By: Sal Cirrincione
For: Rock Daily
Gregg Allman recently sat down with us to discuss the new ABB album and the story behind the disc’s name:
Gregg Allman: We went in and cut this record over in Hoboken [N.J.]. The first day we went, we got four cuts; the second day we went, we got six cuts . . . I think it’s the best thing we’ve done since my brother was around. I really think so. It felt like the old days, man. We laughed and we tried all new stuff. It was great. Anytime anybody had a problem, they’d just raise their hand and the music [would stop]. You [didn’t] have all this noodling around and everything. Plus, we rehearsed these songs on the road the year before. Well, most of them — about half of them. I’m not saying they were just academic, but we had a good hold on the feel of how they were supposed to go.
Michael Barbiero and [Haynes], they produced it. We laughed and ate exotic food and did it like it should be done, and everybody’s surroundings were made comfortable. Everybody was musically nurturing of everybody else. It was great. The spontaneity was back, and the new licks were back. Musically, this band is happier than they’ve ever been and as enthusiastic as they’ve ever been.
‘Hittin’ the note’ is a term that I used to use in the studio. I can’t remember if I first used it or if I heard it somewhere, but this was a long time ago. If you wanted something softer, you’d say, ‘Play it a little more laid back,’ and that’s how I got the name for my first [solo] record. ‘Hittin’ the note’ is something that Berry Oakley used to say, meaning that we were all on the same wavelength — that we were all on the same page. Everything was in the pocket; all the biorhythms are on. It means a whole lot of things — positive things like that. We’d come off the stage, and if he’d had a real good one, he’d say, ‘Man, we were hittin’ the damn note tonight!’ He’s the only person I’ve ever heard say that. I don’t know where he got it. I never asked him. We didn’t do it because of the magazine [of the same name], because that’s not our magazine. We don’t own any of it or anything like it. We were going to name it something else, but it was kind of a conflict . . . we were going to name it Victory Dance, but hell, we were just in a lawsuit. It had nothing to do with that, but we just threw it out there and got a few people’s opinions, and I thought we were going to go with that one. But they came back to us — our advisers — and said, ‘Guys, you might want to rethink this. If you want it we’ll go with it, but . . .’ Butch came up and said, ‘Hell, let’s finally call it Hittin’ the Note.’