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Red Dog - 'At Fillmore East' Back Cover 1971
Red Dog - 'At Fillmore East' Back Cover 1971
Photograph by Jim Marshall

Miss Universe 1984 Tampa/Miami Florida
The Allman Brothers Band 'At Fillmore East' Back Cover
Far Left - Red Dog

The biggest highlight on this project was the chance meet up with the beloved road crew veteran of 33 years for the Allman Brothers Band, the one and only, Red Dog. AKA Joseph Campbell, he was hard working, hard tripping, and the world's most famous roadie, a legend in the rock music circuit and aptly immortalized in the Cameron Crowe feature film, 'Almost Famous'.
Crowe, while still a teenager, had somehow convinced the editors of Rolling Stone magazine that he had the bag of tricks with words to wring the spirits of the rock muses from a fledgling southern rock band named the Allman Brothers. In the movie, 'Almost Famous', a near mirror imaged pimple faced high school journalist chases both the meaning of life and the mystery and joy of making music from a quixotic guitarist in a band call 'Stillwater'.

Partially from Wikipedia: 'Before embarking on a career as a roadie, Campbell served in the Marines and was wounded in action in Vietnam, receiving a 'Purple Heart' award. After hearing the electrifying slide guitar piece Duane Allman added to Aretha Franklin's recording of "The Weight", Campbell was determined to see Allman perform solo. After the show, he stayed behind to tell Allman how much he admired his work. He later recalled that it seemed as if the Pied Piper was calling him and that music never sounded the same to him afterwards.
In the early days, Campbell would contribute his disability checks from the government to the struggling band, which considered its road crew an essential part of the Allman Brotherhood.'

Work on the pageant kept me hopping with long hours and stressful work-- while still on schedule. One day, the construction foreman pulled me away from a large set piece I was painting, explaining as we went along that I needed to hire this guy as a carpenter. "...He's a good guy, he's hard working, loyal, but now he's kinda down on his luck, he's a little low on funds and needs a job."
Before we ever got to the job requirements....the long haired stoic looking fellow named Red Dog stepped forward grabbed my hand and gave me a bear like shake and then lit out on one of his many enlightening stories about life on the road with the Allman Brothers.
As I realized later, when push came to shove, Red Dog always had his stories to fall back on, it was his foot in the door, his magic key to the kingdom. As I studied him that morning, he looked as though he was nearly on his last leg--and he might have a problem with a tape measure and a saw, but beyond the haggard look and blurry eyes, it was apparent that he had a passion for life and had many precious memories of the aulden thymes days of rock yore when the music was truly about the music and not about the wants and whims of slavish corporate entities making inane redundant wattered down gibberish for profit. Red Dog pulled the small group in as though he were a quarterback; "Now I'm gonna tell you the story of Duane Allman and why he has that big fat grin on his face while holding something tightly in his hands on the cover of the 'At Fillmore East' album."
Moments later, as I was digesting this lurid tale in my graymatter and trying to pull away to return to my immediate projects, Red Dog grabbed my shoulder and told me a little story about meeting, hanging out with and forever loving a tender sweet soul, by the name of Janis Joplin. His eyes got moist. "And boy, she really could sing those blues..." Hell of a story, hell of a storyteller.
I can report that he was hired and put to work, but sadly he only lasted a couple of days...

By the way, Red Dog, famous or otherwise, is also forever immortalized on the flip side of the 'At Fillmore East' album, the first person on the left holding a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, proudly photographed with his road crew. He also will be remembered for his, 'The Legendary Red Dog, A Book of Tails'.

After his death from cancer, his ashes were scattered around the graves of Duane Allman & Berry Oakley, buried side by side in Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, GA.

Joseph Lawrence 'Red Dog' Campbell
RIP, 1942-2011

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