He Was No Angel

Gregg Allman even sang about it. Since his death, many have shared their remembrance of him. This is mine.

The Allman Brothers were playing Tampa Stadium in January 1973. The opening band, ZZ Top, who had not yet released La Grange and were not well-known in Florida, played songs mostly from their first two albums, which consisted of gritty blues-inspired rock.
Fifteen minutes or so after the band was finished, several members of the Allman Brothers took the stage and started tuning their instruments. This turned into 30 minutes with still no sign of Gregg. In those days, the poisons of choice of concert-goers were weed and Boone’s Farm (security was not what it is today). Many were either stoned or on the verge of sickness, so the delay in the start of the band’s performance was no big concern. However, after about an hour of this constant tuning, the crowd was getting restless.

Suddenly, Gregg is being led onto the stage by two security-looking/roadie types, each had control of Gregg’s arms, who was staggering, and close to falling to the floor. They placed him in front of a mic, and the band started playing. To his credit, he perked up after a few music bars, and really put on a great concert. I’m not sure how he got to this condition, but speculate that with his spiraling drug problem and fondness for the erotic side of life, they found him at the 2001 Odyssey, a notorious nudie bar only a couple of blocks from the stadium, known for entertaining big names that came through town.

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