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In Memory of Allen Woody

In Memory of Allen Woody
October 2, 1956 - August 25, 2000

This is the poem Warren read at the funeral.


by Warren Haynes

It's raining and my smiles at half mast
So many people - What do I say?
No more lying - no more dwelling on the past
No more faking after today

For so long there were no answers but now
We all know what to do
Pouring rain - wash away my pain
Let the love come shining through

So many things left unresolved
but it's not about that now

Face the people with my smile at half mast
But I can't face myself today
Waves of emotion with my smile at half mast
But there are no words to say

The smoke will rise - The fog will lift
And we'll see clearer than before
As I sit crying with my smile at half mast
A window opens as I close the door

Trying to find the whole truth
With my smile at half mast
But the truth doesn't matter anymore

My spirit's bleeding - my soul is crying
No more dying after today
Maybe I'll believe again some day
Face the ghost of beauty past - the ghost of music past
With my smile at half mast.

August 27, 2000

Dear Gov't Mule Fan -
We were very saddened to learn yesterday morning that Allen Woody unexpectedly passed away sometime Friday evening or early Saturday morning. It is our understanding that Allen had an early morning flight scheduled from New York to his home in Tennessee. At the present time, that is all the information that we have. In lieu of flowers, we request that you send donations payable to the Savannah Woody Educational Fund, c/o Hard Head Management, PO Box 651 Village Station, New York, NY 10014. Please also know that we appreciate all of the heart felt emails that have already been received and we will forward a copy of each one to Allen's family to show them how much Allen was loved by all of you.

The Gov't Mule Family

I loved Allen Woody.

I remember walking through Jerusalem with him as we absorbed the aromas of the streets, down the Via de la Rosa we went. Allen took in the sights and sounds of people from all over the world. As APB, we played concerts in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Zurich. We had a great time and his musicianship simply amazed everyone.

I will never forget Allen, and the times we had together. On the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour, APB opened the show at Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville, TN. Allen performed a bass solo that was on fire. It was a full moon on a summer night...

Allen and I recently talked on the phone for two hours and he told me all about Savannah and how she changed his life. He loves her so much. Allen would laugh if he heard me say, "What an unlikely angel". I love you my Brother!

Artimus Pyle

(APB, Lynyrd Skynyrd)

I last saw Woody Jan. 1 2000 when he and Warren came backstage when I was playing in Atlanta with Gregg Allman. He was, as usual, very kind and a pleasure to be around. Later, when he and Warren got up to jam, I was again reminded of why he is so highly regarded as one of the "special" musicians in the business. The intensity of his playing and his obvious joy of performing will forever be etched in my memory. The news of his passing was a great shock. My heart goes out to his family and friends and to all of those whose lives he touched.

Danny Chauncey
(.38 Special, Gregg Allman & Friends)

I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Allen on Jan. 1st of this year in Atlanta. He came up with the rest of Gov. Mule and we performed the classic "One Way Out" together. My conversation with him was an extremely pleasant experience. All my love and prayers to his family.

Mark McGee
(Gregg Allman & Friends)

Allen Woody always smiled and looked me In the eye when we met. That's what I'll always remember him by. The last time we met was backstage at The Volunteer Jam, I was waiting to go on and a hand reached from behind and grabbed my shoulder and a voice said "hey man." I turned and there was Allen smiling. At the same time Charlie called me to the stage. We both agreed to talk later. Somehow we didn't. I'll always miss that talk. Allen was a good man, a true Journeyman and a damn good musician. A major lost to Southern Music.

George McCorkle
(Founding member, Marshall tucker Band)

We join all of Allen's friends in expressing our deepest sympathy to Jenny, Savannah, and all of Allen's family.
The song has ended, but the melody lingers on.

Pat and Jim Abts and family
(Matt's Parents)

My fondest memory of Allen is when we did the New Year's Eve gig with the Mule..."With A Little Help From Our Friends". Allen was "Johnny on the Spot". He was very involved and focused. He played beautifly, on both bass and mandolin...and was more than kind and attentive to me. I had hoped so much to work with him more in the future, but I guess that has to be put off for a while now. God Bless him.

-Chuck Leavell

I have neither stopped to count the number of Gov't Mule shows I've seen or the number of hours of Mule performances I've archived on tape , but I tell you they are formidable . I am known in some circles as a Deacon in the Church of Warren Haynes , because I so freely spread the music . I am also proud to say I counted Woody as a friend , one whom I severely miss !

Woody was a unique human being . In your face one moment and kind and gentle the next . I have always been attracted by the drums and bass as they are the heart and soul of any musical piece . Allen Woody was as unique a Bassist as he was a person. Allen was also quite a character delivering one liners from the stage that we called Woodyisms . Rather than quote a ton of these I will give you my two favorite Woody encounters.

9/22/99 Georgia Theatre, Athens Ga.
The show has run late and the local constables are clearing the venue . Woody has left the stage to roam the crowd . I'm dismantling taping gear and see an officer headed my way . He's intercepted by Woody who tells him I'm with the band ( I wasn't ) and I'll be done ASAP . Woody leans over the railing to say Hi and draws a crowd . " I'm going over here so they won't stomp your gear , come by before you leave !" I take my time and drop by for a quick chat , then off into the night .

3/21/00 Elbow Room , Columbia , SC
This would be my last time to see Allen . As I walk by the bus on arrival I see Woody following me inside the bus . As I near the door he jumps out trying for shock value . "You saw me didn't you ?" We chat , I introduce my friend and as he heads for supper Woody says with glee "I went home during the break ( they'd been off for 2 days)" He opens the back door to the Bar and tells me to go set up my gear , that Brodie (soundman) is inside . After the show I wait at the bus for a while , but it's late and no one ventures out , so off into the night as I must work the next day . Had I known I would have stayed all night !

Last night a friend said Pigpen is probably escorting Woody round heaven introducing him to the guys . I'm at peace with that ! Must be a helluva band somewhere up there .

-Jim Brown

I played at the Jaksonville Hospice Benefit in '88, alongside Tim Lindsey, Randall Hall, Artimus Pyle and his band. At the time Woody was playing bass in APB. We had a great time that night for a worthy cause, and he just amazed me with his playing style. I just felt something big was headed his way, and I was proven right-- not long after that he joined the Allman Brothers. Allen was a super fun guy to be around and as Charles Hart has said, an honest guy who never beat around the bush. Charles was telling me yesterday how if you asked Allen Woody a question, you better get ready for a no-bones answer, whether you wanted it or not ! No soft, safe cushioned responses from Allen ! Only straight talk ! God love him for it. We'll all miss him badly.

Jay Johnson
(Southern Rock Allstars/Blackfoot)

I just got on-line finally here in sweden, and this comes up after reading 5 digests, i am completely devastated..having just played with Warren in New Mexico when we we're doing the Phil and Friends shows, and talking to Warren about how pleased i was after hearing their version of "Spanish Moon," this is bad news indeed...our prayers are with the family, both personal and musical, and we will certainly rally the troops to donate what they can to Savannah's educational fund...and if someone can forward this message to the Gov't Mule family site for me I would be beholdin'

with a tear in my eye
Paul Barrere
(Little Feat)

I am shocked and deeply saddened by this news about Allen. You and I just spoke about him!

Allen was one of the best players I ever played with. I'll never forget him, and I'll miss him terribly, as will so many others, I'm sure. We have lost a monster talent and a good buddy. He is in my prayers, and so is his family and The Mule.

Mike Estes

(Brave New South, Drivin Sideways, Lynyrd Skynyrd)

may we dance as lively sending him on,
as god did receiving him home....
much love, kathleen Dempsey Loudon, NH

Another Freebird Is Going Home.
R.I.P. Allen Woody
Kenneth "DixieKen" Myhrberg

I was shocked and saddened to hear the news the Allen had passed away. It was very strange for me, as I had done a phone interview with Warren Haynes in his studio on Friday night, August 25 for my on line magazine Classic Rock Revisited. Warren and I spent much time talking about the bands future. The loss all involved must be feeling is terrible. I will have a difficult time transcribing this interview and I am not sure when I will post it.

We have all lost a great musical hero but most of all Allen's family has lost a loved one. Our prayers go out to them.

Jeb & Patty Wright

Classic Rock Revisited

This is very sad news. I did not know Mr. Woody personally but I truly enjoyed his bass playing style. I had the great privilege of seeing Government Mule play at Friar Tucks here in Norfolk, VA a year or so ago. I was totally impressed with his playing ability. I know he will be greatly missed by me and the "fans" of Gov't Mule.

My sincere condolences to the Allen Woody family,

Phil Sanders
Moderator of SOUTHERNROCK@egroups.com/
Bass player for DAINJUH

All the Brothers & Sisters here
don't wanna let you go.
Our only consolation is
Brothers Duane & Berry
are waitin' for you to show.

Jam on,
Woody Woodward

A man who brought incredible musically ability and inspiration to many, including myself. Al was a nice to talk with everyone after the shows, autographs and kind words as well. Thanks for the memories, a beautiful musician and human being. Stay strong Matt, Warren, Al's daughter and family, and all fans everywhere. These memories will last me a lifetime.

Paul Willette

I met and jammed with Allen one night in Nashville. He was a topnotch musician. At the time, he was excited about being picked to join the Allman Brothers band to play bass on their new material. And I was excited to jam with such a great musician. He caught my ear from the street in front of The Grapevine in Nashville. That, and a good friend's word is what drew me in to hear, meet and jam with Allen.

I have since seen and heard Allen at many Allman Brothers & Gov't Mule concerts. I will truly miss Brother Allen and look forward to jamming again with him in another place and time. Mine and Micol's thoughts and prayers go out to his family, The Allman Brother's Band and Warren Haynes & Matt Abts of Gov't Mule. Please keep them in your prayers too.

... will the circle be unbroken
by and by Lord
by and by
there's a better home a waiting
in the sky Lord
in the sky...


My heart hurts so much, I'll miss him so.

Wallace J. Amirault

Woody was a great man and a phenomenal bassist and he will be greatly missed. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago at the Southern Comfort Rock & Blues Festival in New Orleans and he was the nicest, most down to earth soul i have met within the "out of reach realm". I often think of the time i was sitting next to him that day reading over the upcoming setlist and chatting a bit about how i loved "Temporary Saint". The Mule has touched me in ways that can't be described.

Peace Woody

Brandi Sheffield

Oklahoma City, OK

I think Allen was probably less gregarious than some of the musicians and a lot of us did not know much about him outside of his music. Yet, to those of us who love the music he was "family" and we feel the loss whether we had met the man or not. It used to really bug me to read comments in a death like this saying something to the effect of "what will the band do now?" While I still think that is not the proper attitude, I had to stop and think that the only way many people know the musicians is through the music, so to them the loss of a musician is a loss of the music. Lets just keep in mind (those of us who did not know the man personally) that while we have lost someone who created beautiful music, his real family lost a husband, father, son, etc. They are not thinking in terms of the music that will not be made, but rather of the smiles that will no longer be there....the loving and reassuring touches that will no longer be there... the kind words that will go unsaid.

Robert Buck

I only met you a couple of times but could easily see you were a special person. God bless you and keep you.

Your friend, Brenda

To Everyone Touched by Allen Woody...
Allen Woody will Never Be Gone. Though his passing is sad, Allen's Talent is so Powerful his Bass is Blowing Down Doors, Walls, and Buildings in Search of the Ultimate Jam. Thursday August 31, 2000 is only the Beginning to an eternity of Love, Happiness, and Music for a Man that has inspired so many. In Time, I too and Everybody else will be reunited with Allen Woody at the Jam where the Music Never Stops. For now, I want to Thank You Allen, " For a Real Good Time. "

Grant Haber
Pearl River, NY

I took this picture from the "Layin it down like a real man" web page and added text. I'm hoping to get this all around the emule, but  I can't send attachments through it so please forward it to anyone you choose.

I'm feeling as if I had lost someone of my family, a close relative. But there's something that conforts me and helps going though all this pain and grief: we will all meet again.
Woody, hope the guys are waiting for your arrival to start the FOREVER JAM: Duanne Allman, Steve Ray Vaughan, Brian Jones and Jerry Garcia and fortunately they have someone to fill in on the bass.
The Sky is Crying. We will miss you !

God Bless You !
From a MULE friend in Brazilian Exile,
Leonardo Del Menezzi

Danke fÄr alle Lektionen
die Du mir beigebracht hast, Woody!
Ich hoffe wir sehen uns mal!

(Translation is:
Thanks for all the lessons You taught me, Woody
Hope I`ll meet You someday.)


I am sorry about Woody also, we met years ago in nashville when he was with the allman brothers band, he played a short time with my brother david.

Mojo Collins

I am not one of those fortunate enough to have know Allen well, but I was blessed enough to meet him on several occasions after Mule shows. Woody, if you have anyway of reading what I write, I want you to know that it takes a very special person to touch so many you didn't know. In the hours after your death, hundreds of emails were sent out to Gov't Mule mailing list expressing their grief for the loss of you. We all miss you Woody, but your passing could never really be a loss because you left us with so very much.

Joseph S. Johnson

Another brother has left us all too soon! I had the great fortune to see Allen play with the ABB and Gov't Mule, and every time it was an occasion. Godspeed, Allen, you won't be forgotten!

--Bruce Morris

We will truley miss this very special and gifted musician and kind brother.

Eternally grateful
David Tanner

"Wood", you touched me in a way that no other has ever done. From the first time I met you in 1989, there was a spirit that filled my soul whenever we were together. From the "bear hugs" to the knowing looks we exchanged when something crazy happened. I will always remember the look of satisfaction when you walked off stage after a proper "ass whippin" of the masses, whether it was from the stage of The Fillmore or a small dive in "Somewhere, USA". It just didn't matter where you were, you gave your all to us. I will always be thankful that I was allowed to be in the graces of your presence. I have fond and loving memories of the time you were here with us and this will carry me on through the rest of my life. If I could just say "I love you, man" one more time or hear you call me the "chip dude" again. I guess that will have to wait until we meet again. When I hear the thunder roar from the heavens, I will always think of you, my fallen brother. Ride safe on your new journey. Thanks so much for your friendship and love. The Gibson Melody Maker you found for me will always be "six strings down"..............

"Crying softly for your soul"

"Live records, if there's a fart or two on there, we leave it."
D.A.Woody {rest in peace, my true giant of a friend} :(

Rock Loud,
Randy Shelton

I was working as an engineer at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios when I first met the Mule. We were working on the Little Milton CD "Welcome to Little Milton". I was excited to meet the band and get to see Woody play,right there in the room. I did and it was loud and right between the eyes, much like Allen himself, he always shot from the hip and gave me a straight answer to any question I asked. I asked alot of questions, who wouldn't.

The next thing I know the Mule are back in the studio to work on their new CD, and its at MSS. Real cool, more good music and more time to meet the guys. It was here that Allen introduced me to a nice collection of instruments. He was so great about pick it up and play it. I got to play alot of old basses and got to talk about alot of things. The whole band were a dream to work with but being a bassist, Allen was the one I watched and talked to the most. After that session was over I was helping the guys in the crew load some trucks, Allen gave me his number and said call him if I was in Nashville and we would go eat and hang out. I was floored. He was so good to me as a player and a person, I never got to take him up on that offer. I joined the Southern Rock AllStars and we never got to cross paths this year. I was sure that a Festival would put us on the same show but no luck.

The last thing that I did with Woody was help mix the Handy Blues Award show for radio. Woody wasn't in the studio but the Mule was on the show.

Allen Woody was one of the greatest musicians to come out of the south in a long time. He was a multi-instrumentalist and the most awesome bassist in rock for the last 10 years!!!!! Bold statement and true to the bone. I know, I voted for him as the best bassist in the Gritz poll!

Thanks Woody for the brief moment that I got to know you. It inspired me to get back out on the road and play again. I will miss ya,Bro.

- Charles(Chaz) Hart Jr

(Bassist for the Southern Rock AllStars)

Brother, can you see the stars in the night
there's a road up yonder..far beyond the light..
It's heavy...Lay your burden down.
from: "LIfe Before Insanity" Gov't Mule

Rarely is there an outpouring of love and sorrow as witnessed today at the funeral services of Allen Woody...bass player for Gov't Mule and..formerly of the Allman Brothers band. 500 mourners gathered to pay their last respects to one of the most influential bass players to spring from the South. Among the morners: Artimus Pyle, Derek Trucks, Dickey Betts, Johnny Neel, members of the Screemin' Cheetah Wheelies.

The service was in this writers opinion..one of the most soul moving experiences I have ever lived through. I will endevor to illuminate your imaginations with the details of Allen's service.

Allen was dressed in a fine multi-colored patchwork quit vest...a black t-shirt with dragons swirling around a heart...red jeans..and several neclaces that were placed there by family. He was laid to rest in one of the the most ornate oak wood caskets made. Surrounding the casket...were photo collages of him and his wife and their beautiful daughter Savannah..along with many photos of Allen in action , playing with the Mule and the Allman Brothers.

As time for the service drew near...most of the mourners gathered in the standing room only chapel (the throng cascaded out the funeral home front door). Among the many floral wreaths..were approximately 15 to 20 guitars and basses owned by Allen in his lifetime. It was a suitable atomosphere for the calibre of musician that Allen was.

As the service began...the pastor read verses from the Bible and proceded to play a recorded version of "Mountain Wins Again" by Blues Traveler. At the the conclusion of that song..the pastor once again read passages form Psalms and from Mathew. At the conclusion of the biblical readings...another recording began playing..."Soulshine" ..a tune written by Warren Haynes and played by both Warren and Allen during the Allman Brother days...Once again..not a dry eye in the house.

At the conclusion of Soulshine....a lifelong frynd of Allen's took the lectern and shared his earliest memories of Allen that took us all the way back to grade school. He mentioned an episode in band practice where he said Allen always kept a metronome in his instrument case. Allen would turn it on ...close the case...and in the middle of a song open the case..the result was a comidical ruining of the songs timing due to an "alternate tempo". Proceding further into the service...which I feel was the most heart-wrenching part of the entire service. Warren Haynes...Matt Abtts..and Kevin Kinney (of Drivin' & Cryin) performed a live version of "I Shall Be Released". The sheer emotion during this rendition can never be measured. Hearts were broken...eyes were sobbing...and realization of the finality of Allen's passing was more than upon us.

When services were concluded..the pastor instructed all the family and gatherers that it was time to inter Allen in his final resting place. A 100 yard walk led the following to the pink granite masolem. A white limo transported Allen to his resting place. the pall bearers..Warren Haynes...Matt Abtts...and family and friends who were asked to this honor...removed the casket from the limo and rolled it to the tent where last words were spoken in great reverence.

Shortly thereafter..Allens' casket was placed in the mausoleum and sealed in the presence of all on-lookers and well wishers. A reef of white and red roses lay on the ground, where all who wanted a floral reminder to take with were allowed to do so.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank one of Allen Woody's relatives..who only went by the name "Pumpkin". The day before the funeral..I went to view Allen...and was having a difficult time gathering my nerve to go inside and view the remains. I wanted to give the family their space and not crowd them or liken myself unto a hanger-on. Pumpkin was not only sweet and generous...she treated me as if I were famliy and for that ..you will always have a very special place in my heart..so if you are reading this Pumpkin...Thank you for warmth and kind heartedness in the face of such tragedy. I know Allen is looking down on you and smiling with all the Soulshine he can muster.

Take a ride this morning..on a slow train through the sky
My life is just a fast rain...gone in a blink of an eye
Heavy....Lay your burden down

I will miss you ..Allen Woody. Every time we have met and spoken...you never showed a rock star attitude..you were a real person..as real as they get..and a heart that has now traversed into that "Painted Silver Light". Thank you for the body of work that you leave with us. It will be an enduring testement to who you are..who you were...and how we will all remember your bright shining life.


I was fortunate to be able to travel with the Allman Brothers for a week on tour in 1996. Woody spent a lot of time with our group on the tour bus and between shows. He made everyone feel a part of the extended family.

"Going down that road feelin' ......"

-Thomas Pritchett

Thank you Allen, for all the great memories. You always took the time to shake hands or talk after a show. You and Warren took the Allman Brothers Band to to a new level. The shows at the Beacon Theatre were always special when you guys were there.

I remember the first time I saw Gov't Mule at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park NJ, and I've been hooked ever since......GOD BLESS YOU ALLEN.

in tears,
Jim Slavick

i was blessed to know woody fairly well as both a person and a musician. i will miss him greatly in both capacities. he was a powerful presence and a top notch bass player. i dearly hope that his soul has found peace and that he is at rest. godspeed and we miss you, big guy.

Alan Paul
Senior Editor
Guitar World Magazine

You once wrote to me "Joe - God Bless You & thanx for the friendship"; now, I return these sentiments to you.
You will be deeply & sorely missed, my friend.
Until we meet again,

-Joe Pendolino (a.k.a. "Jim/Candy's brother"!), Buffalo, NY

P.S. Whenever I hear thunder, I'll smile, because I'll know it's you, "playing it loud!"

The first time I saw Allen Woody play I was just floored, and every time after that it was the same. Thank you for being kind enough to your fans to always have a couple of minutes to talk with us after the shows, this is surely a blue day for the blues. God rest your soul Allen Woody, you brought a lot of happyness to a lot of people.

-Dizzy Jim DeMaio

Just Wanted To Leave These Words - Sometime's It Takes A Bit To Come To Terms...

It Took A Bit To Be Able To Focus On The Loss

Nor Am I Good At This Kind Of Thing, But God In Heaven Knows What Kind Of Void Has Been Left Here On Earth.

Woody Would Give You The Last Dollar In His Pocket If It Would Get You Home On The All Night Trane.

Where Else Could You Find Someone Of His Caliber Strolling Down The Street In Amagansette, NY With A Watermelon Flavored Juice Drink In His Hand Concerned About Where You Could Park Your Vehicle And Offer To Let You Park Behind The Club Next To The Tour Bus.

Or Let You Wander Across The Main Drag In Wantagh,NY To Go To McDonalds Simply Because He Wanted To Get Some Beanie Babies For His Daughter.

It Seemed No Matter Who You Were, Or Where You Were From, Woody Had A Kind Word, An Autograph Or A Smile To Help You Along.

I Can't Speak For The Majority, But We All Take For Granted People And Places Around Us, Until We Realize Exactly How Much They Interacted With Our Lives And Affected Us Not Only In Body, But Soul As Well.

There Are So Many Paths On Which You May Travel In Life, Sometimes It Takes Something Like This To Set You On The Right Path...Of Which You May Choose.

Woody...Thank You For Your Friendship, Your Love, Your Humor, Your Music, But Most Of All, For Being A Very Human And Distinct Soul Among Us All.

KWC 07-09-00
L.I., NY

To The Extended Family of Gov't Mule

God bless you all during your time of loss. We will always remember Woody for his talent, kindness and for just being a great guy. His music will live on forever, not only through studio albums, but throught the thousands of tapes he and The Mule so graciously allowed us to create. And his memory will never die.

God bless you Woody. You will always be remembered and loved. Peace.
Michael Buffalo Smith/GRITZ/SWAMPLAND.COM

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