The Allman Brothers were the Jonas Brothers of the 70s and 80s, where they swayed America with their Southern rock tunes. From the time the band formed in 1969, the boys didn’t stop recording, performing, and touring the world until 2014.
That’s 45 years being on the road doing shows, hitting the studio to make more music, interacting with fans, and all that comes with it.
The band is famous for popular hits such as Eat a Peach (1972), Black Hearted Woman (1969), Midnight Rider (1970), in Memory of Elizabeth Reed (1970), Blue Sky (1972), Soulshine (1994), and Old Before My Time (2003).
The band released a total of twelve studio albums and six live albums. One of their career-defining moments was their electric performance at Filmore East in 1971.
The most inspiring thing about the Allman Rock Band is that despite going through significant challenges, they kept on ongoing. The group has lost some of the most influential and essential members over the years, but that didn’t crush their spirits.
First, it was Duane Allman, the one who started the band that left the planet only two years after its inception. Close to a year later, the band’s bassist Berry Oakley lost his life almost the same way Duane did. Other members have since passed on, but the band remains one of the most inspiring and successful.
Who is Duane Allman?
Duane Allman is known in the United States as a highly acclaimed guitarist and member of the Allman Rock Band. He is the one that formed the band in 1969.
His story goes way back to November 20, 1947, when he was born to a Nashville family. At only 14, the late talented star had learned how to play the guitar. He realized he loved music with a passion. So, he wrote songs and hit the studio (Atlantic Records in Alabama).
There he met and played with big dogs in the industry, including Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, John Hammond, King Curtis, Wilson Pickett, Herbie Mann, Ronnie Hawkins, and Clarence Carter.
In 1969, Duane decided to take things a notch by forming a band with his younger brother Gregg, a good vocalist and keyboard player. The band went on to recruit more talented people, and in no time, it was among the most sought-after bands in the United States.
This mostly happened in the early 1970s. The Rolling Stone Magazine named Duane the 2nd greatest guitarist of all time in 2003. That doesn’t happen by chance. The band member played his slide guitar with such skill and passion that could be felt across the room.
His stage name “Skydog” came about because the musician sure aimed for the sky.
What happened to him?
Despite being talented and charming, Duane lived a care-free lifestyle. He was often smoking pot on the highways while driving his bike at top speeds. He loved girls and booze way too much. Well, when you live that way, your chances of staying alive for too long are significantly reduced. Duane certainly paid for his careless approach to life with his.., well, life.
On October 29, 1971, the successful guitarist and musician lost his life in a motorbike accident.
According to The Rolling stone Magazine, Duane was racing on his Harley-Davidson Sportster bike when he rammed onto a truck on Hillcrest Avenue, Macon.
The Allman Rock Band founder had visited “Big House” to wish Berry Oakley’s wife Linda Oakley a happy birthday. He left the house at around 5:45 PM but never made it home.
As he sped on the highway, a flatbed truck transporting a crane made a quick turn just in front of him. The musician tried to swerve by moving to the middle of the highway.
However, the truck then stopped midway as the musician was trying to find a way around it. It was too late for him to do much, so he ran into it. The crane knocked Duane off his bike, which went up in the air and glided to a complete stop on the side of the highway.
Duane’s girlfriend and other friends were behind him. They called the ambulance and had him rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, the guitarist lost his life on the operating table. Granted, he didn’t have major physical injuries except for a few bruises but, his liver, arteries, and other organs had been badly damaged.
What about his motorcycle?
No one reported what happened to Duane’s Harley except that it had been tossed in the air during the accident.
What’s strange is that the band’s bassist, Berkley, died in a motorcycle accident a few blocks away from the spot where Duane lost his life. He was speeding his Triumph before he hit the side of a city bus. This happened close to one year after Duane’s death.
Duane Allman was talented, driven, and hard-working.
Just like other famous figures, he didn’t make it through his 20s, but he certainly left his mark in this world! People still talk about him close to five decades later. Way to live!