Weekend Songs: The Allman Brothers Band, ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More’
Classic rock is about heavy hooks, power chords, and tight harmonies, but it’s also about letting loose and enjoying the good times — and there’s no better time than Friday evening, when we pick up our paycheck, punch out of work, and enjoy a couple days of much-needed rest and relaxation.
Rest and relaxation were in short supply for the Allman Brothers Band in February of 1972, when they released their fourth album ‘Eat a Peach’; arriving in stores mere months after the shocking death of founding member Duane Allman in a tragic motorcycle accident, it found the group battling tremendous grief even as their commercial profile soared in the wake of ‘At Fillmore East.’
In fact, even without Duane’s death overshadowing their success, ‘Eat a Peach’ might have captured the Allmans at a turbulent time — it was released roughly six months after ‘Fillmore East,’ and their previous studio set, ‘Idlewild South,’ had only come out in September of 1970. Release cycles between LPs were a lot shorter then, but that’s still a lot of work in a short period of time, especially considering how long the band tended to stay on the road — all of which is to say that it isn’t surprising that a sizable chunk of ‘Eat a Peach’ consists of live performances that didn’t make it onto ‘Fillmore East.’
This doesn’t mean that the studio cuts on the record were anything to sneer at; quite the contrary. The album’s first three songs (‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,’ ‘Melissa,’ and the nine-minute ‘Les Brers in A Minor’) form a quietly powerful tribute to their fallen comrade and a restatement of purpose in his absence. They’re all poignant, considering the circumstances, but it’s the first song that cuts sharpest; written by Gregg Allman, it contains a number of lines that seem to be a direct account of his struggle to move on in the wake of his brother’s passing, and his ultimate acceptance of the fact that, as Randy Poe put it in his book ‘Skydog: The Duane Allman Story,’ “death is an inescapable inevitability — that every day is precious.”
It’s those last four words that really underscore the power of ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,’ and point to why, more than 40 years later, it remains such a wonderfully uplifting anthem for anyone who needs to set aside burdens and count blessings. Friday afternoon seems like a pretty perfect time to do both of those things, so hit ‘play’ on the clip we’ve embedded below, turn up the volume, and let the weekend start now.
Listen to the Allman Brothers Band’s ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More’