Archive for The Allman Brothers Band

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack – Gregg Allman … and Woman

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , on January 9, 2011 by 30daysout

Click to unfold Miss July 1957, Yvette Vickers (NSFW!)

Have to admit, I have given a lot of thought recently on whether we should continue this series.  The original concept was to give a spin to old records that were not famous or well-remembered for one reason or another – mainly because they weren’t as good as classics like Pet Sounds or Sgt. Pepper’s.  But it was getting to be slightly depressing, because these mostly forgotten albums are still light years better and more listenable than much of today’s musical offerings.

As you can see, I decided to soldier on – but with an eye toward balance, I’ve resolved to seek out albums that were recognized as not so good in their time.  And, ho ho, that’s what we have today – the 1977 masterpiece Two The Hard Way, billed to “Allman and Woman,” who were of course Gregg Allman and his then-wife Cher.

The story starts in 1975 when Gregg Alllman, the only living Allman Brother in his eponymous band, married pop singer and TV star Cher in Vegas.  At the time most people felt they took this unlikely step because he was coked out of his gourd and because Cher was batshit crazy – at the time she and Allman married, her divorce from Sonny Bono had been official for only three days.

Of course, nine days after the marriage Cher filed for divorce.  He pledged to dry out and eventually won her back within a month.  But the stress of the whole thing aggravated Cher’s acne and she couldn’t tape her TV show.  Early the next year, in 1976, she re-teamed with ex Sonny for a new “Sonny and Cher” TV show and that freaked out Gregg and he left – but they got back together and had a son, Elijah Blue.

Whew!  The Allman Brothers Band had pretty much broken up by this time because Gregg was busted for drug possession in 1976 and in exchange for immunity from prosecution, Allman testified against tour manager John “Scooter” Herring and threw him under the bus.  For supplying drugs to Allman, Herring got 75 years in prison (he actually served only 30 months before the sentence was overturned).  The rest of the band considered Allman’s testimony an act of betrayal, so the band soon broke up.

Amid this soap opera, at some point Allman and Cher decided to cut an album together.  Allman served as the album’s producer, and he enlisted the help of rock heavyweights like guitarist Fred Tackett (Little Feat), bassist Willie Weeks and, on horns, Jim Horn and Randall Bramblett. The album was a mix of Allman’s Southern soul-rock and Cher’s pop stuff.

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