Founding ABB Drummer Jaimoe Remebers Gregg Allman’s Unparalleled Musical Energy

first_imgFounding Allman Brothers Band drummer Jai “Jaimoe” Johanson has had a tough year, losing two original Brothers in just four months (Butch Trucks in January and Gregg Allman last weekend). In the wake of these losses, the last remaining original band member (not counting Dickey Betts, who has been on the outs with the band for nearly 20 years) spoke to Allman Brothers biographer Alan Paul about his fond memories of Gregg in an interview for Rolling Stone. Jaimoe goes into a number of topics, including Gregg’s addition to the band in their nascent days, his unmatched abilities to woo the fairer sex, and how he ranks among the finest blues singers and keyboardists of his time. You can read excerpts from Jaimoe’s remembrance of Gregg Allman below:Photo: Richard E. Aaron/Redferns/Getty“Gregory was the last member to join the Allman Brothers band but there never was any question that he would do so. I was the first person Duane [Allman] signed on and he told me from the very start: ‘There’s only one person who can sing in the band I’m putting together and that’s my baby brother.’”“Two days after meeting Duane, all of my dreams came true. We didn’t have a nickel but we were all just as happy as could be, doing exactly what we wanted to do…We went to Jacksonville and lots of people started jamming with us as Duane put together everyone he wanted for the band: Dickey Betts on guitar, Berry Oakley on bass and another drummer, Butch Trucks. We drove to Jacksonville and he knocked on Butch’s door and said, “This is Butch, my old drummer. Meet Jaimoe, my new drummer.” And then he drove away and left me there! We didn’t know what to say to each other, so Butch and I set up our drums and just started playing. We never talked about working out parts. From that moment on, we just played and it just worked. He set me up beautifully. Everything I’ve ever played that someone said was great was because Butch set me up.So we had everyone there but Gregg and some people have said over the years that Duane was trying to do something different. Maybe they were fighting, but it’s not true. He told me that Gregg put a spell on women and all this stuff but there was never a doubt that he would be the singer. He was just waiting until he had all the other pieces in place before he called Gregory, who was in Los Angeles.Reese Wynans [who went on to play with Stevie Ray Vaughan] had been playing keyboards. But Gregory finally arrived, on March 26th, 1969, and my first impression was that he looked like a television star. He was so handsome. He looked like a star actor or athlete; he was kind of a big guy – a hell of a lot bigger than Duane – who weighed 80 pounds soaking wet. But when he started singing and I heard how good he was, I wasn’t surprised. Not at all.Duane had hipped me to what a great singer his baby brother was. It’s all he talked about, and Duane had a very specific vision in mind for the band. Everyone else he got was great and even greater together, so I figured Gregory would be the same. And he was. When the six of us got together, we became what we were looking for and who we were looking for and it was clear as a bell. It was just a great bunch of guys playing and it was just so natural. We never talked about what we were doing or told each other what to do. Everyone just played.”“At that time, I really thought that there were only a few special gifted white people that could play music and I was soon to discover the reason for a lot of that was simply the fact that they were so busy imitating that they never walked out of it and into themselves. It was sitting there waiting and Gregg and Duane did that right away. Hell, the first song he sang was Muddy Waters’ ‘Trouble No More’ and he sounded great but he sounded like himself. He had that right from the first day I met him. He had been working it out for years already, even though he was just maybe 21.”“I played with Otis Redding and Percy Sledge and saw Ray Charles and B.B. King and every other great and I’ll tell you this: there’s not anybody I ever heard who sang with more truth and passion than Gregory. He was at the very top of whatever what wars going on with singers. And that shit about him being “one of the great white blues singer” is straight bullshit. He’s a great blues singer. A great singer, period – and those lyrics he would write were incredible. The amazing thing about Gregory Allman is the fact that his music and influences were based on rhythm and blues but his songwriting was so influenced by people like [Bob] Dylan and Jackson Browne and other people who wrote poems. Combining those two things is what made him so unique. He came in with “My Cross to Bear” and “Whipping Post” and “Dreams” and all these great, great songs. My wife was just asking me: how does someone so young write songs so mature?”“And Gregory was a hell of a keyboard player, too, and his great singing overshadowed his organ playing. Less is more is supposed to be a big thing now; well, he was doing it big a long time ago. What’s interesting is he could play a solo that was just eight bars, but was perfect. With what he played, he didn’t need to play no more. He could play exactly what needed to be played.”“I will really miss playing with Gregg and hearing Gregg’s music, and I must say, those words, man. The words were as much a part of his life as the voice and they came from his life. Where else could they come from? We’re all reflections of the lives we lead. For years, I didn’t pay that much attention to his lyrics and then they hit me! So powerful. But I’ll miss the person more than anything. Yes, I’ll miss the person the most. I’ll miss Gregory very much.”[via Rolling Stone][Cover photo via Phierce Photo by Keith G (Gregg), Louis Montesanto (Jaimoe)]last_img read more

Credit guarantee to boost lending for MSMEs, but risk of bad loans haunts banks

first_imgThe government’s new credit guarantee scheme is expected to boost lending for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but analysts have expressed concerns that risk of rising bad loans now haunts the banking industry.The scheme is one of the most popular stimulus programs for economies across the globe during the virus-induced economic downturn, said Bank Indonesia (BI) senior deputy governor Destry Damayanti. The scheme, she went on to say, would be crucial to stimulate credit growth.“The loan guarantee program is crucial to allow banks to boost their lending for MSMEs and, therefore, support economic recovery,” Destry told an online discussion on Friday, adding that banks were previously reluctant to disburse their money amid fears of bad loans. She stressed that Indonesian banks were better now prepared than during the financial crises in 1998 and in 2008 to deal with liquidity issues and the risk of rising non-performing loans (NPL) in the wake of the pandemic.The government has disbursed credit insurance premiums worth Rp 5 trillion (US$341.02 million) to state-owned credit insurers PT Jaminan Kredit Indonesia (Jamkrindo) and PT Asuransi Kredit Indonesia (Askrindo) to guarantee working capital loans of Rp 100 trillion and help MSMEs survive the pandemic.The scheme will provide guarantees for banks that channel loans to MSMEs until November 2021 and cover loans with a ceiling of Rp 10 billion and a tenor of three years available for 60.6 million MSMEs from all business sectors.But the scheme may lead to mounting bad loans for banks as domestic demand remains sluggish due to weakening purchasing power amid slowing economic activity, said Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) economist Aviliani. “If businesses have yet to pick up following a slump in demand, then banks are forced to lend money; we are risking mounting bad loans in the next one to two years,” Aviliani said at the same discussion, adding the government would need to step up stimulus spending to boost demand.Indonesian banks’ non-performing loans (NPL), which calculate the ratio of bad loans to total loan value, continued to rise to 3.01 percent in May from 2.89 in April and 2.77 percent in March. Loan growth, meanwhile, fell to 3.04 percent year-on-year (yoy) in May from 5.73 percent in April.“We think the government should move more quickly in spending stimulus money and it must pay special attention to the demand side,” she said, calling for the government to bolster its stimulus on social aid to stimulate demand.The government is allocating Rp 695.2 trillion in stimulus funds to prevent a greater economic downturn, which is expected to shrink by 0.4 percent at worst or grow by 1 percent at best, with the budget deficit expected to reach 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).Moody’s Investors Service expressed a similar view in a new report in late May, stating that Indonesian banks would see their asset quality and profitability deteriorate because of coronavirus impacts. However, their capital and liquidity will remain strong, providing ample buffers to absorb financial stress.”Restructured loans in Indonesia have grown significantly since authorities relaxed rules for debt restructuring in March to provide financial relief for those impacted by the crisis,” said Moody’s analyst Tengfu Li.”And while this, along with subsidies for consumers and small businesses will provide temporary relief for banks, nonperforming loans will still increase substantially in the longer term, given the scope of economic disruptions stemming from the coronavirus crisis.”Indonesia’s financial authority has so far taken several measures to alleviate banking stress during the pandemic, including loan restructuring, interest relief for MSMEs and liquidity access from the central bank using the repurchase agreement (repo) route, among other measures.According to the Bank Indonesia Banking Survey published on Wednesday, credit growth is expected to slow to 2.5 percent this year, a decrease from 6.1 percent booked in 2019.BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Thursday that loan disbursement was limited due to slowing domestic demand, while banks try to avoid risks amid heightening debt restructuring. The central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to 4 percent to further support the economy.The lower benchmark rate is expected to transmit into lower interest rates charged by banks on consumer loans, corporate loans and mortgages, as well as bond yields and other instruments, thereby boosting domestic consumption and investment.Topics :last_img read more