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Whipping Post

by

The Allman Brothers Band



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Gregg Allman wrote this in Jacksonville in 1968, just after he returned from Los Angeles.
Gregg wrote this on an ironing board using burnt matches. He got the idea in the middle of the night and couldn't find a pen.
This became a staple of their live shows. They usually played it as an extended jam, often improvising so it did not sound the same twice.
This was the last song on the first Allman Brothers album.
Berry Oakley came up with the bass line, which the band worked around. Oakley died in a motorcycle accident in 1972.
A 22-minute live version appears on At Fillmore East. Since this took up almost an entire side, it became a double album. The band insisted on keeping the price close to that of a single album.
Fans would scream out for this even at concerts for other bands.
The chorus is written in 11/8 time, but the verses are written in 12/8. When asked by American Songwriter magazine how he came to compose such songs with progressions that are definitely nothing resembling blues or typical rock and roll, Allman replied that he's not entirely sure. "Man, I just stumbled onto 'em," he said. "I really didn't know exactly what I was doing, I just did it. My brother had to tell me that 'Whipping Post' was in 11/4 time; I had no idea." (thanks, Dustin - Baltimore, MD)
The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band Artistfacts
More The Allman Brothers Band songs
More songs about heartache
More songs with unusual time signatures

Comments (24):

spiritual 4 me.... always brings me home to my own whipping post....
- Bet, Lafayette, CO
Gregg Allman does his own version of Whippin' Post. Basicaly in a 145 format but I can't find the song anywhere - it's a great version for playing alone with an acoustic-anyone know how i can find that version?
- ja, lynn, MA
Brain, it was Whipping Post with the burnt out matches, if you want a copy of the interview contact me. Midnight Rider was written on a typewriter according the Gregg.

Be safe, Gary Crow KZOK Seattle's one and only Classic Rock Station
- Gary, Seattle, WA
It doesn't matter what you say I ejoyed this song when I was there in person...and I sometimes wish I was paying more attention...at that time lol
- diana, Fuquay, NC
Love this song Awesome Bass,Lyrics,and Guitar.......Vinny
- vince, Lantana, FL
this song is great! - new photos of the Allman Brothers Band - http://www.msg.com/photos/the-allman-brothers-live-at-the-beacon/
- Tommy Lei, New York, NY
Yet another great song, great lyrics, and an absolutely driving bass for the intro.
Even the guitars and keyboards sound tortured, as per the subject matter of the lyrics.
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
There is a notorious live tape of Zappa where a fan screams out "Whipping Post!". He is confused at first but then laments that the band wasn't able just pull that out and play it because that would have been impressive. He eventually released a cover version of it.
- Nick, tampa, FL
Walter, um...didn't need that visual, but hey, that's cool. Good for you. I like the song for a different reason. My girlfriend dumped me last year, and as wierd irony would have it, this song came on the radio in my car later that day. I spent the entire way home, screaming the lyrics along with Gregg Allman. My band and I performed at my school's talent show recently, and this is the song we played. My ex-girlfriend was in the crowd...nothing could have beens sweeter, haha.
- Rob, Detroit , MI
Great song!! I will never forget when my girl and I danced naked, up close, humping to the bass beat.
- walter, Taylor, PA
I am so living this song right now.
- Brian, Belfast, ME
this is such a song. I just saw them at the Beacon Theatre last night. This was so awesome and Barry your right Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks are a great combination and both fantastic guitarrists
- Justin, Albany, NY
I think the song is a lot more powerful sung by a woman: Genya Ravan.
- illfolks.blogspot, NY, NY
Gregg Allman DID write "Whipping Post."
- Sled, St. Louis, NE
The song written with the burnt out matches was "Midnight Rider" This was written after a love affair gone bad in California.
- Brian, Cottage Grove, MN
Gregg wrote the song using burnt matchsticks on an ironing board cover, as per his visit on my program 3/18/05.
Cheers,
Gary
- Gary, Seattle, WA
If I am not mistaken, this is actually based on an old blues song. Greg Allman didn't write it
- David, New York City, NY
This song is always a highlight at the Beacon Theatre shows. Derek Trucks is definitely the best young guitarist of the 00s. He and Warren Haynes are a perfect pair as the ABB guitarists. I don't miss Dickey.
- Barry, New York, NY
This song, along with In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed, stands at a
crossroads in rock history. It was at or near the top of the pile of
mega-jam songs that also included Cream's Spoonful and Hendrix's
Machine Gun. But it also helped usher in an age of second and third
rate guitarists who thought they were jazz musicians, playing
self-indulgent, extended and apparently endless solos - both
professionally and at every local bar and club.

So, on the one hand, without this song, there might have been no Phish
and no Dave Matthews Band (and I'm sure people disagree about whether
or not that's good). Without it, rock audiences might never have been
turned on to Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report.

On the other hand, This song and others like it were the thesis to
which Van Halen's short-song, quick-but-lightening-like solos were the
antithesis and a welcome relief.

Now, a fact: Aside from Santana, who probably was viewed as in a class
by himself and therefore not as seminal in the development of rock
music generally, this song and In Memory of Elizabeth Reed were
incredibly important in introducing rock guitarists to eight-note
scales rather than the five-note (pentatonic) scales inherited from the
blues. IMHO, every rock guitarist should study this song and In Memory
of Elizabeth Reed before moving on to Joe Satriani, Steve Vai or Yngwie
Malmsteen.
- Paul, Newton, NM
This is #383 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
- Ross, Independence, MO
I love this song! I think it's one of my favorites by them!
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Frank Zappa played this live on occasion, apparently to please his son Dweezil, by now a competent guitarist in his own right.
- Martijn, Helmond, Netherlands
Actually, the chorus, verses and solos are all in 12/8 time. The intro and interludes are in 11/8
- Will, Long Island, NY
this is such a great song! i can't believe no one has commented about it, it's so emotional, and amazing to listen to!
- sal, ny, NY
You have to to post comments.
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The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.
They Might Be GiantsThey Might Be Giants
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.
Boz ScaggsBoz Scaggs
The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.
Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsJay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims
Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.