Gregg Allman hits the right note for local book fans
By RICK de YAMPERT, Entertainment Writer
July 10, 2012 12:05 AM
Allman's memoir is filled with anecdotes from the days in the 1960s when he and his late brother, Duane, were growing up in Daytona Beach and learning their musical chops in various local rock bands.
"There's a part in his book where he talks about coming back here in 1978 -- buying a white Trans Am, seeing his mom, and then he mentions Ringo (the female manager) from the Wreck Bar," Morris said.
Morris showed that passage to his wife, Kim, and then, he said, "I pulled out a bar coaster that Gregg signed for me in '78. I met him at the Wreck Bar. I kept the coaster all these years. Kim said, 'Why, you did meet him!' "
Now Morris, who works in the sign shop at Daytona International Speedway, has further proof of an encounter with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member. Morris was one of 200 fans who got Allman to sign copies of "My Cross to Bear" during an autograph session Monday at Barnes & Noble in Daytona Beach. Those fans included former Daytona Beach Mayor Bud Asher, who in the 1960s owned the Wreck Bar and the Safari Hotel in Daytona Beach -- and who gets a mention in Allman's book.
"There was a place called the Safari Hotel, right on the corner of South Atlantic and the beach, run by a guy named Bud Asher, who later became the mayor of Daytona Beach," Allman wrote in his book, noting that he and Duane's fledgling band performed there.
And then, Allman wrote, referring to Asher: "I think he still owes us some back pay!"
That comment drew a spirited but friendly rebuke from Asher at the signing.
"That's not true -- anybody who ever played for me got paid," Asher told a smiling Allman. "I don't owe a nickel to anybody, anyplace." Asher went on to heap high praise on Allman and The Allman Brothers Band.
Holly Hill resident Carrie Dibble, 51, who was first in line to have a book signed, said she felt "star-struck" while meeting Allman.
Growing up in Cleveland, she said, "My older brothers were my musical influences, and they listened to the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyd, Marshall Tucker, all the Southern rock. I was 14 or 15, and it was the first music I was introduced to.
"There are just so many American greats, and this is one of the greats."
As Ormond Beach resident Dennis Culler, 62, waited in line, he recalled his band the Stone Balloon opening for the Allman Brothers during a concert at Peabody Auditorium "back in 1969 or '70."
"That's where they got the Les Paul (a type of electric guitar) for Duane Allman," said Culler, who these days is the singer for the local rock band Tarragona Way. "Our guitar player, Rick Stein, had a Les Paul and Duane fell in love with it."
Duane traded his Les Paul guitar and a Marshall amp for Stein's sweeter Les Paul, Culler said.
Morris was only 17 when he scored Allman's autograph for the first time.
"I was sneaking in -- thank God nobody carded me," Morris said. "We used to hang out at the Wreck Bar all the time and see some great bands: the Nighthawks, Molly Hatchet, Gregg Allman, all these house bands. That's how we grew up."
Morris said he was grateful Allman included such local history in his book.
"He didn't need to include that stuff," Morris said. "But there's such a musical tradition here. There was so much good music in this town. It was great."
____________________ "I'm hung up on dreams I'll never see."
Karma: Posts: 1 (1 all sites) Registered: 7/13/2012 Status: Offline
posted on 7/13/2012 at 11:49 PM
I cant believe I missed this opportunity. My father Bob Polera has always shared great stories of Gregg when they were kids. I would love to know one day if his stories were true. He claimed to help teach guitar and mess around with writing songs. I was in Las Vegas when Gregg played at the Alladin Theater, I was unable to attend, but my father said he was brought out on stage before the show and was a true moment of his life before it ended. It is a story I will always remember. I thought this was a good place in the forum to share, since it is about Daytona! Thanks for reading!
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