ALLMAN BROTHER’S BAND TO PLAY IT’S FINAL SHOWS IN OCTOBER 2014 AT NEW YORK’S BEACON THEATRE BY: TODD BEEBE
The Allman Brother’s Band are an american music institution, spanning 45 years of music. The band has seen many changes through the years, and in 2014 announced that October would see the long and winding road come to an end. Choosing New York’s Beacon Theatre as the site for the final run of shows, Oct. 21, 22, 24, 25, 27 & 28 will be the last 6 performances in ABB History.
The band has a long history with The Beacon, playing an annual run of shows there starting in 1989 when they reformed for their 20th Anniversary Tour. When the time came to pick a venue for the Brother’s to go out in, The Beacon Theatre seemed like the only choice. The historic theatre first opened in 1929 and was designed by Samuel Rothafel who also designed Radio City Music Hall. The theaters are very similar, and the Beacon is often referred to as Radio City’s “older sister.”
The original Allman Brother’s Band lineup formed in 1969 consisted of Duane Allman on Guitar, Gregg Allman on vocals & keys, Dickey Betts on guitar & vocals, Berry Oakley on bass and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch Trucks on drums/percussion. That lineups iconic albums including “Idlewild South”, “Live At Fillmore East” and “Eat A Peach” paved the way for Jam Bands and Southern Rock all at the same time. Tragedy struck early on, and sadly saw the loss of leader Duane Allman and Berry Oakley before the end of 1972.
With Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts taking the reigns the band saw continued success with the “Brother’s and Sister’s” album which included the hits “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica.” The group disbanded in 1976 due to various internal problems. A short lived reunion with guitarist Dan Toler happened in 1979, but it wasn’t until the group’s 20th Anniversary in 1989 that the magic began to happen again. With new recruits Allen Woody on Bass and Warren Haynes on second Guitar and Vocals, the ABB went on to see musical heights it had not captured since the bands formative years with Duane.
Allen Woody sadly passed away in 2000 and the band also parted ways with Dickey Betts. The lineup of Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks on guitar with Oteil Burbridge on bass and Marc Quinones on percussion has now been the longest standing lineup in the Allman’s history, and this is the band that will take the stage for the final 6 shows in October 2014. Many fans of the band, myself included, are hoping for a reunion with Betts. He was an extremely influential and key member of the band and contributed to their rich musical history in numerous ways. It only seems fitting that Dickey Betts should be there when the final notes of this band are played. We can only keep our fingers crossed though, as rumors have surfaced that there will be no guests during the 6 show run. The band plans on playing out with the current lineup only.
Either way, it’s been an amazing run. The Allman Brother’s Band have influenced every jam band in existence and they literally invented Southern Rock. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws and countless others would have never come to be if Duane and The Brother’s hadn’t combined Blues, Rock, Country, Jazz, Folk and Soul into a unique mix that was all their own, spawning a million artists trying to get a piece of that magic. The band also brought the Blues to the masses, with many hearing classic Blues tracks like “Stormy Monday” and “Statesboro Blues” for the first time while listening to the ABB. The band may be calling it quits, but make no mistake, their music will still show the world that the road does indeed go on forever. Thanks for the music guys.