New Duane Allman book a refreshing perspective

New Duane Allman book a refreshing perspective

A while back, I set out on a weekend trip with a friend for an assignment by Lake Oconee Living Magazine.

Our mission was to travel Georgia’s Antebellum Trail from Athens to Macon and find interesting things to do or see that were not included in the typical brochures. We chose to have our criteria be the degree of Southern hospitality we could find in these off-the-grid places.

We divided up the towns we were to travel through – Athens, Watkinsville, Madison, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Gray, Macon – and each researched ahead of time to figure out what we could find. Since we only had a couple of days, we had to keep our plans rather simple.

In Macon, we wanted to see the Otis Redding statue in the park at the end of the Ocmulgee River Walk and visit the graves of the two Allman Brothers Band members who were killed on motorcycles back in 1971 and 1972, Duane Allman and Barry Oakley. Their graves in Rose Hill Cemetery are side by side.

'Please Be With Me'

Book about Duane Allman by his daughter a poignant tribute

In the process of looking up background information on the Allman Brothers Band, I came across a new book that was out about Duane Allman. The book, “Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman,” was written by his daughter, Galadrielle Allman. She was 2 when her father died.

I read a couple of reviews and an excerpt from the book and ordered it. I was awed by her determination to get to know her father in a way that was not possible when she was a child. No one would talk about him as a person – good or bad. She knew he was a brilliant musician – she had evidence of that in the recordings she had. But she didn’t know what kind of person he was.

She was nearly 40 when she decided to dive head-on into who her father was and spent five years gathering the information. She talked to all the family members, her Uncle Gregg (Duane’s brother), grandmother Jerry (Duane’s mother), her own mother (Donna Roosman), Jo Jane Pitt (Duane’s cousin who was like a big sister) and the wives and girlfriends of other band members who were around when her dad was alive.

She also talked to members of the band and other great musicians who her father often played and recorded with. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. Galadrielle is a great writer and I developed a new appreciation for her father and his incredible musical prowess.

Here’s a link to a review I wrote for my Baby Boomers Bloom website – Duane Allman was, after all, a leading edge Boomer.