Gregg Allman -
Vocals, Hammond B-3 Organ, Piano, Vocals
Butch Trucks -
Jaimoe - Drums,
Warren Haynes -
Vocals, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar
Derek Trucks -
Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar
Oteil Burbridge -
Marc Quiñones -
Percussion, Background Vocals
From: THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND
MUSEUM AT THE BIG HOUSE
In 1969 a revolution was launched from the streets of Macon,
consisting of guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and a uniquely
spirited brotherhood. The revolutionaries of record were the
Allman Brothers Band, who, as the founders of what became known
as Southern rock, changed the course of popular American music
and turned Macon into the recording hot bed of the 1970s.
From 1969 to 1979, the Allmans called Macon home, and their
contributions and exploits have become a legendary part of this
The band was formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969 by brother
Duane Allman (slide guitar and lead guitar) with Gregg Allman (vocals,
organ, songwriting), Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals,
songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums),
and Jaimoe (drums). While the band has been called the principal
architects of Southern rock, they also incorporate elements of
blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows have jam
band-style improvisation and instrumentals.
● Duane & Gregg Allman had teen bands: The Houserockers, The
Escorts, The Allman Joys & HourGlass.
● Jaimoe played with Lamar Williams in George Woods & the Sounds
of Soul, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Joe Tex and other R&B
● Butch had pre-ABB bands The Vikings, The 31st of February, and
was classically trained, playing tympani in the Jacksonville
● Berry Oakley first played bass for Tommy Roe & The Roemans,
then the Second Coming with Dickey Betts.
● Dickey Betts had pre-ABB bands The Jokers and The Second
Coming with Berry Oakley.
● Duane Allman, after quitting the Hourglass due to lack of
artistic freedom, heads to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals,
Alabama, in 1968, and becomes the South’s premier session
● In January 1969, Duane Allman signs a management contract and
recording contract with Phil Walden and Capricorn Records, after
Phil hears his incredible guitar solo on Wilson Pickett’s
version of “Hey Jude”. Duane begins to assemble a band.
● ABB gradually formed in Jacksonville, FL in February & March
1969, with their actual birthdate March 26, 1969, and they move
to Macon, GA within weeks, in order to utilize Phil Walden’s
● ABB’s first LP, self-titled, was released in November 1969,
and was lauded by critics but had tepid sales.
||The Original Band
(March 1969 – October 1971)
The band achieved its artistic and commercial
breakthrough in 1971 with the release of At Fillmore East, which
is considered by most critics to be the best live album ever
made. It ranks #49 on Rolling Stone’s list of the best albums of
all time. During the most fruitful period of rock music history,
the mid 60s through the early 70s, George Kimball of Rolling
Stone magazine hailed them as “the best damn rock and roll band
this country has produced in the past five years.”
Just four days after At Fillmore East was certified gold, group
leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident on
10/29/71. The group survived that tragedy, as well as the death
of bassist Berry Oakley in another motorcycle accident a year
later; the band achieved even greater commercial success in 1972
with the LP Eat a Peach reaching #4 on the charts.
In 1973, on the strength of radio hits and the fan base they had
earned through incessant touring, they earned their first #1
album Brothers and Sisters, with Chuck Leavell on piano, and
Lamar Williams on bass. Internal turmoil overtook the band soon
after; the group dissolved in 1976.
● ABB plays the Second Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, GA to
hundreds of thousands of people. They were the first band to
play on July 3, 1970, and the last to play on July 5th, 1970.
● ABB’s second LP, Idlewild South, was released in September
1970 with Tom Dowd producing. Although a step forward from the
first LP, the sales were not much better.
● Duane Allman invigorated Derek & the Dominos and recorded all
but 3 songs with them for Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
album. The LP was released in December 1970.
● The third ABB LP, At Fillmore East, was recorded in March
1971, released in July 1971, and was certified GOLD on October
25, 1971. ABB founder Duane Allman passes away four days later.
● The ABB is hand-picked to be the final act to perform at the
Fillmore East in NYC: June 27, 1971.
● The band’s fourth LP features Duane on three studio tracks and
bonus Fillmore East recordings, and the remaining five men
finish the LP without Duane in December 1971. Eat A Peach
outsells At Fillmore East in 1972, and the band tours as a five
● In late 1972, the ABB asks pianist Chuck Leavell to join the
band. They begin recording their fifth LP, Brothers and Sisters.
Shortly after, Berry Oakley passes away, and is replaced by
Jaimoe’s friend from Mississippi, Lamar Williams.
● In 1973, Brothers and Sisters reaches #1 on the charts, and
Ramblin Man reaches #2 on the singles chart, the highest ever
for the ABB.
● In July 1973, the ABB headlines the highest attended concert
in history at Watkins Glen, NY: 600,000 people came to see the
Grateful Dead and The Band as well.
● In 1974, the band plays a handful of shows to huge crowds and
Gregg & Dickey also have solo tours.
● In 1975, the ABB releases their sixth LP, Win, Lose or Draw,
which sells well; however, the response from critics is lukewarm.
The band also plays benefit concerts for Georgia Governor Jimmy
Carter’s Presidential campaign, thereby helping him get elected.
● In May 1976, the ABB breaks up, and a double live LP called
Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas is released, mostly
comprised of the Chuck & Lamar line-up.
● In 1976, Jaimoe founds a jazz fusion group with Chuck Leavell
and Lamar Williams called Sea Level, and they also record for
● In 1977-78, Gregg & Dickey do solo tours.
● In 1979, the ABB reunites with Dan Toler on second guitar and
Dave “Rook” Goldflies on bass. They record the ABB’s final
Capricorn LP, Enlightened Rogues, which sells well and gets a
decent response from critics and fans. The 1979 tour is a
success as well.
They reformed briefly at the end of the decade with
additional personnel changes, and dissolved again in 1982.
● In 1980 & 1981, the ABB records two LPs for Arista Records, to
tepid reviews & response.
● The ABB breaks up in January 1982.
● Gregg & Dickey pursue solo projects, and Gregg has a hit with
“I’m No Angel”.
● The ABB reunites with Warren Haynes on guitar and Allen Woody
on bass in 1989 for their 20th anniversary, and a box set named
Dreams is released. They also play the Beacon Theatre in NYC for
the first time that year.
In 1989, the group reformed with some new members and has
been recording and touring since. This remarkable renaissance
period has lasted 24 years, including a series of personnel
changes in the late 1990s, and the departure of founding
guitarist Dickey Betts in 2000.
● In 1990, the band releases a very well received LP, Seven
Turns, which eventually goes GOLD.
● In 1991, the band releases the LP “Shades of Two Worlds” and
it is very well-received.
● In 1994, the band releases “Where it all Begins” and it is a
hit, going GOLD. They also are featured at Woodstock ’94.
● In 1995, the ABB is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
● In 1997, Warren Haynes and Allen Woody resign from the ABB to
take their own band, Gov’t Mule, full-time. Jack Pearson (guitar)
and Oteil Burbridge (bass) replace them.
● In 1999, the band celebrates it’s 30th Anniversary, with
virtuoso prodigy Derek Trucks joining the band after Jack
Since 2001, the group’s lineup has remained unchanged,
with guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil
Burbridge, and percussionist Marc Quinones joining founding
members Gregg Allman, Jaimoe and Butch Trucks. They also became
renowned for their month-long string of shows at the Beacon
Theatre in New York City every March. The band has been awarded
eleven gold and five platinum albums between 1971 and 2005 and
was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
● In 2000, the ABB and founding guitarist Dickey Betts part ways.
Meanwhile, former ABB & then-current Gov’t Mule bass player
Allen Woody passes away, opening the door for the return of
Warren Haynes to the ABB.
● In 2003, the current line-up releases “Hittin The Note” to
2010 – 2014
The group earned a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in
2012. Rolling Stone ranked them 52nd on their list of the 100
Greatest Artists of All Time, and the Allman Brothers Band is
the only group in history to have four different guitarists on
Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time: Duane
Allman, Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.
● In 2011, the ABB is awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award
● In 2012, the ABB receives the key to the Beacon Theatre in NYC
for playing over 200 straight sold-out shows, mostly every March.
Gregg Allman releases his autobiography, “My Cross To Bear,” and
Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes play in an all-star blues band at
a concert for President Obama, with the President even singing
with them on “Sweet Home Chicago.”
From: WIKIPEDIA, the free encyclopedia
The Allman Brothers Band was an American rock band formed in
Jacksonville, Florida in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman (slide
guitar and lead guitar) and Gregg Allman (vocals, organ,
songwriting), as well as Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals,
songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums),
and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson (drums). While the band has
been called the principal architects of southern rock, they also
incorporate elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and
their live shows have jam band-style improvisation and
The group's first two studio releases stalled commercially, but
their 1971 live release, At Fillmore East, represented an
artistic and commercial breakthrough. The album features
extended renderings of their songs "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"
and "Whipping Post", and is often considered among the best live
albums. Group leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle
accident not long afterward, and the band completed Eat a Peach
(1972) in his memory, a dual studio/live album that cemented the
band's popularity. Following the death of bassist Berry Oakley
later that year, the group recruited keyboardist Chuck Leavell
and bassist Lamar Williams for 1973's Brothers and Sisters,
which, combined with the hit single, "Ramblin' Man", placed the
group at the forefront of 1970s rock music. Internal turmoil
overtook the band soon after; the group dissolved in 1976,
reformed briefly at the end of the decade with additional
personnel changes, and dissolved again in 1982.
The band reformed once more in 1989, releasing a string of new
albums and touring heavily. A series of personnel changes in the
late 1990s was capped by the departure of Betts. The group found
stability during the 2000s with bassist Oteil Burbridge and
guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks (the nephew of their
drummer), and became renowned for their month-long string of
shows at New York City's Beacon Theater each spring. The band
retired in 2014 with the departure of the aforementioned
members. The band has been awarded eleven gold and five platinum
albums, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in
1995. Rolling Stone ranked them 52nd on their list of the 100
Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004.
Roots and formation (1965–69)
Duane and Gregg Allman, his younger brother, grew up in Daytona,
Florida, where they first discovered music. Gregg was first to
pick up the guitar, but his brother soon surpassed him, dropping
out of high school to practice constantly. The duo first formed
the Escorts, which evolved into the Allman Joys in the
mid-1960s. When an African-American friend introduced Gregg to
R&B and soul music, they began to incorporate it into their
sound. By 1967, the group spent time in St. Louis, where a Los
Angeles-based recording executive discovered them; they
consequently moved out West and were renamed the Hour Glass,
cutting two unsuccessful albums for Liberty Records.Duane moved
back to pursue a career as a session musician in Muscle Shoals,
Alabama, while Gregg stayed behind in Hollywood bound by
contractual obligations with Liberty, who believed he could hold
a solo career. The two were apart for the first time for a year,
but managed to reconvene in Miami, producing an album-length
demo with the 31st of February, a group that included drummer
At FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Duane Allman became the
primary session guitarist, recording with artists
such as Aretha Franklin and King Curtis. Duane suggested to
Wilson Pickett they record a cover of “Hey Jude”
by the Beatles; the single went to number 23 on the national
charts. FAME signed Duane to a five-year recording
contract, and he put together a group, including Johnny Sandlin
and Paul Hornsby. Duane recruited
Jai Johanny Johanson (Jaimoe) after hearing his drumming on a
songwriting demo of Jackie Avery, and the two
moved into his home on the Tennessee River. Allman invited
bassist Berry Oakley to jam with the new group;
the pair had met in a Jacksonville, Florida club some time
earlier, and became quick friends. The group had
immediate chemistry, and Duane's vision for a "different" band —
one with two lead guitarists and
two drummers — began evolving. Meanwhile, Phil Walden, the
manager of the late Otis Redding and several
other R&B acts, was looking to expand into rock acts. Rick Hall
became frustrated with the group’s recording
methods, and offered the tracks recorded and their contract to
Walden and Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records,
who purchased them for $10,000. Walden intended the upcoming
group to be the centerpiece of his
new Atlantic-distributed label, Capricorn.
Duane and Jaimoe moved to Jacksonville in early March 1969, as
Duane had become frustrated with being
a "robot" of those at FAME. He invited anyone who wanted to join
to the jam sessions that birthed the
Allman Brothers Band. Dickey Betts had played in Oakley’s
previous band, the Second Coming, and became
the group’s second lead guitarist, while Butch Trucks, with whom
Duane and Gregg had cut a demo less than
a year prior, fulfilled the role of the second drummer. The
Second Coming's Reese Wynans played keyboards,
and Duane, Oakley and Betts all shared vocal duties. The unnamed
group began to perform free shows in
Willow Branch Park in Jacksonville, with an ever-changing,
rotating cast of musicians. Duane felt strongly his
brother should be the vocalist of the new group (which
effectively eliminated Wynans' position, as Gregg also
played keyboards). Gregg made it down and entered rehearsal on
March 26, 1969, when the group was rehearsing
"Trouble No More" by Muddy Waters. Although initially
intimidated by the musicians, Duane pressured his brother
into "into singing [his] guts out." Four days later, the group
made their debut at the Jacksonville Armory.
Although many names were kicked around, including Beelzebub, the
six-piece eventually decided on the
Allman Brothers Band.
Debut and early years (1969–70)
The group moved to Macon, Georgia by May 1, where Walden was
establishing Capricorn Records. Mike Callahan and
Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell became the band’s early crew members.
"Red Dog" was a disabled Vietnam veteran who
donated his monthly disability checks to the band's cause. In
Macon, the group stayed at friend Twiggs Lyndon's
apartment on 309 College Street, which became known as the communal home of the band and crew, nicknamed
the Hippie Crash Pad. "There were five or six occupied
apartments in the building with the Hippie Crash Pad
and you would expect they would call the police on us because we
were constantly raising hell at three or four
in the morning, but they all just moved out," said Trucks.
Living on very little funds, they found a friend
in "Mama Louise" Hudson, cook and proprietor of the H&H Soul
Food Restaurant, who fed the band (they would repay
her when they returned from touring). The band's image was
radical in the just barely integrated Macon:
"A lot of the white folk around here did not approve of them
long-haired boys, or of them always having a
black guy with them," said Hudson. The band performed locally,
as well as eighty miles north in
Atlanta's Piedmont Park, and practiced at the newly minted
Capricorn nearly each day.
The group forged a strong brotherhood, spending countless hours
rehearsing, consuming psychedelic drugs,
and hanging out in Rose Hill Cemetery, where they would write
songs. Their first performances outside the
South came on May 30 and 31 in Boston, opening for The Velvet
Underground. In need of more material, the group
remade old blues numbers like "Trouble No More" and "One Way
Out", in addition to improvised jams such as
"Mountain Jam". Gregg, who had struggled to write in the past,
became the band's sole songwriter, composing
songs such as “Whipping Post" and “Black-Hearted Woman.” The
band set off for New York City in August 1969,
where they had arranged to work with Cream and John Coltrane
producer Tom Dowd, who was unavailable;
Atlantic house engineer Adrian Barber stepped in to record the
sessions in his first producer credit.
The Allman Brothers Band was recorded and mixed in two weeks,
and recording was a positive experience for
the ensemble. New York became regarded within the group as their
"second home." The Allman Brothers Band saw
release in November 1969 through Atco and Capricorn Records, but
received a poor commercial response, selling
less than 35,000 copies upon initial release.
Executives suggested to Walden that he relocate the band to New
York or Los Angeles to "acclimate" them to the
industry. "They wanted us to act 'like a rock band' and we just
told them to fuck themselves," remembered
Trucks. For their part, the members of the band remained
optimistic, electing to stay in the South.
"Everyone told us we'd fall by the wayside down there," said
Gregg Allman, but the collaboration between the band
and Capricorn Records "transformed Macon from this sleepy little
town into a very hip, wild and crazy place
filled with bikers and rockers". The band rented a $165-a-month
farmhouse on a lake outside of Macon,
the busy comings and goings at which reminded them of New York
City's Idlewild Airport. Idlewild South was the
home of rehearsals and parties, and was "where the brotherhood
came to pass," according to roadie Kim Payne;
"There was a pact made out there around a campfire—all for one
and one for all. […] Everybody believed [in the band]
100 percent." Much of the material presented on the band's
second album, Idlewild South, originated at the cabin.
Oakley's wife rented a large Victorian home on 2321 Vineville
Avenue in Macon and the band moved into what
they dubbed "the Big House" in March 1970.
Live reputation, At Fillmore East and breakthrough (1970–71)
The band played continuously in 1970, performing over 300 dates
on the road traveling in a Ford Econoline van
and later, a Winnebago, nicknamed the Wind Bag. Walden doubted
the band’s future, worrying whether they would
ever catch on, but word of mouth spread due to the band's
relentless touring schedule, and crowds got larger.
The close proximity of the Winnebago brought about heavy drug
use within the group, and all in the group,
with the exception of the brothers, were struggling to make a
living. In one instance, touring member Twiggs Lyndon
stabbed and killed a promoter for not paying the band; he later
claimed temporary insanity. Later that year,
Duane accidentally overdosed on opium after a show. Idlewild
South, produced by Tom Dowd, was recorded gradually
over a period of five months in various cities, including New
York, Miami, and Macon, and contained two of the
band's best-known songs, "Midnight Rider" (later a hit for
various artists) and "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed",
which became one of the band's famous concert numbers.
Idlewild South was issued by Atco and Capricorn Records in
September 1970, less than a year after their debut.
The album sold only "marginally better than its predecessor,
though the band had a growing national reputation
and the album included songs that would become staples of the
band's repertoire—and eventually of rock radio."
Shortly after completing recording, Duane was contacted by
guitarist Eric Clapton to contribute to his new project,
Derek and the Dominos. Allman was a huge fan of his work with
Cream, and Clapton had been blown away by
Allman's session work on Wilson Pickett's "Hey Jude" some years
prior. They met after a show one night in
Miami and jammed together until the next afternoon, with the two
guitarists regarding one another as
"instant soulmates." Clapton invited Duane to join Derek and the
Dominos, and by several accounts he considered it;
in the end, he declined the offer and rejoined the Allman
Brothers Band, returning after missing a string of
several shows. The sessions were collected on Layla and Other
Assorted Love Songs, issued that November.
Their fortunes began to change over the course of 1971, where
the band's average earnings doubled. "We realized
that the audience was a big part of what we did, which couldn’t
be duplicated in a studio. A lightbulb finally
went off; we needed to make a live album," said Gregg Allman. At
Fillmore East was recorded over three
nights — March 11, 12, and 13, 1971 — at the Fillmore East in
New York, for which the band was paid
a nightly $1,250. At Fillmore East was released in July 1971 by
Capricorn Records as a double album,
"people-priced" for the cost of a single LP. While previous
albums by the band had taken months to hit
the charts (often near the bottom of the top 200), the record
started to climb the charts after a matter of days.
At Fillmore East peaked at number thirteen on Billboard 's Top
Pop Albums chart, and was certified gold
by the Recording Industry Association of America that October,
becoming their commercial and artistic breakthrough.
The album is considered among the best live albums of all-time,
and was later selected for preservation
in the Library of Congress, deemed "culturally, historically, or
aesthetically important" by the
National Recording Registry.
Eat a Peach and Duane Allman and Berry Oakley's deaths (1971–72)
Although suddenly very wealthy and successful, much of the band
and its entourage now struggled with heroin
addiction. Four individuals — group leader Duane Allman, bassist
Berry Oakley, and roadies Robert Payne
and Joseph "Red Dog" Campbell — checked into the Linwood-Bryant
Hospital for rehabilitation in October 1971.
On October 29, 1971, Duane Allman, then 24, was killed in a
motorcycle accident one day after returning to Macon.
Allman was riding his motorcycle at a high speed at the
intersection of Hillcrest Avenue and Bartlett Street
as a flatbed truck carrying a lumber crane approached. The
flatbed truck stopped suddenly in the intersection,
forcing Allman to swerve his Harley-Davidson Sportster
motorcycle sharply to the left to avoid a collision.
As he was doing so, he struck either the back of the truck or
the ball on the lumber crane and was immediately
thrown from the motorcycle. The motorcycle bounced into the air,
landed on Allman and skidded another 90 feet
with Allman pinned underneath, crushing his internal organs.
Though he was alive when he arrived at the hospital,
despite immediate emergency surgery, he died several hours later
from massive internal injuries.
After Duane's death, the band held a meeting on their future; it
was clear all wanted to continue, and after a
short period, the band returned to the road. "We all had this
thing in us and Duane put it there. He was the
teacher and he gave something to us—his disciples—that we had to
play out," said drummer Butch Trucks.
The band returned to Miami in December to complete work on their
third studio album. Completing the recording
of Eat a Peach raised each members' spirits; "The music brought
life back to us all, and it was simultaneously
realized by every one of us. We found strength, vitality,
newness, reason, and belonging as we worked on
finishing Eat a Peach," said Allman. "Those last three songs […]
just kinda floated right on out of us [...]
The music was still good, it was still rich, and it still had
that energy—it was still the Allman Brothers Band."
Released in February 1972, Eat a Peach was the band's second hit
album, shipping gold and peaking at number
four on Billboard 's Top 200 Pop Albums chart. "We'd been
through hell, but somehow we were rolling bigger than
ever," said Gregg Allman.
The band performed nearly 90 shows in the following year,
touring as a five-piece. The band also purchased
432 acres of land in Juliette, Georgia for $160,000 and
nicknamed it "the Farm"; it soon became a group hangout
and fulfilled bassist Berry Oakley's communal dreams. Oakley,
however, was visibly suffering from the death
of his friend: he excessively drank and consumed drugs, and was
losing weight quickly. According to friends
and family, he appeared to have lost "all hope, his heart, his
drive, his ambition, [and] his direction"
following Duane’s death. "Everything Berry had envisioned for
everybody—including the crew, the women and
children—was shattered on the day Duane died, and he didn’t care
after that," said roadie Kim Payne.
Oakley repeatedly wished to "get high, be high, and stay high,"
causing quiet concern from all those around him.
On November 11, 1972, slightly inebriated and overjoyed at the
prospect of leading a jam session later that night,
Oakley crashed his motorcycle into the side of a bus, just three
blocks from where Duane had been killed
in a bike accident. He declined hospital treatment and went
home, but gradually grew delirious.
He was taken to the hospital shortly thereafter and died of
cerebral swelling caused by a fractured skull.
Oakley was buried directly beside Duane at Rose Hill Cemetery in
Brothers and Sisters, celebrity, and inner turmoil (1973–74)
The band unanimously decided to carry on and arrange auditions
for new bassists, with a renewed fervor and
determination. Several bassists auditioned, but the band picked
Lamar Williams, an old friend of drummer
Jai Johanny Johanson's from Gulfport, Mississippi, two years
removed from an Army stint in Vietnam.
Chuck Leavell was asked to play piano for Allman’s solo album,
Laid Back (1973), and gradually found himself
contributing to the Allman Brothers as well. Dickey Betts became
the group's de facto leader during the
recording process. "It's not like Dickey came in and said, 'I'm
taking over. I'm the boss. Do this and that.'
It wasn't overt; it was still supposedly a democracy but Dickey
started doing more and more of the songwriting,"
said road manager Willie Perkins. Brothers and Sisters was an
enormous success, peaking at number one,
resulting in the band becoming "the most popular band in the
country." "Ramblin' Man", Betts' country-infused
number, received interest from radio stations immediately, and
it rose to number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Allman Brothers Band returned to touring, playing larger
venues, receiving more profit and dealing with
less friendship, miscommunication and spiraling drug problems.
This culminated in a backstage brawl
when the band played with the Grateful Dead at Washington's RFK
Stadium in June 1973, which resulted in the
firing of three of the band's longtime roadies. The band played
arenas and stadiums almost solely as their
drug use escalated. In 1974, the band was regularly making
$100,000 per show, and was renting the Starship,
a customized Boeing 720B used by Led Zeppelin and the Rolling
Stones. "When [we] got that goddamn plane, it was
the beginning of the end," said Allman. Both Allman and Betts
released top 20 solo albums in 1974 (The Gregg
Allman Tour and Highway Call). The sessions that produced 1975's
Win, Lose or Draw, the last album by the
original Allman Brothers Band, were disjointed and inconsistent;
Gregg Allman was largely living in Los Angeles
and dating pop star Cher, and was, according to biographer Alan
Paul, "[becoming] more famous for being
famous than for his music." His vocals were recorded there, as
he could not be bothered to return to Macon much.
Upon its release, it was considered subpar and sold less than
its predecessor; the band later remarked that they
were "embarrassed" about the album.
From August 1975 to May 1976, the Allman Brothers Band played 41
shows to some of the biggest crowds of their
career. Gradually, the members of the band grew apart during
these tours, with sound checks and rehearsals
"[becoming] a thing of the past." Allman later pointed to a
benefit for presidential candidate Jimmy Carter
as the only real "high point" in an otherwise "rough, rough
tour." The shows were considered lackluster and the
members were excessive in their drug use. The "breaking point"
came when Gregg Allman testified in the trial of
security man Scooter Herring. Bandmates considered him a "snitch,"
and he received death threats, leading to
law-enforcement protection. Herring was convicted on five counts
of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and
received a 75-year prison sentence, which were later overturned
as he received a lesser sentence. For his part,
Allman always maintained that Herring had told him to take the
deal and he would take the fall for it,
but nevertheless, the band refused to communicate with him. As a
result, the band finally broke up; Leavell,
Williams, and Jaimoe continued playing together in Sea Level,
Betts formed Great Southern, and Allman founded
the Gregg Allman Band. The 1976 live album Wipe the Windows,
Check the Oil, Dollar Gas was seen as "the last
gasp of a dying band," which was unfortunate for the
now-foundering Capricorn Records, who desperately needed
the band together to stay afloat.
First reunion, subsequent break-up, and interim years (1979–88)
Allman and Walden first approached the idea of a reunion to
Betts in 1978. Their first public appearance together
came at a Great Southern show in New York's Central Park that
summer, when Allman, Trucks and Jaimoe joined the
band for a few songs. Williams and Leavall declined to leave Sea
Level, so the Allman Brothers Band hired two new
members: guitarist Dan Toler and bassist David Goldflies. The
band reunited with Tom Dowd at Criteria Studios
in Miami to cut their reunion album, which saw release in
February 1979 as Enlightened Rogues, a term Duane had
used to describe the band. While the band "tried to make it
happen," they later concluded that the chemistry was
not there; the album was a minor commercial success, which was
credited to the production work from Dowd.
Betts filed a lawsuit against Walden for nonpayment of record
and publishing royalties, and Betts' lawyer,
Steve Massarsky, began managing the group. Betts won, and the
rest of the band filed suit as Capricorn declared
bankruptcy that October. Massarsky led the band to sign with
Arista, who pushed the band to "modernize" their sound."[Arista founder] Clive Davis destroyed any hope that we had
that we could make the thing work again," said
Trucks later. "He wanted us to be a Southern American version of
Led Zeppelin and brought in outside producers
and it just kept getting worse."
Their first Arista effort, Reach for the Sky (1980), was
produced by Nashville songwriters Mike Lawler and
Johnny Cobb. Bonnie Bramlett, who toured with the band near the
end of the decade, sang lead on one song. Lawler
soon became a part of the band's touring ensemble, incorporating
center-stage keytar solos "that most fans
consider the band's nadir." Drugs remained a problem with the
band, particularly among Betts and Allman.
Although the album was made with the intention of creating a hit
single, the genre of southern rock was waning
considerably in the mainstream. The band again grew apart,
firing longtime roadie "Red Dog" and replacing
Jaimoe with Toler's brother Frankie, who had been a member of
Great Southern. The main point of contention was his
insistence that his wife and manager, Candace Oakley (Berry's
sister), handle his business affairs. "One of the
real blights on the history of the Allman Brothers Band was that
Jaimoe, this gentle man, was fired from this
organization," said Allman later. Not long after, "the band
changed managers, hiring the promoter John Scher
after Massarsky eased himself out, reportedly saying, 'It’s a
million-dollar headache and a quarter-million-dollar
For their second and final album with Arista, Brothers of the
Road, they collaborated with a "name producer"
(John Ryan, of Styx and the Doobie Brothers), who pushed the
band even harder to change their sound. "Straight
from the Heart" was the album's single, which became a minor hit
but heralded the group's last appearance
on the top 40 charts. The band, considering their post-reunion
albums "embarrassing," subsequently broke-up in
1982 after clashing with Clive Davis, who rejected every
producer the band suggested for a possible third album,
including Tom Dowd and Johnny Sandlin. "We broke up in '82
because we decided we better just back out or we
would ruin what was left of the band’s image," said Betts. The
band's final performance came on Saturday Night Live
in January 1982, where they performed "Southbound" and "Leavin'."
The members regrouped occasionally in the
intervening years; in 1986, Betts and Allman toured together,
with each opening for one another and collaborating
for a set. Allman's solo career began looking upward when he
released his first solo album in over a decade
in 1987, I'm No Angel. The title track became a surprise hit on
radio, garnering heavy airplay.
Second reunion and heavy touring (1989–96)
The Allman Brothers Band celebrated its twentieth anniversary in
1989, and the band reunited for a summer tour,
with Jaimoe once again on drums. In addition, they featured
guitarist Warren Haynes and pianist Johnny Neel,
both from the Dickey Betts Band, and bassist Allen Woody, who
was hired after open auditions held at
Trucks's Florida studio. The classic rock radio format had given
the band's catalog songs new relevance,
as did a multi-CD retrospective box set, Dreams. Epic, who had
worked with Allman on his solo career, signed the
band. Danny Goldberg became the band's manager; he had
previously worked with acts such as Led Zeppelin and
Bonnie Raitt. The group were initially reluctant to tour, but
found they performed solidly; in addition, former
roadies such as "Red Dog" returned. The band returned to the
studio with longtime producer Tom Dowd for 1990's
Seven Turns, which was considered a return to form. "Good Clean
Fun" and "Seven Turns" each became big hits
on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The addition of Haynes and
Woody had "reenergized" the ensemble. Neel left
the group in 1990, and the band added percussionist Marc
Quiñones, formerly of Spyro Gyra, the following year.
The band performed 87 shows in 1991, and 77 the following year.
The band did not renew Goldberg's contract as
manager, and as a result, their tour manager, Bert Holman,
became the band's full-time manager in 1991 and
remained so for the rest of their career. Their next studio
effort, Shades of Two Worlds (1992), produced the
crowd favorite "Nobody Knows". The band also released a live
album, An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band:
First Set, recorded at their 1992 residency at New York's Beacon
Theater. The band performed ten consecutive
shows there (establishing themselves as a "New York rite of
spring," according to biographer Alan Paul), which
set the stage for their return nearly every year afterward. The
band grew contentious over a 1993 tour, in which
Betts was arrested when he shoved two police officers.
Struggling to find a replacement guitarist, they brought
in David Grissom (then touring with John Mellencamp), and also
Jack Pearson, a Nashville-based friend of Haynes
(the original replacement, Zakk Wylde, filled in for a show but
his onstage antics did not fit with the band).
Haynes was both opening with his own band and headlining with
the Allman Brothers, and began to consider leaving
the group, due to their increasing lack of communication.
Despite the growing tension, Haynes remained a member and Betts
returned. Their third post-reunion record,
Where It All Begins (1994), was recorded entirely live. "The
Allman Brothers was a year-by-year thing. There was
no indication that it was capable of staying together for years
to come. We all looked at it as each tour could
be the last one, and there was no reason to think otherwise,"
said Haynes. The band continued to tour with
greater frequency, attracting younger generations with their
headlining of the H.O.R.D.E. Festival. The group
were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January
1995; Allman was severely inebriated and could not
make it through his acceptance speech. Seeing the ceremony
broadcast on television later, Allman was mortified,
providing a catalyst for his final, successful attempt to quit
alcohol and substance abuse. During the 1996 run at
the Beacon, turmoil came to a breaking point between Allman and
Betts, nearly causing a cancellation of a show
and causing another band breakup. "We were upstairs in our
dressing rooms [...] I’m sitting there thinking,
'This is it. This is how it finally ends,'" said Trucks. Haynes
and Woody left to focus on Gov't Mule,
feeling as though a break was imminent with the Allman Brothers
Later years (1997–2014)
The group recruited Oteil Burbridge of the Aquarium Rescue Unit
to replace Woody on bass, and Jack Pearson on
guitar. Concerns arose over the increasing loudness of Allman
Brothers shows, which were largely centered on
Betts. Pearson, struggling with tinnitus, left as a result
following the 1999 Beacon run. Trucks phoned his
nephew, Derek Trucks, to join the band for their thirtieth
anniversary tour. Trucks was very young, at age 20,
and younger than any of the original members when the band
formed. "It was an honor to be part of such a great
institution from the start," said Derek Trucks. "When I first
got the gig, I was just trying to maintain the
spirit of the whole thing while hopefully bringing some fire to
it, hoping to hold up my end while also expressing
my own voice." The Beacon run in 2000, captured on Peakin' at
the Beacon, was ironically considered among
the band's worst performances; an eight-show spring tour led to
even more strained relations in the group.
"It had ceased to be a band—everything had to be based around
what Dickey was playing," said Allman. Anger
boiled over within the group towards Betts, which led to all
original members sending him a letter, informing him
of their intentions to tour without him for the summer.
All involved contend that the break was temporary, but Betts
responded by hiring a lawyer and suing the group,
which led to a permanent divorce. "I had no idea that I would be
snapped out of the picture. I thought it was
cruel and impersonal," said Betts. Allman was finally sober and
felt more miserable shows with Betts would be a
waste of time. Betts later received a cash settlement, which is
subject to a confidentiality agreement; he went
on to record new music with a new band. Jimmy Herring joined the
band for the summer tour, where the band fought
negative press; fans contended that attending shows by an Allman
Brothers Band without Betts was pointless.
Herring exited shortly after the tour, as he felt guilty that he
would replace Betts. That August, former bassist
Allen Woody was found dead in a hotel room in New York. Warren
Haynes set up a benefit show for his former bandmate,
which featured the Allman Brothers Band. With Derek Trucks
unavailable, he sat in for the set. In 2001, Haynes
rejoined the band for their Beacon run: "It was my first time
with the band in four years and it was very
comfortable," he remarked.
This incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band was well-regarded
among fans and the general public, and remained
stable and productive. "This band is the greatest one since
Duane and Berry, and why shouldn’t it be?" said
Jaimoe. The band released their final studio recording, Hittin'
the Note (2003), to critical acclaim. The record
was the first to feature Derek Trucks and the only Allman
Brothers album to not feature Betts. The band continued
to tour throughout the 2000s, remaining a top touring act,
regularly attracting more than 20,000 fans The decade
closed with a successful run at the Beacon Theater, in
celebration of the band's fortieth anniversary.
"That [2009 run] was the most fun I’ve ever had in that
building," said Allman, and it was universally regarded
within the band as a career highlight. The run featured numerous
special guests, including Eric Clapton, which
all in the band regarded as the most "special" guest, due to his
association with Duane. Allman had a liver
transplant in 2010, and suffered health setbacks for the
following two years. He went to rehab in 2012 for
addiction following his medical treatments. He returned with the
band for their 2013 run at the Beacon in better
condition, and the band continued to tour. In 2014, Haynes and
Derek Trucks announced their intention to depart
the group at the end of the year. The group intended their 2014
run of Beacon shows to be their last, but the
residency was cut short when Allman developed bronchitis.
The Allman Brothers Band performed its final show on October 28,
2014 at the Beacon Theater. The concert consisted
of three sets, comprising mostly music from their first five
records, with no guest musicians sitting in ("We had
a band meeting and decided no guest sit-ins. We’re going out
with just the band," Allman told reporters).
Following the sets, which ran into the early morning hours, the
band joined together center stage and took a bow,
with Allman recalling the group's first rehearsal 45 years
prior. "I was called to come and meet these guys in
Jacksonville, Florida, [...] on March 26, 1969. Now, we're gonna
do the first song we ever played." Following
this, the band performed "Trouble No More" by Muddy Waters.
During the night's intermissions, a video screen
displayed a message: "The road indeed goes on forever. So stay
calm, eat a peach and carry on..."
Musical style and influences
The Allman Brothers Band have generally been considered one of
the pioneering bands in southern rock, although
the group distanced themselves from the term. Guitarist Dickey
Betts was most vocal about this classification,
which he considered unfair: "I think it’s limiting. I’d rather
just be known as a progressive rock band from the
South. I’m damned proud of who I am and where I’m from, but I
hate the term ‘Southern rock.’ I think calling us
that pigeonholed us and forced people to expect certain types of
music from us that I don’t think are fair." The
band was certainly at the forefront of the genre's popularity in
the early 1970s; the breakthrough of
At Fillmore East led their hometown of Macon to become flooded
with "southern rock" groups. Despite this, the
group has continued to remove themselves from the term. "The
problem I have is a lot of people associate it with
rednecks and rebel flags and backward mentality. That has never
been representative of the Allman Brothers Band,"
said guitarist Warren Haynes.
The group largely infused hints of the blues, jazz, and country
into their music. They all avidly shared their
record collections with one another during the early days of the
band. For example, Betts was into country music
and the guitar work of Chuck Berry, while Trucks was largely
into groups such as the Rolling Stones and the
Grateful Dead. Duane and Gregg Allman grew infatuated with
rhythm and blues in their teens, collecting records by
James Brown, B.B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Howlin' Wolf.
Drummer Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson largely
introduced the group to jazz. While Betts commented that he was
interested in artists such as Howard Roberts prior,
Jaimoe "really fired us up on it," introducing his bandmates to
Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Duane Allman was
also inspired by Howard Roberts, Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, and
Kenny Burrell. The source of the band's modal
jamming in their earliest days came from Coltrane’s rendition of
"My Favorite Things" and Davis's "All Blues,"
which Jaimoe occasionally stole from: "I did a lot of copying,
but only from the best."
Duane Allman created the idea of having two lead guitarists,
which was inspired by Curtis Mayfield; "[he] wanted
the bass, keyboards, and second guitar to form patterns behind
the solo rather than just comping," said Allman.
Their style and incorporation of guitar harmonies was very
influential on later musicians. "The pair also had a
wide range of complementary techniques, often forming intricate,
interlocking patterns with each other and with
the bassist, Berry Oakley, setting the stage for dramatic
flights of improvised melodies." Dickey Betts' playing
was very melody-based; "My style is just a little too smooth and
round to play the blues stuff straight,
because I’m such a melody guy that even when I’m playing the
blues, I go for melody first," he said. His listening
of country and string bluegrass growing up influenced this
considerably: "I played mandolin, ukulele, and fiddle
before I ever touched a guitar, which may be where a lot of the
major keys I play come from." He later
characterized their style as "question and answer, anticipation
and conclusion," which involved allowing each
musician's downbeat to arrive in a different spot, while also
keeping consideration of the bass guitar lines,
The group also held an improvisational approach to live
performances, which connected the band with jam band
culture. "Jazz and blues musicians have been doing this for
decades, but I think they really brought that sense
that anyone onstage can inspire anyone else at any given time to
rock music," said Haynes. "We sure didn’t set
out to be a "jam band" but those long jams just emanated from
within the band, because we didn’t want to just
play three minutes and be over," said Allman. Rolling Stone
referred to the group as "without question the
first great jam band, and they took the jam to heights that it
had not previously reached."
The Allman Brothers Band were considerably influential within
the Southern United States. Their arrival on the
musical scene paved the way for several other notable southern
rock acts — among those Lynyrd Skynyrd,
the Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie — to achieve commercial
success, and also "almost single-handedly"
made Capricorn Records into "a major independent label." Billy
Gibbons of ZZ Top, writing for Rolling Stone,
wrote that the group "defined the best of every music from the
American South in that time. They were the best
of all of us." He went on to call the band "a true brotherhood
of players — one that went beyond race and ego.
It was a thing of beauty." The band's extended popularity
through heavy touring in the early 1990s created a new
generation of fans, one that viewed the Allmans as pioneers of "latter-day
collegiate jam rock." Allmusic praised
the band's history: "they went from being America's single most
influential band to a shell of their former self
trading on past glories, to reach the 21st century resurrected
as one of the most respected rock acts of their era."
The Simpsons episode "Simpson Safari" makes reference to the
band and their improvisational live music style
when Marge says that the tribal song they're dancing to has been
going for hours and Homer replying that it's like
the Allman Brothers.
In 2012, an official historic marker was erected on the site of
the July 1970 Second Atlanta International Pop
Festival near Byron, Georgia. The Allman Brothers had played two
sets at the festival, which was a significant
event in their career. The marker text reads, in part: “Over
thirty musical acts performed, including... Macon’s
Allman Brothers Band on their launching pad to national fame.”
Official sponsors of the marker included the
Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association, The Allman Brothers
Band Museum at the Big House, and Hittin’ the Note.
In 2003, the band released a recording of their festival opening
and closing performances, Live at the
Atlanta International Pop Festival: July 3 & 5, 1970.
Awards and recognition
Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, 1996,
"Jessica" (also famous for being the Top Gear theme).
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1995
Rolling Stone Magazine's "Greatest...of All Time" lists:
100 Greatest Artists of All Time (2004): No. 52
500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2003): No. 49 for At
100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time (2003):
No. 2 Duane Allman
No. 23 Warren Haynes
No. 58 Dickey Betts
No. 81 Derek Trucks
100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time (2011):
No. 9 Duane Allman
No. 16 Derek Trucks
No. 61 Dickey Betts
The Allman Brothers Band: Dreams liner notes
Allman, Galadrielle (2014). Please Be with Me: A Song for My
Father, Duane Allman.
New York: Spiegel & Grau. ISBN 978-1-4000-6894-4.
Freeman, Scott. Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman
Brothers Band, Little, Brown & Co. 1995.
Leavell, Chuck with J. Marshall Craig. Between Rock and a Home
Place, Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2004.
Perkins, Willie. No Saints, No Saviors, Macon, GA: Mercer
University Press, 2005.
Poe, Randy. Skydog: The Duane Allman Story, Milwaukee, WI:
Backbeat Books, 2006.
Reid, Jan. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the
Dominos (Rock of Ages). New York: Rodale, Inc., 2006.
Reynolds, Dean. The Complete Allman Brothers Band Discography,
From: WIKIPEDIA, the free encyclopedia
The Peach Music Festival
The Peach Music Festival is a music festival started by The
Allman Brothers Band and Live Nation Entertainment that has been
held annually since 2012 at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain and
Montage Mountain Ski Resort in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The Peach Music Festival was billed as the first ever Allman
Brothers inspired music festival in northeastern Pennsylvania,
and attracts thousands of people each year. Festival-goers are
encouraged to shop at the many food and craft vendors on the
grounds of the festival and are offered free access to the
Montage Mountain Ski Resort, which is transformed into a large
water park in the summer months, giving them the opportunity to
utilize the park's many water rides and attractions while
listening to the musicians performing. Camping and RV Parking is
also offered on the grounds. The festival takes place in
mid-August over the course of several days and has a variety of
different musical performers, and special events each day.
Partial festival lineups:
Jaimoe's Jasssz Band
Gov't Mule & Friends with John Scofield & more
A Peach Tribute to Gregg Allman & Butch Trucks (with Chuck
Leavell, Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson, Marc Quinones &
Les Brers (final performance with Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Jack
Pearson, Marc Quinones & more)
and many more.....
Jaimoe's Jasssz Band
Les Brers (with Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Jack
Pearson, Marc Quinones & more)
and many more.....
Warren Haynes & Railroad Earth
Jaimoe's Jasssz Band
Butch Trucks & Very Special Friends (with Butch Trucks, Jaimoe,
Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson, Marc Quinones & more)
Oteil & Roosevelt (with Oteil Burbridge, Roosevelt Collier &
and many more.....
The Allman Brothers Band
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Jaimoe's Jasssz Band
and many more.....
The Allman Brothers Band
Jaimoe's Jasssz Band
and many more.....
The Allman Brothers Band
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Warren Haynes Band
Jaimoe's Jasssz Band
and many more.....