The music of the Allman Brothers Band has proven itself timeless, as recordings from nearly 50 years ago continue to circulate radio stations, television programs, vinyl record players, and our own at-home devices on a regular basis. And while the passing of founding member, lyricist, vocalist, and organist Gregg Allman seals the end of the live performance era, it’s certainly not the last fans will hear from the Midnight Rider and the Band that paved the way for southern rock and blues.Gregg Allman was recently in the studio with Don Was, promising an album of new material expected to come out this fall, “likely in September, with more details on that soon,” according to Billboard. According to longtime Allman Brothers Band manager Bert Holman, there’s also a great deal of Allman Brothers Band archives that have yet to be released via the band’s own label and RED distribution.“We’ll keep putting things out as long as there’s an appetite for it,” Holman tells Billboard. “There’s a great deal of material [left], and still a lot of interest in hearing these things, we think. We’re working on other stuff right now in the creative pipeline.”The band’s most recent release was The Fox Box, a three-night run at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre from September of 2004. According to Billboard, “A number of other releases are in motion, including the individual digital release of six 2003 shows from the Instant Live series, as well as a ‘best of 2003’ four-disc set that Holman says will ‘cull the best songs and put together a mega-concert in terms of sequencing.’ Also on the near-term docket is a package featuring multiple shows by the original Allmans lineup at the Fillmore West in San Francisco.”Holman also reveals that the Allman Brothers’ legendary July 19, 2005 concert at the Warner Theatre in Earie, Pennsylvania is under strong consideration for release – a show that is greatly appreciated by ABB fans as one of the best the band has ever played, under a similar scope of the Grateful Dead’s 1977 Cornell University show. He also says that a “ferocious” small show from Fresno, California is also a potential release. The band’s manager is also working to release the Allman Brothers Band’s final concert from October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theatre in New York in physical form. A release that features guitarist Jack Pearson (1997-1999) is also in the works.The archival decisions are made by a committee that features veteran music industry executive Bill Levenson, Warren Haynes, who Holman describes as having “an encyclopedic mind about shows, certain song performances,” among other brilliant minds and historians of the Allman Brothers Band legacy.While the group’s musical collection will continue to grow, so will its museum in Macon, Georgia. The Big House is the current home to all Allman Brothers Band memorabilia, from instruments, clothing, and show merchandise, to the very walls that inspired songs like “Blue Sky.” The museum has expanded so much over the last few years, that they were able to acquire the neighboring house to utilize as the headquarters and open the museum’s third floor as exhibition space.“More stuff keeps showing up, a lot of memorabilia and other stuff,” Holman tells Billboard. “They recently found one of [drummer] Jaimoe‘s conga cases from the back of the Fillmore album in a building in downtown Macon where the old Macon Recording Studios were. Who knows how it ended up there. So that’s in the museum. And as the audience is aging, people are loaning and donating all kinds of stuff to us. Every time somebody comes to the museum they’re like, ‘I have a button you don’t have. I have a poster you don’t have.’ Well, we’d love a picture of it, and if you’d like to donate it, all the better.”Holman also comments on the passing of Gregg Allman, saying “During the last months of his illness he really wanted privacy. He had been deteriorating for a while; He just kept it private. He didn’t want people calling, didn’t want to see stuff on TV. He wanted dignity, and fortunately he was able to do that. I think it’s great he died peacefully at home rather than hooked up in a hospital room with tubes, listening to that high-pitched beep, beep, beep.”The closing sentiments from Bert Holman reveal that the rock legend perhaps could have avoided further health issues, but that his main concern was always to play music. “He maybe came back too soon, by his own admission, but Gregg lived for the music. That’s the only thing he really loved. Playing in his bedroom is not what he means by playing; He wants to play with a band and in front of an audience. He just loved to play, so of course that’s what he would do.” You can read the full story here.Funeral arrangements have been made for this Saturday in Macon, Georgia at Snow’s Memorial Chap. It will be very small and intimate, with a “no suit” rule, as per Allman’s request. According to the Macon telegraph, fans who would like to pay their respects are asked to create a mile-long motorcade route between the funeral home and Rose Hill Cemetery, where he will be buried alongside his brothers Duane Allman and Berry Oakley. It is in this cemetery where songs like “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Little Martha” were written, and much of the band’s early history was spent.Rest In Peace, Gregg Allman.[photo by Phierce Photo]
Jul 31, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – In an experiment designed to mimic events that could launch an influenza pandemic, a synthetic influenza virus made by combining an H5N1 avian flu virus with a human flu virus turned out to be no more contagious in an animal model than the natural H5N1 virus, US scientists are reporting this week.Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made two hybrid viruses and infected ferrets with them, according to a report to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The viruses failed to spread from infected ferrets to healthy ones in neighboring cages.”We found that they [the viruses] were not able to transmit efficiently,” said CDC researcher Dr. Jackie Katz, speaking at a Jul 28 teleconference. “In fact, they were also not as able to cause severe disease as the original H5N1 virus.”The deadly H5N1 virus has infected 232 people and killed 134 since late 2003, but it has not yet found a way to spread easily from person to person. But scientists fear the virus could pick up that ability if it combined, or reassorted, with a human flu virus, which could happen if someone became infected with both types simultaneously. The CDC set out to create such a hybrid and test it in ferrets. The animals are considered good models for flu virus research because their susceptibility to flu viruses is similar to that of humans.CDC officials cautioned against taking much comfort from the experimental results. Although the synthetic hybrid didn’t spread among the ferrets in the experiments so far, that doesn’t mean the scenario couldn’t happen in nature, they said. (Also, experts say the H5N1 virus could become transmissible through accumulated small mutations, without reassortment.)”These data do not mean that H5N1 cannot convert to be transmissible from person to person; they mean it’s probably not a simple process and more than simple genetic exchanges are necessary,” CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberdng said at the teleconference.The H5N1 virus used in the study was a strain collected in 1997, when the pathogen first infected humans in Hong Kong. The human flu virus used in the study was an H3N2 strain, which has been common in recent decades. The research involved four steps, according to Katz.First, investigators assessed whether the H3N2 and H5N1 viruses would spread in ferrets, whose cages were arranged so that viruses could spread via respiratory droplets. The human virus did spread efficiently, whereas the avian virus didn’t, which signaled that the ferrets were serving as good models for human infection, Katz said.The next step was to generate reassortant viruses. “We made two viruses that contained surface protein genes from the H5N1 virus and internal genes from the human H3N2 virus,” Katz said. “We found we could make these viruses and that some of them were viable.”Third, the scientists infected some ferrets with the hybrid viruses and waited to see if they would spread to healthy ferrets. The hybrid viruses caused less severe illness than the original H5N1 strain, and they failed to spread.Finally, the investigators wanted to know if the hybrid viruses would naturally mutate to become more transmissible if they were passed through several ferrets in succession. So the researchers infected ferrets and, after the ferrets showed symptoms, took nasal secretions and used them to infect other ferrets, repeating this step five times. Further, the researchers assessed whether the virus could spread more easily after all these generations or “passages.””We found that the virus did not acquire any additional capacity to transmit efficiently from infected ferrets to healthy ferrets,” Katz said.Katz didn’t explain why the CDC used a 1997 strain of H5N1 instead of a more recent strain, but said more recent isolates will be used in further experiments. Later versions of both H5N1 and H3N2 will be used to make further hybrids for testing in ferrets, she said. Scientists have identified a number of mutations in the H5N1 virus since 1997.”We did test the more recent strains [of H5N1] for their ability to transmit, and like the 1997 strains, they could not transmit efficiently from one animal to the next,” she said. “We need to continue to study this.”The CDC officials were asked whether reassortment “dumbs down” or weakens the virus. Katz replied that the hybrids were less virulent than H5N1, but cautioned that the results apply only to the 1997 strain.Gerberding commented, “The pandemics of 1957 and 1968 were caused by reassortant viruses. Those were not dumb viruses.”In answering other questions, Katz said some scientists believe the 1918 pandemic virus, unlike the 1957 and 1968 viruses, arose through slowly accumulating mutations in an avian virus rather than through a reassortment event. “We’re looking at the approach of the 1957 and 1968 pandemics where there was a more sudden change,” she said.The most important lesson of the research so far, according to Katz, is “the knowledge that this process isn’t simple, the procedure for the virus to acquire the properties of transmissibility.”She said the CDC also created a hybrid that involved H3N2 virus surface proteins and H5N1 internal genes—the reverse of the hybrid she first described—and “that was not sufficient for transmissibility either. . . . That points to the fact that it’s a complex interaction of the surface genes and the internal genes.”Gerberding warned that the findings shouldn’t lead to complacency.”I’m not reassured from the public health perspective,” she said. “This virus is still out there, it’s still evolving, and influenza is always unpredictable. . . . So let’s not use the word ‘reassuring’ with respect to what might happen with H5N1.”Because of the risk that the reassortant viruses could spread, the research was done under stringent containment, involving Biosafety Level 3 with extra precautions, Katz said.Maines TR, Chen LM, Matsuoka Y, et al. Lack of transmission of H5N1 avian-human reassortant influenza viruses in a ferret model. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2006 (published online Jul 31) [Abstract]See also:Jan 14, 2005, CIDRAP News story “CDC to mix avian, human flu viruses in pandemic study”
Group C opponents, Ghana and South Africa, got their first feel of the Cape Coast Stadium on Tuesday when they had their respective training sessions ahead of their AFCON 2021 Qualifier on Thursday.While the Black Stars arrived in Cape Coast on Tuesday afternoon for the match, South Africa got into the Central Regional capital on Monday after arriving in Ghana.The Black Stars made stops at Mankessim and Winneba as part of the “Bring Back The Love” campaign and they interacted with fans and well wishers of the team.The two teams will continue getting ready on Wednesday for their first official competitive match since AFCON 2015 where Ghana beat the Bafana Bafana 2-1 in a group encounter.Bafana Bafana at the Cape Coast StadiumGhana head coach, Kwesi Appiah, now has the full compliment of his team after the likes of Thomas Partey, Joseph Aidoo and Mohammed Kudus arrived in Ghana on Monday.On Wednesday, they will both address the press as mandated by CAF and on Thursday, they will meet at the Cape Coast Stadium for the qualifier.