Surely, Duane Allman Sitteth at the Right Hand of Eric Clapton.

September 1, 2010

The other day, I selected my well-worn “Allman Brothers Greatest Hits” CD for my ride into work.  This disc resides permanently in my car’s player alongside rotating Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton to name a few.  Even though I have probably listened to the songs on this album (yes, it’s OK to still say “album”) a thousand times; each time I fall in love all over again.

The Allman Brothers Band music is a Southern-blues/rock fest, with sweet guitar melodies, and a beat you can dance to.  As Duane Allman and Dickey Betts work their guitar strings in heavenly harmony and Greg Allman sings to the pounding piano, I’m dancing in my seat.  Dickey Betts is considered “one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time.”  Duane Allman, a guitar deity, played with Eric Clapton and many other rhythm and blues artists before his too-soon death in a motorcycle accident.  I often wonder what marvelous works of guitar art he would have continued creating had he lived.

I remember the first time I heard “Blue Sky.”  I was half-asleep in my boyfriend’s bamboo surrounded house.  Young and free, content in love, I absorbed and indelibly imprinted on my heart what is probably the most beautiful piece of electric guitar harmony ever.  “You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day.  Lord, you make me high when you turn your love my way.”  “Blue Sky” is soulfully joyous; an electric guitar masterpiece; almost magical in its perfection.  It gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears.  And, I believe as this anonymous comment on a fan page states, “I think he (Dickey) wrote it for God.”

I’ve asked my family members to play “Blue Sky” at my funeral; hoping I have many more years to listen to it “live.”  Check out the Allman Brothers  if you have not before–satisfaction guaranteed.

P.S.  I just downloaded “Blue Sky” for my phone’s ringtone!!!


Six Days on the Road and a Wedding

July 28, 2010

Let me say this right up front–I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye than go on another road trip.

Here’s how it begins. Anticipating the impending marriage of our daughter, Maria, Richard–aka Hubby– decided we should drive the 1,200 miles to Minneapolis where the wedding was to take place.  This way, he said, we could bring his specialty dessert, Torte Maria, to be used for the groom’s cake. So the trip went like this:

Good first day, ate a wonderful dinner at the Two Frogs Restaurant in Ardmore, OK. Displayed on the walls was a fine collection of rock and roll musicians’ autographed guitars.  We sat under Johnny Winters’ Firebird! “This is not so bad,” I thought.

Second day, spent two lovely hours in Burger King in Somewhere, Kansas waiting for the Imodium to kick in. Got as far as Des Moines, Iowa for the night.

Third day, drove in the rain through the rest of Iowa. Survived a killer mosquito attack at a beautiful Minnesota rest stop.

Finally in Minneapolis, Hubby, Maria, and I plan to drop off the cake at the reception venue. Driving around lost for an hour, Hubby is holding a 25 lb. cake in his lap all the while the warning bell is going off because he can’t buckle his seatbelt. Phone battery died, so no Google maps.  Finally find the ballroom, hand over the cake and get ‘shortcut’ directions to our friend’s house from the manager.  Lost for another two hours, Maria finally goes into a bar and gets good directions from the bartender.

Friday wedding rehearsal at the Lakewood Chapel. The groom’s mother, who evidently never even heard of Emily Post, doesn’t introduce any one of the wedding participants, but proceeded to give us each our marching orders. “So, Adolph,” I say to the young man escorting me down the aisle, “how do you fit in the family?”  “I’m Scott’s boyfriend.” “Cool,” I say.

After rehearsal, six cars of folks caravan all the way across Minneapolis to a “surprise” restaurant for dinner. Surprise!!–wrong restaurant. After another hour of driving around, trying to find the right restaurant, Hubby and I decide to call it a night and go back to my friend’s house, which we actually find this time fairly easily.

Wedding day. The groom’s mother keeps calling me Maria’s mother, when I am in fact her step-mother. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but she does this in front of the real mother’s mom and sister. Geez, could things get worse you ask.  Pastor Jeff Cowmeadow (I swear that was his name!) did a simple, sweet ceremony, calling Jason and Maria “you guys” about a dozen times.  Maybe he was practicing for Scott and Adolph’s wedding.

Reception speeches were all by the groom’s family. They never even asked if we would like to say anything. And, for the pièce de résistance, the entertainment was an Elvis impersonator who only vaguely resembled a very young Elvis.

By this time, all I can think about is getting home. The next day at the airport, after the plane to O’Hare gets pushed back for the fourth time, I realize there is no way I can make my connection to San Antonio. Re-route to DFW, stay overnight in a hotel (American Airlines’ dime) and catch the morning plane to San Antonio; kiss my front door and collapse on the bed.

All that being said, I wouldn’t have missed the marriage of Jason and Maria for a perfect trip to Hawaii or anywhere.  It was the shining star that made the trip worth all the driving and other misadventures.

Oh, and if you are invited to a formal wedding–DO NOT wear Capri pants and flip-flops