An extraordinary piece of rock history is being celebrated with the first-ever vinyl release of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND’s last show with founder and guitarist DUANE ALLMAN. Recorded October 17, 1971 at the Painters Mill Music Fair in Owings Mills, MD, the recording marks Duane’s last show, as he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident 12 days later. Recorded on a hand-held cassette machine by 18-year-old radio journalist Sam Idas, this music was released on 10/16/20 and is now being made available on limited and numbered color vinyl in conjunction with Record Store Day Drops on July 17 (via the Allman Brothers Band Recording Company, distributed by The Orchard).
The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND were riding a wave of great success in late 1971 and wrapped up an intense summer of touring with the two shows at Painters Mill that day. The July 1971 release of their breakthrough At Fillmore East live album had brought them critical acclaim, hordes of new fans, and even a little money. The band—DUANE ALLMAN, GREGG ALLMAN, DICKEY BETTS, JAIMOE, BUTCH TRUCKS and BERRY OAKLEY—had toured all summer long and were looking forward to some time off before heading back to the studio.
The Final Note package features some remarkable never-before-published photos from that night’s show, extensive liner notes from ABB archivist John Lynskey plus a photo of the actual cassette Idas used. On hand to interview Gregg Allman after the concert, Idas recalls how it happened: “My only intention was to record the interview. This was a brand-new cassette recorder with an internal microphone, and I had one 60-minute cassette tape. I was sitting there with the recorder in my lap, and I remember thinking ‘Why don’t I try this out? I can record the concert!’ It was a totally spontaneous decision. I’d been to many concerts, but this was the only time I had the thought—and the motivation—to record the show.” The cassette went forgotten by Idas until a few years ago when his old roommate asked him if he still had it. Word of this incredible piece of ABB history reached the group’s manager Bert Holman, who immediately knew the importance of this find.
Captured on this simple audience recording were eight tracks from the band’s standard setlist, including smoking versions of “Statesboro Blues,” Hot ’Lanta” and “Whipping Post.” Despite the obvious limitations that come with a 50-year-old cassette tape, modern technological enhancements help restore the magic of this significant night. The Final Note is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the musical excellence of the original Allman Brothers Band.
The Final Note (October 17, 1971)
--Trouble No More
--Don’t Keep Me Wondering
--Done Somebody Wrong
--One Way Out
--In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed