Remembering Berry Oakley: Stream Crispy Allman Brothers Live Recording From 1972

Hear Berry deliver a battering bassline on “Whipping Post” and more.

By Nate Todd Nov 11, 2022 1:19 pm PST

The Allman Brothers Band founding bassist Berry Oakley died tragically on this date 50 years ago from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia. In a bizarre twist of fate, Oakley died the same way his bandmate and friend Duane Allman died three blocks away just over a year earlier. Duane and Berry are buried side by side in Macon’s Rose Hill Cemetery.

Following Duane’s death, the band — Oakley, keyboardist Gregg Allman, guitarist Dickey Betts and drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks — was devastated but determined to honor Duane by finishing their album Eat A Peach. The December ‘71 sessions rekindled the band’s camaraderie and love for the music in the face of tragedy and ABB was soon back on the road to support the record, which arrived on February 12, 1972.

On March 23, 1972, The Allman Brothers Band performed at Price Hall in Jackson, Alabama. The band kicked things off with the classic opener and one of Duane’s signature slide guitar songs, “Statesboro Blues.” In a 2019 interview with Guitar.com, Dickey Betts talked about having to learn Duane’s parts.

“I did play some slide before Duane and I started working together but didn’t play very well. But after he got killed, I had to take over. Songs like ‘Statesboro Blues’ and some of the others would have sounded silly without it.”

After “Statesboro” and “Done Somebody Wrong” came one of the Eat A Peach songs Gregg penned the lyrics to after Duane’s death and one they recorded in the December ‘71 sessions, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.” The live rendition is cooking from the band just coming out of the studio, with Gregg playing a tasty electric piano and Berry’s bassline bounding beneath. ABB also performed Eat A Peach standouts “One Way Out” and Betts’ “Les Brers In A Minor.” The band closes with a furious “Whipping Post,” which opens with a battering bassline from Berry.

In notes accompanying audio from the concert, YouTuber MojoPaw notes that the recording is “the final Allman Brothers bootleg I have that features Berry on bass.” To remember Berry Oakley, listen to the bassist perform with The Allman Brothers Band in March 1972 below:

Setlist (via Allman Brothers Band.com)

Set: Statesboro Blues, Done Somebody Wrong, Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More, One Way Out, Trouble No More, Stormy Monday, You Don’t Love Me, Les Brers In A Minor, Whipping Post

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