Butch Trucks: Beacon Bound
Another event that you are involved in outside the Allman Brothers this year is the Roots Rock Revival. It is an instructional fan-friendly weekend featuring you, Oteil Burbridge and the North Mississippi All-Stars Duo. How did you come up with the idea for this weekend and what will your role be onsite?
I came up with the idea. I went up to this place called The Full Moon Resort up in the Catskills last year. A friend of mine had come across it, and he and I went and spent two or three days up there. I think what’s left of King Crimson was doing a similar type of event and it was totally different from anything I had ever seen. Luther and Cody Dickinson from North Mississippi Allstars, Oteil Burbridge and myself are the basic skeletal band for the weekend. We are going to play every night and have different people play with us. Marc Quinones has agreed to come play with us and we are trying to get several other people, too.
We are going to have different workshops during the day. The first day I’ll be giving a drum workshop—a master class or seminar—and then the next day Cody will give one. Maybe the next day Cody and I will do one together with two sets of drums. And then Oteil will be giving a master class on the bass, and Luther will be giving a class on playing on the guitar and songwriting, the things that he excels in. Every night we’ll have a concert for everyone up there.
[The four of us] haven’t played a whole lot together, and we were wondering when we’d get time to rehearse. Then it occurred to me that these kids who are coming might really enjoy is to see how it all happens. So what we’ll do is have a rehearsal during the day for the show we’re going to play that night and invite all the kids at the camp to come watch the rehearsal—they will get a feel for how the whole thing works and how it operates. Also, we’ve got our manager coming in to give a talk on how not to get screwed in the music business. I’m serious.
There are all kinds of things we are going to do. I mean, right now we’ve got a general idea of what we’re going to do but it’s a long time until June, and I’ve got the whole of May off. What I’d really like to do is to get people coming to our website and start getting people joining in on the conversation, telling us what they would like to see. Someone might come up with an idea and say, “I’d like to see you do this.” And we will try to come up with a workshop where we explain how we do that.
One thing I want to do is put together anywhere from a 1-3 hour talk about Duane Allman in the early days of the Allman Brothers, complete with a Powerpoint presentation with pictures and videos that people have never seen before. I’m talking about things that we’ve been holding back that we won’t put on the internet but that we’ll use in this type of situation. We’re only going to sell like 100 tickets because we don’t want this to feel too—we want everyone to feel like they’re part of an intimate setting.
Part of what we’ll do everyday is hang out with all the kids. The one thing they have at this camp is a gourmet chef. The way this Full Moon Resort works is they make his money by doing weddings on the weekends, and then do these rock and roll camps during the week. So they need a gourmet chef for the weddings, and he’s kept around for the rock and roll camps.
So this is a rock and roll camp but you’ve got fine china, silver and everything else. They serve gourmet food for breakfast, dinner, lunch and munchies. We’ll all be hanging out, we’ll all be eating with everyone that comes in. We’ll be hanging out and talking to them and interacting. They call it “beyond backstage,” a way of coming and seeing how it all works. You can’t do it by going to concerts or even coming backstage. We’ll be there together for 24 hours, and we can cover a lot of ground in that much time.
In the past few years, the whole rock and roll fantasy camp idea has really moved to a new level…
Yeah, I think people will be really blown away by this, I really do. I think this is going to be a lot of fun and these are going to be diehard fans who are really, really interested in knowing all there is to know about The Allman Brothers. They’re going to learn a helluva lot they don’t know at this camp.
Have you had a chance to listen to the new Duane Allman box set Skydog that’s coming out?
No, no I haven’t. I have not received a copy yet. I mean of course I’ve listened to it—I’ve played on all the recordings—but I haven’t heard the box set and I’m really, really looking forward to getting a hold of it and reading what Galadrielle [Allman] has written about her father. I’ve had several conversations with her about Duane and she’s brilliant, brilliant—I mean she’s just like her dad, smart as a whip. This is her exercise—or whatever you want to call it. It’s the way she gets to know her father. He died when she was an infant so she never got to really know him.
He was such a spectacular human being and she knows that, but now she wants to know what made him so spectacular. And she’s finding out—I’ve had a couple of long conversations with her and I’m curious to see what she came up with. Apparently, she wrote quite a long piece that’s part of the package.
She’s kept a low profile for years but I remember seeing her in photos with The Allman Brothers Band at last year’s Grammys when you received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
She’s a brilliant young lady and I know that what she writes is going to be spot on and I just can’t wait to read it.