Derek Trucks Speaks On Gregg Allman’s Legacy, The State Of The Allman Brothers In New Interview

first_imgIn a new interview with Rolling Stone, Derek Trucks discusses what the last several months have been like for him. Trucks, who first played with the Allman Brothers Band in his early teen years and became an official member at nineteen, has experienced several losses this year – as has the rest of the extended Allman Brothers family and friends. But while the losses of Butch Trucks, Col. Bruce Hampton, and Gregg Allman might all be personal, they are also inherently musical. These figures all influenced the playing of Derek Trucks, who like the rest of the world, was inspired by their contributions to music history.In this interview with Rolling Stone, Derek Trucks comments on the lasting impact of the latest death in the family, recounting his experiences with Gregg Allman in a mystical light. “There’s a lot of pretenders and a lot of people who think that those torches get passed, but there’s not another Gregg,” he emphatically states.Derek Trucks was pulling up to a show in Jacksonville, the opening night of Tedeschi Trucks Band‘s tour, when he got the news.We knew Gregg was sick. You just go into self-preservation mode and try to block it out a little bit,” he explains. “You’ve got a few gigs to do. But I remember sitting backstage trying to think through it and I put on ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,’ and that was when it hit home. You hear that voice; you think about what he was thinking about right then. That’s when the emotions take over.Then you get home and start dealing. There was a CBS Sunday Morning clip they had done a few years ago when he was really healthy and happy. I’d forgotten real clearly about that Gregg. Just seeing that; seeing him interviewed at his home when he was healthy and happy and telling stories, and that smile and that laugh. That helped. It reminded me that the bulk of the time I spent with him was like that. Him on the bus, in that mood, going to the show. Sits up front, has a meal, shoots the shit for an hour. Then he disappears to the back of the bus. There was always a lot of mystery with him. He was a very guarded guy.When interviewer David Browne asks the best piece of life advice that Gregg Allman ever gave him, Derek Trucks responds:It’s pretty seared in my head. I was probably 14, and I was playing in Gregg’s solo band and living at his place out in Novato, California. He had this Corvette with a vanity plate that said “Baby Bro.” He took me for a spin. He asked if I wanted to drive and I was like, “Fuck yeah, I wanna drive!” I drove on this abandoned road, and then he got back behind the wheel and told me, ‘Look, you can do a lot of shit. But do not mess around…’ He was specifically talking about heroin. He was like, “Do not do it.” And he showed me his arms, and he said, “If any of the potholes I’ve hit are to not be in vain, people have to learn from it.”It was out of the blue. I think he just had a moment of, “You know what? I’m gonna fix this bastard right now.” That’s one of the few pieces of advice I remember getting from anybody, and it sure as hell stuck. It was very direct.Gregg Allman’s funeral, which took place last Saturday, painted its own picture pretty clearly. After the intimate service, fans were asked to line the streets to the Rosehill Cemetery where Duane Allman and Berry Oakley were buried, and where Gregg Allman was to be buried too. From there, there was a block party outside the Big House Museum of the Allman Brothers Band, where members of the Allman Brothers Band and their respective family bands played music. Regarding that experience, Trucks explains:It was just so intense, and so final. So much history there, man. It was an open casket at Snow’s [funeral home] where they had one for Duane way back when. You look across the room and you see Duane’s widow and his daughter, and Berry Oakley’s son and widow. Even seeing Jimmy Carter there, you realize how fucking powerful that whole thing was. I don’t know Cher, but she was very sweet.Then the procession all the way through Macon, down to Rose Hill [Cemetery]. You’re sitting there at that gravesite, and seeing Duane and Berry’s headstones and watching Berry Jr. looking across Gregg’s casket at his dad’s gravesite. It was just too much. Duane and Berry’s [graves] are right next to each other. Gregg’s grave was on the other side of this little walkway. So they’re all there. Gregg’s mother, Mama A [Geraldine Alice Allman], they put her ashes in when they interred Gregg.There were thousands and thousands of people lining the street in Macon, Georgia, and the looks on their faces – they were like, “Holy shit.” You grow up with somebody, and you think of them one way, and you forget that, in a lot of ways, he was everybody’s. He was that way to a lot of people. That was a powerful moment, leaving that place and seeing how much he and that band affected people. We were sitting in the car with Dickey, just watching him watch it. Everybody was going in and out of holding it together. Getting to see Dickey and Jaimoe back together, and speaking, and even playing afterwards – those were monumental moments.Regarding the future of the Allman Brothers Band, Derek Trucks explains strongly: “You can’t have the Allman Brothers without Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman. Those are just irreplaceable spirits. And you can’t have an Allman Brothers gig without an Allman brother. I’ve heard people try to argue that you can, but I’m not buying it. If Duane’s not there, Gregg certainly better be there.” Perhaps suspicions of a reunion can finally go to rest. All good things come to an end, but the road goes on forever.Watch Gregg Allman And Dickey Betts Play “Melissa” In Duane’s HonorThe Rolling Stone piece closes with a description of Gregg’s legacy, according to Derek Trucks. “I don’t think there’s a singer, especially in the South, that’s not directly influenced by him. Some of those songs, man – you try to find a contemporary of his where the music is comparable, and most of it just doesn’t hold up. You stack a few of those tunes, whether it’s ‘Please Call Home’ or ‘Dreams’ or ‘Ain’t Wasting Time No More.’ That’s about as good as it gets.”Read the full interview here.last_img

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