The Rock & Roll legend and Southern rock pioneer, Gregg Allman has passed away. The singer, musician, and songwriter, who played an essential role in Southern rock died at the age of 69. Allman passed away on Saturday afternoon at his home in Savannah, Georgia.
A statement on the singer’s website confirmed the news on Saturday. “Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times”.
Briefly after his passing, it was revealed that Allman had died from a chronic liver issue he had been experiencing in the past few years.
Building Southern rock
Gregory LeNoir Allman was born December 8th, 1947, in Nashville, Tennessee, a little more than a year after brother Duane. When he was a child Gregg saved up money from a paper route and bought a guitar that was soon appropriated by his older brother. Duane talked his brother into joining a racially integrated band, the House Rockers, shocking their mother at the time. After playing in several bands the brothers created their own, the Allman Joys, and took it on the road in the summer of 1965 following Gregg’s graduation from Seabreeze High School. Playing six sets a night, seven nights a week.
After playing in several bands the brothers created their own, the Allman Joys, and took it on the road in the summer of 1965 following Gregg’s graduation from Seabreeze High School. Playing six sets a night, seven nights a week.
While working as a session man in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Gregg was summoned to Jacksonville, Florida, four years later. Where he joined Duane and the other musicians that will end up being the first lineup of the Allman Brothers Band. With Dickey Betts (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass), Butch Trucks (drums) and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums). Since Gregg was the band’s main vocalist, keyboardist, and composer, was the main focus.
Since Gregg was the band’s main vocalist, keyboardist, and composer, he was the main focus. The band was the first great “Southern-rock” group. Since they blended country blues with San Francisco-style extended improvisation, creating a unique sound that will inspire endless bands in the future. Gregg also had a great growing blues-rock voices, that once mixed with his Hammond B-3 organ had an incredibly deep emotional power.
A bumpy road for the band
The band enjoyed meteoric success with their albums “Live at the Fillmore East” (1971) and “Eat a Peach” (1972). Between those albums, tragically, Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident, followed a year later by Oakley’s eerily similar demise. Shortly thereafter, Gregg recorded his solo debut, 1973’s “Laid Back”.
Along with critical success, Gregg also had a life of excesses, drug abuse, and tabloids. His marriage to pop superstar Cher in 1975, along with the group’s collective Rock & Roll lifestyle, led the band to breakup. After the recording of their 1975′ album “Win, Lose or Draw”.
It has also been said, that Allman’s bandmates resented him for testifying against them, in exchange for immunity. In a law situation regarding their drug dealer.Allman continued to release solo albums throughout the Seventies and Eighties. In 1989 he reformed Allman Brothers Band.
Last days and health problems
In 2007, Allman was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, which he attributed to a dirty tattoo needle, and received a liver transplant. He also suffered from an atrial fibrillation and eventually switched to a gluten-free vegan diet. Allman continued touring with the Allman Brothers until the group played its official final show at New York’s Beacon Theater on October 28th in 2014.
In 2016, Allman was forced to cancel his summer tour due to unspecified “serious health problems”. After briefly returning to the stage Allman’s last concert was in 2016, at the Laid Back Festival in Atlanta. After scheduling a winter tour, Allman had to cancel again due to a serious vocal injury.
Allman assured at the moment: “This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long, time. I’ve been on the road for 45 years because I live to play music with my friends for my fans. As much as I hate it, it’s time for me to take some real time off to heal”. Recently, in March 2017, the artist was forced to cancel his tour dates for similar issues.
A great loss for rock and roll
Allman is survived by his wife, Shannon Allman, his children, Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn Allman and three grandchildren.
“When it’s all said and done, I’ll go to my grave and my brother will greet me saying, ‘Nice work, little brother – you did all right. I must have said this a million times, but if I died today, I’ve had me a blast. I wouldn’t trade [my life] for nobody’s, but I don’t know if I’d do it again. If somebody offered me a second round, I think I’d have to pass on it.” Allman wrote in the last reflecting lines of My Cross to Bear, his 2012 memoir.After his
After his death, many collegues and music legends have paid their honors to Gregg. Cher shared heart touching messages on Twitter. While Ringo Starr assured, “Rest in peace Greg [sic] Allman peace and love to all the family”. Along with Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir added, “Bon Voyage, Brother Gregg, enjoy your next stop…”.
Allman Brothers Band guitarist, Dickey Betts, said in a statement. “I’m so glad I was able to have a couple good talks with him before he passed. In fact I was about to call him to check and see how he was when I got the call. It’s a very sad day”.
Allman’s longtime manager and close friend Michael Lehman added, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him”.
— Cher (@cher) May 27, 2017