If anyone thought we’d get a respite from the flood of untimely deaths which visited us in 2016, I am afraid that was only a fleeting hope and fervent wish. Now we hear of the death of Gregg Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band and one of the guiding lights in the Southern Rock evolution of the 1970s.
The cause of death was listed as complications from liver cancer, but we all know it’s the end result of a life lived faster than most and dotted with wretched excess as many of us experienced, growing up during the time when wretched excess was a virtue rather than vice. Still, it doesn’t mask the feelings that losing one more influential voice, a talented and dedicated artist is becoming just too damned familiar lately.
Bad enough we’ve had to come to grips with the death of Chris Cornell, a loss sudden and shocking, coming from seemingly nowhere only days ago. We now find ourselves reflecting back on another loss, from another generation – thinking of all the times we saw Gregg Allman, going back to the days of the Troubadour in West Hollywood, when The Allman Brothers were just getting known – and friends were saying “You should have heard them when they were The Hour Glass” – we missed a lot, we’ll always miss a lot. And hearing about his brother Duane, who co-founded the Allman Brothers, his death in a motorcycle accident and how that was too sudden and too shocking and how we thought of the unfairness of everything – that there are no sure things in life, except maybe that at some point, it will be over.
So as a reminder of the art of Gregg Allman and the timeless contribution he made to the legacy of Rock, here is a concert he performed with his band at The Stone, in San Francisco – recorded by the sound engineer on September 22, 1984.
People have said that now Gregg gets to jam with his brother Duane again.
Maybe so – maybe so.
Gregg Allman: December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017