Friday, January 8, 2016

Lost In The Shuffle

Gregg Allman's birthday was on December 8.

He turned 68.

I find that phrase weird - turned 68. Turned 62. Turned any age.

I don't know why. I'm sure it is a perfectly acceptable phrase, I'm sure it sounds normal to normal folk and is used exactly as it was meant to be used.

I'm prone to think he became 68. I became 62. Or he survived 68 years, he celebrated 68 years. He acknowledged 68 years.

Who knows what the hell is going on in my brain. I sure as hell don't.

Anyway, Gregg is one of the major musical interests in my life, a guy I have followed since I was fifteen in 1969.

19 fucking 69.

Musically he is a god to me as I am a god to myself.

Actually I am not a god to myself. Anyone who has read more than two words in here knows I have mixed feelings about myself.

But 2016 might be the right year for me to evolve into deity. Feels right to me.

Here's the point.

I neglected to celebrate Gregg's birthday in here because his birthday falls on the same day John Lennon was assassinated. I am always overcome with emotion on that day because I still cannot believe that a low life piece of crap saw fit to kill a creative giant like Lennon. Still cannot assimilate that truth even after 35 years.

Truthfully I could say in a certain sense that I am overcome with emotion on that day because of Gregg's birthday as well.

He has been a giant presence in my life, generously giving me many of the most intense, satisfying, uplifting and inspirational musical moments I have experienced in my time on this planet.

A man who has made me smile and given me goosebumps. A man who I prayed for many times with all my heart and all my soul that he would not die prematurely, which he certainly made sport of.

I have been to concerts where he passed out at the organ and the rest of the band covered for him. His lifestyle rivaled that of Keith Richards and I am grateful that he is still around.

I am grateful they are both still around.

Gregg finally got it all together in 1995 when The Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He got drunk as hell that night and when it was his turn to speak he could barely do it.

He saw it on tape a couple of days later and decided that was enough. He got himself clean and sober and has been gracing us with that magnificent quintessential blues voice in purity ever since.

I love this man and I hope he is around for a long time to come.

My heart is broken that I can no longer see him perform with The Allman Brothers Band, who split up in 2014.

But he is still touring with his solo band and you best believe I will be seeing them a few more times around. I have enjoyed them in the past and as a fan benefited from the fact that quality musicians attract quality musicians.

His solo band rocks.

So Happy Belated Birthday Gregg.

Keep on keeping the blues alive in your own inimitable style and with that remarkable voice.

I look forward to many more smiles and goosebumps.

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