Skydog – The Duane Allman Story: by Randy Poe

After re-reading Gregg Allman’s biography My Cross To Bear  I noticed this book about his brother Duane… the founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. It’s a good read and an informative book. Its forward is written by one of his friends…ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons.

The Allman Brothers Band formed in 1969 and they lost their leader Duane Allman in 1971. They continued on to be one of the most successful American bands ever. They finally called it quits in 2014.

I saw this book about Duane and I was excited to read it. Going in… I had read Gregg’s bio, Duane’s daughter’s (Galadrielle Allman) book Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman, and One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band so I was well rounded on the Allman Brothers. Duane lived a short life but Poe seemed to find many of the musicians he played within the 60s and 70s.

Duane believed in brotherhood…not just with his brother but the band and the entire cast around them. Phil Walden was the president of Capricorn Records, The Allman Brothers record label. He would call for a meeting with the band…he really only wanted to see Duane. Duane not only brought everyone in the band but he brought the roadies also. He told Walden flatly.. .you will not talk with just me but with all of us. Walden would reply …but Duane why are the roadies in here? Duane said they were just as important as the band…without them, we can’t play. The roadies would stay. Duane’s lack of ego in his vision for the Allman Brothers Band made them who they were even after he was gone.

He created a family atmosphere with the Allman Brothers organization. Their 3rd album At Fillmore East was their breakthrough…the album cover shows the band against a brick wall. On the other side of the album shows the roadies in front of the wall also…and a picture of one roadie Twiggs Lyndon who couldn’t be there that day. Another band that shared that same philosophy was the Grateful Dead where the roadies were family. Modern businesses would be wise to take this philosophy and use it.

Duane worked with many musicians and touched their lives. Many that drifted in and out of his bands were not forgotten. The original keyboard player for the Allman Brothers was Reese Wynans until Greg joined. Duane broke it to Reese that the band didn’t need two keyboard players.

In a short time, Duane met Boz Scaggs and recommended Reese to play with him and he did. That started his successful career and he would play with many musicians in his career and was the keyboard player in Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band Double Trouble.

This book doesn’t stop at Duane’s death. It follows the band all the way up to their end in 2014. In the end, he gives a good discography of Duane’s studio recordings. It’s really incredible how many sessions the man was on and he didn’t even reach the age of 25.

The book goes over why he turned Eric Clapton down on joining Derek and the Dominos. This was before the Allman Brothers had made it. He remained loyal to his band because it took him so long to find the right mix of musicians to get the sound he wanted. They didn’t have a hit until the Live At Fillmore East album was released in July of 1971. It would go gold 5 days before Duane was killed. 

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about Duane and The Allman Brothers. It is full of great information. After you read it you will want to look up all of the recordings he was on. His playing was edgy, tasteful, and like great jazz…takes you on a journey.

At the end of the book, you have to wonder how far he would have gone if he would have lived.

One passage from the book: “In September 2003 ‘Rolling Stone’ published its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, placing Duane at #2 just behind Jimi Hendrix. Gregg Allman commented that he thought it was a very wonderful gesture and said “…I thought ‘You made your mark man. You didn’t make any money, but you made your mark.”‘ Rounding out the top five were B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson—pretty impressive company for a kid from the South who didn’t even live to see his 25th birthday.”.

If you want to read about the Allman Brothers I would recommend these books also.

My Cross To Bear by Alan Light and Gregg Allman

One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band by Alan Paul

For a more personal view and her journey to know her dad…

Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

20 thoughts on “Skydog – The Duane Allman Story: by Randy Poe”

    1. Yes it does…it just mentions how large it was and how important of a show that was to all of the bands. My only complaint…and I think you can relate…I wanted to know more about the roadies and the tour manager…who like the Dead were important to that band….but he covered the musicians he worked with

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know a little bit about most of the Dead roadies and also bits and pieces about the people who worked in the Dead office and all of that stuff is interesting to me. They were both very much family-oriented bands.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes they were…Parish left briefly to go to Quicksilver Messenger Service…he said he found out quickly that other bands were not as close as the Dead. He said Dino was a jerk at imes.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…No… no commision darn it!
      I think you would like it….I would reccomend One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band….it’s basically an interview with everyone close to them and they tell the story…plus the band members.

      Like

  1. Sounds quite interesting. Funny coincidence you cover Allman’s today and I did a post on Marshall Tucker Band. Both Capricorn Records acts that seemed to consider themselves (crew included) a big family, liked to work hard & play hard.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for that Dave. After I read Greggs book I can’t get enough of them. Hard to believe they were so successful after Duane died. He was the engine and leader of that band.

      Capricorn was the happening label for a while… they made one bad mistake:.. they turned down Lynyrd Skynyrd… and Phil Walden’s brother managed them at that time!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ouch! The Brothers Waldren were not on the same page there.
        And this might sound trite but it’s not meant to be. The guy never even got to the 27 club in his life.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. He was kind of like Jimi Hendrix…always in the studio. He worked with so many musicians. As great as he was on guitar…it was his leadership qualities that I admire the most. Everyone could learn from it.
      Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This one and the one his daughter wrote I am interested in reading. Do either of them talk at all about his love life? I know once a long time ago you or Hans said something about one or the other of the brothers not having a very good track record with females, but I don’t remember much beyond that. I do know that I love The Allman Brothers Band’s music. Outstanding the way Duane treated his roadies as part of the “family.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gregg loved women but he was married 7 times lol. I never read about any abuse or anything…not physical…he met them and sometimes they were on substances like him so you take it from there. Gregg and Cher was really interesting…
      Duane never really had much time to be good or bad and he was playing all of the time. This book does not go into his love life hardly at all.
      The one by his daughter does more of course…he was just so young. He named her after a Lord of the Rings character…he was heavily into that.
      I did like how Duane took charge of the band…never arguing really at all…and how he treated the roadies was special.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 7 times??? I think there is a movie starring Shirley Maclaine titled, “Woman Times Seven” which tells about her 7 marriages/relationships. It was a good movie. I guess it takes a certain kind of person to be a serial spouse lol. TBH, I’m more interested in Duane than Gregg.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will say…that Gregg Allman book… I learned more about Duane’s personailty in that book than any other… it’s up there with Keith’s book. He is not shy about anything.
        But what I liked about the history is the brotherhood they shared until…a few years after Duane died…then it all fell apart.

        Dickey Betts was/is a great guitlar player…..Duane would say in interviews….I’m the famous guitar player but Dickey is the better one.
        That was pretty cool of him to say that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh I bet he would know his brother best, so I guess I will add Gregg’s book to the list. Sorry to hear the brotherhood didn’t continue long past Duane’s passing. Peacekeepers are underrated.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Dickey Betts took over and he wasn’t exactly the nicest guy at times…he didn’t know how to lead…Gregg certainly didn’t. He was far too laid back.

        Liked by 1 person

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