New Orleans — The Battle of the Bands, last Tuesday’s all-star collection of cable industry musicians that helped raise $300,000 for the revival of this national treasure of a city, was rollicking fun.
But mightn’t it have been more entertaining had a certain Southern blues rock combo known as The Allman Brothers Band joined the fray.
Sadly, it’s a musical dream The Wire will never see. But we admire the attempt to make it happen by ramblin’ man David Fellows, the former Comcast chief technical officer whose most excellent title now is part-time Executive Fellow.
Fellows, whose cousin is married to Allmans’ percussionist Jaimoe, planted the seed several times, he revealed under questioning by The Wire. When a hole opened in the band’s schedule, due to an unfortunate illness to Gregg Allman, hopes for a mountain jam by the ultimate ringer band became more than just pie in the blue sky.
But as things often do, it came down to timing. As in 15 minutes, the allotted timing for each battling band. The dealbreaker, Fellows said, was ABB doesn’t schlep anywhere to play for less than an hour.
Instead, Paul “Purple Haze” Allen and his cable colleagues had the Morial Convention Center stages to themselves, untrumped by the likes of Derek Trucks, Chuck Leavell (who’d have filled in for Allman on keyboards) and Warren Haynes.
C’est la vie as they say in the Quarter and, as the Allmans themselves sing, you can’t lose what you never had.
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