Southern rock star dies at 69
SAVANNAH: Gregg Allman, a survivor of tragedy, knew the blues musically and in a painfully personal way.
Raised by his mother after his father was shot to death, he idolised his guitar-slinging older brother Duane and became his musical partner. They formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band, which helped define the Southern rock sound of the 1970s. Their songs such as Whipping Post, Ramblin’ Man and Midnight Rider laid the foundation for the genre.
Gregg, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom, died on Saturday. He was 69.
He died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, Georgia.
“It’s a result of his reccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago. He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn’t,” said his manager, Michael Lehman.
Gregg played his last concert in October last year. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the rock star was raised in Florida. In his 2012 memoir, My Cross to Bear, Gregg described how his older brother was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane, who died in 1971, who excelled at it. So, Gregg switched to the organ.
They spent years in bands together, but failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. AP