they do? I know for sure that warren was talking to them.

Just pure speculation and gut feeling: I think they didn't want one guy singing and playing... Bob and Trey have become close friends recently...

Warren playing four nights with Phil in a few weeks for his 75th birthday so it'snot like they suddenly hate him or anything.

ducardosotm2 karma

Hey, Alan! I started reading your book a few days ago and it's pretty good so far. You can say I'm already a fan of your work... :)

I believe we both check on the ABB FB groups constantly and one question that shows up all the time alongside some pictures - and I believe no one was able to answer that so far - is whether Duane had one or two goldtops. There are several pictures of him playing the well-known goldtop, with pickup covers on and no poker chip, but there are other ones with no pickup cover AND a poker chip on. I always wonder if there were actually two goldtops, because these two modifications aren't that easy to make so constantly just for an aesthetic purpose.

Would you know if he really had two goldtops? Thank you!

alanpaul2 karma

No, I really don't believe that is the case and no one who woul dknow has ever told me that he did.

ducardosotm1 karma

Check this out

alanpaul2 karma

I saw that at the time. I'm not convinced.

alanpaul2 karma

Also, I just think it would have surfaced given the $

skydog72 karma

Alan, good work as always. Love how you've carried the torch and shared the story so well.

One question that I think i probably know the answer to, but thought maybe you'd have more insight on, why the long gap in playing Mountain Jam? They played it a lot with the (very underrated) 5-man band, a few times with Chuck (Watkins Glen & that 12/31/73 Cow Palace show come to mind), those mini-versions in the November 1993 tour through Florida and the Southeast (my first shows), but then it went away until the magical summer of 2000 with Derek/Jimmy. From there it remained in the setlist.

Any insight?

alanpaul1 karma

Dickey didn't want to play it. I do not really know why. No coincidence that it came back the summer he was gone.

And thanks on the first part... Carrying this torch somehow became my calling.

skydog72 karma

Dickey only huh? Interesting. The Warren/Woody band could have really SLAYED that song based on the amazing True Gravity versions they did in Summer 1996.

alanpaul1 karma

True. That's my understanding. I may just have to call Kirk and discuss with him....

NT_Darwin2 karma

Picked up the book at the Beacon Run last year, great read!

Who in the band would you say was the most unhappy with Derek choosing to call it a day and why?

Also how much is Mike M involved in the TTB? He wrote alot with the DTB, but Made up Mind had maybe one co writing credit for him.

alanpaul1 karma

Thanks on the book.

Butch seemed to want to continue the most so I guess he was most unhappy.

I really don't know about Mike. Good point about the writing. I know that it feels like he's very much a part when youre backstage, on the bus, etc.. friendly vibes all around.

Skunk_Buddy2 karma

What was the most memorable jam you ever witnessed and when was it?

What was your favorite special guest that sat in with ABB.

Govt Mule and TTB are playing same times in the same town at different venues - who do you go see?

alanpaul1 karma

  1. not sure. i need to think... but it has to be at the beacon... i was out o my mind when andy aledort sat in with the ABB... he's my good friend...

Being in the room when BB King arrived for Troibute to SRV rehearsals was really special.. Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Clapton, Cray all stopped playing and put down their guitars to form a welcoming line.

  1. Clapton, as noted below, but I love friends like Bill Evans and Bruce Katz the most in a way.

  2. Depends... if wife coming, definitely TTB... and then I guess will depend on who Isaw last, what venues, and if I have any work to do with WH or DT. I'd see either of them any time I can.

onthewall29832 karma

Was there anyone (besides Dickey) that the band reached out to to appear at the Beacon shows over the years but couldn't get?

Loved the book btw. It broke down the entire history in a way that made searching for a question impossible. My birthday is October 29th, so to know that the band's last notes were on my 31st was kind of special.

alanpaul1 karma

I know there were and trying to think... B.B. King - which would have been so cool. Clapton for years, until they did...

i will circle back to this, because I know there were some others and escaping me right now.

And thanks on the book!

onthewall29832 karma

Thanks for replying to my first reddit comment :)

alanpaul1 karma

you're welcome... seriously stay tuned.. this is bugging me. checking with Kirk West.

alanpaul1 karma

Carlos Santana and Bobby Bland

nelo24232 karma

Peach fest has Butch Trucks playing with "Very Special Friends" with every member but Derek and Marc Quinones scheduled to play at the festival. You think we'd get any sort of combination of them playing together during that set?

Loved One Way Out too!

alanpaul2 karma

Marc Q is in Gregg's band actually. So only Derek - and this is why he's staying away from these fests, I think.

i don't see that happening in that context, but nothing would shock me. I feel like I'll have a better handle on that after Wanee, when I see how much and what kind of interaction there is.

nelo24232 karma

Thanks! Also what was your opinion of their two sets at the peach last year? Personally I thought when they played through Eat a Peach it was pretty emotional but a little sloppy but they absolutely killed it on Sunday. Looking back to that Sunday, sitting on the lawn with the perfect weather and beautiful scenery while my favorite band crushed it will always be a great memory for me.

alanpaul3 karma

I agree with your thoughts totally!

hot_grits2 karma

Alan: As a second generation native Atlantan, I'm a huge fan of yours as well as the Allman Brothers.. i have two questions, maybe a third..

  1. Everyone knows Duane, RIP, will always be on a different level than any guitarist past, present, or future... but now for the question of the hour.. If you had to pick one: Derek or Warren?

  2. I was at Wanee this year and heard a few minutes of your discussion.. What was your favorite part of Wanee? (besides chillin with Jaimoe)

Thanks for taking the time!

alanpaul2 karma

  1. Sorry but I can't do it!

Derek's slide playing is totally unqiue and endlessly deep. The whole universe in a note when it's all right. Warren has a more varied skill set, with the writing and singing and even more so the bandleading ability and the way he can turn chaos into musical gold. Very unique.

  1. I loved the whole thing.. especially the hangs, with both musicians and fans. So great to meet so many appreciative readers and lovers of the band. One of best musical surprises to me was Dumpstaphunk's late night Zep set. Sounded cheesy to me in theory but I thought it was great.

hot_grits1 karma

GREAT answers.. very introspective about Derek and Warren..

haha ya I wasn't sure if I was gonna like that late night Dumpstaphunk set, i said the same thing.. turned out great though.. I don't like umphreys mcgee at all, but their cover set was grooovin too at wanee..

not sure if you got it in you, but my mom wanted to ask you something.. (they might better questions than mine, sigh.)

She said: "Ask him if there are any bootleg recordings out there from the muscle shoals days?" haha

she also asked if Gregg is personable, and if he has relationships with all his kids..

that muscle shoals question is pure gold though. made me laugh

Thanks again!

alanpaul1 karma

Go mom!

I really don't think there are any Muscle Shoals bootlegs.

Gregg can be very personable when he's in the mood. I've had a good relationship over the eyars. he is certainly harder to know than most. I'm really not sure about all his kids. I can say he has a relationship with Devon and Brooklyn because I know that to be true.

msblue782 karma

What are the chances or rather has there been any discussion of another new offshoot ala Frogwings, including Derek and Jimmy or Jack Pearson, Oteil etc...?

alanpaul1 karma

Anything's possible but Derek is pretty dang busy and fulfilled with TTB and one reason he didn't want to do ABB any more is to focus on one thing. Jack won't fly or play too loud. Jimmy has a great full time gig.

DeadbaseXI2 karma

The Grateful Dead maintained their fan base to some extent as a result of more-or-less sanctioned bootleg tapers; was this ever an issue with ABB, and what was their attitude towards it?

alanpaul1 karma

Good question. What era are you talking about?

IN the early 90s Kirk West, then the Tour Mystic, pushed the band to try to get into this.. he was an old Deadhead and avid tape collector and got it. I do beleive that before he even got official approval from the band, he started going out in the audience and allowing taping and telling venue security to allow it.

alanpaul1 karma

Finally, the band embraced it and saw it as a good way to expand the fan base and as a result of that, we got the archive series.

DeadbaseXI1 karma

The era I had in mind was the 70s; the GD only allowed it officially in 1984, but there was a vibrant trading community beforehand. Good to know, though I heard from a New York area taper that ABB shows (Beacon Runs in the 2000s) were still pretty harsh on it. Maybe he was trying to make a big deal of getting a tape anyway!

Next question: how much of the ABB's operation was "in-house," ie run by friends and acquaintances, and how much of it was done more professionally?

alanpaul1 karma

Well, the dead was in a unique position with tapes from the start because of the presence of Bear, who had the $ to buy tape and the foresight to want to do so when no one else was taping.

ABB was pretty open to taping by early 90s and to best of my memory andknowledge it was no problemat beacon in 2000's.

DeadbaseXI2 karma

Millionaires do come in handy when you're a struggling rock band...

alanpaul1 karma

Tape was expensive and when bands did tape, they usually listened, then taped over.

alanpaul1 karma

as to the in house Q, I don't totally understand... they have always had a manager and publicist... once they were not really putting out n records, less staff.

DeadbaseXI2 karma

I'm thinking of how bookings, management, ticket sales etc were run by friends (which became a problem later). On the sound side, they had Bear and his experiments, but they also had Alembic fiddling with equipment and instruments, they founded Round Records and Grateful Dead Records... I gather that the ABB was using "Out of Town Tours" for a while, founded by Sam Cutler when he managed the GD. Was management and PR done by independent companies, by the record company...?

alanpaul1 karma

I don't think that BB was ever in-family as GD. Bert Holman has been manager since 92. Technically they are self managed, ie he sort of works for the band rather than them being singed to a management company. They've used outside PR ever since not on a label.

Bash04232 karma

Why did Derek end the Derek Trucks Band? I mean I like Susan as a singer, but I also loved Mike Mattison.

alanpaul1 karma

Honestly never understand why people are so baffled that

  1. Derek might want do something at 35 than he did at 21.
  2. He wants to have a band with his wife.

Hard to say what percentage is musical vs. personal, but I beleive it's both and that he's very happy and the band is getting better and better. He's not looking back.

Bash04232 karma

I wouldn't expect him to look back. I mean he is far more successful now than he was. Just thought Mattison was great, especially with Derek's style of playing.

alanpaul2 karma

But it was a lot bgger decision than just switching singers... the fact that MM is one of 2 DTb members still with him shows what derek thinks of him IMHO

Bash04232 karma

I 100% agree with that, just curious to see what you thought/knew. Thanks again.

alanpaul1 karma

Right on.

anothersixstringer2 karma

If you had to describe each guitar playing with one word, how would you describe : Duane/Dickey/Warren/Derek?

alanpaul2 karma

I need a couple words.

Duane: magnetic driving Dickey: melodic genius Warren: rooted expansive Derek: universal deep

dgf16302 karma

Do you know anyone that got one of those guitars used by Warren at the last Beacon shows? Not that I would expect it, but never really heard much about it after the initial announcement, which I thought was super cool by the way.

alanpaul1 karma

Yes, I have stayed in touch with one of the guys who got one...a super sweet goldtop. Once they were bought they became privately owned guitars, so not sure what you would hear.

Leoncelli_33882 karma

Leno vs Conan whose side are you on?

alanpaul3 karma


Dozer121182 karma

Hey Alan, just wanted to say it was a pleasure to meet you and kirk at mountain jam last year! Haven't gotten the chance to read one way out yet, but looking forward to picking up the paperback as soon as I finish up Gregg's book.

I was lucky to be able to get into the final two ABB shows at the beacon and what great shows they were. I know there wasn't any moogis, but was there any video going on? I didn't see any camera men from where I was at the balcony, but would love to be able to relive those shows on video.

Also do you have any plans on bringing your band to play in the Albany/saratoga area?

Cheers and keep up the good work!

alanpaul2 karma

Thanks. I had so much fun meeting so many people at wanee, mtn jam and peach last year.. not to mention at the beacon for all the shows, and at other events. Very rewarding to get so much feedback - unsuaul for a writer!

There was no official filming of the final shows, which is crazy, but I kind of understand why. It is my understanding that a more-than-ok recording does exist. I hope it will see the light of day.

Would love to bring my band up there, if we get a good gig. Actually Woodstock area is more likely. working on a couple of things there.

Dozer121182 karma

Alright cool. If you do end up going a little further upstate and need a local opener get ahold of me!

alanpaul1 karma

Cool. flip that - if you know of some place I should contact, let me know!

Dozer121182 karma

I would look into the Putnam Den in Saratoga or the Low Beat in albany.

alanpaul1 karma


theroutineriot2 karma

As one of many Jessicas, Jessica is one of my favorite songs. Any idea how Jessica Betts felt about it when she was older?

alanpaul3 karma

I'm afraid I don't, but I have to imagine it's a pretty great feeling. I have a picture of dickey and a toddler Jessica in the book that I love.

And yes, in the past year, I have met so many Jessicas and Melissas, or people who told me they named their daughters one or the other. You are part of a proud tribe.

theroutineriot2 karma

Thanks for answering! It's a pretty great feeling just listening and I'm the wrong Jessica. :)

It's one of the few redeeming qualities to having such a common name.

alanpaul1 karma

I can imagine!

tdnarb2 karma

What happened to Berry Oakley's "Tractor" bass? Is it at the Big House?

alanpaul1 karma

Let me check on that and reply later. It was at the Big House and then it was back with BO's son, Berry Duane Oakley. I beleive he still has it, but I am not certain. Please keep checking here. I am sending out feelers to try and find out.

alanpaul1 karma

Well, I think it's BDO who has it and his son is playing it. I actually sent Berry a message asking. Will post if I hear back in time.

april819722 karma

Your favorite Duane era show, your favorite Dickey/Warren era show and favorite Warren/Derek era show?

alanpaul1 karma

Love/hate this question!

It's a great one, but I don't have great ready answers. I listen to everything and nothing.. by which I mean I lsiten to all I can get my hands on, but don't chart quite the way others do. For instance, I have no idea how many shows I've been to. Same part of my brain. I just enjoy it all.

I am listening to Play all Night right now as I do this and love it...not to say it's my favorite Warren/Dickey but I like the better sound. Love having Doucette and love how the band sounds. I think throughout 91-92 and into 93, the shows were consistently great... all excited to be back, warren on fire and pushing dickey, woody finding his groove, Gregg in good shape... etc...

Warren/Derek were really strong throughout 2004-05... I love almost everything I hear from that era. I was at the 40th anniversary show in 2009 and at the time thought it was the best, and I think the DVD shows that it's right up there.

Now duane era...

alanpaul1 karma

So much great Duane stuff... I love the sound on the new fillmore recordings and listen all the time.

I have a few Capt Skipper remasters that are incredible.. One Peach cobbler of his with a 45-minute Mtn Jam that is absolutely my fave version. Just fired up and incredible - and I don't even know when that was.

miss-hoopee1 karma

thank you alan for givin skipper props on the remasters,,he works hard on em,,,the date on the mountain jam is anybodys guess,,,only thang we know for certain is it was at alex cooleys ballroom,,,,

alanpaul1 karma

Of course! Skipper deserves any and all props. He not only has put so much effort into making shows sound remarkably good but has always been incredibly generous in sharing them. Go Skip! You know which MJ I am talking about?

Rwalsh792 karma

Hi Alan...given that last year was the 45th and final year for ABB, did Gregg, Jaimoe and Butch actually entertain replacing Warren and Derek at all?

alanpaul1 karma

Yes, definitely were discussions all along and a lot of mixed feelings and ambivelance.

scottyo632 karma

Who do you think they were considering replacing them with ?

alanpaul1 karma

I don't think it ever got that far. I never thought it could be done on the fly to be honest... Warren especially did so much more than play guitar...

Jack Pearson, Jimmy Herring, Luther dickinson among the only guys who it's possible to imagine stepping in.

Jmunnny2 karma

Hi Alan, I'm currently reading Greg's bio, "my cross to bear"

What is your best Greg Allman story?

Do you think Dwayne is in the top 5 best guitar players?

alanpaul3 karma

Duane not Dwayne - and of course!

My fave Gregg story was interviewing him at 1 am in his Chicago hotel room as his wife slept and his little poodle snoozed and watched us... He picked up a guitar and played and sang Come and Go Blues and that was incredible. Probably not what you were looking for, but that's a real answer.

mountain_jamz2 karma

Do you have any insight as to the "sitting in" process at the Beacon? The ABB run there is just as famous for the guests as it is the band. How does this work? Do guests get paid? Per diem? Scale? Costs?

Who was your favorite Beacon guest?

alanpaul3 karma

Great questions.

No simple answer... some of them get paid scale - like the horns... some of the really planned out ones get expenses covered.. but a lot of them are local guys, usually Warren friends, and it's just a sit in. Some people I'm not clear about.

My fave Beacon guest was Clapton in 09 I guess... I was skeptical and thought he was great and the badn was great and the energy in the room was off the hook.. really respected how he learned the songs... often have not been a fan of guests, who sometimes just bring things down.

some of the more low key guests can be the best... always love Bill Evans, Bruce Katz... they don't change what the band is doing.. they just make it better!

mountain_jamz2 karma

how about least favorite sit ins? i know there have been a few interesting ones in the past. i always cringed when dickey would bring out that trombone player for liz reed. just didnt fit

alanpaul1 karma

Ha. that trombone player was Jaimoe's buddy.

My least favorite: John Popper blowing his harp all over the guitars I love. I also hated Phil and Bobby during the 40th... just dragged the whole thing down... maybe I was just grumpy that night.. was with two deadheads in heaven.

SpookZero2 karma

I was there in 2013 when Popper joined them and thought his contributions, particularly to "The Same Thing," were incredible. Different strokes, I guess

alanpaul1 karma

A lot of people, including Warren I guess, love his playing. I'm not one of them.

alanpaul1 karma

Another favorite I forgot to mention: it was magical when Little Milton sat in. So glad I was there.

dgf16302 karma

I agree, great question ! Speaking of sit ins, always loved when Luther Dickinson sat in at Wanee, love NMA and the brothers.

Have you talked with them much? Definitely seem like regular guys and super talented, your impressions?

alanpaul1 karma

I love Luther both as a person and as musician. I know him quite well and have spent a lot of time with him and his wife and kids at the last two Roots Rock Revivals.

scottyo632 karma

Thom Doucette is the reason I started playing harp. What is he doing now ?

alanpaul1 karma

You figured out how to post!

Thom lives in Florida, near Sarasota on the beach and is a yoga instructor. He is very serious about his yoga.

Interviewing him was one of my fave parts of writing the book, and I thought he added a tremendous amount of depth and insight... very bright, thoughtful, interesting guy who was inside enough to know all and outside enough to have some perspective.

And he was the final interview.. I had already turned the book in when he finally called me back. I me thim at his frineds'house in Philly. He was there for a yoga conference.

scottyo632 karma

Thanks. Glad you connected with him. I enjoyed reading his perspective in the book. Yoga huh, don't think I'll be following him in that regard!

alanpaul1 karma

He also told me that he thinks his playing days are through. Which made me sad.

scottyo632 karma

don't recall whether or not he sat in on any Beacon shows...?

alanpaul1 karma

He did in 2009 and I'm pretty sure not since then.

skydog72 karma

I found Thom's comments in One Way Out to be some of the best new insight in the book. A real coup for you that you scored that and had him open up like he did.

alanpaul1 karma

Thanks. Several people vouched for me and he decided to do the interview, but only in person - no phoner. He wanted to take stock of me, I think.

and I agree about the insight...

alanpaul1 karma

He wanted to walk while we talked... we literally walked miles through South Philly talking while I recorded it all... was so nervous about not being able to check recorder... luckily, it all worked!

gsmith1402 karma

I think Duane is maybe the greatest "died-too-young" loss in rock history. From your book and everything else I've seen/read about him, it just seems like he was the most immense talent and a sweet, peaceful guy to boot.

That said, during research/interviews for the book, was there one story/fact/legend you learned about Duane that stood out and just made you go "wow"?

Loved the book, thanks for doing this!

alanpaul1 karma

You're welcome. Thanks.

Have you read Galadrielle's book, Please Be with Me? It really fleshs out certain parts of Duane's personality, including some darkness.

It wasn't really any one fact that I learned but the cumulative effect of talking to everyone and the impact he continues to have on everyone.. and the way that all who knew him talk about him as if he was in the room yesterday. It's still intense and raw.

gsmith1402 karma

Haven't read it yet, but definitely plan to. Looking forward to it, just have to pick the right time. Thanks for the response!

alanpaul1 karma

Welcome. It adds some interesting nuance.

yourmybluesky2 karma

Not to take anything away from your book which I loved, but Galadrielle's was fantastic. I think the difference is that your book is band centric while Galadrielle's was Duane centric. I very much enjoyed the level of detail that she went to in writing that book.

alanpaul1 karma

I'm not offended. The books are completely different and I think Please be with Me is great. I've been surprised that people have not commented more about some aspects that she goes into that no one else has or really could.

yourmybluesky2 karma

Here is something I was shocked to read in Galladrielle's book. She talks to Joe Dan Petty who picked up Duane at the airport when he came home from playing with Derek and the Dominos. Joe said Duane told him "I'll tell you one thing, Clapton's got nothing on Dickey Betts." Now, I'm not into the guitarist scorecard thing. I love both Eric and Dickey's playing. But I thought that was a beautiful tribute to Dickey. Someone who doesn't get enough credit (especially in those ridiculous Rolling Stone Best Guitarist of All Time lists) for being the great guitar player that he is.

alanpaul3 karma

Why were you shocked by that? I don't find it even a tiny bit surprising.

DICKEY WAS AN INCREDIBLE GUITARIST AND CREATIVE FORCE. a lot of what we think aof as the patented Allman Brothers sound is a product of Dickey's mind and fingers.

Believe me, the people making the lists at rolling Stone have no fucking idea what he wrote or played versus what Duane played.

yourmybluesky2 karma

It's nice hearing you say that given everything that has happened to Dickey.

alanpaul2 karma

It's just true!

skydog72 karma

What's your favorite song from each ABB era & why? I've listed mine just for s&g's:

Original band - gotta be Dreams with Liz Reed a close second

5 man band - Ain't Wastin' Time No More

Chuck/Lamar - Come & Go Blues

Enlightened Rogues - Pegasus (never understood why they didn't bring this back after that time)

Warren/Woody - Nobody Knows

Dickey/Jack - High Falls (Dickey always did better on songs he wasn't as familiar with)

Dickey/Derek - Dreams (Dickey's Dreams solos were kind of underrated)

Derek/Jimmy - Mtn Jam, hands down

Warren/Derek - High Cost of Low Living for original songs, Dreams (Derek) and Whipping Post (Warren) for songs from the canon


alanpaul1 karma

I like all of your choices. hard to pick single favorites. I endorse all of your choices and add, in order:

•Blue sky •Wastin by far - no add. •Jessica •Just Ain't Easy •Kind of Bird, acoustic Liz Reed •Statesboro - just becauseit was soexciting to hear Derek playing the Duane slide parts. Random choice of an iconic slide song. •Yes Mtn Jam •funny but this one is hardest for me... i'm gonna come back.

skydog72 karma

Just Ain't Easy > Liz Reed was an inspired segue for the 1979 tour, good call.

Loving your selection of Kind of Bird. Preferred it with the Mule, but only b/c they took it farther than the ABB did b/c of how difficult it was to play.

You missed Jack/Dickey... (Blessed to have Jack playing regularly here in Nashville)

alanpaul1 karma

So I did. Not intentional.

I loved some of the shows with Jack, who is just phenomenal. He played killer "Dreams" and some of the groove based songs were really strong with Jack/Butch/Oteil locking in like magic.

TheLibertarianThomas2 karma

Hey, Alan! Thank you for your dedication and love of ABB!

Really weird question, but are Jimmy Carter and any ABB members still tight today like they were in the 1970s?

alanpaul2 karma

No. But when I did signing with Jaimoe at the Big House last may someone brought a nice print of the JC/ABB photo for Jaimoe to sign.. Chuck already had.. said was for Mr. Carter, who wanted everyone to sign. Pretty cool, I thought.

[deleted]2 karma


alanpaul2 karma

First time I've ever heard anyone jonesing for more Neely! He was gone for most of the 90s. They should release a lot more archival things, but I don't see it as close to happening. Gregg is pretty picky for one thing.

msblue782 karma

and aren't you coming to do a meet and greet somewhere in Philadelphia area soon..?

alanpaul1 karma

Indeed I am.

March 11 at the ardmore Music Hall... My band Big in china is playing - with special guest Andy Aledort, of Dickey Betts' Great Southern, along with Philly outfit Old Soul. I'll also be giving a little talk and signing books... and giving away some cool stuff.

MommaA1 karma

Alan, will you be bidding on anything at the Backstage Auction? Any idea what recordings will be auctioned? Any recordings with Duane?

alanpaul1 karma

They have not released a catalogue yet. I actually called yesterday and spoke to them. Waiting to hear more about what this is. I have ideas about what the tapes are but I'm not certain so I don't want to spread any fals info. i would definitely consider bidding.

MommaA2 karma

I hope the Watkins Glen show surfaces. "Come And Go Blues" from "Wipe The Windows..." is from this show, so I know that Capricorn, at some point, had the recording. The Band released their set and the GD has released the "soundcheck". I was there and I remember the ABB were magnificent.

alanpaul1 karma

I haven't heard anything about this in a long time... another thing to explore.

windryder571 karma

Alan when Red Dog retired did he do it because he wanted to or was he asked to retire?

alanpaul1 karma

It's a little bit more complicated than that, but when push comes to shove, I'd say asked to retire. I honestly have not discussed this with anyone in a long time and I don't want to say anything wrong.. memory is a little fuzzy.

windryder572 karma

Thanks that's kinda what I understood also, BTW it was a pleasure meeting you at Wanne last year!

alanpaul1 karma

Great to meet so many down there and elsewhere. I'll be back next month. You?

topher97681 karma

Hi. What is the most out-of-the-ordinary fod or drink you consummed while living in China? Also, how rare are Western toilets and did you have access to one during your stay?

alanpaul1 karma

I'm going to think on the strange foods thing.. for sure, the real answer is something I have no idea what it was... ate some bugs... duck tongue, strange aquatic creatures, donkey burgers - quite good, like briscuit.

The really strange food is in southern china and I lived up North in Beijing.

Western toilets are not rare, depending on where you are. had them in my house and many other places... But certainly had to learn to squat, and lots of crazy stories that I shudder to think about. Shoulda included more of them in big in china, actually.