Last week, after I lamented that I’d never seen any good concert documentation of the Allman Brothers in their prime, DM reader Amanda_B_Reckonwith made my day with this footage of the Allmans playing their epic jam “Whipping Post” at the Fillmore East on September 23, 1970. This was about seven months before their classic At Fillmore East live album was recorded there.
This is a pure pleasure, seeing the best blues-rock band America ever produced improvising at their all time peak. “Whipping Post” begins in 11/4 time, almost placing the Allmans—for one song at least—into some sort of quasi Southern-fried Prog Rock continuum. The version that appears on At Fillmore East album clocked in at a never boring 23 minutes, taking up an entire side, but this blistering, energetic rampage through the song is just 11 and a half minutes long, as if they’re cramming all the energy of their more expansive jams into half the time. The band, still young and hungry at this point—and with something to prove—produce full “lift-off” here.
The group is Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson. Their pal Tom Doucette sat in on harmonica and percussion during this set.
Gregg Allman’s vocal mic is obviously missing in action here, but Duane and Dickey Bett’s dueling guitars on “Dreams” is not to be missed: