There are only two things you’re not allowed to talk to Gregg Allman about: how Duane’s death affected him and Cher. Allman, who brings the Allman Brothers Band to Jones Beach Friday, recently spoke with Ian D’Giff:
What’s it like to play a place like the Beacon Theatre for a month?
The little, small things in the music that should be heard don’t go right by you at the Beacon. And it beats playing outside. There is nothing worse than playing outside, especially when it’s windy. You get a bass lick flying by your right ear, drums flip over the top of your head, keys fly by your left ear. It all starts flying around your head like a washing machine.
You don’t like playing Jones Beach?
If we didn’t like it we wouldn’t keep coming there. The sound is pretty good over there, actually.
How do you keep it fresh on tour, so that playing doesn’t become a drag?
If it doesn’t feel good we go home, which we’ve done twice in our career. We just love to play and I really do now, because I’m sober. Two and a half years, and almost a half a year off the cigarettes.
You dropped a lot of weight, too.
Yeah, I got a whole new wardrobe. I’ll tell you what— drugs and alcohol are a joke, man. They make you think you’re playing your tail off and I mean, forget about it….I’m so glad I didn’t go out flaming.
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND with Lucinda Williams, Kerry Kearney and Jiggle the Handle, 7:30pm Aug 27 at Jones Beach Theatre, 516-221-1000, $25.25-$38.25.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 31, 1999