Feb 6 & Feb 7, 1970
I first saw the ABB at Pappaliskiâ€™s in Dayton, OH on 2/6/1970 with my best friend. He was going away for 3 months of Air Force Reserve training that weekend and the Thursday had been my 20th B-Day. I liked them so much Friday night that I went back on Saturday night by myself.
We had heard of them from another close friend at X-mas break. He had started at Georgia Tech that fall and saw them at the Park in Atlanta. He knew that I would like them, and talked me into buying their first album during that X-mas break. So when we found out that they were coming to Dayton, my friend and I made a point not to miss them.
Pappaliskiâ€™s was a small room under a shopping center in Northwest Dayton. They use to have local bands and little known touring acts there on Friday and Saturday nights.
I remember that Gregg was sick on Friday night, so Berry sang most of the songs. Dickey sang a few, but mostly they had just jammed. Mountain Jam was the best Iâ€™ve ever heard (or maybe it was just that I knew that tune since I was a kid, but had never heard it done so well) and it went on for a least 45 minutes. I remember Berry doing a great Hoochie Coochie Man and really wailing on the vocals while laying a body vibrating bass line. I know that the ABBbase says that Gregg was sick both nights, but he was definitely there and on stage Saturday night.
But the really cool thing on Friday night was that we got there really early and were the first ones in the doors when they opened. When we went to the front of the stage to sit down, we were disappointed to find a bunch of longhaired guys lying on the floor right in front of the stage. We sat down right behind them (no seats â€“ you had to sit on the floor). There was an opening group that I donâ€™t remember, and then some guys went on stage to finish the stage set up for the ABB. When the stage was done the guys in front of us got up and stepped up on the stage said they were the Allman Brothers Band and started playing. We had talked to them earlier, but had no idea they were the band. I know that this sounds stupid, since I had their album with their pictures on it at home, but I only looked at the album cover for an hour or so when I first bought it a month and a half before. Then I put the record on my turntable and didnâ€™t take it off for three months. The album cover stayed in my record box the whole time.
My friend and I both remember the Friday night experience vividly. We both had written the story on the ABB web site 6 or 7 years ago but one of their site upgrades lost all the old stories.
Iâ€™ve seen them about thirty-five times since those nights, a total of twelve times when Duane was still alive, but that first night still has memories burned into my mind that will never go away. To all you youngsters just getting to see them for the first time recently, may your memories be as good and stay with you as long as mine have.
Peace & Love