By: Ron Everhart
mmm…before I go to bed, I decided to drop back by and say that last night (Salem, VA, 9/18/02), we got the Derek Dreams. As much as I love that tune and as many times as I’ve heard it live & on tape, I couldn’t say I’ve ever heard a more muscular, tighter version. It was the kind where you’re throwing air punches with every beat, and every punch is right on the beat, and every note escalates from the one before. I thought my heart was going to leap up in my throat. The only way It could’ve been any better was if Beth had been alongside us.
You guys are in for such a treat this weekend. Get into the moments of the show, don’t worry about keeping score, let yourself go and enjoy it to the fullest while we have it to enjoy.
A cat named David Ayers used to say he was following the band because, after all, who knew how much longer the run of great shows could possibly last. I think he told me that the weekend of 7-5 / 6/ & 7-96…’member that weekend, y’all? That tight, powerful, rock-you-back-on-your-heels thing is goin’ on again, if that’s your bag, this is your time.
So…none of that rock criticism stuff! My season’s over, when the circus was passin’ through the Tar Heel state today, it was time to get off the bus. Y’all in the path of this fire-breathin’ 7-headed rock and roll monster, please do report back all the fun and laughter and good times to the rest of us. Lord knows, we wished you were there with us when it was our turn.
Last, something serious I’d like to say. Every rock concert I’ve been to in the past year, every time I’ve had a drink and shook my butt and sweated and swirled in a big ol’ crowd of boys and girls and friends and strangers, it’s been a personal political statement. And particularly when it’s been the Brothers. Some y’all heard me say it when the ‘goin’ to the Beacon?’ questions came around late last fall. When I dragged my half-broken body to the Upper West Side and tried (in vain) to hang with the big pooches, I said it. I said it this summer and I said it last night. If the evildoers in the world had their way, we’d be imprisoned or worse for daring to like what we like. At the Beacon, in Charlotte & Raleigh with my family & neighbors and ALL y’all that were there, heck, last night, dancing with Carol & Kirby at the front, or boppin’ with Glenn and Mike & the Pooch Corps duo at the back, having a beer with Jim & Jennifer, getting in the groove with the dancing boys and girls at the back of the hall, meeting TOTALLY groovy Salem youngsters Caleb & Jessie, running into friends from Charlotte who just decided they HAD to come up for one more go-round after our place, every moment of every show and all the good times and groove, every last second is one big joyous shout F— the Taliban, and has been for me all season. (In fact, I was lobbying in March for a less obscene version of that on a Beacon T — Beacon 2002 – “F— the Taliban, let’s dance!” )
Our joy in our freedoms — and the exercise of our freedom to be make a joyful noise, dance the joyous dance, and feel the power of LOVE in thousands of like-minded groovers — the ALLMAN BROTHERS CONCERT EXPERIENCE, in other words — that’s gonna win.
Now y’all go make us proud and free. Dance like there’s no tomorrow, cheer ’til your voice is gone, smile at EVERYONE, and remember boys, pretty girls dance with guys who dance with them.
Next March in Manhattan!