MY CROSS TO BEAR by Gregg Allman


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Assisted by rock journalist Light (The Skills to Pay the Bills: The Story of the Beastie Boys, 2006, etc.), Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer Allman confronts the ghosts of his past and emerges with new insight into the familial and artistic bonds that bound—and continue to bind—the Allman Brothers Band.

Addicted to drugs and alcohol for much of his adult life and married multiple times, the author certainly has a hayloft full of celebrity scandal to sift through. While ABB’s principal songwriter and lead vocalist covers all of his lowlights, he’s much more interested in exploring the fantastic blend of blues, rock and jazz that so famously bonded he and late brother Duane to four other maverick musicians starting in the late 1960s. This is a story about musical brotherhood. With gentlemanly charm and compassion, the author vividly recounts how a guitar first transformed the lives of two restless boys living in Florida with their widowed mom. Allman’s portrayal of his complicated relationship with Duane is rich and moving. Although dead by the age of 24 following a tragic motorcycle crash, Duane (considered one of the greatest guitar players of all-time) nonetheless looms large in these pages. The author’s ability to share his enduring guilt in the aftermath of Duane’s tragic passing is nothing less than profound. After successfully receiving a new liver in 2010, Allman appears to have at least one more silver dollar left in his pocket. As his many-faceted memoir so effectively demonstrates, the road does, indeed, go on forever for the Allman Brothers Band.

Life, love and music from one of the most influential American recording artists of the last 40 years.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-211203-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2012


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