Gregg Allman, RIP
1947 – 2017
by Michelle Wilson
I was en route to Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida for its inaugural concert, ironically featuring the Tedeschi Trucks Band, when I received the news that I had been dreading for months – Gregg Allman, founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, had passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia due to complications from liver cancer. Fresh on the heels of losing Butch Trucks just a few short months ago, this is a bitter pill to swallow indeed. I thought perhaps that I was mentally and emotionally prepared for this crushing blow, but alas, I was not, and I am not alone. Reading through some of the many comments on social media, the outpouring of love for this beautiful man is overwhelming. With that gritty, whiskey-soaked voice, arguably one of the most soulful blues singers ever to grace our planet, Allman and his band mates (Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe) created a sound and style that was unlike anything before it and would forever change the lives of countless musicians. At Fillmore East remains one of the best and most influential live albums ever recorded. The band’s unique sound inspired the birth of so-called Southern Rock and also helped pave the way for future jam bands. After the tragic 1971 loss of his 24-year-old brother, Duane, followed very quickly by the death of founding bassist Berry Oakley, Gregg and the band somehow persevered and continued on, because it’s what Duane would have wanted. While his life endured many ups and downs, the one constant that remained was always the music, and Gregg had quite a successful solo career as well.
Thank you, Gregg, for the music and the memories. They were the fabric of so many lives, and through the music the flame will continue to burn brightly. There’s one hell of a jam going on in Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven now, and the voice of an angel is their new lead singer.
Gregory Lenoir Allman – 12/8/47 ~ 5/27/17 Rest in peace, Gregg. The Road Goes On Forever…