Gregg Allman, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, the incendiary group that inspired and gave shape to both the Southern rock and jam-band movements, died on Saturday at his home in Savannah, Ga. He was 69.
His publicist, Ken Weinstein, said the cause was complications of liver cancer.
If you were a Southern boy growing up in the sixties and seventies and you didn’t listen to The Allman Brothers Band — a lot — well, buddy, that made you a little different. Even a certain US President was known to do that.
Sure, the guitar play between Duane and Dickey was mesmerizing, but for me even more, it was that voice. From the first moment “yeah, yeah, yeah” came blasting out of my speakers on “Not My Cross To Bear”…
… I was stunned. How could a white kid sound so emotionally authoritative delivering the blues?
Beginning with a show at Georgia Tech, I saw the band more times than any other during my high school years. I remember the sadness I felt upon learning of Duane’s passing and the shock of Berry Oakley’s death the next year. Somehow it came out all right once I felt the comfort in the sound of Greg’s voice on Eat A Peach’s first cut.
I still remember Rolling Stone’s review of Eat A Peach, particularly the send off:
The Allman Brothers are still the best goddamned band in the land, and this record with three sides of “old” and one side of “new” is a simultaneous sorrowed ending and hopeful beginning. I hope the band keeps playing forever — how many groups can you think of who really make you believe they’re playing for the joy of it?
The spirit lived on. It still does. Rest easy, indeed.
21 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, Good Lord, I feel like I’m dyin’ edition”
From the Allman Brothers Band website:
The family suggests that tributes to Gregg can be made to the Gregg Allman Scholarship Fund at The University of Georgia or the Allman/Lehman Endowed Scholarship at Syracuse University.
Who knew? Godspeed Gregg
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I sure didn’t. Athens Dog is on the ball this morning! I saw the Allman Brothers in concert once in Tuscaloosa, of all places.. Quite a night, indeed.
Me too Senator , from the free concerts at Piedmont Park to hearing the band with Warren and Derek on guitar – Gregg’s voice –crying like a baby.
This one really hurts. Personally Live at the Fillmore East was a game changer. As a 73 grad I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time to have seem them so often. Certainly no one else provided so much for so long to me. He leaves a void musicly that will never be replaced.
Excellent pick Senator.
It’s an Allman Brothers mornin on you tube.
Amerson River Park off North Pierce Drive in Macon. Summer of 71 stretched out on the grass on a blanket with my girlfriend (now my wife). Wet Willie was giving a free concert. Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks show up and do an impromptu. Shock and awe.
My heart is heavy today, for a vestige of my youth is forever gone.
Thanks for the music Senator. It is one of my favorites from the Brothers.
Gregg Allman was a DGD!!
God Bless the South!
God Bless our Troops!
God Bless the USA!
What a great weekend to listen to The Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule…
I saw them as the opening act at the Steg in 1971? (things were hazy back then), I think. It was one of my two senior years, anyway. If I recall correctly, the “show” band was Pacific Gas & Electric and the Allman Brothers complained about the junk equipment they had to play with.
went to that concert as a college “visitation” my senor year of high school. Went with a couple friends who were not fortunate enough(read that as having discovered sex,drugs and rock-and roll before me,because they were every bit as smart as me)to become Dawgs. Left after class drove to Athens and even in a pot induced haze understood that the Brothers were amazing. A fan from that day forward. . Legend had it that the Allman Brothers played in the basement of the old Sigma Nu house on River Road and I was wondering whether anyone who attended UGA during the late 60’s or very early 70’s could confirm or deny that fact……..Good Lord my whole band is dying…sung to the tune of Whippin Post.
I have a buddy who was in K-9 tracker school at Ft Gordon in 70 and he said he came over here a couple of times and saw them.
I still love telling folks about attending one of those free Legion Field concerts that opened with Wet Willie and then Skynyrd, headlined by the Bros. One of the two times I got to see them.
back when your student activity fees actually got you something worth listening to.. It is my understanding that those concerts were the embryonic stages of Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon Productions because Conlon was the University Union/Inter-fraternity Council person in charge of lining up concerts and he met a lot of emerging talents while spending those activity fees.Parleyed that SGA gig into a fair career.
I was not alive during their original glory days of the early 70’s, and didn’t listen much to them during the 80s and early 90s when Gregg was dealing w/ his various demons, and were to a certain extent trading on past glories.
I first saw them not long after they fired Dickey, and even though “Back Where It All Begins” was a phenomenal album, it was amazing to see the lineup of the three surviving original members of Gregg, Jaimoe, and Butch, and then adding Oteil, Warren, and finally Derek brought them as close to the original sextet as possible. For the entirety of the 2000’s, that band was absolutely smoking.
Seeing them 2 nights a year at Wanee for several years among other places, and streaming a couple of the Beacon runs, I’m happy to say that I experienced the greatest blues, jazz, southern rock, and jam band to ever do it. And, at the center and forefront was Gregg. No matter how many times he belted Cross to Bear, Wipping Post, Dreams, etc., he sounded like he meant it every time. No airs, no pretentiousness, a touch of arrogance, and pure, unadulterated joy of playing great music for people.
There will never be another.
I saw them twice with Duane in the summer of 71. August 15 at the Academy of Music in NYC and two days later on Boston Common. I was never the same.
Gregg Allman is dead and I don’t feel so good myself……..
I grew up in a musical family in the south, and I still remember the first time I heard the first notes of Statesboro Blues.
😭 Didn’t find out until last night when we stopped at a waffle House to eat after a day of riding motorcycles in the mountains. First thing I did after ordering was walk over to the juke box and played Midnight Rider. Then I listened to a couple voicemails from sad friends and my mom.
Then I played a live show on my iPod for the hour and a half ride home. I know the inside of my helmet got a little damp and I’m sure the same happened for my wife. Our first date was at a Brother’s show. My folks lived in Macon for a while and got to hang around the band a few times back in the day. I’ve always though it pretty cool that I got to share that same enjoyment with my parents.
Damn! Butch in January, now Gregg, and colonel Bruce just passed. Nicky Hayden died on Monday, on my birthday. Today would have been my WWII/Korea vet grandfather’s birthday and he passed a couple months ago. Been a hell of a week for me when it comes to people who have had lasting impacts on my life.
Reading your post, I just got the same shock you did. Been traveling hard the past two weeks and assumed you were writing of some other Nicky Hayden. Wow.
Kind of a funny/not funny story: we saw Gregg and friends for the new year’s eve show last year and my wife teared up during the show and I thought it was because of the music. Come to find out she passed a small kidney stone but was toughing it out. Then, on new year’s night, I was driving her to the emergency room for the big one. It was only funny because my dumb ass thought it was the music. In fairness to me, she did tear up during a powerful performance and she also played it off well. Not so much the next night because she wanted me to run red lights. The doctor was like “we need to run more tests to verify it’s a stone” while I looked a dark speck in the urine cup. Duh!!
Any Brother’s fan, or fan of excellent auto biographies, needs to read Gregg’s My Cross to Bear. Pardon the pun but he really bears all. He really spent the twilight of his life trying to reconcile broken relationships, especially with kids and Dickey.