whippit post

Gregg AllmanSo Gregg Allman passed away on Saturday. When I was fourteen or so I was pretty into the Allman Bros, and never actually minded them later when I developed more punkish proclivities. I liked Gregg’s voice and Duane and Dicky’s guitars. The rhythm section rocked with two drummers. And how can you go wrong with a song whose ending was longer than most other bands’ singles. Maybe the best and worst of all their songs was the twenty minute live version of “Whipping Post” from their Live at the Fillmore album. It particularly appealed to my overly dramatic early teen sensibilities.

Later, by my early twenties, I had long since come to my senses and become a punk rocker. After a stint in a Rochester band called the Bowery Boys, I sort of accidentally moved to Daytona Beach Florida. I was hitchiking to New Orleans, actually, and decided to do it by going around the coast all the way. I ran out of money in Daytona, got a job and stuck around for a while. Actually two whiles, but that is a story for another day.

I was the guitarist for a band called the (aptly named) Mess eventually, but on Sundays, when the band had off I would go to a bar that had an open mic jam session. Musicians got really cheap beer which even I could afford, so I was a regular jammer since I could hold my own in a few different styles.

Every local-born musician in that bar swore they were close personal friends with either Gregg or Duane, since they both went to high school in Daytona, where they had a popular band, the Allman Joys. Most of the locals had a sad story of how Gregg and Duane “changed” once they became successful, but spoke of the music with a reverence bordering on worship. Thus I never quite lost my Allman Bros catalog even as I was playing in a punk band. And I was called upon to play “Whipping Post” more than one Sunday. For the record, I never met Gregg, as he never stopped in. Sigh, for a punk musician in the late seventies or early eighties this would have soun ded tantamount to a confession of uncoolness, but I never really managed that part well in the first place so it wasn’t a problem for me.

allman_joys

Allman Joys

Here’s the strange thing. A couple of weeks ago, I was working with a great old plugin by Jeremy Evers called Atlantis Fx, and for the first time in decades, mostly because I could play it with my left hand, leaving my other one to jiggle the plugin controls, I played “Whipping Post,” sort of, through Atlantis. I was going to eventually work on it a bit and maybe post it to demonstrate the plugin, but then hey, Gregg died, so I guess I better get the thing out and give the guy his due, even though I never met him. Thus I give y’all “Whippit Post,” my dutiful homage to the man and the band.

the (aptly named) Mess

Facebook people, as usual, you have to come to the http://way.net/waymusic page for the links to work.

I had an entry in the wiki for way music for the mess, but it locks every

the mess
Robin Henson’s pic of the Mess in 1982

one out, which is useless.  Just heard from Robin Henson, who took great photos of us, and Adam Dowis, who played drums in the initial incarnation of  of the band and was also a partner in crime from the outset with his brother Nick.   Here is a fuzzy recording from the vault with Adam on drums: Kevin’s Sleazy Funk, featuring a somewhat buzzed Anarchy Liquors Kevin hitting on someone in his inimitable style.  Also notable ‘cuz we would pass out percussion junk from a big bin for everyone to beat on for this.  More tunes linked below.

Here is the Mess entry from the non-working wiki:

The aptly named Mess of Daytona Beach were Palmer Wood on vocals and rhythm guitar, the sorely missed Corey Levin on drums, Greg Drais on bass, and Rich Rath (me) on lead guitar. Palmer and I wrote nearly all but the covers, and we worked together really well.

mess in the studio

We made it into the studio only once before we combusted, laying down four tracks in three hours.  Here are the four songs from that session. The first is us trying, somewhat successfully, to play a ska thing with no horns or keyboards. It is called “We Deliver.” The next one is a fast and loud guess at what 1999 would look like from 1984 if folks like Reagan stayed in power — hmmm, not too far off — Its called suburban dogs, after the last verse, which I wrote along with some other stuff after a long night of partying.  When I woke up, someone, I think Bobby, had read it and told me, all hungover, this sucks, this sucks, but this one is ok, with the ok one turning into the song and the other stuff going out with the trash.   I think that was the party where we got a well-known Gainesville straight-edge guy who was pretty full of himself, very wasted, and took pictures of him buzzed out of his mind in a wig calling on the disconnected telephone.  That became our flyer next time we played Gainesville.  Not nice.  The third one we came up with during a sound check in Jacksonville Beach about a week before the recording session. Corey came up with the beat and I started playing the guitar line, and Palmer heard it and came up with the lyrics: the result was new beat. The last one, she’s mine,  Palmer’s Psychedelic Furs-ish sounding thing with a weird intro and break.

The Mess played as the house band at a place called the Concrete Jungle on A1A right across the street from the ocean for about six months in 1983-84. The owner called it CJs, named after his daughter or wife or something, but hey, who was he to tell us what our bar was called. He went out of business about a month after we stopped playing there.

For a short while, CJs was the place to be for alternative music. Our friend Jonathan spun tunes, and we would play, once or twice bringing in special guests as well, I think there was a zine, other towns knew about CJ’s and came to visit. People danced, fought, heckled, drank, made out, made up, broke up, played pool, and danced some more.

Here is a live thing from a quiet night at CJs, an instrumental of a bunch of TV themes and stuff.   This had one of my favorite wall of squall moments in it, where for about fifteen seconds of Peter Gunn we ran everything on eleven and a half before returning to your regularly scheduled programming.  Here is a sloppy but fun version of Palmer’s GI Joe.  Here is a dubby thing that we got when a drunk Jamaican guy came in one night and asked if we played reggae.  He then sang something about “lie cold dead in the market” and Palmer changed it into this bastardized version of what I think is an actual Jamaican folk or reggae song, or maybe it was Louis Jordan’s “Stone Cold Dead in the Market,” who knows…anybody?.  We had fun with the echoplex on this one

We left because we were packing the place up every weekend and some weeknights, but he’d only pay us $100 a week (for all of us, not each) for playing six nights…oh yeah, and all the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap we cared to drink …urgggh.

We then went “on tour” of central Florida, playing memorable gigs in Jacksonville Beach, Tampa, and Gainesville, before spontaneously combusting while trying to find a Spring Break gig in Daytona.

There are many stories, but I’ll save them for another time. If you have any you want to share (no slander plz!), then leave stuff in the comments on this page.  Post any good stories you remember.

A mess of tv and sixties stuff

One more tune from the mess . . . actually let’s see, more like eight…see if you can name them all. This has one of my favorite “wall of squall” moments in it, where for about fifteen seconds we ran everything on eleven and a half before returning to your regularly scheduled programming.

As always, If you were around when the mess was playing, drop me a line either from the way.net contact page, or to rath [at] way [dot] net or leave a comment. If you do the latter, I have no other way of responding than commenting back, so you might want to subscribe to the rss feed (over in the right column).

More mess from 1983…

Wow, posting a mess song turned up Melody and Greg, neither of whom I’ve heard from in 25 yrs (more my fault than theirs!), so let’s see what happens if I post a few more. Here are the other three songs from our only studio session. The first one is a fast and loud guess at what 1999 would look like from 1984 if folks like Reagan stayed in power…hmmm, not too far off….Its called suburban dogs after the last verse, which I wrote along with some other stuff after a long night of partying …when I woke up, someone, I think Bobby, had read it and told me, all hungover, “this sucks, this sucks, but this one is ok” with the ok one turning into the song and the other stuff going out with the trash. The next one we came up with during a sound check in Jacksonville Beach about a week before the recording session. Corey came up with the beat and I started playing the guitar line, and Palmer heard it and came up with the lyrics: the result was new beat. The last one, she’s mine, was Palmer’s ode to Melody, who was not exactly ownable! It is a Psychedelic Furs-ish sounding thing with a weird intro and break.

Again, if this post turns up more people from back then, join waymusic and then you can write what what you remember from the Daytona scene in the wiki as soon as you log in. I’ll keep putting up more music in the meanwhile. If you leave a comment here, don’t forget to also leave me an email addie by sending a note to me from the contact page so I can write back if you want. And if you are just coming here for the first time, don’t forget to check out the rest of way.music, including rreplay, my current project with bassist Eric Parker – as always, the music is listenable and downloadable for free.

The Mess

I have a little musical down time while Eric scuba dives in Maui, so I thought I’d at last go to the vault and clean up some tracks from my favorite band I was in, the aptly named Mess of Daytona Beach. The Mess were Palmer Wood on vocals and guitar, the sorely missed Corey Levin on drums, Greg Drais on bass, and Rich Rath (me) on guitar. Palmer and I wrote all but the covers, and we worked together really well. We played as the house band at a place called the Concrete Jungle on A1A right across the street from the ocean for about six months in 1983-84. The owner called it CJs, named after his daughter or wife or something, but hey, who was he to tell us what our bar was called. He went out of business a month after we stopped playing there. We left because we were packing the place up every weekend and some weeknights, but he’d only pay us $100 a week (for all of us, not each) for playing six nights…oh yeah, and all the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap we cared to drink …urgggh. We then went “on tour” of central Florida, playing memorable gigs in Jacksonville Beach, Tampa, and Gainesville, before spontaneously combusting while trying to find a Spring Break gig in Daytona. But for a short while, CJs was the place to be for alternative music. Our friend Jonathon spun tunes, and we would play, once or twice bringing in special guests as well. People danced, fought, heckled, drank, made out, made up, broke up, played pool, and danced some more.

There are many stories, but I’ll save them for another time. Here is a studio recording of us trying, somewhat successfully, to play a ska thing with no horns or keyboards. It is called “We Deliver.” I am going to paste this into the way wicked wiki to start things off there, and maybe Palmer or someone will come by and tell some stories…