American Rambler Podcast, Season 7 Episode 2: Bob Beatty

Play All Night!: Duane Allman and the Journey to Fillmore East is Bob Beatty’s most recent book. Bob, however, has been an Allman Brothers fan for a long time. Like the Allmans, Bob has Florida roots. He now lives and works in Tennessee, where he got his Ph.D. and is a history and museum consultant.

Bob’s fast-reading book looks at the breakout album for the Allmans. Released in 1971, Live at Fillmore East is one of the best live albums ever, and it brought the band to a mass audience. It features the classic Allmans lineup, with Duane Allman and Dickey Betts on guitar, Gregg Allman on vocals and organ, Berry Oakley on bass, and Butch Trucks and Jaimoe Johanson on drums.

Unfortunately, though Duane started the Allman Brothers Band, his time with the group was relatively brief. He died in a motorcycle accident only a few months after At Fillmore East came out. Duane was just 24, and there seemed no limit to what he could do as a guitarist.

As Bob makes clear, with Duane at the helm, the Allmans were closer to blues and acid rock than the more laid back band they became later. The radio friendly mid-70s sound of the ABB was the result of Dickey Betts writing more country-flavored tunes. Nothing wrong with that. But the Duane period has a tougher quality. 

Bob and Colin talk about how the Allmans formed, why the Fillmore album took off with listeners, and how the band continued to evolve amid lineup changes and inner-tensions.

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