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Allman Brothers Band - First Flight (1969)


This bootleg purports to be a “Second Coming” gig supposedly performed by the fledgling ABB just four days after the famous “Jacksonville Jam” when the ABB was allegedly officially formed. Duane, Dickey, Berry, Butch and Jaimo are all there, but Gregg is not, Reese Wynans is on keyboards. Dale Betts is also on vocals on one track however, and in the band introductions on track 3 of disc 2 the MC introduces all of the above except for Berry, saying "Richard" on Bass, who I believe to be Richard Price (previously of "The Load"). It has also been said that Larry Reinhardt (later of "Iron Butterfly") may also be on some of the tracks.

All of the above led me to believe that this "show" was actually an amalgamation of recordings from more than one gig, something that has now been confirmed by Richard Price himself, who wrote the following:

I am Richard Price you spoke of above who was in THE LOAD. I was also in the 2nd version of THE SECOND COMING (after Dickey and Berry left). The music you have, and it is probably very rough, is a mixture of several gigs. Some of the tunes were at the CEDAR HILLS ARMORY. The tunes where you described an MC naming me instead of Berry were at THE JACKSONVILLE COLISEUM in Jacksonville beach. The dates are different depending on which venue we were at. I have all the dates. They were all in 1969 though within a few months of each other. I can look up the exact dates of each gig later.

The term the Jacksonville Jam has been misrepresented for 40 some years. There was no one Jacksonville Jam. There were many jams over a period of months. During one of those jams the configuration of what became the ABB was on stage. We recorded many nights of jams. There were several intense nights. After one of those nights there happened to be a jam that Duane was particularly impressed by and the future ABB members happened to be in that jam.

The tapes you have are shows done by THE LOAD & the 1st version of THE SECOND COMING (with Dickey, Dale, John Meeks, Berry, and Reese). These two bands threw the jams and Jaimoe, Duane & Butch Trucks were guests sitting in. This is why you don't hear Gregg. He wasn't in town yet. Some of the tunes you are listening to were 60's cover songs by the 1st Second Coming. Some of the other tunes were Jacksonville jams. I don't know if you have them all. You'd have to give me a list.

Berry and I traded basses all night in these jams. The members of the LOAD were, Richard Price (me), Larry Reinhardt, & Monty Young. So it is true that Larry is on some of these jams. I have the masters of all of this music and I am going to improve them in sound quality as best I can and put them out along with the never released SECOND COMING album.

The Load took John Meeks and Reese and added them to the Load to form a new band after Dickey and Berry left and we kept the name SECOND COMING because 3 of the 5 of us had been in the 1st version. It also was a big draw. Subsequent to the above, Richard was provided with the following track listing and commented further as below:

CD 1:
1. Don't Want You No More
2. Rock Me Baby
3. Crossroads
4. Born In Chicago
5. Willie Jean Jam
6. Born Under A Bad Sign

CD 2:
1. She Has Funny Cars
2. Hey Joe (Duane on vocals)
3. New Shoes Blues > introductions
4. Travellin' Music Jam

As far as the song list above, the first 7 are the original SECOND COMING (with Dickey and Berry still in it). The next two are one of the Jacksonville jams at the Cedar Hills Armory. I was playing bass with Duane and Rhino on those. Dickey sang the Shoes Blues one and Duane sang Hey Joe. The last one was live at the Jacksonville Beach Coliseum. I was playing bass on that as well. That's the one with the MC (Alan Facemier our manager).

There is a long 19 min jam that is missing from your collection. It may have been one of the ones Duane talked about inspiring him to start the ABB. I think there may be one more I haven't heard yet. I am trying to get it. The tapes you have have been copied over and over again to the point of bad distortion. I have the originals and plan to create a CD set called the Birth of Southern Rock as soon as I can clean them up.

One thing I want to make clear. Out of all of the Jacksonville jams, we would go home after playing until sunrise and stay up and listen to the music from the night before.

There were several long spontaneous jams with different people trading places playing. I have a 19 minute one that the tape ran out on so it was really longer than that. Duane loved all of those long jams but I think that one of them may have stood out more to him. It probably had the original guys who would become the ABB without Gregg in that particular jam. Gregg was not in town yet for most of the jams. What I'm saying is that one jam may have made him make his final decision on who he would start the band with and when Gregg hit town they started rehearsing their original tunes which were mostly Gregg and Dickey's. You could call that The Jacksonville Jam but it has to stay in context of many jams that formed the dual and triple part harmonys on guitars. Those harmony guitar ideas started spontaneously in the jams between Dickey, Rhino & Duane. Later when they began to put songs together, they used these harmony ideas as part of their arrangements that the world fell in love with.

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