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I recently posted a version of Liz Reed by the Allman Brothers with Dickey Betts & Warren Haynes on guitar
Initially released on the ABB’s second album, Idlewild South, in 1970, it clocked in at 1 second under 7 minutes. It was later included on the band’s double live album, Live At The Fillmore East, which recording showcased some of the band’s improv skills and was stretched out to 13:10 minutes.
Dickey Betts wrote the instrumental as a love song to a girl that he was seeing at the time; in Macon GA, the local grave yard, Rose Hill Cemetery was a hangout for many young people, the members of the ABB included. Dickey couldn’t name the song after the girl because she happened to also be dating singer Boz Skaggs and of course, he wanted to avoid conflict; the story goes that as Betts was wondering what to name the song, he happened to notice the grave marker of Elizabeth Jones Reed Napier and the rest is band history.
The Fillmore recording was made during 3 days of performances by the band in late March 1971. The double live album was released & sold at the same price as a single LP of the day and soon went Gold. It is still regarded today as the best live recording in rock & roll. Live At The Fillmore was one of 50 recordings chosen in 2004 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.
As you listen to the final solo of the live version that begins near the 7:45 minute mark, keep in mind that Duane Allman was only 24 yrs old when the recording was made. He was unfortunately killed just 21 days before his his 25 birthday and the recording was made approx 7 months prior to his death.
Duane’s improv skills were tremendous given his young age. In addition to the ABB, he has the Layla album with Clapton to his credit in addition to many sessions at Muscle Shoals
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