Capricorn Bar BQ: Bill Graham Plays Ball In Macon

WOULD YOU drive 600 miles through the midsummer heat of Florida and Georgia to scoff some free rubs and red hot chicken at the Allman Brothers playhouse? An irresistible invitation to a day of food and games at the Brothers’ Dogwood Point, lake-front retreat brought Zoo World‘s Arthur Levy and A.D. Penchansky out of hibernation for the trip, which proved to be more of a photographer’s ball than a day with the boys in the band.

Underneath it all were a handful of the people who power the machine that has kept Capricorn and the Allman Brothers Band in grits and groceries for the past four years. Bill Graham was to be seen playing basketball (shirts ‘n skins) in the early afternoon and volleyball (he took the winner’s trophy home) in the late afternoon. Another promoter who gave the Brothers some of their first gigs back four years ago is Johnny Podell, seen with one of the Brothers’ road managers, Buffalo Evans. Promoters and booking agents were thick as thieves, as a matter of fact, coming in from all over the country to spend a day with the band that’s reputedly the No. 1 draw in the U.S. The people who keep the Brothers booked up are Alex Hodges and the folks at the Paragon Agency, and that’s Alex with Zelma Redding in her bathing suit.

As for the stars, John Hammond (who’s booked out of Paragon, along with Bobby Womack, in baseball cap and shades) was noodling around on an acoustic guitar before wandering over to say hello to one of the Brothers’ drummers, Jaimoe. Butch Trucks is the other drummer, and that’s him with the Mrs. inside the playhouse. Out on the lawn, doing the Philly flake-out, are T.J. Tindel and Duke Williams of Duke Williams and the Extremes, Capricorn’s latest acquisition. Also flaked are Creem‘s Lester Bangs and Hydra’s pal Debbie Gorman, alongside of Creem publisher Barry Kramer spilling the beans to our own Mr. Levy, who was wearing his Creem shirt in case he messed up, so no one would blame ZW. Clever.

Great afternoon up in Macon, though, even if Greg Allman never showed up to shake a few hands. Come to think of it, neither did the elusive guitarist for the Brothers, Dickie Betts, and his old lady Sandy Blue Sky. That’s awright though, so we took a rain-check on shaking hands with Richard and Greg till next year. But do we have to drive again?

© Arthur LevyZoo World, 13 September 1973

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