Silver Laughter’s Mick Orton Meets Gregg Allman

Close encounters of a weird kind.

Close encounters of a weird kind.

I met Gregg Allman about 20 years ago when we played in Mill Valley. Our trio, Ed Bergquist on guitar, Dave Dewey on drums and me on bass were playing in the lounge at Strawberry Joe’s when I got to meet the king of the jerks.

In the middle of a set, in walks a very drunk Gregg Allman. There weren’t many people in the club so he came and sat with us during one of our breaks. Because they also served food, my young daughter, Angela (about 12 at the time), was allowed to be in there with us.

Angela was eating French fries, and Gregg kept taking them from her while he was talking. She was mugging and goofing around to which he was oblivious in his drunken stupor. In fact, he was so drunk he kept spitting when he talked. Funny girl that she is, Angela kept covering her food with her hands while getting a big kick out of the encounter. Later she commented, “Now I see why Cher dumped him!”

My sister, Marjie, was there chatting him up and telling him she played mandolin, keyboard and guitar, so he took her card and said he would call her to maybe play on one of his sessions. She was working for a local real estate company, and that was the card she gave him. I told her, he will probably wake up tomorrow morning with a hangover and think he sold his house in a blackout!

Anyway, after we invited him on stage to play a song, he didn’t like my blues bass riff and became obnoxious  about it. We were either too fast or too slow. Later he tried to pick a fight with us about how to pack up our equipment after we were done. All in all I was not impressed! Later on I heard he tried to get sober. I pray he made it.

Mick Orton

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