Gregg Allman December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017
PAGE SIX Gregg Allman, whose hard-jamming, bluesy sextet the Allman Brothers Band was the pioneering unit in the Southern rock explosion of the ‘70s, died Saturday due to currently unknown causes. He was 69.
With his older sibling, guitarist Duane Allman, the singer-keyboardist-guitarist-songwriter led one of the most popular concert attractions of the rock ballroom era; the group’s 1971 set “At Fillmore East,” recorded at Bill Graham’s New York hall, was a commercial breakthrough that showed off the band’s prodigious songcraft and instrumental strengths.
After Duane Allman’s death in a motorcycle accident weeks after the live album’s release, his younger brother led the band through four more stormy decades of playing and recording. The Allman Brothers Band’s latter-day history proved tumultuous, with other fatalities, disbandings, regroupings and very public battles with drugs and alcohol on the part of its surviving namesake.
Though Gregg Allman’s highly publicized addictions, his tabloid-ready marriage to pop vocalist Cher, and his equally public disputes with co-founding guitarist Dickey Betts came under harsh and sometimes mocking scrutiny over the years, Allman prevailed as the linchpin of an act that maintained popularity over four decades and opened the commercial door for such other Southern acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.
Health problems and catastrophe continued to dog him. He cut short a 2011 European tour because of respiratory issues, which ultimately mandated lung surgery.
He faced a drug relapse spurred by painkillers, and did a stint in rehab. In 2014, a film based on his 2012 memoir, “Midnight Rider,” ceased production after a camera assistant on director Randall Miller’s feature was killed by a freight train on the first day of shooting.
Married and divorced six times, Allman is survived by three sons and two daughters, all by different mothers. Four of the children are professional musicians. RIP READ MORE
My heart felt condolences go out to his children Michael, Elijah Blue, Devon, Delilah, Layla and legions of fans, xK