Gregg Allman: Please Call Home (a Tribute)
Won’t you fly high, free bird.
On Sunday, May 27, 2017, the music died. At least for a little while. Southern rock, jam band, blues titan, Gregg LeNoir Allman passed away from liver cancer at the age of 69. He was a newlywed (7 times a lady, ah, musicians) and father of 5.
Lynyrd Skynyrd dedicated “Free Bird” to Duane Allman and Berry Oakley in 1975. Duane, brother to Gregg and Berry, brother from another mother to Gregg, both died in motorcycle accidents almost exactly one year and 4 blocks apart in Macon, Georgia. (’71’-’72). They were 2 of the 5 original members of the Allman Brothers Band.
Save for Gregg, the other 3 were: Butch Trucks who committed suicide a few months ago. Jaimoe, cannot imagine how he is handling this and Richard “Dickey” Betts (he
was kicked out left the band some time ago). The Allman Brothers Band saw many rebirths over the years with Chuck Leavell, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Marc Quinones, Allen Woody, Lamar Williams, Oteil Burbridge, but the one constant was Gregg. An actual “Allman.”
ABB spread their music across our city. The world-renowned March run at the Beacon Theatre. Getting booted from the Beacon for Cirque de Soleil and taking us up to the United Palace Theater. Can’t keep a good band down(town). Jones Beach, Central Park in 1978. Madison Square Garden, Ungano’s and unforgettably the beloved and defunct Fillmore East.
You said New York was your second home, Gregg. Please look out for us from time to time. I know you’ve been waiting to reunite with Duane since the moment you lost him; you said it in your autobiography and in damn near every interview. You screamed it through your music, but we, your Peach Corps, your Hittin’ the Note family, we miss you real bad. We lost our rock.
No words are adequate, but thank you anyway. For everything. For the music, the camaraderie, the memories. For what would become a 20+ year tradition between a rebellious teenage girl and her really fucking cool Dad. For the brother/sisterhood with every single fan across the world. It is officially over and by it, I mean the greatest jam band era to ever bless our ears, sway our hips, melt our hearts, capture our souls and chorus our voices. And we have to be okay with that because Gregg, you are free now. Free as a bird.
(Here are some pics ranging from the mid 1990s to their very last show in 2014. Shitty quality, stellar memory.)