The only people you should trust to teach you about the general history of the world are Chomsky and Zinn. (Everybody else is either on the payroll at Fox or is trying to get website hits by making up dumb outrageous facts.) And the only person you should trust to inform you of important events in the Allman Brothers story is the girl whose middle name is Melissa.
On March 12 and 13 in 1971, the Alllman Brothers Band’s At Fillmore East shows were recorded–40 long years, but put it on the platter and I swear it throbs like it was made yesterday. (For the record, “Live at the Fillmoe, East” is a Rappin 4-Tay/San Quinn collab song that has yet to be made, but it exists in my heart and in my fantasies.) Anyway, before Duane Allman’s crying guitar played over the montage of everybody from the Lufthansa heist getting theirs, the wreckage of past sins finally coming to light, his crying guitar played in the living room on the platter while I lay on my stomach and colored. I’m a grownup now but I have a thousand pictures of him on my laptop because I still love him. Sometimes I swear I see him at Trader Joe’s (nope; it’s just all the boys in the neighborhood go 7 months between haircuts and wear nothing bigger than an M in t-shirts). He was quiet in real life, they say, and he was usually high, plus he died when he was 24; these are qualities that usually make me fond of a musical individual. And before I wanted to ride with the kid, and before all I wanted to pretend my name was Sally so I could ride around with abandon (ride, Sally. Ride.), before I was down to ride and definitely before I was prepared to ride or die, before I fully committed to the hoo ride lifestyle, before I begged the sweet chariot to swing down, stop, and let me ride, before I loved breathless ladies’ man Toney Knight Rider, way before I wanted to ride the plain bow in flare gully yellow rain coat, before I Ruff Rode and really believed in the Stop, drop, shutemdown-openupshop mantra (which is what I will forever think of any time I hear “Free Earl”), before I obeyed when a Gulf Way Blvd g told me to pop the trunk, get it crunk, it’s time to ride, show them boys I got that front back and side to side, baby, basically before I ever wanted to take that ride, and way before I asked myself how should I ride?, I knew running away and riding was the way to go ’cause Duane and the last 12 frets on his guitar were like honey, let’s ride.
King Curtis – “Games People Play.” Duane’s guitar on this isn’t really a standout performance, but still. So lovely (01:20). And the original is kind of like “Ether” but directed at half of humanity, and with harmony and a la-la-la chorus.