The Allman Brothers Band (1968-)
Duane Allman (guitar, vocals) 1968-1971
Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards, guitar) 1968-
Berry Oakley (bass, vocals) 1968-1972
Dickey Betts (guitar, vocals) 1968-2000
Jaimoe (Jai Johanny Johanson) (drums) 1968-
Butch Trucks (drums) 1968-
Chuck Leavell (Keyboards) 1972-1978
Lamar Williams (bass) 1972-1978
Warren Haynes (guitar) 1989-
Allen Woody (bass) 1989-2000
Johnny Neel (keyboards) 1989-1990
Derek Trucks (guitar) 2000-
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Duane and Gregg Allman's father was an Army sergeant. He was murdered in 1949 by a hitchhiker he picked up. At the time, Duane was 3 and Gregg was 2.
Duane and Gregg are left-handed, but learned to play guitar right-handed.
Early names for the band included The Escorts, The 31st of February, Hour Glass, Almanac, and The Allman Joys.
Duane Allman and Barry Oakley died as a result of motorcycle accidents 3 blocks away from each other, Duane on October 29, 1971, Barry on November 11, 1972. Oakley did not die there. He got up, went home and hung out with his friends. Three hours later he died from a brain hemorrhage. Both were 24. They are buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, where the band would often jam. (thanks, Tim - Verona, NJ)
Gregg Allman shot himself in the foot in 1965 to avoid being sent to Vietnam. Duane was exempt from the draft because he was the oldest son and his father was dead.
Their mushroom logo comes from the hallucinogenic psilocybin mushroom extract pills they took in their early years. They had a routine where they would each take half a pill and start jamming in the morning. Every member except Warren Haynes had it tattooed on his calf. Jaimoe's mushroom tattoo is only the outline. Apparently it hurt too much to color it in.
The band is famous for their innovative jams and constant touring. They have always encouraged taping at their shows.
Duane Allman named his daughter Galadrielle, after a character in J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord Of The Rings.
They performed at the second Woodstock in 1994. They were going to attend the first Woodstock as spectators, but decided not to fight the traffic.
As a slide for his guitar, Duane used an old-fashioned glass bottle from a cold medication called Coricidin. He liked the "glass sound " as opposed to "brass" slides, plus, the Coricidin bottle fit him perfectly. He kept it locked away in a briefcase while on the road, so as not to risk having it lost or broken in the course of handling all the larger equipment. Finding one that fit the finger, and also just happened to be the right length wasn't all that easy. (thanks, Gene - Owen County, IN)
They performed at the Summer Jam in Watkins Glen, NY, on July 28, 1973. They were on a bill with The Band and The Grateful Dead that drew about 600,000 people, the largest rock concert ever.
Gregg Allman married Cher in 1975. They had an on-and-off relationship until 1979.
The band helped Jimmy Carter get elected in 1976 by playing benefit concerts to raise money for his campaign. Like The Allmans, Carter is from Georgia.
Gregg released an album with Cher in 1977 called Two The Hard Way. It was credited to "Allman and Woman."
In 1990, they played a concert for MTV Unplugged.
In 1991, Gregg Allman played a drug dealer in the movie Rush.
They were inducted in to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995 by Willie Nelson. Gregg Allman went into rehab the next day.
When asked what he thought about rap music, Gregg Allman said rap was "short for crap."
Duane Allman was a session player before joining the Allman Brothers Band. He camped out in his car at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama until his got a shot. His first session there was on Wilson Pickett's version of "Hey Jude
." He was also part of Eric Clapton's band, Derek and the Dominos
, playing guitar on "Layla
According to the book Skydog - The Duane Allman Story
, following a long summer tour drug use (brown powder, though Duane would not let any ABB members 'shoot up' - snort only) was starting to take it toll on the band. In late September, 1971, Duane went to a Buffalo, New York rehab center for 17 days to "clean out" and get straight. Duane was sober during his horrific motorcycle crash. (thanks, Dan - Spartanburg, SC)
In 1970, they had a roadie known as Twiggs who stabbed a promoter to death after a show in Buffalo, New York. Twiggs was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and after doing time in a mental hospital, he rejoined the band in 1972.
The scene in the movie Almost Famous where the Rock Star character jumps from a roof into a pool was inspired by one of Duane Allman's exploits. In San Francisco, he jumped from the third floor of a Travelodge into the pool, an incident that was recalled to the Rolling Stone reporter Cameron Crowe when he visited the band on tour. Crowe later directed Almost Famous.
Songs Discussed in Movies
, Reservoir Dogs
, Willy Wonka
. Just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.
Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"
With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.