A Tribute To Butch Trucks On His 70th Birthday, With Thoughts On Col. Bruce Hampton

first_imgToday would have been Butch Trucks‘ 70th birthday. The legendary drummer and original member of the Allman Brothers Band tragically died earlier this year, a reality I haven’t been able to stop thinking about — especially after experiencing the loss of Col. Bruce Hampton last week. Butch was my “godfather,” while Col. Bruce Hampton my dear friend. Two of rock and roll’s greatest influences have passed on, but their stories and legacies will always endure. The key to grieving has been to celebrate life — to share memories, music, and all the people that connect them together.When people tell me they’re sorry for my loss, I often respond that it’s a greater loss for rock and roll and everyone that is a part of that world. It’s occurred to me more recently how instrumental Butch and Bruce were to our community, to our scene. The outpour of stories from fans and musicians alike prove just how accessible, how meaningful they both were to our circle. The relationship between Butch and Bruce goes back as far as the beginning of the Allman Brothers Band; without one or the other, it seems as though each would not be the same.Oteil Burbridge Pens Touching Tribute To His Musical Mentor, The Late Col. Bruce HamptonAs a tribute to Butch’s birthday, the big 7-0, I’d like to share the speech that I delivered at his memorial service in Macon, Georgia on February 20, 2017 at the Cox Capitol Theatre. It was an honor to share my portion of his story amongst the many greats in the room, though I’ll admit a little intimidating to speak alongside Warren Haynes, Johnny Podell, Oteil Burbridge, Jaimoe, Kirk West, and the familial relatives that helped color Butch’s life.But I knew it had to be done. My story wasn’t like any of theirs.When Vaylor asked me to speak today, I was honored — but slightly disoriented. I’m not a blood relative, I never played music with him. I don’t have any stories from the road. He’s just a man who demanded I call him “Uncle Butch” for the last twenty years of my life. I guess that’s pretty special.I met the Trucks family when I was seven years old after they moved to my hometown of Palm Beach. It never really made sense to me why they lived there. I don’t think he made sense of it either, but it brought Butch together with my Dad who became one of his closest friends and mentors. That seemed to be a life-changing friendship for all of us.As my Dad’s been there to help the Trucks family through all this, it’s given me a chance to see how great of an impact that relationship has had on my personal life. Sure, it’s pretty cool that my first concert ever was Frogwings [a band made up of Jimmy Herring, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge, Edwin McCain, Marc Quiñones, and Butch Trucks] and that I’ve seen the Allman Brothers play more times than I can count, but all those experiences came with great life lessons.Growing up backstage with the Allman Brothers Band provided me with a lifetime of unteachable moments. Where to sit, where to stand, when to hustle; who to ask, who not to ask, when to know your place. Thanks to people like Bert [Holman] and Stacey [Maranz], I learned the etiquette of the industry surrounded by legends. With respect being the overarching theme, I learned very quickly how to act around others.What Butch taught me most, though, was how to act on my own. Every gift he gave me was signed “Eat A Peach” and it wasn’t until my college poetry class that I truly understood what that meant, at least, in theory, according to Butch: it was inspired by a quote from Duane Allman that perhaps came from a line of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”After going back and forth in his own mind about making a decision inspired by love, the narrator asks: “Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?” In this context, the peach — whatever the thinker chooses to let it represent — becomes a metaphor for life, for risk. It is something one must experience before growing old.To eat a peach is a choice. While the fruit is inevitably messy, it is equally delectable. It gets stuck in your teeth, drips down your shirt, and sticks to your hands, but we still choose to eat them for the satisfaction that we crave. If you dare to eat a peach, you are willing to accept the outcome. Dichotomously, a peach is both sweet and sour, soft and hard, smooth and fuzzy. It’s delicious, but you must eat it with full willingness to get messy – because, you know, you can always change your shirt.Whatever the peach might represent to you, it’s worth taking the first bite.The quote that supposedly inspired the album name came from an interview question about helping the revolution, to which Duane responded: “There ain’t no revolution, only evolution, but every time I’m in Georgia I ‘eat a peach’ for peace.”I know Butch evolved in a profound way after Duane died. A conversation doesn’t go by without citing a reference or telling a story that’s Skydog-related. I may only have been around for the last two decades, but I still reaped the benefits of the wisdom from a man I never knew — and so did all of my friends and family who ever met or spoke with Butch.That’s one of the things that made him so special; he might act like he knows far more than everyone on the planet, but Duane Allman was the exception. Those two shared a mind, and I’m honored to have tapped into it as much as I have.Keeping with the rhythms of life, Butch’s influence on me is never-ending. He flicked a switch in me when I first saw him play. I quickly realized that music had the ingredients to change a life. As I grew older, I centered this passion to become part of my career.My experience in the music industry truly began when Butch started his Roots Rock Revival camp in Big Indian, NY. With Oteil, Luther, Cody, and more of the extended rock and roll family, I found the light of what it means to bring people together — for the love of the music. That camp started almost four years ago, and I saw Butch grow brighter and brighter every summer because of it. He was the happiest I’d ever seen him, ever. And he changed so many lives by doing what he did.It’s hard to think that a soul that loud could just disappear. I’ve never met a bigger character in my entire life, and I know that his voice will live on through each and every one that he’s ever met.It is my life mission to spread his gospel, to eat a peach for peace, and to honor him in my decisions, both personally and professionally. I’m so grateful to have met all of you as a result of my incomparable relationship with this man.After Butch’s service, I had dinner with Col. Bruce. He brought us to this odd, off-the-highway restaurant with fluorescent lights that served both Indian and Mediterranean food. They were about to close but stayed open for only us, and greated us all with an emphatic “Happy Birthday” upon entering. It was an establishment Bruce has faithfully dined at for several decades; it turned out to be one of the best meals I’ve ever had, of course.Instead of mourning the immensely difficult month we’d all experienced, Bruce showed us videos of a 90-something-year-old pianist that he’d found at a club somewhere and was excited to book shows with—he ended up being one of the many on stage at Hampton 70. There was more excitement than sadness in Bruce’s voice, something that confused me at the time. It’s more obvious to me now that he was the kind of spirit that lived just a few steps ahead of the present, and that inspired me to do the same. After all, losing is gaining, right?Related: Stranger Than Fiction: The Cosmic Curtain Call Of Col. Bruce HamptonLast week in New Orleans, a group of musicians came together to celebrate the lives of Butch Trucks and Col. Bruce Hampton for a show at One Eyed Jacks. Warren Haynes and Jeff Sipe unexpectedly joined Duane Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Eric Krasno, Danny Louis, Scott Metzger, and several others as the Daze Between Band to honor the two influencers, and quite frankly, to play through the emotions of their loss.In going through the stages of grief with Butch, the death of Col. Bruce Hampton cemented and suspended a feeling of reality. As difficult a thought it is to grasp, losing these two mentors has been a perspective-shifting experience for many. I frequently find myself searching for truth within the same dimensions of heartache, but have found solace in music and the celebration of life. This seems to be a communal sentiment, as the energy from the room catapulted into a marvelous gesture to the sky.While “legends” in their own realm, Butch Trucks and Col. Bruce Hampton were staple spirits to the community. They provided much more than music and are two of the few exceptions in rock and roll to ever willingly do so. Everyone who has had the delight of their personal influence will say the same.Happy Birthday, Butch, the world misses you so, so much.[photos by Michael Bloom Photography]last_img read more

Kudzu Jesus Debunked

first_imgThe entire country is a-twitter with news that a hot-dog stand owner outside of Raleigh has discovered the image of Jesus in a telephone pole overtaken by kudzu. A number of news outlets have carried the story, turning the Kudzu Jesus into an overnight sensation.Oddly enough, this isn’t the first Kudzu Jesus to be found in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2009, believers spotted a similar structure just outside of downtown. The double-sighting is a bit worrisome. I’ll have to check my scripture, but I think that means this latest Kudzu Jesus is actually the Kudzu Jesus Second Coming, which would kick off the End of Days. Is it simply a coincidence that the Kudzu Jesus Second Coming is spotted within months of the proposed apocalypse (set for some time in October, I believe)?As all good Southerners know, kudzu will somehow play a role in the end of the world. Ever since kudzu was introduced in the ‘30s, it has been slowly trying to take over the Land of Dixie. It’s like a really slow version of eminent domain. After humans are long gone, planet Earth will be overrun by cockroaches and kudzu.But fret not, apocalypse-fearing Southerners. The Kudzu Jesus has been debunked! Yes, the plant/pole looks like Jesus, but it’s not real kudzu. It’s trumpet vine, a cheap kudzu look-a-like, according to some local folks who can tell the different between kudzu and trumpet vine.  Given that this is the first reported sighting of a Trumpet Vine Jesus, I don’t think we have much to worry about. Although, I do foresee a few goth-rock bands adopting the name Kudzu Jesus in the near future.last_img read more

Leadership Matters: Grace under fire

first_imgThere’s no question about it: Today’s workplace can be stressful. The long work hours, the endless flow of information, the competing demands on our attention—all of these factors can make us feel perpetually overwhelmed and out of control.The conditions that lead to workplace stress are not necessarily “bad.” They’re just reality. But the best leaders learn to deal with these conditions or the problems that lead to stress in a way that keeps everyone on track.How you behave under pressure truly defines you as a leader and sets the tone for how others manage the situation. If you create a culture where people fall to pieces when things get tough, it will be too stressful for employees (and they will likely leave), productivity will suffer—and your job will get even harder.Difficult, busy times can put strain on relationships, but they can also forge stronger bonds if handled the right way. When your team sees you navigate them out of a tricky situation, it can be a huge credibility builder. Conversely, when they see you fall apart, it can create a trust deficit that is hard to recover from even when things settle down. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Finnair warns of higher pension costs without deal with pilots

first_imgAirline Finnair has warned it faces a €30m increase in pension costs if it is unable to agree a new pension package with its pilots.The Finnish flag carrier said its current pension arrangements were more generous than the statutory minimum, which the government is set to reform as part of an increase to the minimum retirement age.Finnair’s pension arrangements, covered by its collective bargaining agreements, offer a defined benefit arrangement for long-serving pilots, while newer employees are only offered a defined contribution fund.If the government’s current draft bill passed without the airline agreeing any changes, Finnair said it would be liable for additional costs associated with the reform. “Consequently, its pension obligations would increase by a total of approximately €30m,” Finnair said in a statement on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.The airline said its pilots currently retired at an age of 58, well below the current statutory retirement age of 63, or the proposed new retirement age of 65 – agreed after negotiations between social partners in 2014.The company added: “Finnair is actively exploring ways to mitigate the impact of implementing the pension reform, which was agreed by the Finnish labour market organisations, without incurring undue extra costs to the company.”last_img read more

MLAX : OUTBURST: Syracuse scores 10 unanswered goals en route to easy win over Albany

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Tommy Palasek’s confidence in Syracuse’s attack never waned.After the Orange yielded two early goals on man-down situations to start the game, Palasek knew it would take one simple spark to overcome the adversity early in the first quarter.‘You just have to have a short memory with it,’ Palasek said. ‘They score two goals on you and get out on you quickly. There’s nothing you can do about it. You have to move on, and I think you just have to go back out there and remember the confidence we have in our offense and work on executing our plays and our sets.’And with a calm determination, No. 7 Syracuse (1-0) found its scoring rhythm and never looked back. The Orange scored 10 unanswered goals, including six in the second quarter, to breeze past Albany (0-1) 12-7 in front of 5,805 in the Carrier Dome on Sunday. As the Orange defense stymied Albany, holding them scoreless for more than 40 minutes, Syracuse’s offense picked up the rest and overwhelmed the Great Danes.Albany outplayed the Orange early on, winning four of the first five faceoffs and outshooting SU by four in the opening quarter. And less than seven minutes into the game, the Great Danes put pressure on SU to fire back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter SU defender David Hamlin sent Albany attack Joe Resetarits on his back near the SU goal, both he and fellow defender Matt Harris were called for illegal body checks in the scrum. The Great Danes took advantage of their man-up situation and scored two goals within eight seconds.‘We’ve tried to be competitive because we haven’t had the success in the faceoff that we’ve wanted,’ head coach John Desko said, ‘so some of that comes from working a little extra hard to try and get the ball, and Albany could have had more of a lead I think in the first quarter because of the penalties.’But SU stuck to its game plan, and after three early penalties, the Orange finally found some chances at the net.Hakeem Lecky scored Syracuse’s first goal on a contested shot from the right side of the field to pull SU within one.And with a little more than three minutes remaining in the first quarter, Palasek found the spark he was looking for.As he held the ball behind the cage, midfielder JoJo Marasco raced off the sidelines in the middle of a line change. He filled the empty space right in front of the goal, and Palasek connected with Marasco, who put the ball in the net in one swooping motion to tie the game at 2-2.‘We work on getting open on those chances when we get opportunities, and I saw a chance there,’ Marasco said. ‘Tommy was smart enough to hold the ball and not rush it and give me some more time to get clearance on my man, and he was able to put the ball on my stick, and he made it pretty easy for me to shoot it.’And once the Orange was at full strength, Albany had trouble finding answers for SU’s offense. Five different midfielders scored goals in the first half, and SU went into halftime with an 8-2 lead. Marasco scored all three of his goals in the first half, Ryan Barber added two scores and Lecky, Luke Cometti and Scott Loy each scored one.‘We were dodging from up top, and they must have had a game plan going in, probably not knowing a lot of our middies,’ Desko said. ‘They weren’t quick to go to them. I’m guessing they wanted to see if we could dodge to score, and fortunately, the guys did in the first half.’ By the time SU stormed back to take control of the game, the Great Danes couldn’t recover. When Albany finally cracked the defense early in the fourth quarter for its first goal since the opening minutes, the Orange had already secured a 10-2 lead.With a balanced attack highlighted by eight different goal scorers, Syracuse put the Great Danes away.‘That’s huge because they’re going to have to start sliding earlier,’ Marasco said. ‘And as long as we dodge really hard and start throwing it behind and working other plays, it let’s the offense relax and settle down, and then we can trust in each other and start opening up plays for one another.’[email protected]last_img read more

Women’s soccer: Northwestern hands Wisconsin surprising 2-0 loss

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team (10-4-2, 4-3-2 Big Ten) was unable to put up any points Sunday against conference rival Northwestern (8-6-2, 5-3-1 Big Ten).In what was a quiet contest for the first 37 minutes of play, Northwestern surged before half to score two goals.  Unfortunately for the Badgers, they were unable to match this offensive output in the remaining minutes.Wisconsin women’s soccer fights the Illini, walks away with a 1-0 victoryThe University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team is back on track after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday night Read…Mckenna Agnotti scored the first of the two goals for the Wildcats on a strong shot from the left side of the field, assisted by both Brenna Lovera and Kim Jerantowski.  The latter was finished less than three minutes later by Marisa Viggiano on a free kick put-in.Wisconsin was able to stay competitive in the shot count with their opponents, attempting five shots on goal to Northwestern’s six.  However, the execution just was simply absent on both sides of the field for the Badgers.Goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem was unable to match her cousin Lauren’s performance in the game. Caitlyn’s .667 save percentage on the day was below her average and gave the Badgers little chance with the stagnant offense they displayed Sunday.On the other hand, Lauren Clem of Northwestern made all five of her saves, leaving a goose egg in the Badger’s box score. Lauren appears to be hitting her stride for the Wildcats, notching her second straight shutout in the home win.While the Badgers once again went with a three forward rotation, it was ultimately unsuccessful.  Lauren Rice and Cameron Murtha were the only strikers to have shots on goal, with two and one respectively.Looking forward, the Badgers hopes for the Big Ten tournament appear to be darkening.  This loss gives Northwestern a lead in the conference standings, where Wisconsin places sixth. However, the Badgers’ seed could fall to eighth within the next game, as only one point separates them from Purdue and Nebraska.Women’s soccer: Badgers get momentum back against Purdue after unsuccessful road tripAfter an underwhelming road trip, the University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team has gotten its winning streak back on track Read…Unfortunately for the Wisconsin women, their final road stand seems to be leaving them with more questions than answers. Will the Badgers generate enough offense to compete in tournament games?  Can Caitlyn Clem consistently keep this team in low scoring games?The Badgers will look to answer these questions as they move on to Iowa on Saturday before returning to Madison to play their final home game on Oct. 25.last_img read more

Serb Micho set to succeed Swede as Pirates coach

first_imgFILE PHOTO; Micho answers questions at a previous matchSoweto, South Africa | AFP |  Serb Milutin Sredojevic is expected to succeed Swede Kjell Jonevret, who quit Wednesday, as coach of troubled South African club Orlando Pirates.Jonevret won only six of 18 matches in charge and his fate was effectively sealed during June when Pirates were thrashed 4-1 by SuperSport United in the South African FA Cup final.“He was a good coach, but lacked the man-management skills to deal with a lot of prima donnas in the changeroom,” a club insider told AFP.Pirates, the first South African club to be crowned African champions, have failed to lift a trophy in the past two domestic seasons.Sredojevic arrived in Johannesburg this week and although non-committal, confirmation is expected soon of his return to the Soweto club he coached for seven months before leaving early in 2007.Although he did not win any trophies, the Serb guided the “Buccaneers” to the 2006 CAF Champions League semi-finals, where they lost narrowly to CS Sfaxien of Tunisia.Sredojevic resigned as Uganda coach last weekend, six months after taking the “Cranes” to their first Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 39 years.The 47-year-old told reporters in Kampala that he had run out of patience with Uganda football officials, who owe him $64,000 (54,000 euros) in salaries.Popularly known as “Micho”, the slightly built European began coaching in Africa 16 years ago with Ugandan outfit Villa.Other clubs he worked with include Saint George of Ethiopia (twice), Pirates, Young Africans of Tanzania and Al Hilal of Sudan. Share on: WhatsApp His national coach stints were with Rwanda and Uganda, where he enjoyed considerable success.Apart from Cup of Nations qualification, the “Cranes” are challenging Egypt for a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.last_img read more

At The Finish Line…Top five reasons Richard Sherman was wrong!

first_imgSeattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman celebrates after the NFL football NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)Where Only the Truth MattersI promise you this will be my last word on the Richard Sherman side show, but here are the top five reasons Sherman was wrong with his over the top, outspoken and insulting behavior:#5 ~ He played into the stereotype that White America already has about young African-American men.Bill Neal#4 ~ So you made a great play. That’s what you’re paid to do. Act like you’ve been there before.#3 ~ Yes, he was excited.  Could he have been any more excited than Santonio Holmes after his Super Bowl catch, or Willie Parker after his Super Bowl run or any number of great athletes caught in the moment.#2 ~ Of course he’s not a thug and it should not be suggested he is, but if you’re a Stanford University graduate with a 4.0 GPA, act like it.#1 ~  Talk all the smack you want between the lines, but on camera, real men act like real men!YOU HAVE NOW CROSSED OVER THE FINISH LINElast_img read more