Monthly Archives: November 2010

Duane Allman: The Complete 1981 Dickey Betts Interview

The only significant time Duane Allman spent apart from his younger brother Gregg was in the late 1960s, when Gregg was recording in Los Angeles after Duane moved back to Florida. Then one Sunday morning Gregg got a call from Duane, saying he was putting together a new band with two lead guitarists and two drummers. Gregg’s first reaction was, “Boy, that’s weird.”  Then, as Gregg tells it, Duane said, “‘So why don’t you come on down here and round this thing up and send it somewhere,’ which is probably the finest compliment he ever gave me in my life. I said, ‘Let me hang up this phone, man. I got to get going.’ I beat feet over there as fast as I could to Jacksonville. And that was the Allman Brothers’ start. It was March 26, 1969.”

Guitarist Dickey Betts and bassist Berry Oakley had been playing in a Florida-based band called The Second Coming. Duane convinced both musicians to join his new group. Once Gregg arrived, they got to work pioneering their innovative blend of blues, rock, and jazz. Duane and Dickey quickly up-ended the traditional roles of co-guitarists in rock bands by sharing solos and working out complex harmonies and unison lines. In all, the original Allman Brothers Band lineup appeared together on The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South, The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East, and portions of Eat a Peach, released after Duane’s death in a 1971 motorcycle accident. Continue reading