on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 29 Jun

An Allman Brothers Love Song

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off


When the double album At Fillmore East was released (Eat A Peach came later), I was about sixteen, and a radio man played a  piece from it called In Memory Of Elisabeth Reed. That was one of the most stunning instrumental pieces I had ever heard (not that I was too old already to have heard too much). I fell in love immediately, like I fell in love at first sight in girls that carried wonderful names like Margarete Scheibenhut, Jutte Korte (a  more simple name, but she compensated its lack of magic with undisputable beauty), or later, when there were teens in my age, Regina Detert or Marlies Durch-Den-Wald. Regina was a too sad affair, with one long kiss and a constant good-bye. (these names are all real, nothing made up.) I digress. I got the double album with the great cover photo and was hooked again when listening to all the four sides. Now I knew my rock heroes had their knack for old blues singers, but I was never so deep into blues, and I was surely not so deep into that thing blues rock. You could not say that In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed is a blues rock piece (I later read, guitar master Duane Allman had been listening a lot to modal Coltrane), but in their own peculiar ways, all the other tracks were definitely  coming from that world of Blues Rock Southern Style. And I loved them. The whole music was brimming with life, and though In Memory of Elizabeth Reed was my private stand-out, all the other tracks were stand-outs, too. The long jams seemed never to run out of focus, and I even liked the hoarse voice of brother Gregg Allman (being far away from voices I normally loved).  Whippin‘ Post was another killer, and I then started to find the love of my life (in fact I started it when being five (the beautiful neighbour woman) or  seven (the female owner of a Langeoog pension)), but my searching got quite more serious with fifteen, and till I discovered my greatest early love in an elevator in Würzburg in 1975, I was training the deepness of love, my abilities of getting lost, my desires for the everlasting by listening to the usual suspects from Neil to Joni, from Ray to John  – and Live At The Fillmore. Sometimes I had to dance while listening to In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed. With years going by, I got a nice digipak  CD version of the double album, and in music magazines I read that the album was a favourite object of desire to test your hi fi system. No doubt about that:  nothing sounded boxy,  everything was full there and fleshed-out. As the decades went on and on, I kept returning to the Fillmore East that had already been closing its doors deep in the last century, but stayed strong as a power spot in my record collection. So I finally got an Sacd documenting all three nights at The Fillmore, from which chosen pieces made it for the final version. I returned to that venue again and again and learned that my best friend from Nothern California (I have no friends in Southern California) was there on one  of those magic nights: since then I started to  search for the clapping of his hands in the crowd. Mission impossible, but I tried hard, with a smile. Knowing Brian Whistler was there, I came even closer to the audience with that Sacd. The soundstage was broader, the reverb seemed to pop back from behind, and the applauding hands: now on the real side of listening, around me. On the rear channels. Two years ago I got another Sacd with a 5:1-mix now spreading the instruments over all channels. A fantastic experience that transported me to being on stage with the musicians. Holy shit. By listening to the album since my teenager years, by changing the formats, the music was never on the verge of collecting its patina of nostalgia or „I wanna be  fuckin young again“, but got more real and real – and real. I live in a house where volume has no restrictions, and neither have the portals to another time. On a  rainy night (long story short) of a rainy day, not long ago, I crossed the screen, so to speak, and I was there. For real. Just when Whippin‘ Post started I came back to my place near the controls with a Budweiser. (In moments of deep entrancement, your attention can be caught by the funniest, nonsensical details – a guy next to me was holding a clear bag from a record store called Licorice Pizza, and inside I glimpsed the cover of Electric Ladyland.) I was seeing the band, and since the famous photo of the double album left such a huge impact on me, it seemed that I had always been there. No stranger to this place, I started (as I always did) looking for the most beautiful girl around And fell in love immediately. When the band finally played In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed, my smile turned cosmic. And I am  not a friend of big words.

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