Transcript for Rock Legend Chuck Leavell Turns Humanitarian
His piano keyboard and locals have been pleasing fans for over three decades. Running with bands like the Allman Brothers Eric Clapton The Rolling Stones. And these days when he's -- on the road or recording. Chuck Lavelle is exercising his work as a humanitarian and we pull them off from either one of those mentioned just wanted to sit down and chat with us. Back this up by Dan great to do it -- it is at your leisure it is a pleasure certainly. All right take me back let's let's go through histories joining on Brothers when you were twenty years. Old when lesser idea I had moved to Macon Georgia where the record label was located kept -- records and I got to work my way up the -- a little bit. And was invited to play on Greg Coleman's first solo record which was -- laid back Brett and during the course of those sessions we have these jam sessions it would occur after hours. And all the Allman Brothers would come down and and we would participate in. You know things went pretty well also within a short period of time maybe a couple of weeks -- get a message through to attend a meeting at the record label and thought I did something wrong. And walked in and a shoe dropped in the Gaza has -- to be in the ban that was a big leap for me. -- is a lot of it's in it's that it's the dynamic that you have with the bad -- -- mean it that pastor that that's obviously resonates in the product itself. Well it does -- if you were coal. This was -- time for The Allman Brothers Band Duane Allman had had his tragic accident in 1971. The band went out as a five piece band with no replacement which was a very emotional time for them and for all of the fans. And then when I came in about a year later. It just took a different direction you know and and that was an interesting time to be with the group and two. Put a piano. As a feature we're blames guitar had been so well known prior -- that. I know that your very humble man but I'm gonna give -- this accolade he's -- he received a lifetime achievement award for their collaboration efforts to do with you on drugs which is it is amazing and again I know that you're not going to. To tout that I will do that though for you. You that's sort of working with the stones. Well yes during the course of the time with The Allman Brothers Band Bill Graham became good friends and some -- -- viewers will remember that he was -- -- known as the impresario of rocky at the Fillmore east the -- -- record promoter and managed a lot of artists as well and we became friends -- my time with the omens. And skip forward to 81 he became tour director for the stones to promote atlas stones concert with the kind of appointed him to be in charge of the whole tour. And they were interested in and trying out some new faces and I get a call from. Programs office on short notice saying you know the -- -- zones of interest to -- you come in for an audition. So within. I think it was of maybe 36 hours from the phone call I was on a plane. To do audition for them and I got to get -- I -- your phone call it that your heart's got to stop was so funny -- because -- -- that you came at an interest in time for me because I. Was not doing so well in my career -- had a little trio and we're playing clubs and I was very frustrated and had -- fallen to the situation. As being. A tree farmer and learning about forestry my wife -- inherited some land and so I was studying forestry at the time. And I went home that day to talk to my wife rose -- -- honey look. Hamas and I wanna quit music but you know the phone's not -- in like it used to and -- tire plant is little clubs maybe I should just got to leave it alone for Wallace focus on the on the environmental stuff and on the forestry. And -- listened very patiently and she turned and said what that's all interesting and -- but guess what. The Rolling Stones called you today. Are you kidding because that's that's how this happened that's -- -- -- -- C'mon -- don't formally you know this is the fifth Oprah does not you know. And she said no I'm serious -- -- number you're thinking that maybe you're gonna hang it up released put it on the back burner that not focus on it if you get called for a couple of gigs here and there that's fine and you're instead you're gonna go out work the land and all of a sudden. The stones are -- Well it was a good call it was a very nice called happen and you know I went up with an attitude well first of all the first band ever had called the -- that's when we're kids 1213 Euro. Playing in Tuscaloosa Alabama we -- the YMCA every Friday night we have -- television show on Saturday mornings. And what are we played British invasion -- -- stone so. You know what I got to -- to do this -- thought schalke played this stuff when you're thirteen fourteen years old you know the repertoire has -- promised to go up there and have fun. And that was my attitude and I think -- served will been been in the seat for 31 years anyway you you right -- fifties and counting yes absolutely yes we had a great time of course distorted last year and as you probably know we also participated in the 121212. Benefit that is just now coming out on dvd so. Exciting to see that come to fruition but then we carried on. Earlier this year from April through mid -- line with about 21 shows and it just went great it was so much fun as a breakneck schedule you've worked with Mary. Yes John well what a talent what an incredible songwriter singer and amazing guitar player -- when you say something like that I mean. I -- you've worked with the greats and when you say something like that to John Mayer. -- you know the kind of wait that your words Kerry. Well I'm not so sure but I just I'm enthralled with the -- he's a good friend now and Coleman to play on the born and raised record -- we did that and then as you know we have a malady with this throat something called a granular -- -- that he had to overcome. Eventually he did in. Call me back to work on Paradise Valley his most recent record in was going to tour with John. But we had to cancel the tour because of this malady. And that's when the stones called about fifty and counting so I'm afraid -- couldn't -- into places it on time and John and has carried on and had a great tour by the way. So hopefully -- can hook up with -- later on maybe next year. -- it's I think it would it would I'm sure it's certainly -- to his benefit. You've got a lot of -- of your life your wife obviously and music but also the mother nature network. Well yes thanks for mentioning. Going back to -- economic tree farmer now been doing this for as long as I've been playing with the stones. And studying forestry and I consider -- -- a student of forestry and of the environment. It's been a wonderful journey from me but in 2008. My friend Joel -- call me and said. By the way jewel -- public relations ever television advertising firm representing. Big name corporations and he said look. Always corporations are making significant changes in their behavior towards the environment they want to get this message out on the Internet I have no problem telling them where to go other media. But I can't -- a -- on the Internet I'm satisfied. Just -- their budgets. What can you tell me -- and possibly you know what you're right there's no iconic site for the environment all things of the environment unbiased nonpolitical. And he turned -- -- -- would you like to build and he said I'll resign my position. And leave this company if you go in with me in believe -- and get the backing within 48 hours he had commitments of up to ten million dollars for us to build this. We lost in January -- -- no line on a wing and a prayer. And now we're getting over ten million unique visits a month while and has just been a great success story but I really. -- I think the important thing to point out about it is the fact that getting that many visits a month shows. How much people care about this subject matter you know everyone really does care about the environment -- wants us. Want to see us do better than we are looking for solutions. And Yemen and dot com -- so hopefully providing solutions. In your actively involved but a lot of times. You can. Some high profile will get involved with an organization -- -- certain organization themselves in -- somewhat distanced themselves from it -- you are. Very hands I'm directly involved in and this just real. Treat for me to have something on -- ninety degrees. From music I want to do business line because it comes full circle from that time and you are going to go fighting continue working the land and you instead he started working with the steps. And what's next. Well. You know if you don't have a full -- schedule well I have. Paid CB this fair. They -- it's called back to the woods and it's a celebration of the pioneers of blues piano. That was a fun project and I'm doing some shows behind that. I have a book out called growing a better America which is about Smart growth and how we can deal with the incredible growth that we. Already have in this country and are going to continue to experience them on the planet we have 313 million people on our shores now. Going to be 400 before you know -- we saw the birth of the seven billionth. Person on the planet 2011 will be reaching Aden. -- shortly. So how can we deal with this growth and still protect our natural lands and do the right thing by the Landon and build smarter and better -- with the -- yes. It well it is a it is a great fame and obviously there's a great voice support and I bounced back to so much appreciated thank you day. Wonderful of the West Bank --
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