March 7, 2020

"In the early 1980s, his wife inherited roughly 1,000 acres near Macon, Georgia. He farmed yellow pine and built a fancy hunting camp..."

"... called Charlane Plantation (the name a fusion of his own and his wife’s, Rose Lane, a former assistant to the vice president of Capricorn Records in the ’70s), now about 2,900 acres. Leavell hosts wealthy clients, usually hard-core Stones fans, who hunt quail by day and drink liquor by night while listening to Leavell play piano. 'It’s like bringing the audience to you, instead of having to go on tour,' he says."

From "Mick and Keith—And Chuck: The Rolling Stones’ Essential, Unsung Rock-and-Roll Hero/Chuck Leavell, the Stones’ piano player and road musical director, keeps the musical peace between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and the sacred book of Stones tunes. 'How does it end?' he says. 'Nobody knows'" (Vanity Fair).

Here's the website for Charlane Plantation. In the sidebar there's a list of articles about the place: "'Without Wood There Would Be Hardly Any Music’: Chuck Leavell Talks Forest Preservation," "The Rolling Stones keyboardist shares his passion for music and sustainable forestry," "Chuck Leavell helping to conserve Macon’s natural habitats," "Macon Telegraph: More river land in Middle Georgia is forever preserved, and a rock star is part of it," "Charlane Plantation – Backyard conservation for kids."

36 comments:

mezzrow said...

I'm old enough to remember Chuck with the Allmans and I've seen Sea Level. C. Leavell is a helluva musician. Thanks for this, Althouse.

rhhardin said...

All forestry is sustainable forestry. They cut down and plant, both. Otherwise the stock would fall as there would be no future earnings.

Fernandistein said...

I've been a Stones fan since the 60s, but, to be honest, they reached their peak in 1973 and it's been downhill ever since.

Freder Frederson said...

All forestry is sustainable forestry. They cut down and plant, both.

What utter bullshit. Cutting old growth forest is not sustainable. We have destroyed most of our old growth forest. And the prevailing practice throughout most of history was cut it and move on to the next stand.

Bill Peschel said...

There is no such thing as old growth forests, certainly not in Pennsylvania. Logged flat during the turn of the last century.

Same thing with the Brazilian forests, which were logged and terrascaped by the native tribes.

rhhardin said...

The rule in forestry is cut down the big trees and let the little ones grow. Then you get more big trees. It's called sustainable if you always have big trees. Economics.

rhhardin said...

One of the Peterson forest books has a nice explanation of what happens growthwise in an abandoned field. It's not as random as it looks to the uneducated eye. You wind up with a forest at the end.

Chuck said...

Respectfully, since Chuck Leavell had a solid career at Capricorn...

Chuck Leavell is to “pianist for the Stones” as “Ron Wood is guitarist for the Stones.” A hired hand (albeit an extraordinarily well-credentialed one) who has no connection to the origination of the Stones’ essential oeuvre.

The real Stones’ piano player was the late great Ian Stewart. Who by all accounts would have been a formalized member of the band except that he looked and dressed like a Scottish used car salesman, and nothing like the exotic dandies in the band.

When the Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, my recollection is that the lads insisted on including Stewie’s name.

alanc709 said...

"Freder Frederson said...
All forestry is sustainable forestry. They cut down and plant, both.

What utter bullshit. Cutting old growth forest is not sustainable. We have destroyed most of our old growth forest. And the prevailing practice throughout most of history was cut it and move on to the next stand."

What utter bullshit. "Old growth" forests are an oxymoron. It's a buzzword to support the ecofascist agenda. Trees die, get burned, get knocked over in extreme weather, get uprooted in earthquakes......pretending they are eternal is a sure way to ensure their extinction. Farm and replace is way more sustainable.

Oso Negro said...

@Fernandistein - I think the creative end was Exile on Main Street. But as Townes van Zandt once said, the four album run that ended there was about as good as anyone had. These days its just a marvel that they are still alive and able to work it.

rehajm said...

Similar hunting camps are all over Georgia and the Carolinas. I live where one once was. Sometimes, too much money makes for a weird experience. Excessive grooming of the fields with groomed paths through the brush like the fairways at Augusta. You could hunt in your bare feet, never touching a burr or briar...

donald said...

One hundred percent, especially on Ian.

AllenS said...

Old trees have a tendency to go down during tornadoes and straight line winds. Not so mention lighting strikes.

traditionalguy said...

Macon is on the edge of the older European settled part of the Colony of Georgia. It is on the edge of the Piedmont Plateau and 200 feet lower in elevation from the appalachian foothill area that the Creek Indians would not sell to Georgia until 1821 and 1825 at the first and second Treaties of Indian Springs. So Macon has an older cultural heritage from the area 50 miles north that became a Commercial Inland Seaport of connecting Railroads, now called Atlanta. From 1807 to 1867 the State Capitol was nar Macon in Milledgeville. But that is gone with the wind.

AllenS said...

Also, I have/had a beautiful woods full of huge red oak trees. Then, this oak wilt showed up, and those big old beautiful trees are dying off. Lots of firewood, but it's heart breaking to see them gone. This idea that trees live forever, if only we could get rid of those damn people is the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever heard of.

Calypso Facto said...

'Without Wood There Would Be Hardly Any Music’

And without music, a lot less "wood" would get planted, if you catch my drift

Wince said...

'Without Wood There Would Be Hardly Any Music’: Chuck Leavell Talks Forest Preservation.

At first I thought he was talking about either Ronnie or Viagra.

peacelovewoodstock said...

Without Wood there wouldn't have been "Shattered".

Anyway what is Nicky Hopkins, chopped liver? Best Stones pianist ever.

Freder Frederson said...

What utter bullshit. "Old growth" forests are an oxymoron. It's a buzzword to support the ecofascist agenda. Trees die, get burned, get knocked over in extreme weather, get uprooted in earthquakes......pretending they are eternal is a sure way to ensure their extinction. Farm and replace is way more sustainable.

You obviously know nothing about forests. "Old Growth" is not an oxymoron. Most of the forests we have now (especially in the east) look nothing like the forests before the mass cuttings of the 18th and early 20th century. "Old" is not the same as "eternal". Farm and replace might work fine for some types of trees (especially pine) but doesn't work so well with hardwood forests which grow much more slowly. That is why many of the deciduous forests in the east (especially the southeast where pines are farmed for pulp and lumber) have been replaced by conifers, often with single species farming.

Rusty said...

Burr Oaks are fireproof especially when saplings. They are common on the prairies because they could survive the prairie fires. There were no trees on the hills in the midwest because of the prairie fires. All trees on the rolling hills postdate european settlement. Imagine the Kettle Moraine country without trees. Fires, by the way, when not caused naturally, were set by our native american brothers and sisters to drive game. Hence the rich black soil. That and buffalo shit.
The end

BUMBLE BEE said...

So... Freder's a lumberjack and he's OK...

BUMBLE BEE said...

OSO... Saw the Stones' 72 tour, (EXILE), with Stevie Wonder & Wonderlove. Far outshone ZIP CODE both content and performance. Exile is straight outta Valhalla IMHO. The Northern Lights were visible in our region that night. Pure Magic.

Jupiter said...

"How does it end?" he says. "Nobody knows"

I've been in bands like that. You've done the lead twice, and repeated the chorus twice after the last verse, and you're all ready to put this thing to bed, but the drummer has his head down and he's hammering away like there's two more verses to go. That's when the bass-player is supposed to shuffle over next to him and try to get his attention.

GingerBeer said...

The World's Greatest Rock & Roll Brand.

Earnest Prole said...

I'm presuming you intended to tag this "Rolling Stones" and not "Rolling Stone."

Iman said...

Leavell is a helluva keyboard player, saw him with the Allmans a couple of times. The Strolling Bones need to hang it up.

Earnest Prole said...

You can hear Leavell backing Eric Clapton on his Unplugged album -- he's mastered the art of staying out of the way of the singer and never playing the same fill twice.

Tomcc said...

I'm a fan of the Stones. When I think of piano, I think Nicky Hopkins and "Street Fighting Man". Never heard of this Leavell fellow. He must not have been a star, cause he's still married.

Kai Akker said...


the four album run that ended there was about as good as anyone had.

All produced by Jimmy Miller. More details Stones fans might enjoy in this piece by his sister, the well-known reporter Judy Miller. Not a Stones fan myself -- although there were great songs in that period -- but I enjoyed her article.

https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/292780/jimmy-miller-rolling-stones

eddie willers said...

From 1807 to 1867 the State Capitol was nar Macon in Milledgeville.

When I was growing up, Milledgeville was best known as the place where the state mental hospital was located.

Thus hearing from my mother so often: "I swanny, you're going to send me to Milledgeville!".

PS. The Allman Brothers played my high school graduation dance in 1970.

Iman said...

I've been a Stones fan since the 60s, but, to be honest, they reached their peak in 1973 and it's been downhill ever since.

I have to disagree a little... from Beggar's Banquet thru Exile on Main Street (and including Get Yer Ya-Yas Out), the Stones were at their creative peak. The suck began with Goat's Head Soup. But that's not to say Some Girls and Tattoo You weren't also very good.

Shaking yer ass and mincing around on stage in your mid-70s is unseemly and undignified.

Iman said...

That was a good read, Kai Akker, thx!

Narr said...

Eastern Woodland Indians were using controlled burns to clear forest long before the Euros arrived IIRC.

It's true that deforestation has been a recurring theme in European history. The Greeks essentially deforested themselves in the BC, and the Brits by the 17th century. The forests of North America were a strategic prize for centuries--they and the Baltic kingdoms were the source of wood for masts, yards, and naval stores like turpentine.

The French and others had royal foresters to ensure that the big trees needed for large navies were found, but not over-harvested. They didn't succeed very well. Modern scientific forestry (take that FWIW) originated mostly in the German states and spread from there.

Narr
I like the Stones as much as the next guy, but couldn't match all of them to instrument

Bud Pomeroy said...

Pretty easy to preserve land around Macon and certainly anywhere south of there - because nothing is happening in the vicinity. Atlanta has spread out over all creation - now encompassing 45 counties in its SMSA, but it really hasn't made its way south.

Michael said...

Freder
The Macon timber is pine and the rock and roller 8n addition to farming loblolly pine is reintroducing long leaf pine the native variety logged out a century ago. This is a labor of love of quail hunters reestablishing these trees and other native plants to maintain and grow the coveys of wild quail. This has shit to do with “old growth” because that is over. What he and others (Ted Turner) are doing is planting long leaf. These trees can last 200 years after which they are not “old growth” but deadfall.

Bunkypotatohead said...

A Man In Full.