Above: A Long Lost Brother
On Sunday, the Allman Brothers Band wrapped up its 157th night at the Beacon---no joke. Since high school, I've made a point to catch one---and only one---ABB Beacon performance each March, the lone exception being 2005 where I double dipped in order to see the Big House Benefit. At this point, Peakin at the Beacon is a holiday of sorts, falling somewhere between Purim and Passover (and like all Jewish celebrations it adheres to its own lunar calendar, never quite falling on the same day). In fact, I've learned that the more time you spend at the Beacon the more you begin to look and sound like Warren Haynes, which is probably why the Dali Lama only took two nights at the Beacon this week (I hear he closed with "Soulshine").
Unlike many of the bands who exist in the Relix/Jambands.com world, however, the Allman Brothers Band has a universal appeal. It's the only band in our space who can draw both Bear Sterns investment bankers (who buy the entire floor opening night each year) and Hells Angles motorcycle bikers (who, ironicly, pack a bar called Bear before each show) and who can jam with Bruce Williams and Pinetop Perkins. Yet, it all seems natural---ABB fans come in all shapes and sizes, boasting all sorts of stock portfolios.
But it ain't easy being an Allman as Dangerous Dan Toler can tell you. In fact, one could create a oldies-circuit version of the ABB composed exclusively of the band's ex-(living) members including Dan Toler (guitar), Johnny Neel (keys), Frankie Toler (drums), Chuck Leavell (piano), Jack Pearson (guitar), Mike Lawler (keyboards) and David Goldflies (bass). Oh, and I guess Dickey Betts, sadly, fits into thicategoryry as well ....