Whipping Post

Album: The Allman Brothers Band (1969)
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  • This searing song is about a man who has been betrayed by his woman to the point where he feels like he's helpless - just tied to the whipping post, awaiting more punishment. Gregg Allman wrote it 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." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dustin - Baltimore, MD

Comments: 27

  • Steve from Mesa, AzPicked up an Allman Brothers CD at a truck stop in Iowa. This song struck and grabbed me throughout the rest of the Iowa stretch towards Missouri. Bass, lyrics and guitar is powerful.
  • Constance Brigham from Torrance, CaThe song references USA Southern black slave punishment when slaves were tied to posts and whipped unmercifully. Allmans probably heard it in a black spiritual/blues song or As an expression used by blacks or southern whites. Old Slave shacks were still occupied in south At that time, and such cruelty still practiced, sometimes under color of law. He may have come across it.
  • Tabodawg from Lexington MoMy friends great grandfathers, in Little Dixie really knew what this felt like its a great song. white people tried to feel the blues . I come from relative easy privilege, not rich but old white family along Tabo creek these towns around there, near ferguson mo in the last 40 -75 years , well they will study it forever.
  • Bet from Lafayette, Cospiritual 4 me.... always brings me home to my own whipping post....
  • Ja from Lynn, MaGregg 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?
  • Gary from Seattle, WaBrain, 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
  • Diana from Fuquay, NcIt 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
  • Vince from Lantana, FlLove this song Awesome Bass,Lyrics,and Guitar.......Vinny
  • Tommy Lei from New York, Nythis song is great! - new photos of the Allman Brothers Band - http://www.msg.com/photos/the-allman-brothers-live-at-the-beacon/
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InYet 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.
  • Nick from Tampa, FlThere 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.
  • Rob from Detroit , MiWalter, 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.
  • Walter from Taylor, PaGreat song!! I will never forget when my girl and I danced naked, up close, humping to the bass beat.
  • Brian from Belfast, MeI am so living this song right now.
  • Justin from Albany, Nythis 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
  • Illfolks.blogspot from Ny, NyI think the song is a lot more powerful sung by a woman: Genya Ravan.
  • Sled from St. Louis, NeGregg Allman DID write "Whipping Post."
  • Brian from Cottage Grove, MnThe song written with the burnt out matches was "Midnight Rider" This was written after a love affair gone bad in California.
  • Gary from Seattle, WaGregg wrote the song using burnt matchsticks on an ironing board cover, as per his visit on my program 3/18/05.
  • David from New York City, NyIf I am not mistaken, this is actually based on an old blues song. Greg Allman didn't write it
  • Barry from New York, NyThis 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.
  • Paul from Newton, NmThis 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
  • Ross from Independence, MoThis is #383 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI love this song! I think it's one of my favorites by them!
  • Martijn from Helmond, NetherlandsFrank Zappa played this live on occasion, apparently to please his son Dweezil, by now a competent guitarist in his own right.
  • Will from Long Island, NyActually, the chorus, verses and solos are all in 12/8 time. The intro and interludes are in 11/8
  • Sal from Ny, Nythis is such a great song! i can't believe no one has commented about it, it's so emotional, and amazing to listen to!
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