Note From Ken:
When we first went out on tour with them in 1997 – we were excited for a number of reasons. First and foremost we were HUGE fans of their music. But secondly, they (and there fans) were legendary partiers — and at THAT time we were working on a few legendary tales of our own. It was gonna be a debaucherous blast. But on the very first day of the tour their tough as nails long time tour manager Kirk West set things straight.
First off he gave us all “numbered” all-access laminates. He said we needed to have it on at all times when we were on the venue premises. He said if we were cool – we could keep it to get into an AB shows for life. But, if we abused the privilege in any way – he would cut it into little pieces and just give us a sticker every day… And, if we LOST it he would charge us $100 for another one. If you lost it again – you weren’t getting another one… Period.
The other thing he told us – in no uncertain terms on day one – was that the band was working hard to stay sober – and that he was working hard to KEEP them all sober too. He told us that we could do whatever we wanted on OUR bus – but that we couldn’t take ANYTHING off the bus or in the dressing rooms. Not a drink, not a beer, not a glass of wine, and CERTAINLY nothing else – or we would be thrown off the tour… Not one step outside the bus! We didn’t want to make any waves – so we obliged. We were a little bewildered. But we obliged…
And as you can imagine — We used OUR bus a LOT…
Now – this was a few years before I got sober myself – and one morning when I was particularly foggy brained and achey headed – I stumbled off the bus in Minneapolis and started to make my way into the hotel where we all were holed up. As I was going to my room I caught somebody out of the corner of my eye in the hotel fitness center. Blond hair pulled back, scruffy face, white towel over his shoulder, sweat pants on – and putting one foot in front of the other — trudging away — on the treadmill — was Gregg Allman. For a minute it didn’t compute. But there he was. And he couldn’t have looked more outside of my idea of what it meant to be in the Allman Brothers band if he had been wearing a dress. I’m not 100% sure why – but I was completely stunned at that image. Gregg Moth** Fu***** Allman!!! On a treadmill.. In the MORNING!! While on tour.. Mind Blown.
Today, and at 14 years sober myself – I think about Gregg Allman every single time I step into a less than glamorous hotel fitness room and step on the treadmill. – KB