My cell phone started going off tonight with multiple calls from Macon, and as I stired from a nap, I turned on my computer to find an email from a friend telling me that Red Dog passed at home with family and loved ones around him in peace at 7 PM tonight. Joseph will be well missed by many, but he is no longer in pain suffering from cancer and is with Duane Allman again. Red Dog was a roadie for The Allman Brothers Band for over thirty years. He wrote “The Legendary Red Dog: a Book of Tails” about his years as a roadie. In the movie Almost famous Zack Ward played the character “Red Dog” dedicated to Campbell.
Before Campbell became a roadie, he was a decorated Vietnam veteran going to college. After hearing the striking slide-guitar piece that Duane Allman added to Aretha Franklin’s recording of “The Weight”, Red Dog was enticed to see Allman perform solo. After a show, he was so impressed he felt compelled to pay Allman his respects. He still speaks of Duane with great respects today. When Duane’s licks struck his ears he recalled it as if the Pied Piper was calling him. Before then music just never sounded that way and just took up space.
In the early days, Red Dog would contribute his disability checks from the government to the band, who considered its road crew a part of the Brotherhood. Red Dog was a much loved person in the town of Macon, Ga, with most recently everyone banning together to throw shows for him to help with medical bills. I myself was very blessed to be able to befriend him and spend time with him before his parting. He was a very sweet, energetic man, even in his hardest days. i remember sitting with him at Grant’s Lounge and fussing over him about staying so long. He was tired and you could tell, but was there to support the bands. The family and closest friends plan an informal get together to celebrate his life, one that was well lived, and to scatter his ashes around his dear friend Duane Allman’s grave. I myself am preparing to head to Macon now. Red Dog will be missed and remembered, but he is now back with Duane, laughing, carrying on and healthy. “The Road Goes on Forever”.