Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman dead at 69

Southern rock legend Gregg Allman died May 27 at his home in Savannah, GA; he as 69.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce that Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia,” read the statement on the band's and singer’s website. “Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.

“Gregg is survived by his wife, Shannon Allman, his children, Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn Allman; 3 grandchildren, his niece, Galadrielle Allman, lifelong friend Chank Middleton, and a large extended family. The family will release a statement soon, but for now ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

“I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music,” said Gregg’s long time manager and close friend, Michael Lehman. “He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

The news comes a month after Allman denied reports that he had entered hospice care and two months after the singer cancelled his 2017 live schedule without explanation.

Last summer, the rocker cancelled 28 tour dates and checked into the Mayo Clinic to address some “serious health issues.”

The Southern rock pioneer has battled a lengthy series of health issues in the past decade: in 2007, he contracted Hepatitis C, underwent a life-saving liver transplant in 2010, cancelled live performances in 2011 due to an upper respiratory condition that resulted in lung surgery, and entered rehab in 2012.

Allman was born in Nashville, TN in 1947. After playing in a number of groups to various degrees of success, Gregg and his brother Duane formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 during a series of jams with guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley, and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson.

The group issued their self-titled debut album in 1969, a set that featured classics like “Whipping Post” and “Dreams.”

The Allman Brothers Band thrived on improvisation in concert in an effort to expand compositions into uncharted waters and new heights. The group’s legendary reputation was cemented through constant touring and the release of 1971’s double live set, “At Fillmore East”, which became their commercial breakthrough when it peaked at No. 13 on Billboard's Top Pop Albums chart.

The group persevered through the tragic motorcycle deaths of Duane and Oakley in Macon, GA in 1971 and 1972, respectively, and would continue through several lineup changes through the years.

Gregg released six solo albums in his career, from 1973’s “Laid Back” to 2011’s “Low Country Blues.”

After 45 years together, the Allman Brothers Band performed its final show on October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theater in New York City.

See also:

Gregg Allman denies hospice rumors
Allman Brothers guitarist’s wife arrested for threatening to shoot teens
Allman Brothers release 8-disc Fox Box set
Gregg Allman cancels 2017 live schedule
Search The Allman Brothers at hennemusic