October 16th, 1971, inside of two weeks before Duane’s death on Oct. 29th. Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, & Berry Oakley above. Duane and Berry died in separate motorcycle accidents– Duane in 1971 and Berry in 1972.
There’s an overwhelming feeling of worldly injustice and “what could’ve been”, when someone so gifted and young is taken from us like Duane Allman was. The only consolation we have (and a sweet one it is), are the incredible tracks he laid down with The Allman Brothers Band, Derek and the Dominoes, and his session works in the studio with great artists like Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, B.B. King, and Clarence Carter. And if you think he was just a great slide player and string bender– check out the blistering lead work on You Don’t Love Me.
I can’t believe that 38 years have already passed since the day Duane Allman hopped on his Harley after a party in Macon, Georgia– not knowing it would be for the last time. He only got a few miles down the road, when a truck turned in front of him and Duane clipped it’s back end. Allman lost control, and the Harley landed on top of him, sustaining injuries that would take his life within a few short hours. The lead guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band, who was gaining huge acclaim for his exciting and innovative sound and style, was dead at age 24.
Jerry Wexler’s eulogy for Duane sums it up best: “This young and beautiful man who we love so dearly but who is not lost to us, because we have his music, and the music is imperishable.”
Amen, brother. Amen.
November 24th, 1969, Muscle Shoals, Alabama– Wilson Pickett and Duane Allman.