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“In Their Own Words” by Dana Dowd

South Florida Concert Memories


We reached out to dozens of South Florida music personalities and industry veterans for their favorite South Florida concert memory. Stay tuned each month for many exciting stories! Want to share yours? E-Mail us at info@SFLMusic.com

There are so many rich & colorful South Florida concert memories to choose from.

But the first one that comes to mind holds a very dear place in my heart and naturally involves my father (Tom Dowd).

By Dana Dowd

The Date: September 13th, 2002
The Venue: Coral Sky Amphitheater
The Artist/Band: The Allman Brothers Band

My father’s health was on the decline after he became oxygen dependent due to a surgery in August of 2000. Outings were often exhausting because of his 24/7 oxygen dependency and in previous months he had really taken a turn for the worse.

When the show was announced, I spoke with the bands management and explained that I was not sure we could swing making the trip from Miami to Palm Beach County. In both mine and Bert Holman (bands manager) hearts I think we knew that if we could pull it off – this would be the last time my father saw the Band perform.

Bert and Kirk West (tour mystic and photographer) assured me that they would do whatever it took to make it happen. The day of the show my father called me and told me he didn’t feel like going – I insisted that he would be “comfortable” and that everything had been arranged (portable oxygen tanks and all).

Upon arrival to Coral Sky Amphitheater, I pulled my fathers SUV into the backstage area and the tour bus that would normally be flush to the stairs up to the backstage area was thoughtfully moved over a spot so that I could park his SUV there and get him out of the vehicle. A wheelchair awaited us at the top of the 8 stairs and my father promptly sat in it a tad short of breath.

We then ate dinner with the band and got my father situated behind Gregory’s B3 Organ in his wheelchair. He remained there until the band was in full swing and then out of nowhere decided to take it upon himself to move behind Butch, Jaimoe and Mark (drums & percussions) where he stayed tapping his foot and on occasion tilting his head placing his finger on his head (counting beats) – a signature Tom Dowd move while enthralled in the music.

As band solos began, he motioned to me to assist in wheeling him back behind Gregory’s B3 and proclaimed “Hittin’ the Note, the boys are on Fire” with a huge grin on his face. One by one as each member of the Band took a solo the others would come and stand next to my father: talking or just simply standing there watching his reactions as other band members gave it their all.

Susan (Tedeschi) who my father had just finished working with on “Wait for Me” one of his last projects was traveling with Derek and had just had Charlie (their oldest son). She stayed with us for a long while as Charlie sat in my father’s arms for a few songs – a full circle of life moment reflecting back on it.

The band was truly on top of their game that night, not a missed note and per usual grade A musicianship all around. A part of me thinks it is because they too knew in their heart of hearts it would be the last time my father ever saw them perform or saw them at all for that matter.

We spent a good amount of time backstage after the show, going from dressing room to dressing room saying goodbye to each band member and “the road goes on forever”: my father passed away October 27th, 2002 – 6 weeks and 2 days later.

Dana Dowd is the youngest child and only daughter of the late Tom Dowd and is a graduate of Florida International Universities School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

In college Dana began honing her craft in hospitality running various nightclubs and restaurants marketing, events & VIP relations departments. When not working or immersed in her studies, she could often be found spending time with her father in and out of the recording studio.

Professionally Dana chose a career in the Wine & Spirits industry, working with companies such as Constellation Wine – ultimately becoming the National Sales and Marketing Manager for a small winery. Today she consults for various Wine & Spirits companies, fashion brands and music entities.

When Mr. Dowd passed away in 2002 – Dana became the executor of his Estate. As the first and foremost expert of all things Tom Dowd, this provided her the unique ability to work alongside documentary film makers on historical accuracy, right & clearances and ultimately the marketing and launch of “Tom Dowd & The Language of Music”.

She has spent the better part of the past seven years archiving photos/recording studio session and editing Mr. Dowd’s memories – preserving her father’s legacy. She hopes to publish the cumulation of these efforts in the near future.

When not working she can be found guest lecturing on the history of music, traveling, staying active or attending concerts & supporting the arts.

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