The death of a drummer

My ten favorite bands, in no particular order are; The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, The Allman Brothers Band, The Beach Boys, REM, Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, and The Grateful Dead. Of these ten I have been fortunate to have seen six of them in concert. The four I haven’t seen The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers. It’s the last one that causes me so much heartache.

My “golden era” of attending concerts was between 1977 and 1984. I grew up in a large Southeastern city with a big coliseum so we were typically on most band’s touring schedules. The bigger bands, The Who or Zeppelin, may have skipped us and gone to Atlanta, but growing-up I saw a lot of great concerts. Sadly, I don’t remember all of them given the condition I might have been in at the time but I was there at least in spirit. The college I attended had a popular and well-known music venue in the next town over. During these years, which I extended as long as my Dad would let me, I was able to see several band’s perform, REM for one, before they made it big. But my one regret is never having seen The Allman Brothers, but I got close, oh so close.

My partner on my Marketing 201 class project was a very cute and very preppy girl named Karen something and she made it abundantly clear from day one that she was way out of my league. I was no preppy. My “look” consisted of long shaggy hair, a beard, pierced ear, jean jacket, t-shirt, and whatever pair of jeans I could find under my bed. I didn’t look like a preppy nor did I smell like one either.

Somehow Karen and I got to talking about the The Allman’s and she informed me her Dad, who lived in Atlanta, was friends with one of them. The next day Karen told me The Allman Brothers Band would be playing in Atlanta in a couple of weeks at the famous Fox Theater (I saw the Dead there, great place and show) and her Dad could get me a ticket if I would take her home and bring her back to school. Deal done!

Now my transportation at the time was a 1972 MGB convertible and I looked good in it. But the problem with MG’s or any other British Leyland manufactured vehicle is you never know if or when it will actually run. I refered to my tenure in my MG as an adventure in driving. For the five years that I owned it I became very proficient in the art of hitchhiking but I wasn’t going to tell Karen that.

So when the faithful Friday arrived to begin our journey to Atlanta, and Karen’s suitcase was secured in my trunk along with my grocery bag of clean underwear and socks I turned the key and…..nothing. No click, no spark, no hum, no nothing. My rendezvous with destiny to see my beloved Allman Brothers in the world-famous Fox Theater was over before it even started. Thirty-six years later and I still haven’t recovered from it.

Drummer Butch Trucks, an original member of The Allman Brothers Band, died yesterday. He was 69 years old. Of the original six there are now only three left. I don’t need to look in the mirror to be reminded that I am getting older, all I need to do is read the obituaries as these legends of Rock, these icons of my 8-track tapes fade away.

My children constantly remind me that there are wonderful new groups out there making great music that I would enjoy listening too. My response is always the same, listen to The Allman Brothers Band Live at the Fillmore East and get back to me.      

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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21 Responses to The death of a drummer

  1. I cried when Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison died and music has never been the same. Maybe that’s why I’m diehard Mozart and Bach today….there’s nothing new worth listening to. I tried to paint a picture of you sitting in that ’72 MGB, long hair and pierced ear. It just doesn’t work, but thanks for the flashback.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First concert I ever attended: Allman Brothers, Joe Walsh, Marshall Tucker Band, 1973. ‘Nuff said.


  3. mwdunham says:

    What?! Earth, Wind and Fire and U2 didn’t make the list?!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s sad to lose so many of the great ones. G-uno

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim S. says:

    I had posted about Butch’s death, saw that you visited, and came over to check your blog out. Suicide! Damn, hadn’t heard that. Guess he had some serious financial issues. Tremendous bummer to say the least.

    As to your post, your last sentence says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    Great post. You never let go of those groups and memories. Never. It’s hard to believe that in the 60’s the best groups often played at collages- we’re talking in the gym. There were no fancy venues. Sitting on a gym floor at a college in Virginia listening to Iron Butterfly and Chicago. Many great memories. Now, if it had only been the Beatles…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Belinda O says:

    Only 69 — sad, and I’m guessing the other two who went before him weren’t that old when they died, either. It’s hard to see, whatever the cause of death.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Gregg Allman | Ends and Beginnings

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