Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Rock legend Gregg Allman dies aged 69

One of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band and a pioneer in southern rock, Allman died Saturday at his home in Savannah, Georgia, his official website said.

Their songs such as "Whipping Post", "Ramblin' Man" and "Midnight Rider" laid the foundation for the genre and opened the doors for groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Country legend Charlie Daniels tweeted, "Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have".

"My generation were heavy drug users", Gregg Allman told the Daily Telegraph in 2011.

Allman's percussive Hammond B-3 organ playing helped anchor the Allman Brothers' rhythm section and provided a chuffing counterpoint to the often heated musical interplay between his brother and the band's other lead guitarist, Dickey Betts. And what's amusing, I think, is that the Allmans were so instrumental in the genesis of what we now call southern rock - you know, a genre that's associated perhaps unfairly with Confederate flags and pickup trucks and all this sort of iconography that suggests, you know, an unwelcoming or an outdated worldview - that it's easy to forget they were revolutionary inclusive at the time.

In a career of many highs and lows, Allman told me he would always hold a special place for The Allman Brothers Band track Whipping Post, a song he penned for band's debut release in 1969.

"I got to play with some of my heroes five or six times on stage", May said.

The band's 1971 set "At Fillmore East", recorded at Bill Graham's NY hall, was a commercial breakthrough and sailed to the top of the charts.

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"Did I get any positive anything out of all that?" he wrote of his addiction in his 2012 autobiography. He is survived by his wife Shannon and his children, Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom, and Layla Brooklyn Allman as well as three grandchildren and a large extended family.

Ringo Starr, John Mayer, Keith Urban, Melissa Etheridge, Jason Aldean and Peter Frampton also mourned the demise of the iconic singer. That music has been labeled "Southern rock" thanks to the band's home base in Macon, Ga. - but it was much more than rock, and it reflected a lot more than the South. And that's where I parted company (for a time) with my Brothers.

Popper explains that at first, it was hard to get to know Allman on a personal level, due to the fact that Gregg was closely monitored by handlers hired to ensure his sobriety.

For 69 years, Gregg Allman lived life, cheated death, and made unbelievable rock "n" roll.

In 1997, I interviewed Gregg at 2 am in his Chicago hotel room after he played a solo gig at the Hard Rock Café.

"Gregg's voice, as young as he was, sounded time worn and worldly, " Meckes wrote.

"My heart breaks today at the passing of soul brutha Gregg Allman".

"(It's) "a sad, sad day for music and all of us that loved Gregg. "People just don't want to listen to music, they want to feel it, man".

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