A large portion of the Allman Brothers Band's final concert with leader and guiding force Duane Allman has been finally released today (October 16th). The album — which was recorded only 12 days before Allman's deadly motorcycle crash — is titled, The Final Note, and features seven songs from the Allmans’ October 17th, 1971 concert in Owings Mill, Maryland. The cassette tape was discovered by a young radio journalist at the time, named Sam Idas, who was at the show that night to interview the band. Duane Allman died on October 24th, 1971 at the age of 24.
Idas said in a statement, “My only intention was to record the interview. This was a brand-new cassette recorder with an internal microphone, and I had one 60-minute cassette tape. I was sitting there with the recorder in my lap, and I remember thinking 'Why don’t I try this out? I can record the concert!' It was a totally spontaneous decision. I’d been to many concerts, but this was the only time I had the thought — and the motivation — to record the show.”
Galadrielle Allman (pronounced GOLLA-dree-ELL), the daughter of Duane Allman, recently published the biography Please Be With Me: A Song For My Father. Galadrielle helped compile the recent seven-disc set, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, and told us she doesn't read too much into her father's fatal motorcycle crash on October 29th, 1971: “I really resist making meaning out of his death or saying there was a reason for it. Like he had to. . . his time was up, or that he knew his time was up — or any of that. Y’know, I think, it’s a tragic accident and a meaningless accident. And I’m just not one to sort of be accepting of that. I just think it’s a true tragedy.”
ALSO RELEASED TODAY. . .
Also out today (October 16th) is the Allman Brothers Band's July 19th, 2005 concert in Erie, Pennsylvania, titled Erie 2005. Allmans' manager Bert Holman said in a statement for the Erie concert: “I was feeling it while they were playing. Ultimately, I knew it had been a great night when they started coming off the stage and everyone was like, 'Man, that was a great show!' I remember (bassist) Oteil (Burbridge) and (guitarist) Derek (Trucks) particularly being pumped about it, (guitarist Warren) Haynes was pleased, and (drummer) Butch (Trucks) was just raving about how over-the-top the show was. They all told me that they needed a copy of the show, which says a lot right there.”
Around the time of the 2005 tour dates, the late-Gregg Allman told us that Allman Brothers fans deserve at least as much credit for a great live show as the band: “The audience is part of that, so much a part of that, because they really draw it out of you. The audience can get — I mean, they have a lot to do with getting the performance they want. These people — I've never seen anything like it. They're really into it.”
The Allmans nearly always played new songs on the road, and singer-guitarist Warren Haynes told us at the time that the band was always careful to never let new material take precedent over fan favorites: “We don't wanna give them too many new songs in a night, or the show may suffer a little bit, from an energy perspective. So if you do a new song, and then follow it up with 'Midnight Rider,' or something like that, y'know, then you're doing okay. Then three songs later, do another new song, and follow that up with another classic, and try and pepper 'em in there to the extent that the show doesn't suffer.”