Gregg Allman – Midnight Rider

This is from Gregg Allman’s album Laid Back. Gregg started the album when the Allman Brothers were making Brothers and Sisters. He was having some problems with them and decided to make this one at the same time. The Allman Brothers originally performed Midnight Rider on their second album Idlewild South in 1970 but it wasn’t released as a single.

Gregg released this song in1974 and it peaked at #19 in the Billboard 100 and #17 in Canada.

Gregg Allman from his autobiography My Cross to Bear… Kim Payne was an Allman roadie.

On “Midnight Rider,” which is the song I’m most proud of in my career, I had all but the last part—so, as I like to say, I had the song by the nuts, I just had to reel it in. The third verse is really important because it’s kind of the epilogue to the whole thing. Basically, you state the problem in the first verse, you embellish on the problem in the second verse—like “let me tell you what a bitch she really is”—and then you usually have some music, to let you think about the words for a while and also get lifted up by that music.
The bridge from the music to the third verse is when you want to be different, but you don’t want to go all the way from A to Z. You want something that contrasts things a little bit—kind of like matching a shirt with a pair of pants. You want it to be a little different, but not clashing. The bridge is where you say what you want to do about the problem, or what you’re damn sure going to do about it. Then the third verse is, like I said, the epilogue to the whole thing.

It might sound like I’m giving you a formula to write a song, but I’m not, because it’s never that simple. On “Midnight Rider,” I needed something to start the third verse, and Kim Payne came up with “I’ve gone by the point of caring,” which was exactly what I needed. “I’ve gone by the point of caring”—fuck it—and then, “Some old bed I’ll soon be sharing.” I’ve got another buck, and I ain’t gonna let ’em catch my ass, and then it’s just kinda off into the sunset.

Midnight Rider

Well, I’ve got to run to keep from hidin’,
And I’m bound to keep on ridin’.
And I’ve got one more silver dollar,
But I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no,
Not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Rider.

And I don’t own the clothes I’m wearing,
And the road goes on forever,
And I’ve got one more silver dollar,
But I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Rider.

And I’ve gone by the point of caring,
Some old bed I’ll soon be sharing,
And I’ve got one more silver dollar,

But I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Rider.

No, I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Rider.

No, I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Rider.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

11 thoughts on “Gregg Allman – Midnight Rider”

  1. I saw the Allman Bros. probably in 1992 at Starwood. It is one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended. They were clicking on all eight that night; everybody was there except, of course, Duane.
    I’ve always preferred the Laid Back version of Midnight Rider. It’s more soulfully grounded in R&B. For me, R&B trumps Country just about every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so wish I would have seen them. 92 is about the last time went to Starwood before it closed. Gregg had such a soulful voice. I know the version you are talking about.

      He sang “Tuesday Gone” in 2015 or so…it was might as well have been an Allman song after his version.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, he was an amazing talent. An asshole, I’m told but a genius.
        I saw the last concert at Starwood–Steely Dan. They were amazing. I think, that was 2010?…I’m not sure. Anyway, great concert. I was pleasantly surprised there were so many Black folks there. I never knew they had a big African American following, but it makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m always late to the party on being in on bands… I didn’t start to apprectiate them to way later on.
        I can see him being like that especially toward women…his book is pretty open.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My obsession with the ABB began the night they recorded the FILLMORE EAST show and continued on until Gregg died, a total of 47 shows, either full band or Gregg and Friends. One of the longest sets I witnessed was the Saturday late show , the closing of the famed venue FILLMORE EAST but that’s another story. Here’s # 1 and #2, same night two separate shows.
    MARCH 13: The Show To End All Shows
    A complete chapter could be written about my musical fascination with one band that became an obsession;THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND.
    A buddy from college, a radio station partner to whom I gave my first row ticket for Leon Russell at The Capitol to so that he could take out a girl, felt he owed me something so he invited me to join him to see Johnny Winter at Fillmore East, but I had to pay for the ticket. No problem. We were to met at the corner of 6th Street and Second Ave at 7:30 to get a bite to eat. Our show was the 11:30 set. By 8:45 the guy was a no show, and I was freezing cold standing around waiting. Magically, some guy walks up to me handing me a free ticket for the 8PM show, which had already started. Not knowing whether my buddy would ever show up I thanked the dude for the freebie and entered the sacred hall. ELVIN BISHOP was “Partying Til The Cows Come Home” as I found my upper balcony seat. After a short intermission when I grabbed a cup of coffee and a cigarette in the lobby I sat down to hear the introduction that changed everything: “THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND”. My mouth was opened, my eyes wide, and a smile from ear to ear was across my face. Never before had I ever seen or heard anything like this. Two Les Pauls exchanging leads, two drummers, a bass player who had a bottom sound like no other and a Hammond B-3 player who when he sang was angelic, Ray Charles like. After their set the crowd was roaring for MORE, MORE. An encore, and it was over. After an equipment change the crowd was still buzzing about The ALLMANS. Finally, JOHNNY WINTER AND (THE McCOYS) took the stage but all I could think about was THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND. And I was as sober as a judge.

    The early show crowd was let out and I could still hear the raves about The Allman Brothers. Forget Johnny Winter. I checked the corner of 6th and Second and found my buddy who was a bit perturbed that I showed up at 11 PM. I explained that I was there earlier and he was nowhere to be found, it was cold and a free ticket so in I went. I found out that this anti-everything (drugs) dude dropped double barrel orange sunshine LSD about 6PM, not knowing when it would hit, and got lost on his short journey to Fillmore East. Anyway, he had my ticket for the late show and I was excited at a chance to see The Allman Brothers Band again that night. After grabbing a slice of pizza we headed back to the hall at about midnight. Elvin Bishop was tearing it up, had the crowd in his favor when we were met with the houselights rising and being instructed that we needed to evacuate the hall in a peaceful manner. Seems a bomb threat had been called in. As it was freezing outside we were promised we would be let back in as soon as it was possible. It seemed like an eternity outside but finally, back in, freezing, the house light dim and “Ladies and gentleman, Johnny Winter And”…. what? What about The Allmans??? I thought, geez. Johnny did a short 35 minute set, and as he exited the stage an announcement was made, The Allmans would be up next. Thank goodness.

    When The Allmans hit the stage an announcement was made that the band would be recording live. They played for hours, hours, yet it was not nearly long enough for me. The sun was rising as we headed for the door. It was an amazing set, as can be witnessed on the album, LIVE AT FILLMORE EAST. Saying goodbye to my stoned out buddy who headed across Second Avenue, I proceeded down 6th street where I found a small crowd standing around a huge semi-truck. Music was coming from the side entrance to the truck. I stood there listening to what sounded like a recording of tonight’s set. I lit a smoke and a guy with long blond hair asked if he could bum a cigarette. He took my smoke to light his and said thanks. I was really paying attention to the music not the guy who took my smokes. He then said ,“get closer, give it a listen” as he entered the truck. That guy was Duane Allman. I listened for a few minutes, bid my farewell heading down the street. THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND would become my obsession. Arriving home after 8AM I headed directly to bed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Man you got to see them with Duane…not just that… again the Fillmore East. You are part of a great history. People like me would give anything to be able to go back and see them…not only them but the Fillmore…

      Something I would like to ask you. I’ve always wondered. Compared to concerts in the last twenty or so years…what is the big difference in the sound of concerts from then to now?

      I would imagine they were more raw back then…which I would love. Thanks for commenting. Awesome story

      Liked by 3 people

    1. He never mentioned that in the book but who knows…sounds reasonable…may have been inspired by that but in the book the roadie helps him finish it. In fact the roadie had to pester Gregg for years to get him the payments on time for royalities.. Gregg finally got it arranged where half of it went straight to Kim Payne.


  3. Coincidence – heard that song on the radio just yesterday while waiting for someone in a Walmart parking lot, and thought “man- that’s a good tune! ” Hadn’t heard it for years before that. I always assumed it was Allman Brothers Band, not a solo , so I learned something today!

    Liked by 1 person

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