Why October 29 you may ask: Because I was born on this day? Maybe. Because we lost one of the greatest guitarists of all time 43 years ago, and the band he co-founded, The Allman Brothers Band, finished off their career at nearly 1:30 am this morning at The Beacon Theatre? Yes, today marks the 43rd anniversary of the passing of Duane Allman, who just at the age of 24, merely two years after forming the ABB, died in a motorcycle accident just outside of Macon, Georgia. The guitarist was just 22, when he formed the Allman Brothers Band, along with his brother Greg (vocals, organ, songwriting), and yet he was already a highly renowned session musician. After Allman’s playing on two of Hour Glass albums in early 1968 at FAME Studios, in Muscle Shoals Alabama, he had caught the ear of owner Rick Hill, who hired him to play an entire album with Wilson Picket. He broke through with his infectious slide guitar work on Wilson Picket’s ultra soulful ‘Hey Jude’. Allman’s performance on ‘Hey Jude’ immediately got the attention of Atlantic Records producer, executive, Jerry Wexler, who signed him to a contract, leading him to play with some of the biggest names in rhythm and blues such as Arthetha Franklin. From his short career span up until the age of 24, Allman’s guitar work both as a session musician and with The Allman Brothers, landed him at number 2 on Rolling Stones’s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists”.
The Allman Brothers Band Wrapped up their final show at the Beacon last night, a venue they have played over 200 times, by playing a three set show late into the night, and even into the morning, as they pushed the show into Oct. 29, fittingly wrapping up the their career on the same day Duane passed 43 years ago. The band opened up with a tease of “Little Martha”, the sole tune credited to Duane Allman, and then moved into “Mountain Jam”, which also bookended the three set show. After returning to the stage for one last classic “Whipping Post” encore, all seven members passed the mic sharing brief speaches, ending with Jaimoe, “God bless Duane Allman, God bless you”. The band then picked up their instruments for the final time, to play “trouble no more”, the first song they ever wrote. From the early days with Duane to today, its been one hell of a run, and rock and roll music as we know would never have been the same without The Allman Brothers Band.