"OK, who's the fucking Phish fan? That was too much." - Gregg Allman
For The Allman Brothers
Band's Summer Tour in 2000 the group recruited Jimmy Herring to fill the shoes of
Dickey Betts, who had left the band's employ weeks before the 37-date run. With Gregg
Allman left as the lone regular vocalist in the Allman Brothers for that summer, they
worked more instrumental material into the mix including the return of "Mountain Jam."
"Mountain Jam," which is loosely based on Donovan's "First There Is A Mountain," was a
staple of Allman Brothers Band performances from the group's early days through the mid
'70s. When the band reunited in 1989 they didn't bring "Mountain Jam" back with
them, though teases appeared at random times. On June 16, 2000 - Jimmy's first show - the
Allmans opened with "Mountain Jam" and played it nearly every night of the tour. The open-
ended song gave Herring and Derek Trucks plenty of opportunities to take it "out." In Alan
Paul's outstanding new book One Way Out, Derek Trucks explained "We took 'Mountain
Jam' to Mars, which is what (ABB roadie) Red Dog was always urging us to do. He'd say,
'The original band took the song out! It was different every night. You Can't play the
record.' But after the show, we get on the bus, Gregg walks on and goes 'OK, who's the
fucking Phish fan? That was too much."
In a different interview Derek pegs the venue where the "trip to Mars" happened as PNC
Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. A few weeks ago audio of the 34-minute "Mountain Jam"
from that performance (June 21, 2000) surfaced and sure enough it does indeed go way out
there in a wonderful way. Take a listen:
Video of another "jazz odyssey" "Mountain Jam" from three nights later can be viewed here.