The Rock Against MS Interviews: Keith England of The Allman Brothers Band
The 6th Annual Rock Against MS Benefit Concert and Awards Show took place at the historic Los Angeles Theater on March 31st, featuring live headlining performances from Jack Russell’s Great White and Juliette Lewis. Highwire Daze Online spent some time on the Orange Carpet conducting interviews prior to the main event. One of the performers at Rock Against MS was Keith England of The Allman Brothers Band, ready to take the stage to pay tribute to his friend, the late great Gregg Allman! In this interview with Keith England, we discuss his support for Rock Against MS, how he become part of The Allman Brothers Band, his work with the one and only Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap, and more! Read on…
How did you become involved with Rock Against MS?
I had been singing at Ultimate Jam Night on the Whisky A Go Go on Tuesday nights, and all of my friends are down here. I walked in and I thought I was at The Whisky for a minute, although it’s a lot nicer. So just through that association, and they were kind enough to invite me along to sing this evening – and that’s what I’ll be doing.
And what will you be performing tonight.
I am singing Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band.
What does that song Midnight Rider mean to you?
Well it’s funny, it’s had so many layers in my life – from when I was a kid and first heard that song in Junior High School – and then to end up working with them and becoming very close friends with Gregg (Allman) was just remarkable. So it covers my entire life really – from Junior High School to right now – and all points in between.
How did you become involved with The Allman Brothers band?
I was from a small town in Florida – Sarasota, Florida – and the band was living there at the time. I just by luck got to know Gregory – and he and I started hanging out – and he asked me to help him write a song one evening. That song went on a record called Brothers Of The Road (Things You Used To Do) – it came out in the early 80’s – and then they brought me along on the road with them. Next thing I knew, I was standing in front of 100,000 people singing Allman Brothers songs. It was really just like that.
What do you think overall inspired the title for the album Brothers Of The Road?
Brothers Of The Road was a song that Dickey Betts wrote – and it was just about that experience – the lifetime of being on the road with your friends playing music – and all the adventures that go along. It’s truly a brotherhood. We share a bus with seven or eight guys – we better brothers. So that’s what was behind the concept of the album – the brotherhood.
And what other projects are you working on right now?
Right now I just finished working with Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap. The album is called Smalls Change. I’m singing on a bunch of songs. They were kind enough to bring me along and I’m going to be going on the tour with them. We’re doing four Spinal Tap songs and all the songs off the album Smalls Change with an orchestra! Our first show is in New Orleans in April and it’s going to be remarkable!
Any Southern California dates?
I believe they are talking about it now. But right now, it’s just on the East Coast. (In a British accent) And we are doing Stonehenge!
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photo by Jack Lue)