Monday, April 21, 2014

Duane Allman

Statesboro Blues

Howard Duane Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee on November 20, 1946. Duane, as he was known, and his brother, Gregg, were raised by their mother Geraldine Allman after their father, Willis, was murdered when Duane was just 3-years-old. Geraldine, "Mama A" moved with her boys to Daytona Beach, Florida in 1957. Once Gregg heard a neighbor playing guitar, he decided that he needed to learn the instrument. Duane soon followed suit, and became an even better player than his brother. The boys were influenced by the bluesy music of artists such as B.B King, whom they saw in concert while teenagers. Duane dropped out of high school to stay home and practice guitar and when Gregg graduated from Sea Breeze High School in 1965, the young men formed their first official band, the Allman Joys. When the Allman Joys became The Hour Glass in 1967, the group moved to Los Angeles. During this time, Duane perfected his electric slide guitar technique, using an empty Coricidin glass bottle over his ring finger as a slide.

Duane simply loved to play the guitar, and was a much in-demand session musician for acts such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs, and Herbie Mann. When he grew frustrated by the limits of being a session musician, Allman headed back to Florida with a few musicians. In March 1969, the Allman Brothers Band was formed, featuring Jaimoe Johanson, Dickie Betts, Berry Oakley, Reese Wynans, and Duane and Gregg Allman. Their debut self-titled album dropped in 1969 and the band began to tour.

By the time of their second album, Idlewild South, a ground swell of concert-going support was gaining for the band. Duane was paid the ultimate compliment when Eric Clapton invited him to play lead and slide guitar for the Layla album. The two became fast friends, and Duane even played a few dates with Derek and the Dominoes, but he never strayed far from the Allman Brothers Band. As the spirit and leader, he also had a new plan for breaking the band wide open. The third album would be the purest of Allman Brothers albums – recorded live at the Fillmore East, Bill Graham’s legendary New York rock venue.

Gregg Allman, Dicky Betts, and Duane Allman front, left to right.
Live at Fillmore East was released as a double album in 1971, and within two weeks it was tearing up the American charts. The group encountered huge crowds at every stop, and more and more young Southern guitarists would seek out Duane backstage and tell him how he had inspired them to break up their lounge acts and play some real music. Duane would smile, sometimes he gave them a guitar. On this incredible high, after solid years on the road, it seemed time to take a short vacation and enjoy some of the success.

It was during that vacation that Duane Allman was killed. On 29 October 1971 Duane had ridden his motorcycle over to bassist Berry Oakley’s house in Macon to wish Oakley’s wife Linda a happy birthday. Shortly after leaving the house, at about 5:45 pm, he swerved to avoid a truck travelling in the same direction. Duane’s cycle skidded and flipped over, dragging him nearly 50 feet. He died of massive injuries after three hours of emergency surgery, at the age of 24.

Duane’s death came as a shocking blow to a public which had just taken the Allman Brothers Band to its heart as the premier American band. After Duane’s funeral, a moving event attended by most of the artists he had played and worked with, the Allman Brothers played their first set without him.

The original plan was to take six months off, finish the fourth album, and consider the future. But after only four weeks the band reformed and returned to the road. United in grief, they performed some of their best shows ever even if the band’s famed two-pronged guitar attack was now only one.

"I used to have nightmares all the time," said Dickey Betts recently. "Usually it was the same one. In it, the Allman Brothers Band is on the road, and we end up on a show with Delaney and Bonnie, Duane’s old touring buddies. We see Duane at the show, and everything’s all right. Duane says, 'Hey man, how’ve you been?' And we say, “Great”. And then we all get together and play, and everything’s alright again. That dream probably kept me sane. Until I could realize what happened. That was about three years later."

The next album, Eat A Peach (a Duane-ism for any interviewer’s question about what the band was doing to end the Vietnam War), was a huge success. But death, like popularity, would continue to find the band. Bassist Oakley was just shaking off a year-long depression over Duane, when he was killed in a motorcycle collision just a few blocks from the scene of Duane's death. He was buried near Duane at Macon’s Rose Hill Cemetery.

One Way Out

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.
There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light.

Luke 8:17

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Among The Stars

AMONG THE STARS is the sequel to the Harry Irons Trilogy. If you're a fan and want more, AMONG THE STARS will deliver. Written for a general audience and sure to satisfy both younger and older fans of science fiction.

While seeking origins for the starship Minerva, tragedy strikes Edward Fagen and crew. Light years away, Harry Irons is stirred to carry out an impossible rescue mission and just maybe, save the universe in the process.

Available at Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Smashwords, Apple, Sony, and most ebook retailers offering premium science fiction.


Easter (Old English Ēostre; Latin: Pascha; Greek Πάσχα Paskha, the latter two derived from Hebrew: פֶּסַח‎ Pesaḥ) is a festival and holiday, now celebrated both by Christians and non-Christians, that was instituted to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing,[8][9] as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (although the astronomical equinox occurs on 20 March in most years), and the "Full Moon" is not necessarily on the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies from 22 March to 25 April inclusive. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar, whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, and in which therefore the celebration of Easter varies between 4 April and 8 May.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are identical or very similar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.

The modern English term Easter derives from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre.

The word Easter is held by some to have originally referred to the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Ēostre. Easter is held by others to have originally referred to the name of a Babylonian goddess, Ishtar. Others surmise that Eostre and Ishtar, pronounced identically, are two forms of the same word, referring to two forms of the same goddess, although the spelling differentiated through time and distance.

In Greek and Latin, the Christian celebration was and is called Πάσχα, Pascha, words derived, through Aramaic, from the Hebrew term Pesach (פֶּסַח), known in English as Passover, which originally denoted the Jewish festival commemorating the story of the Exodus. Already in the 50s of the 1st century, Paul, writing from Ephesus to the Christians in Corinth, applied the term to Christ, and it is unlikely that the Ephesian and Corinthian Christians were the first to hear Exodus 12 interpreted as speaking about the death of Jesus, not just about the Jewish Passover ritual. In most of the non-English speaking world, the feast is known by names derived from Greek and Latin Pascha.

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. God has given Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life.

Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.

One interpretation of the Gospel of John is that Jesus, as the Passover lamb, was crucified at roughly the same time as the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple, on the afternoon of Nisan 14. The scriptural instructions specify that the lamb is to be slain "between the two evenings", that is, at twilight. By the Roman period, however, the sacrifices were performed in the mid-afternoon. Josephus, Jewish War 6.10.1/423 ("They sacrifice from the ninth to the eleventh hour"). Philo, Special Laws 2.27/145 ("Many myriads of victims from noon till eventide are offered by the whole people").

This interpretation, however, is inconsistent with the chronology in the Synoptic Gospels. It assumes that text literally translated "the preparation of the passover" in John 19:14 refers to Nisan 14 (Preparation Day for the Passover) and not necessarily to Yom Shishi (Friday, Preparation Day for the Passover week Sabbath) and that the priests' desire to be ritually pure in order to "eat the passover" refers to eating the Passover lamb, not to the public offerings made during the days of Unleavened Bread.