It’s a truism about the hardships in Rock and Roll. The Allman Brothers have endured those losses and stayed relevant. Founded by brothers Greg (keyboard) and Duane (slide guitar) in the mid-sixties the band bounced from Jacksonville to New York, Saint Louis and Los Angeles. Duane had been making a living as a session guitar player at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals.
Left: Duane Allman, Top: Greg Allman, Right: Dickey Betts
Despite two failed studio albums the Brothers remained on the cusp of stardom. Audiences were electrified by their live performances. In 1970 the band played more than 300 shows travelling in a van and then a Winnebago. Living in the Rock & Roll lifestyle in the Rock & Roll crucible. “We realized that the audience was a big part of what we did, which couldn’t be duplicated in a studio. A light bulb finally went off; we needed to make a live album,” said Greg Allman.
The breakthrough came with 1971’s “Live at the Fillmore East.” The band earning $1,250.00 per night in New York was barely covering expenses. “At Fillmore East” peaked at number 13 and was certified gold. Suddenly after years of struggle the band was on fire. In October of 1971 Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. One year and thirteen days later bassist Barry Oakley was also killed in a motorcycle accident. The band had just released their signature album, “Eat A Peach.”
The Allman Brothers Band
- Duane Allman – lead guitar, slide guitar
- Gregg Allman – organ, piano, vocals
- Dickey Betts – lead guitar
- Berry Oakley – bass guitar
- Jai Johanny Johanson – drums, congas, timbales
- Butch Trucks – drums, tympani
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