Brothers Duane and Gregg Allman loved country music, blues, and jazz. Together with their friends Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jaimoe Johanson, they formed The Allman Brothers Band in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969. Now, let’s take a Deep Dive into the short-lived group.
- Duane and Gregg had their fair share of trials and tribulations as kids that provided them plenty of fodder to write songs. Including the death of their Army Sergeant father, who was murdered by a hitchhiker he picked up in 1949. At the time, Duane was 3 and Gregg was 2.
- The band was able to form in the late 60s without losing their membership to the draft for the Vietnam war because Gregg shot himself in the foot, and Duane was the eldest son taking the role of head of the family after his father’s death
- Before the band settled on their fairly simple and obvious name choice, they had a few other choices, including “The Escorts,” “The 31st of February,” “Hour Glass,” “Almanac,” and “The Allman Joys.”
- Back in the day, there weren’t many left-handed guitars being made. The brothers were both left-handed, but ended up teaching themselves to play regular right-handed guitars
- Early-on, the band used to take hallucinogenic mushroom extract pills and start jamming early in the morning. Shrooms influenced them so much that they decided to make it part of the band’s logo
- While the band began with two studio albums, it was their live album At Filmore East from 1971 that cemented their hold in history as one of the most prolific jam bands, encouraging their fans to enjoy the music by taping the show if they wanted to
- The band would have been at Woodstock as spectators, but didn’t feel like fighting the traffic. They instead decided to get together for the Second Woodstock in the 90s
- Gregg Allman married Cher in 1975. They had an on-and-off relationship until 1979. They released an album together in 1977 called Two The Hard Way. It was credited to “Allman and Woman.”
- If you’re a fan of the Derek and the Dominos song Layla, that’s Duane Allman’s guitar you’re listening to
- They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995 by Willie Nelson. Gregg Allman went into rehab the next day
- In 1971, Duane died in a motorcycle crash, with the band dedicating their 1972 effort, Eat a Peach, in his honor. Unfortunately, just over a year later, bassist Berry Oakley also suffered the same fate in November of 1972. Gregg Allman would keep the band together until his death of liver cancer in 2017
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