Mizz Hudson owned H & H Restaurant in Macon.

Mizz Hudson owned H & H restuarant in Macon.

excerpt from “Drummer’s History” by Russell S. Buddy Helm

copyright 2013  all rights reserved

Mizz Hudson owned H & H restaurant in Macon. The best soul food place and just a few blocks up Cotton Avenue from the Redwal agency; Otis Redding’s old manager and booking agency. Mizz Hudson’s food was legendary as was the jukebox in the H & H. She fed the Allmans when they were hungry. I was dreaming about her collard greens, the smell, the taste. I opened my eyes and looked out the Jaguar limo window, all I saw were deers, and trees, and old stone walls. It looked like English countryside on some private estate, but I was smelling Mizz Hudson’s cooking. I was delirious. Weeks and weeks of endless traveling and performing. Not really knowing where we were sometimes. We pulled behind the gigantic stage of scaffolding, canopies blowing in the wind, miles and miles of rolling countryside covered with people as far as the eye could see, punctuated with sound towers at a hundred yards out. A big operation. Behind the stage was Mizz Hudson’s people cooking for the Allmans. It was like home and I started to feel a little better.

Trafalgar Square had little book shops on the side streets full of odd weird metaphysical books. Nothing black magic, just the white magic. I purchased a book on Atlantis, a deck of Tarot and a how to booklet for laying out cards. The rest of the guys were busy laying around in their hotel rooms. Tim was giving interviews. I was free as a bird; went to the British Museum, saw Egyptian antiquities. The guys in the band were drinking Double Diamond lager, burping and flirting with the maid.

I had free time, I decided to go to Paris for a few days. “There is nothing in Paris, this time of year.” Herb said bitterly.

Tim’s vocal power and quality were astounding. We did “Dolphins” by Fred Neil at every show. It was a showcase of Tim’s vocal range and control and nuance. He was a consummate professional with otherwordly vocal chops. Yet he crooned a ballad and the girls would weep and the guys would get misty too. Tim had a four octave range, and that is no bullshit. He could use four octaves and he did. For a drummer, it was like being the jockey on Secretariat, who was the strongest, the most inspiring triple crown winner in the history of horse racing. He crossed the finish line at Kentucky Derby thirty two lengths ahead of any competition. Tim was that kind of singer. I was playing the voodoo drums that lit his fuse, we worked that together, his vocals were going outside of language. His voice was an instrument that never faltered. He was making up a new vocal language of melody, chanting, yodeling, tongues and just sounds. I was cutting new ground slamming Afro Cuban against Rock and pumping the funk with salsa on top; on the edge of trance drumming. I was used to playing a lot. Bethlehem Asylum had to open for the Allmans who have two of the greatest drummers in the world. So I was in shape for this.

excerpt from “Drummer’s History” by Russell Buddy Helm

copyright 2013 all rights reserved




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