By: Susan Larson
For: The Gwinnett Daily Post
Life gets nifty after 50, especially when you can spend the rest of your life being the president of the Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association. That’s how it is for Greg Potter of Lilburn. Potter worked for years as a landscaper and even taught courses at Gwinnett Tech, but as he approached his big 50, he was diagnosed with a genetic lung disease and could no longer work in all the dirt and dust.
But that was fine with Potter. “I had to sell my business, but everything just fell into place,” he said. “I always dreamed of being a roadie with a rock band, so this is my dream come true.”
Of course, this isn’t a sudden change for Potter, a long-haired family guy with two kids. It’s more of a transition.
“I was into music since I was 14 years old,” he said. “I thought I was a weird person until the Internet came along and I realized there are a lot of weird people like me out there willing to travel to hear good music.”
In his sixth year as GABBA president, Potter is planning the next GABBAFEST.
“We get together up to 500 fans, kids and dogs and we play for three days,” he said. “We get a lot of young bands trying to work their way up who would appeal to Allman Brothers fans. We get people from all over, like Croatia and Australia. Some fans will be coming from Finland for their seventh year. It’s like a family reunion.”
But there’s more to the rest of Potter’s life than just partying.
Potter is taking a graduate course in museum studies at West Georgia College and is already applying his skills to the Big House of Allman Brothers’ fame.
“They’re making the Big House in Macon into a museum and they asked me to be on the board of trustees,” he said. “And now I’m also the museum director.
“We have CDs of every show that people can listen to,” he said. “We’ll leave the front room open because they wrote most of their songs there, and we’ll have a flat-screen TV over the fireplace where we’ll continually run a slide show with 40,000 pictures.”
Many of the shots are from behind the scenes. “They all love baseball, and we have pictures of them playing stickball in the parking lot before a concert.”
Fundraising is in full swing. For pocket change, you get a Big House postcard. For $500, you get an engraved brick in the “Road that Goes on Forever.” (I don’t care what Potter says, there’s still a little landscaper in him.) He’s planning benefit concerts around the country and is designing a custom-made motorcycle to raffle off.(Info:www.thebighousemuseum.org )
Some folks have a hard time tuning in to what they want to do in retirement, but it sounds to me like Potter is really hittin’ the note!