04 November 2007

The Allman Brothers Band: "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"

The above YouTube clip of The Allman Brothers Band playing In Memory of Elizabeth Reed -- from the Fillmore East 23 September 1970. One note from me: watch Dickie Betts as he plays, using the volume control on his guitar to get certain notes to fade out in this blues /jazz fusion composition of his.

The following information comes from the comment archives of the Florida Cracker, December 13, 2006 -- all in response to my question "Who was Elizabeth Reed?":
Allmans guitarist Dickey Betts wrote this. Elizabeth Reed Napier is buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, where Betts would often write. He used the name from her headstone as the title because he did not want to reveal who the song was really about. If you are really interested, you can visit "Elizabeth" while paying homage to Duane and [Berry Oakley] who are nearby.
(Posted by wilmarwil)

Elizabeth Reed Napier's grave was probably a very nice place for writing. It's shaded with cedars ... and has a little bench for sitting. I suspect the use of the first and middle/maiden name came from the way the headstone is arranged. As was common at the time, the family name, Napier, was displayed prominently, and the individual members were listed by first and middle names only. ...
(Posted by Juan Paxety)

I was there ! On our way to the D.C. mall (for the 1976 celebration on July 4) my brother and I (both [Air Force] vets) decided to take the long way...we left [Jacksonville, FL] on the Sunday week before, and wound our way up A1A as much as we could...stopping to replenish the cooler along the way.
MY primary 'special' stop was to visit Rose Hill. It overlooks a river, and within sight of DA and BO's graves is the Otis Redding bridge. When we went, you could actually drink beer and stand right beside the grave(s) littered with joints, pills, and various empties...foregoing a few roaches and somehow magically abandoned fifths of Jack.
Now I understand it has been fenced [...] off from close observation... We listened to Highway Call almost exclusively..except for an occasional Dylan tune or two. [...] By the way, the Napier family(s) were one of the first to settle in Georgia..
(Posted by csason)

The fencing of the graves was a very contentious time. It was initiated by Candy Oakley Johnson, Berry's sister and [Jai Johanny "Jaimo" Johanson's] ex-wife. She said she was tired of the trash, litter and carryings on at the grave site and, as I understand it, put up a tall fence. The historical folks had a fit - none of the other famous graves in the cemetery are fenced off. They finally compromised on a lower, less intrusive fence. ... BTW, Berry's fatal wreck happened on Napier Avenue, named for the same family.
(Posted by Juan Paxety)


1 comment:

Orla said...

Good for people to know.