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Author: Subject: Similarities in setlists of original ABB lineup?

Peach Master





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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 10:49 AM
Did Duane insist on similar setlists for the original lineup?. Somehow I've gotten the impression over the years the approach was further homage to Miles Davis who took a similar approach with his groups, particularly the quintets?
 
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True Peach



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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 10:55 AM
They were a new band, with 2 studio albums and 1 live record by mid 1971, wasn't the material for much of a varied set list.
 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 12:34 PM
quote:
They were a new band, with 2 studio albums and 1 live record by mid 1971, wasn't the material for much of a varied set list.



that's not really an answer though because the band knew 20+ cover tunes by 1971 too

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 12:39 PM
quote:
They were a new band, with 2 studio albums and 1 live record by mid 1971, wasn't the material for much of a varied set list.

I comprehend the premise of your observation. It does not, however, directly address my question for which, by the way, I would welcome additional insight...Alan Paul!?!?

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 01:38 PM
They had 20 songs in the repertoire by the end of 1970 between songs played live (originals + covers) and song recorded in the studio. Surprised some more of the studio songs from the first 2 albums didn't get played more often when they were brand new like Midnight Rider, Please Call Home, Revival, Don't Want You No More, Cross To Bear.

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 02:21 PM
quote:
quote:
They were a new band, with 2 studio albums and 1 live record by mid 1971, wasn't the material for much of a varied set list.

I comprehend the premise of your observation. It does not, however, directly address my question for which, by the way, I would welcome additional insight...Alan Paul!?!?


Here's an interesting coincidence, that set-list thing continued well after Duane's passing. Look at the tours in '73 & 89, pretty constant. It wasn't 'til Warren's emergence and Dickey's departure that the rotation became more diverse....

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 02:30 PM
setlists had become diverse with Dickey in the band in the back half of the 1990s too. And even before that they mixed it up some.

The late 1990s ABB would rotate 3 setlists (with some minor variations) and things like that. Warren took it to a whole other level upon his return to the band.

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 03:46 PM
quote:
I comprehend the premise of your observation. It does not, however, directly address my question for which, by the way, I would welcome additional insight...Alan Paul!?!?


Thanks... I've had my head deeply in SRV land for three years, so I'm going to answer from memory and instinct here. Duane and Dickey and Gregg all wanted things to be really tight. I don't think there was any disagreement among those three about this approach. I've never heard of any at all. And I've never heard anyone cite Miles as an influence here, though that's an interesting concept and I'll ask Jaimoe when I can. I always thought of it as more of an old school rehearsed band approach. Work stuff out in private and play it polished in public.

Look how Gregg ran his solo band right til the end. And how Dickey obviously preferred to run things as well. After Garcia's death, quite a few Deadheads gravitated to the band. They went to a few shows and basically went "WTF? Same show." Warren and Woody had been advocating for opening things up and finally got somewhere on that basis, but Dickey would only go for adding a C set to an A and B, so they rotated. Both Gregg and Dickey had some trouble remembering lyrics of songs they didn't play all the time.

After DB was gone and WH was back, things changed.

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 04:05 PM
Look at GD setlists from 69, 70. Not a lot of variation there either, and they had been playing together since about 66.
I would say through the 70s the Dead had about 2 or "unique" shows worth of tunes.

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 04:19 PM
You are right Alan. I began seeing as many shows as possible in February 1970 and it always opened with Statesboro Blues except I remember one that started with Liz Reed and I think Statesboro was third.

There would be some variation during the show if Duane felt like singing and threw in Dimples and the order may be reversed on a couple of songs here and there. The diversity came from the solos being open and free where the musician played what he felt like until he played key notes to cue the band he was finished and it's the next part of the song now.

I remember by about 1995 and Butch was posting on the site regularly there where people pushing for more of a Dead style where the sets are completely different every night and you would get a deep cut or something completely new, maybe an unexpected cover. Butch was for it but later reported Dickey and Gregg didnt like it and said
they didnt do that when Duane was in the band. But when they began to play long runs at the Beacon, Butch said Dickey finally caved a little and agreed to altering 3 sets. One usually started with Statesboro and another with DWYNM/Cross to Bare but Butch soon got complaints about that. If they started with one they knew Blue Sky was soon coming and Ramblin'Man with the other. And I remember Butch saying part of it was Dickey just couldn't remember exactly how a song went, even if he wrote it, if he hadn,t played it in awhile. Said they were in Raleigh and someone important wanted to hear High Falls but Dickey couldn't remember exactly how it went it had been so long. But they rehearsed it later and played it the next year there. I think it was 1995 or 6.

 

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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 07:52 PM
I've wondered about their approach for years especially when compared to a contemporary band like the Grateful Dead that seemed to mix their set lists up (not saying that approach is better because many Dead shows are aimless and tedious). In 1969 and through 1970, I assume they were the opening act on many bills and probably had a limited time frame that required a timed set. In addition, Gregg seemed to admire soul singers who I've heard played very scripted shows. Still, there are some shows from the original line up that get out there a little bit. Can't wait to hear the Mtn Jam on the new Fillmore West boxed set. Had a rough tape of that for years and that goes in many directions.
 
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  posted on 8/7/2019 at 11:47 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
They were a new band, with 2 studio albums and 1 live record by mid 1971, wasn't the material for much of a varied set list.

I comprehend the premise of your observation. It does not, however, directly address my question for which, by the way, I would welcome additional insight...Alan Paul!?!?


Here's an interesting coincidence, that set-list thing continued well after Duane's passing. Look at the tours in '73 & 89, pretty constant. It wasn't 'til Warren's emergence and Dickey's departure that the rotation became more diverse....
Exactly.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 12:01 AM
quote:
quote:
They were a new band, with 2 studio albums and 1 live record by mid 1971, wasn't the material for much of a varied set list.



that's not really an answer though because the band knew 20+ cover tunes by 1971 too
That means nothing. They were still building a following at that time, and needed to keep it simple and tight. Like someone said, they didn't mix things up till after Dickey was no longer with the band.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 07:12 AM
How many bands of that era played a radically different show from night-to-night? I don't think it's really that odd, if you're a touring band, you bring your best show to a new city each night. Sure, today there is so much more material that like bands can draw from and so many more fans going to multiple shows, but that just wasn't common practice in 1970. Especially when you consider not a lot of bands were playing 300 dates in a year.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 08:35 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
They were a new band, with 2 studio albums and 1 live record by mid 1971, wasn't the material for much of a varied set list.



that's not really an answer though because the band knew 20+ cover tunes by 1971 too
That means nothing. They were still building a following at that time, and needed to keep it simple and tight. Like someone said, they didn't mix things up till after Dickey was no longer with the band.



not true as mentioned they started mixing things up in the mid 90's while dickey was still there and dickey from the mid 90's until the mid 00's played new songs not even released on albums yet and in the case of the solo songs from the 00's 3 of them were never ever recorded in the studio. I have a feeling at least from 1972-1995 the lack of diverse setlist has more to do with substance abuse problems by multiple band members than what the knew how to play or who was in the band.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 08:43 AM
just taking a quick glance. from 1990-1995 looks like the band played about 40 different tunes a year. from 1996-2000 the number was closer to 50 . some of those years it looks like over 50. 2003 is when it started to go over 50.
 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 08:48 AM
Wanting to be a tight new band makes sense to me, if your listening to the original 6 bands live recordings yeah, there the same songs, but they changed up guitar solos. I love One Way Out and You Donít Love Me from Live at Stonybrook, great and different versions from a evolving band. I always wondered how different the rest of Eat A Peach and Brothers and Sisters would be if Duaneís iconic sound was there.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 08:49 AM
quote:
I have a feeling at least from 1972-1995 the lack of diverse setlist has more to do with substance abuse problems by multiple band members than what the knew how to play or who was in the band.


I don't agree that it was substance abuse-related at all. Some bands just have the songs that they've rehearsed and that's their show that they take out on the road. They're not playing for the traveling fan, they're playing for the city they are in.

Anyone who has ever played music with other musicians knows you don't just bust out "High Falls" on a whim - it's got to be rehearsed. The Allman Brothers music is somewhat complicated when there are that many moving pieces. The Grateful Dead would learn songs on stage (or Bob Weir would teach himself slide) but the Allmans couldn't just drop a deep cut without rehearsing it. As mentioned, Warren and Woody were the ones pushing for mixing it up which is why that started happening in moderation in the mid-1990s, and even more when Warren returned to the band in 2001.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 09:20 AM
quote:
quote:
I have a feeling at least from 1972-1995 the lack of diverse setlist has more to do with substance abuse problems by multiple band members than what the knew how to play or who was in the band.


I don't agree that it was substance abuse-related at all. Some bands just have the songs that they've rehearsed and that's their show that they take out on the road. They're not playing for the traveling fan, they're playing for the city they are in.

Anyone who has ever played music with other musicians knows you don't just bust out "High Falls" on a whim - it's got to be rehearsed. The Allman Brothers music is somewhat complicated when there are that many moving pieces. The Grateful Dead would learn songs on stage (or Bob Weir would teach himself slide) but the Allmans couldn't just drop a deep cut without rehearsing it. As mentioned, Warren and Woody were the ones pushing for mixing it up which is why that started happening in moderation in the mid-1990s, and even more when Warren returned to the band in 2001.



so you doubt it had nothing to do with most of the band barely being able to remember their own name as a reason why they were unable to remember songs they rarely/never played live? some shows the guys screwed up songs they always played live to the point it caused a rift between dickey and the rest of the band once Gregg tried to straighten up and dickey was no longer a member

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 09:47 AM
quote:
quote:
I comprehend the premise of your observation. It does not, however, directly address my question for which, by the way, I would welcome additional insight...Alan Paul!?!?


Thanks... I've had my head deeply in SRV land for three years, so I'm going to answer from memory and instinct here. Duane and Dickey and Gregg all wanted things to be really tight. I don't think there was any disagreement among those three about this approach. I've never heard of any at all. And I've never heard anyone cite Miles as an influence here, though that's an interesting concept and I'll ask Jaimoe when I can. I always thought of it as more of an old school rehearsed band approach. Work stuff out in private and play it polished in public.

Look how Gregg ran his solo band right til the end. And how Dickey obviously preferred to run things as well. After Garcia's death, quite a few Deadheads gravitated to the band. They went to a few shows and basically went "WTF? Same show." Warren and Woody had been advocating for opening things up and finally got somewhere on that basis, but Dickey would only go for adding a C set to an A and B, so they rotated. Both Gregg and Dickey had some trouble remembering lyrics of songs they didn't play all the time.

After DB was gone and WH was back, things changed.


Have read extensively about the group over the years but can't imagine I imagined these points...Currently combing through liners to various reissue titles after referencing RandyP's Skydog--Was just about to consult your book Mr. Paul so glad you responded. Along the lines of my original premise, I seem to recall mention that when band reformed in '89, they kept to a fairly standard setlist in compliance with Duane's earlier wishes--think I will go to liner notes of Play All Night next!

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 09:53 AM
quote:
so you doubt it had nothing to do with most of the band barely being able to remember their own name as a reason why they were unable to remember songs they rarely/never played live?

YES.

As I said, most bands of that era played similar set lists night in and night out on the same tour. Think of all of the Allman Brothers' inspirations - BB King, Albert King, James Brown, etc - they toured with a list of songs that their band knew. Same with their contemporaries - The Band, Marshall Tucker, Traffic, Joe Cocker - all went out on tour with a polished set of songs. That's how the pros did it.

Gregg's own band, from when he started touring to his final tour, rarely mixed up the set list. Warren and Derek came into the band drawing inspiration from a lot of different bands, which why not only were deep cuts dusted off ("Come & Go Blues") or re-arranged ("Wasted Words"), other covers were introduced (Van Morrison, Otis Redding, The Band, etc) to keep things fresh for them. I don't think the original members started tours saying "we are going to be too sauced to remember more than 20 songs" - that takes a lot of foresight and self-awarness. That's just not how it works. Just because the Allman Brothers improvise within their song's structure doesn't mean they are going to call out "Louisiana Lou" that day just for fun. It was a deliberate, well-rehearsed band, they weren't just throwing caution to the wind while on the road. You bring your A game.

[Edited on 8/8/2019 by porkchopbob]

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 10:12 AM
Most rock bands of that era did not mix their setlists too much. Go through the setlists for the Stones or Zepp or the Who at that time, for example.

I agree with Al Paul that in the wake of the Dead's passing, a lot of Deadheads glommed onto seeing the ABB, and that is a fanbase who goes to see MULTIPLE shows per tour and who expect varied setlists.

Don't forget the influence of the internet. Since the mid 90s, the internet has enabled the audience to have info about every show, every note, all the time. That is a game changer. There was nothing like that in Duane's time. I can see how that would push a band to need to mix things up more.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 10:46 AM
quote:
Most rock bands of that era did not mix their setlists too much. Go through the setlists for the Stones or Zepp or the Who at that time, for example.

I agree with Al Paul that in the wake of the Dead's passing, a lot of Deadheads glommed onto seeing the ABB, and that is a fanbase who goes to see MULTIPLE shows per tour and who expect varied setlists.

Don't forget the influence of the internet. Since the mid 90s, the internet has enabled the audience to have info about every show, every note, all the time. That is a game changer. There was nothing like that in Duane's time. I can see how that would push a band to need to mix things up more.


Again, not arguing the preponderance of similarities in setlists across the musical universe, but only inquiring about the 'stability' (sic) of ABB's in its early days and, more importantly, to a specific purpose. John Lynskey's liner notes to Play All Night reference " a diverse but fairly rigid setlist...only slightly varying...a tradition started by Duane..." I will have to keep looking for this approach as obeisance to Miles, but the author's reference in this respect sufficiently satisfies my curiosity (as the many other tangential responses did not--my how our attention can wander?!?!?)

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 10:52 AM
quote:
quote:
so you doubt it had nothing to do with most of the band barely being able to remember their own name as a reason why they were unable to remember songs they rarely/never played live?

YES.

As I said, most bands of that era played similar set lists night in and night out on the same tour. Think of all of the Allman Brothers' inspirations - BB King, Albert King, James Brown, etc - they toured with a list of songs that their band knew. Same with their contemporaries - The Band, Marshall Tucker, Traffic, Joe Cocker - all went out on tour with a polished set of songs. That's how the pros did it.

Gregg's own band, from when he started touring to his final tour, rarely mixed up the set list. Warren and Derek came into the band drawing inspiration from a lot of different bands, which why not only were deep cuts dusted off ("Come & Go Blues") or re-arranged ("Wasted Words"), other covers were introduced (Van Morrison, Otis Redding, The Band, etc) to keep things fresh for them. I don't think the original members started tours saying "we are going to be too sauced to remember more than 20 songs" - that takes a lot of foresight and self-awarness. That's just not how it works. Just because the Allman Brothers improvise within their song's structure doesn't mean they are going to call out "Louisiana Lou" that day just for fun. It was a deliberate, well-rehearsed band, they weren't just throwing caution to the wind while on the road. You bring your A game.

[Edited on 8/8/2019 by porkchopbob]



I don't think they thought "we will be too out of it to remember more tunes". I think it was more "lets stick with what we know" that we if there was an issue they can almost sleepwalk through it and be ok but dickey got to a point that was harder. I don't think the band even attempted to practice/rehearse more than 20-25 songs for each year prior to the 90's. I'm not saying there aren't other factors involved too. I'm just saying how much rehearsing were they going to do really

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 11:04 AM
quote:
I don't think they thought "we will be too out of it to remember more tunes". I think it was more "lets stick with what we know" that we if there was an issue they can almost sleepwalk through it and be ok but dickey got to a point that was harder. I don't think the band even attempted to practice/rehearse more than 20-25 songs for each year prior to the 90's. I'm not saying there aren't other factors involved too. I'm just saying how much rehearsing were they going to do really

I don't believe their potential inebriation was a conscious, deliberate, contributing factor to their carefully planned set lists.

 

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