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Allman Brothers Band history: 1986 -- the reunion no one remembers

In terms of Allmans lineups, the common assumption is that ABB 3.0 broke up in early 1982 and were inactive until reuniting in 1989.

But there is the little-known 3.5 lineup which played two shows in July and October of 1986. Not a lot has been written about this period, we don't know if it was a genuine attempt to get the band back together or just some old friends having fun. Given that Gregg's I'm No Angel solo album would come out in early '87 I'm assuming it was just the latter.

The hour-long 1986/07/12 set was part of Charlie Daniels' annual "Volunteer Jam" concert. The lineup was a mish-mash of band members and associates past and present. Dan Toler from ABB 3.0 was kept on and Chuck Leavell from ABB 2.0 returned on grand piano. Most importantly, Jaimoe was back on drums after having being unceremoniously dumped from the band in late 1980. They used two bass players from Gregg and Dickey's solo bands.

It's pretty much a greatest hits set but the playing is crisp and Dickey has a very commanding presence with some very shredd-y solo passages (though that whammy bar on the Les Paul is a crime against nature)

It's nice to see then having fun onstage with no rancor and Chuck Leavell playing the piano solo on Jessica never gets old.

They tried this again on 10/31/86 at a Bill Graham-produced anti-drug concert at Madison Square Garden. That one started strong and then devolved into one of the most train-wrecky "all-star" jams I've ever heard.

The Brothers were put on ice for a couple years before finally giving it a go one more time in 1989 with two new up and cummers: Warren Haynes and Allen Woody.


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