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Author: Subject: Skynyrd. Dowd bashing

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 01:09 PM
Just got done reading some Ed King Dowd-bashing on Steve Hoffman forums. How Tom Dowd wrecked LS sound. How Dowd "couldn't mix a cake". Maybe King was just pissed because he wasn't part of the cake.

I saw them in 74 and 76 and not blaming Ed King but they were way cleaner with two guitars. For one thing, the guitars were in tune. Way more compressed, sinister, streamlined and polished - spooky swamp stealthy like a water moccasin, snake up on you and bit you when you didnt even know it - 74 was stunning but never chilled your spine, there was something new and dark on board in 76. 76, punchy original sounding hard rock outfit not the wahoo party dueling guitars sound of three guitars duking it out - which was a blast for the melee on the end of Free Bird but a mess on the rest. Could have solved that with an extra guitar added end of show.

Long story short - 74, more fun, big party, high energy. 76, way better sound, serious music you had to pay attention, you couldnt just wave a Schlitz around and yell, and tell your grandkids in the meth lab you saw Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the day - but you never actually heard them, not really.

Just going on record in favor of Tom Dowd, Bullets was their best sounding record, thanks to Dowd. Not talking about best songs, strictly recording and musicianship - top of their game. As for King trashing Dowd all over the web, sounds like sour grapes to me.

For a short time LS sounded different, a sound unto itself, a big rock sound with room to grow, heading into the realm of the British supergroups.

Not saying they weren't epic when they went back to three guitars, I am saying epic was the trouble - I just think it locked them into guitar army, cumbersome - big orchestra playing the hits. They would have been able to move and change with the two guitar sound. Think Infantry vs Special Forces.

So in 1976 caught a glimpse of a whole different beast - but the audience didn't buy it so LS doubled down with a hired gun on the tried and true - I get it, but 1976 was pearls before swine. The audience didn't get it at all. It just wasnt the big hootnholler they were expecting - wait a minute, I gotta figure out actual music?????

So back tf off Tom Dowd, Kingsters.

[Edited on 5/10/2020 by BrerRabbit]

 
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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 01:47 PM
I read an article several years ago with Bobby Whitlock just putting a dagger into Tom Dowd and his impact on the Layla album. It was in a major London newspaper several years after the albums release. The gist of Whitlock's point was that he and Eric produced the album and Dowd was a minor player in the actual process.


 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 02:36 PM
quote:

I read an article several years ago with Bobby Whitlock just putting a dagger into Tom Dowd and his impact on the Layla album. It was in a major London newspaper several years after the albums release. The gist of Whitlock's point was that he and Eric produced the album and Dowd was a minor player in the actual process.


That's a big pill to swallow and I personally am having NONE of it. Clapton and Whitlock produced Layla? To me that's got to be a load of BS but Whitlock has been known to have sour grapes regarding a number of issues.

There's a great AXS documentary on Clapton's career through all of the 70's. It's so good that I watched it for the second time last night. It goes into every facet of Clapton's 70's career. Every record, every tour is broken down into detail as well as Clapton's personal life. And there in this same documentary was Bobby Whitlock talking about what broke up the Dominoes: "We weren't high when we were recording Layla. After we were done for the day? Well, there was tons of drugs and drink. We may have started the day straight, had some food, maybe a massage before we went to the studio. Problem is, heroin and cocaine do not go out of your system right away and the lingering effects are still there the next day." The narrator goes on to say that basically that is the reason that the Dominoes never made any headway on a second studio recording, because everyone's habits had become so bad.

So Whitlock admits that all of them were raging addicts and yet wants me to believe that the band members, after they were finished recording for the day, were playing back the tapes, mixing the sound, and taking care of every other little detail that being a producer involves?

Uh-Huh. Sure Bobby.





[Edited on 5/11/2020 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 03:50 PM
Butch Trucks exploded on his forum when the Ed King take down of Tom Dowd was published. Butch was vicious in his verbal assault of Ed King. Butch revealed he has never care for Ed King as a musician, a person or his critique of anything.

Butch said Tom Dowd was fantastic and was absolutely the producer for the ABB and Tom was their choice to produce and the only reason he didn't produce every album was when Dowd wasn't available or then current contracts wouldn't allow it.

Yes I remember Bobby Whitlock saying he and Eric produced most of Layla on the studio floor. That they ignored most of Dowd's input and about all Dowd did is tell the engineer when to turn on the tape machine.

But Duane Allman praised Tom Dowd in a late 1970 radio interview and was glowing about Eric Clapton and his singing and guitar playing. Someone called in an asked which parts was Duane and which parts were Eric. Duane said he played a Gibson Les Paul and Eric played a Fender Stratocaster and if you know how the typical tone of each guitar sounds then that is how you can tell. Then Duane said if you can't tell a Paul from a Strat don't worry about it. Just sit back and enjoy some great music.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 04:02 PM
quote:
. . .yet wants me to believe that the band members, after they were finished recording for the day, were playing back the tapes, mixing the sound, and taking care of every other little detail that being a producer involves?


It takes SO MUCH TIME to do all that. Not even sober people can record all day and mix all night. This Whitlock character sounds pretty mean, he has popped up here recently.


@blackey, any way we can dig up the Ed King anti-Dowd manifesto and Butch's rebuttal? Sounds like some good drama.

 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 04:14 PM
Then again, I hate to say this, but Layla is pretty muddy here and tbere.
Maybe they did blow off Tom Dowd. Or maybe Tom Dowd saved it from total botch job by those guys. Who knows. I do know I have a decent ear, and Layla sounds pretty bad in places. I have the MFSL, the 40th, etc, there are definitely some weak spots. Interesting stuff.

 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 05:32 PM
All that matters to me when it comes to LS and guitars.

The best player that they ever had died in that plane crash sadly. Steve Gaines added so much to the band in such a short time with them. I will disagree with Bullets being the best sounding. Street Survivors is to me - the tightest that they ever were.

Also Gaines added song writing and singing to the mix also.

Sad

 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 05:42 PM
Sad indeed. long time no see Canada - figured you would be killin the Name that Band thread
 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 07:03 PM
What CM said

Further listening:
Steve Gaines - One in the Sun

 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 07:27 PM
He brought life to the band and definitely inspired Ronnie to some of his best lyrics and vocals.

The songs that he brought in were just killer.
I can only dream of what his 2nd, 3rd etc albums would have been like.

 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 07:46 PM
I've been a music junkie for a very long time. LS never caught my ear and as a matter of my personal taste I never cared for Free Bird. Too much musical masturbation. Tom Dowd produced some of the most amazing music over his time period. He was the musician behind the scenes. In my opinion he was the master of the Layla album. He, once again, is in my opinion, the equivalent of George Martin to the Beatles. Guess this will piss off a bunch of LS fans, but oh well. Music is a subjective topic and all of us, no matter our preferences, are entitled to our opinions.
 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 08:21 PM
http://thebutchtrucks.blogspot.com/2011/12/studpiest-statement-i-have-ever- read.html?m=1

See if this works BerRabbit. This is one of Butch's Ed King bashing.

 

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  posted on 5/10/2020 at 09:12 PM
Either you like the music or you don't.

But

Loved Butch's smackdown lololol.
We were howling with laughter on this end.

Way better read than people quoting magazines and old interviews 3rd hand to 'tell a story'
cause even the people who were there don't agree.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 05:50 AM
If you read some of the comments on Butch's blog, some of the more stinging and colorful responses to Butch were later deleted. As a matter of fact, some fans??? were getting so rough on Butch by 2011 that he quit posting soon afterward. I was disappointed. Just let him say what he wants like it or not. It was Butch's blog. I didn't understand why he didn't eliminate the comments section. Some people were getting very NASTY to Butch.

Around 2010 and 2011, some were pointing out to Butch Gregg Allman's sloppy performances. I think Gregg's 2011 Beacon run had a good share of missed vocals and miscues on the organ. Butch's response was he had NO control over how Gregg Allman sounds and if you don't like what you hear including Butch's long drum solos then don't come to the shows.

When Butch began posting on this site in the 1990s it was wonderful. We got an direct inside look at the band. Some of the rumors about current and old band issues were wrong according to Butch when he was asked and people were able to prod Butch into pushing the band to mix up the set lists. He answered questions fans had about the albums, old shows, the original band etc. After 2000AD Butch made clear his dislike for Dickey, Dickey's moving the sound of the band more country on Brothers and Sisters and Butch not being proud of the influence the post 1972 ABB had on modern country music and that they should have fired Dickey after Duane died and hired two new guitar players and stuck to the sound the original band laid out.

Personally I was embarrassed at how hateful some on Butch's blog were to him and to the band in general. I guess some of the things Butch began to say about other bands, Skynyrd, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and Dickey Betts and other ABB problems ticked off some of the readers of his blog. I never liked what he said about Dickey myself and he couldn't let it go over the years. Dickey was a bigger deal to the ABB than Butch was to me. And around 2009 Butch slammed Led Zeppelin saying Robert Plant is what Atlantic Records wanted Gregg to look like. Get the lead singer from behind that organ, put a cucumber down his pants and let Gregg dance around or this band will never make it. Butch said he went with Duane to see Led Zeppelin and Duane was so angry at how they dressed and played that they walked out. Interestingly someone in the press asked Dickey about that around 2008 or so and Dickey said it wasn't true. Dickey said Duane loved Jimmy Page and owned a similar pair of pants. So who do you believe?? Take it from any of those guys with a grain of salt I suppose.

I liked Butch and his drumming and Butch spoke his mind including negative things to say about Warren and Derek after 2014. But that was Butch. Once he looked Duane Allman in the eye and told him what's what when drugs were beginning to mess with Duane's playing.

RIP Butch.

[Edited on 5/11/2020 by blackey]

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 08:04 AM
The Ed King comments must have been from ages ago - didn't he die a couple of years ago? None of it sticks if you listen to Fillmore East - it's not easy capturing a live band and that album sounds fantastic.

I brought up Bobby Whitlock's Dowd and Duane-bashing in another thread just last week. That guy sounds bitter and insecure. I get the feeling he thought the Dominos was going to be a big thing for him but then Clapton went on a 3-year tailspin and the band fell apart. Think of it - after touring with Delaney & Bonnie, you're writing songs and recording in Clapton's new band and then along comes Duane Allman? And then Duane turns down an invitation to join a band that is the biggest thing that ever happened to you? Who the hell is he? Just sounds like sour grapes.

quote:
Then again, I hate to say this, but Layla is pretty muddy here and there.

I read somewhere that Clapton wanted to go lo-fi and used a Fender Champ. Some of it does sound muddy, but all of those layers on "Layla" and "Keep on Growing", etc, without sounding like a mess is all Tom Dowd.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 09:43 AM
Dowd was able to take heroin addicts and create a masterpiece.

He earned his cut. Likely deserved more.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 10:30 AM
quote:
Dowd was able to take heroin addicts and create a masterpiece.

He earned his cut. Likely deserved more.


Lol, and the heroin addicts were able to provide material to create a masterpiece with. Miracles from every quarter.

Here is the genius behind Dusty In Memphis ffs, straight stellar pro, top flight.

Must be the Skynrd talk - Just stumbled across "Tuesday's Gone " on piano last night, super simple, such a satisfying song to sing. Would help to memorize the lyrics, instead of mumbling some lines about trains then doing the chorus


 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 12:27 PM
Well the addicts were pretty much playing the blues so if you get the band to make it through the tunes and then capture some magic moments. All those killer songs also have tracks that were not used. LOL

Tuning at times is questionable but Dowd blends them in the mix.

Producers in that era had to deal with far more than just the playing/recording. They were dealing with people who were pretty high and stretched out. They were also musical geniuses and the trick was to catch the magic. I think Dowd did a fine job all around. The album had many worried and when it didn't initially sell then the blame would have fallen on Dowd. People were asking "Where are the hits?". In truth there really weren't any. At least not in the conventional sense of the music industry.

The true stroke of genius was in bring in Duane. He changes the entire landscape of what it would have been.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 01:37 PM
I didn't like the mix/sound as much on Give Me Back My Bullets, but I loved the sound on One More From the Road and Street Survivors (and Layla!), but Ed King's comments were dumb.

Butch's response personal attack back at Ed to level he did was as bad as Ed King making it personal about Tom Dowd.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 01:39 PM
Well even when he was alive to say Ed King speaks for Lynyrd Skynrd is a stretch.

For those who might like to read it a pretty cool Tom Dowd interview with great comments on lots of this including his thoughts on D&D, Duane, the Allmans, Ronnie, Dickey, Warren and a bunch more.

http://swampland.com/articles/view/title:tom_dowd

part 2

http://www.swampland.com/articles/view/title:tom_dowd_part_2




 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 03:37 PM
Enjoyed the interview. No question Dowd was brilliant and working with these creative and sensitive and high and drunk artists had to be challenging and an art.

Ed King and Bobby Whitlock were wrong. Whitlock is noted for embellishing stuff. You better not take what any of them say as gospel. Gregg always told the story of hanging up with Duane and catching a ride cross country with a bass player Duane knew but didn't like and rode with him all the way from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. But a couple roadies for the original band would say Gregg must be confused because they know that Duane sent a plane ticket and Gregg flew.

I really liked Ed King in Lynyrd Skynyrd. I thought he was their best guitarist. I remember being in Virginia, either Richmond or Norfolk and we had tickets and Ed wasn't there. Found out the next day Ed King went AWOL on the band. Got his amp and Stratocaster and disappeared without telling anyone. Supposedly Ronnie was going to beat him silly for that but who knows if it's true. Well it is true Ed left the band mid tour with no notice. Just vanished.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 04:02 PM
quote:
Enjoyed the interview. No question Dowd was brilliant and working with these creative and sensitive and high and drunk artists had to be challenging and an art.

Ed King and Bobby Whitlock were wrong. Whitlock is noted for embellishing stuff. You better not take what any of them say as gospel. Gregg always told the story of hanging up with Duane and catching a ride cross country with a bass player Duane knew but didn't like and rode with him all the way from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. But a couple roadies for the original band would say Gregg must be confused because they know that Duane sent a plane ticket and Gregg flew.

I really liked Ed King in Lynyrd Skynyrd. I thought he was their best guitarist. I remember being in Virginia, either Richmond or Norfolk and we had tickets and Ed wasn't there. Found out the next day Ed King went AWOL on the band. Got his amp and Stratocaster and disappeared without telling anyone. Supposedly Ronnie was going to beat him silly for that but who knows if it's true. Well it is true Ed left the band mid tour with no notice. Just vanished.


Here is Ed's answer for you right here on his old forum. Fairly detailed.

https://edking.proboards.com/thread/30/leaving-band

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 05:56 PM
quote:
Dowd was able to take heroin addicts and create a masterpiece.

He earned his cut. Likely deserved more.


That's one way of putting it!

 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 06:38 PM
lol! Certainly not one to mince words.
 

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  posted on 5/11/2020 at 07:55 PM
Thanks tbomike. Ed was very generous to explain it. It was wrong but I understand why he didn't tell anyone he was leaving mid tour. Ronnie would have exploded. May have put Ed in the hospital.

 

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