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RIP Joseph "Red Dog" Campbell (1942-2011)

Posted: Feb 23, 2011

Joseph "Red Dog" Campbell RIP

Longtime Allman Brothers Band roadie and writer Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell passed away on February 21, 2011. Campbell operated as one of the original members of the Allman Brothers Band road crew. He contributed his military disability checks to the band in those early years. In 2001, Campbell wrote a book about his days with the band called The Legendary Red Dog: A Book of Tails.

When writer Michael Buffalo Smith asked what inspired him to write his book, Campbell replied: “I have always wanted to. Duane probably put it in my head when he said I’d be the one to write the book if there ever was one. We were standing in the yellow house one day and Duane walked by me and said 'You’ll be the one to write the book, right?' But, my gosh, that was thirty years ago. I used to have a real good memory. Duane used to come over and say ‘Red Dog, can you tell me the gigs we’ve played in order?’ and I’d tell him. Finally one day he asked me and I said ‘No, I can’t do that no more, because there were just too many then. But I think that’s why he said I’d be the one to write the book."

Smith also asked Red Dog to speak about his close friend Duane Allman: "He was my hero. I mean. I would have followed Duane to the end of the earth. I was older than him, but I respected him enough and loved him enough to do it. Duane had a sixth sense- or a seventh sense, man. He just knew what to do at the right time. There’s a fork in the road, right? if you go to the left, there’s a pot of gold. If you go to the right, you’re in a pile of crap. Duane could walk right up to the fork without thinking and say ‘let’s go to the left.’ And he’d come out smelling like a rose. But he was fair. he was honest. He was up front and didn’t beat around the bush. You didn’t have to hear (drags voice) 'Well, you know, I was thinkin’, it ain’t really nice for me to say it, but..' You didn’t have to hear it. He’d just say, 'Red Dog, you messed up bad man. We’re gonna have to let you go.'
There wouldn’t be no beatin’ around the bush. I try to live like that myself.

"I just don’t have the tactfulness or the position in life to deal the other way. So I just hit it, bam-bam-bam. (Laughs) I don’t really think you can put it into words, on Duane. He used to say, 'You guys do all the work. We just come over and have fun.' That’s really what it’s all about. If these musicians say 'I’m out here working my butt off, something’s wrong.' I mean, if he ain’t out there playing and having fun, something’s wrong. It’s at the stage of the game now where it’s not work. It’s 'Hey, let’s enjoy ourselves and play.' The roadie’s the guy who’s doing the work to get the thing going…”

The Swampland flag flies at half-mast…Prayers to Mr. Campbell’s Friends & Family…Another southern gentleman passes away…

James Calemine


Swampland Interview with Red Dog Campbell

The Six Degrees of Swampland: The Allman Brothers Band

Swampland Interview with Kirk West

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story

Gregg Allman's Low Country Blues




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