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May 27, 2008

Stormy Monday...

Wow, what crappy weather over the Bank Holiday!?!

Saturday was beautiful, a perfect May day in London. The sun was out, but it wasn't too hot. Sometime between 'let's change nightclub' and 'I'm drunk, tired and danced out' during the wee hours of Sunday morning, the skies opened and London's dusty streets were purged by a deluge.

Sunday showed some relief (hangover notwithstanding) but Monday was a mess. Suffice to say I did not leave the house. In fact, with one brief exception I don't think I saw the outside world for a period well in excess of 48 hours.

I did, however, achieve a couple of things. First off, I read a couple more chapters of "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story". Update: Duane just died. Every time I get to the bit about his bike crash it tears me up inside. Not because I didn't know it was going to happen, but because it always seemed to me that the band were at the beginning when Duane passed, just starting to achieve their potential. When Berry suffers an almost identical fate in about 20 pages (I'm guessing) I'll be really depressed.

One thing I noticed upon this reading of the book was that there's mention of the original band being captured on film. Before the weekend, it had never dawned on me that such footage existed. Thanks to the miracle of Google and YouTube, I got to see the great man play.

Admittedly, the film footage that I did find was frustrating to watch as the camera never seemed to settle on Duane when he was actually doing anything more than holding down the rhythm. Mostly when he's playing you get imagery of the crowd frolicking in mud or of Butch Trucks bashing away on his skins. Strange cinematography, to say the least.

A lot of clips appear to have been pulled from the 'net, presumably due to copyright infringement. My understanding is that the bulk of the footage of the early Allman Brothers is owned by The Bill Graham Archives (some of which is available through 'Wolfgang's Vault'). I haven't, as yet, been able to locate them on there yet, though. If anyone has any better information as to where to find movies of the Allman Brothers featuring the original line up, please let me know!

Following on from the "Stormy Monday" theme, I decided to check out various version of the song of the same name and started to learn different ways of playing it. Much of the song is based around what I call the moveable 'jazz fingerings' of 7th and 9th chords, only using the middle 4 strings, along with simple minor 7th barres. Jamming around on those shapes using the T-bone Walker trick of going up or down chromatically between changes is a lot of fun and sounds very cool. Listen to his (or the Allman Brothers') version and play along.

Unlike the song lyric, Tuesday's not so bad. There's no sun, but the rain's holding off. As usual after a long weekend, it's back to work with a bump. Still, it's only a 4 day week. That counts for something, eh?


Mark said...

O'course, Duane's death also effed up Derek and The Dominoes, which was pretty much Clapton's last gleaming, too.

Kenski said...

That reminds me. I've got to get the 20th anniversary Layla album. I was recently told that it has loads of jams/out takes that are worth a listen.

I've been looking for a cheap copy for a while, but about the best I can get is £20.