Monthly Archives: November 2013

Remembering Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers!!

Duane Allman slammed his foot down on the kick-start of his Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycle on 29th October evening in 1971 in Macon, Georgia. A few miles down the road, he clipped the rear end of a flatbed truck, sustaining fatal injuries. The lead guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band, who was gaining substantial recognition as an electric guitar revolutionary, was dead at age 24.

Howard Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) was a guitarist, session musician, and the co-founder and primary leader of the The Allman Brothers Band. He and his brother Gregg were avid guitarists, forming the band The Allman Joys, later The Hour Glass, in 1965. Duane’s slide guitar sound was also in demand for recordings by artists like Wilson Pickett and Eric Clapton. In 1969, he and Gregg cofounded The Allman Brothers Band, which recorded three successful albums before his untimely passing away. In the early 1970s, the band was hugely successful. Allman is best remembered for his brief but influential tenure in the band and in particular for his expressive slide guitar playing and inventive improvisational skills.

Duane simply loved to play the guitar, and was a much in-demand session musician for acts such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs, and Herbie Mann. A huge fan of Eric Clapton, Duane Allman was surprised and thrilled to be asked to play on DuaneAllmanClapton’s album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.” Clapton was, in turn, a huge Duane Allman fan. In addition to touring with his band, Allman was known to drop in on recording sessions to jam with whomever happened to be recording. The Allman Brothers Band went on to become one of the most influential rock groups of the 1970s, described by Rolling Stone’s George Kimball in 1971 as “the best damn rock and roll band this country has produced in the past five years.”

Allman was well known for his melodic, extended and attention-holding guitar solos. During this period two of his stated influences were Miles Davis and John Coltrane, having listened extensively to Kind of Blue for two years. As Allman’s distinctive electric bottleneck steel sound began to mature, it evolved in time into the musical voice of what would come to be known as Southern Rock, being picked up and redefined in their own styles by slide guitarists that included bandmate Dickey Betts (after Allman’s death), Rory Gallagher, Derek Trucks and Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd.