The Allman Brothers: Whipping Post

Good videos of the original Allman Brothers Band—one of the greatest ensembles in rock history—are rare.  And it’s hard to believe that this one, at the Fillmore East, was recorded 42 years ago. Duane died the next year in a motorcycle accident.

Here they all are: Duane and Dickey Betts sharing lead guitar, Gregg on keyboards, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe on double percussion, and Berry Oakley on bass.

I never saw this lineup live, though I saw them several times without Duane. Their live album released a year later, At Fillmore East, is a classic.

Here they are doing Whipping Post (read the Wikipedia link, particularly the part about the live Fillmore version), written by Gregg when he was only 21.

If you want to hear one of Duane’s last recordings, listen to Blue Sky, recorded at Stony Brook just two months before he died. See if you can tell where Dickey comes in on the solo.

Oh, and my one tenuous connection to the band: in high school I went out one time with Paulette Eghiazarian, who was later married to Dickey. She became Cher’s BFF and personal assistant, and Cher, of course, was once married to Gregg.

31 Comments

  1. Grant
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    A true classic. The Allman Bros captured the sound of the time so well and the sound they created cannot be duplicated.

  2. Woof
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Gawd… I haven’t heard that in 35 years. Thanks!

  3. Kenneth Averill
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Holy crap, that was fun viewing…. Allman Bros. Windowpane. Buds. Bud Malt Talls…ahh, those were the days my friend. Thanks for taking me back..

  4. jgury
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Listened to that album a zillion times. Never saw the video. Impressive and really interesting the way Duane uses his entire body to get his licks out. He does not do it all with fingering but fingers, bounces and rocks them out. What a player.

  5. daveau
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I cut my teeth on these guys. I learned to solo by jamming along in my bedroom to Fillmore and Eat a Peach (and Traffic’s Low Spark). At 14, I could barely distinguish Duane’s slide from Dickey’s string bending, but figured out later that most of the stuff I had an affinity for was Dickey’s work. Never did learn to play slide. Great stuff all around. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. I posted this on Facebook a couple of weeks ago for exactly the same reasons.

  7. Ken Pidcock
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Saw ‘em once, post-Duane, on a bill with Muddy Waters. First time I tripped at the Spectrum.

    Dickey Betts makes it ring like none other.

  8. mandrellian
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Multiply awesome! I’m as old as that video but I love the Allmans – one of my very favourite acts of the era and one of the best blues bands of all time.

  9. Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I saw the Allman Brothers at Knebworth in England in 1974. Duane and Berry had died by that time. Greg Allman said they would “play everything we know”, and they did!

    As so often happens, we discover musical things quite by chance. I bought “the Duane Allman Anthology” at the age of 16 just because he played the slide on Layla. That was one of my more inspired purchases, and led me into a love of the blues that I still have.

    I have an occasional blog, which includes musical interludes and the very first one was Allman’s incredible version of Goin’ Down Slow, from that album. Wonderful stuff.
    http://headbutterofthegods.com/2011/11/27/duncans-ditty-of-the-day/

  10. G
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Kinda like this one…..

  11. bacopa
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    So Jerry, you seem to be into blues rock and some southern rock. What do you think of Janis Joplin. I realize that because of her early death you likely never saw her. I’ve been doing a little research on Janis and found her college career overlapped with my mom’s for a year. I did not discover this until I read the book Love, Janis.

    And I only read that book because I saw the play Love, Janis. Pretty awesome play. Had a long run in Houston because of the local interest. They had three actresses playing Joplin. One who played speaking Janis every night, and two who played singing Janis on alternating nights. There was a good band too. Done right, this play is great.

    I remember once when I was a kid my parents drive me down by where the Purple Onion used to be in Lower Westheimer. They mentioned all the old late 50′s folk greats that played there, but they also mentioned that Janis performed there long before she was famous, this was even a couple of years before she got discovered at Threadgill’s in Austin.

    • jay
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I always hear what seems to be some of the great Etta James sound in Janis’ recordings.

  12. Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    A bit of a tangent, but it might be worth it to some folks… for the humor value.

    Here’s Zappa’s “Whipping Post” Floss version of his song “Montana”, played in Helsinki around maybe 1973.

    An audience member screams out “Whipping Post!” as a request during a quiet moment of another song. Zappa has no idea what the guy is requesting, but works the concept into “Montana” in a twisted way, improvising new S&M-inspired lyrics as he goes.

    Apparently the experience motivated him to work up the song for real, which a later FZ band played in the early 80s.

    Or if you’re hard core, you might even appreciate the reggae version. (good lord I feel like a rastah-man.)

    • daveau
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:08 am | Permalink

      Another fantastic guitarist gone too soon. And a voice for reason. Good call, SQ.

      • daveau
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:31 am | Permalink

        Your Reggae link is bad, though. Takes me to the same clip as the 2nd link.

    • Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Whoopsie. Thanks, Daveau! The reggae version. Good Lord, I look like a spleef.

      • daveau
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        I wouldn’t worry about it. No one else will make it that far…

  13. Terry
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I read most posts and rarely comment, but I must say that is about as good as it gets.

  14. abrotherhoodofman
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Great post! One of my favorite bands!

    The Allman Brothers reinvented themselves brilliantly when lead guitarist Warren Haynes joined the band. The version of “Blue Sky” with him and Dickey Betts trading licks is one of my favorite live rock performances.

    • Posted May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Warren was the perfect guitarist to fill the bill. Sweet, singing tone and feel. But alot of the same melodic sensibility that Dickey had (note: I largely learned to play lead guitar by copping Dickey’s licks.) The Allman’s have since done pretty well with Jimmy Herring (one of my favorite guitarists, for many reasons) and Derrick Trucks.

      I only saw the Allman Brothers once. And it was one of those nights when Dickey was in jail so they had Zach Wylde sitting in. It was a bit bizarre seeing Ozzy’s guitarist (I love Ozzy) with the Brothers, but Zach actually did a decent job.

  15. Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Kenneth Averill wrote:

    Holy crap, that was fun viewing…. Allman Bros. Windowpane. Buds. Bud Malt Talls…ahh, those were the days my friend. Thanks for taking me back..

    Since you went “all in”, don’t forget thai sticks. Great tune from a great band.

    • Kenneth Averill
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      good (re)call Solius!

  16. moleatthecounter
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Coincidentally, I just found this last night… Wonderful song – ‘Gambler’s roll’.

  17. Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Amazing performance! I had the record on tape a while ago. I’ll buy it again. I never realized that there were 2 drummers…

  18. Mark Coggiano
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Anyone know who is the fan in the audience at the Filmore that yelled “Whipping Post!”, clearly heard on the recording?

  19. Rob
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone else find Gregg Allman’s face and voice in that video to be incongruous? That voice really ought to belong to a much older man, not the baby-face that Gregg was at that point. Makes me wonder what he sounds like now.*

    jgury @4, I think you’re confusing Duane and Dickey Betts. Duane’s the blond guitarist.

    *Yes, I know it would be easy to find out. I like wondering, at least a little.

  20. Kris
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    My husband feels that there is no better Allman Brothers than Statesboro Blues, and he will fight you to the death of a single malt scotch in support of that!

  21. Mary Gnusader Canada
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    One of the best Southern blues bands. My favorite, “Its not my cross to bear”. Thanks for the post

  22. Bill
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Truly one of the best. I saw them in Atlanta and Macon with the original line up before Duane died.

  23. BillyJoe
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    I’m the odd man out.

    This is the first Allman Brothers Band track I’ve expressly listened to. And I loved it. I followed up with a few more selections on youtube. Amazing band.


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