In Memory of Dickey Betts

Nach gut dreissig Jahren gingen meine Klanghorizonte-Nächte zuende mit dem Stück, das mich seit meinem 16. Lebensjahr begleitet. Brian Whistler war im Fillmore dabei, als es aufgenommen wurde. Ich kehre immer noch gerne ins Fillmore zurück. Dickey Betts hat “In Memory of Elizabeth Reedkomponiert.

“Duane and I had an understandung, like an old soul kind of understanding of let’s play together,” Mr. Betts said in a 2020 interview with The Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida. “Duane would say, ‘Man, I get so jealous of you sometimes when you burn off and I have to follow it,’ and we would joke about it. So that’s kind of Duane and mine’s relationship. It was a real understanding. Like, ‘Come on, this is a hell of a band, let’s not hot dog it up.’”

“(When composing ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed’) I was thinking of Benny Goodman. I was thinking of how he used melody and then I got all these Western swing influences from my buddy Dave Liles, who passed away about four years ago. But the thing came about, see, I was dating, I was slipping around, back-dooring Boz Scaggs’ girlfriend, live-in girlfriend, they weren’t married, but … (laughs). She was a beautiful Italian girl. I wrote this song and I wanted to call it ‘Carmella’ but couldn’t. So the place we would meet, in this old 1800s graveyard, Rose Hill, there was this old tombstone that said on it ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.’

Ein Kommentar

  • flowworker

    “It’s important to me to acknowledge the passing of the great guitarist Dickey Betts. He largely disappeared from sight in the past couple of decades. Meanwhile The Allman Brothers had a second, or if you will, a third life without him. The stories I heard about why he was dismissed lead me to suspect that it was a necessary move for the Allmans. Of course I have no idea. Apparently he was a hellraiser of staggering proportions with a drinking habit that was dangerous to those around him.

    But for the purposes of this remembrance none of that matters. Dickey was one of those rare players you recognized instantly. He had his own sound from the beginning, it made a beautiful counterpoint to Duane Allman. One of the most melodic players in all of rock’n’roll. Those chiming pentatonics brought a smile to your face. Like the others in the band he had a background that included many forms of American Music, you could hear country, jazz, hillbilly, deep Blues, and old rock’n’roll in his approach. His song Blue Sky is one of my favorites of all time. In fact his sound was a kind of blue sky, sunny, even when it was dark, ever uplifting. It’s impossible for me to imagine my guitar life without The Allman Brothers. Several of his compositions were foundational to the band’s sound and to me, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Ramblin’ Man. I learned much about what I wanted to be through their singular approach, a sound which none of the imitators have come close to equaling. I STILL love two guitar bands! Dickey and gang invented a new kind of music. The blueprint is there for us all to take part in.

    Dickey Betts grew up in another time. He grew up in a Southern musical environment whose wildness, and funk, and deeply rooted American beauty was still raw, still mostly unexplored. And he was in that first wave of pioneers whose use of psychedelics made their blues music that much more visionary. That great territory of sound continues to wash over, to echo throughout the country and the world. I still remember more than one solo I learned off of those records fifty years ago. Radiant playing.

    All of them are now gone. Many of them in ways too tragic to believe. Maybe that’s the only way The Allman Brothers could create this music— by being so untamed, such renegades, living on the edge. But let’s always remember— they were dedicated, deep philosophers, powerful presences—deeply serious about their music. I bow down to Dickey Betts. He made my life better. And I thank him.”

    Joel Harrison remembers Dickey Betts

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