My Cross to Bear
by Gregg Allman
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780062112033 For a time in the 1970s and '80s, during the heyday of southern rock (a genre they more or less created), the Allman Brothers Band was true rock royalty in the sense of being commercially successful yet critically acclaimed for their musicianship, often a fleeting combination in pop music. Eventually, they would be more characterized by their immense capacity for recreational substance ingestion and infighting, and Gregg Allman was there through it all. His guitar-whiz brother, Duane Allman, died while they were still on top, as did bassist Berry Oakley. Gregg married Cher briefly, if notoriously and the tabloid-media die was cast. Now, after a successful liver transplant, a laid-back, aw-shucks as all get-out Gregg has written an autobiography full of details about the inner workings of the band, the evolution of its shifting membership, and the attendant sex and drugs that go so naturally with the rock 'n' roll. Allman is as hard on himself for past foolishness as he is on others, and the book has a palpable undertone of confession, perhaps as a way of exorcising the personal demons of a life lived in the fast lane. It's been a rollicking ride for Allman, full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. This engaging work is a real treat for the man's fans.--Tribby, Mike Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780062112033 Back in 1971, the Allman Brothers Band lost Duane Allman-by any standards one of rock's greatest guitarists-to a motorcycle accident, and a year to the day later, Berry Oakley, the band's bassist, died the same way. In his memoir, the rambling and rambunctious Gregg Allman lays bare his soul, carrying us back to his childhood with his older brother, Duane, their days at military school, the first time he picked up a guitar and started making music, the first songs he wrote, his love for Duane, his voracious appetite for drugs and sex, and his countless sexual conquests, his broken relationships and his addictions, and his deep love for music. Like an old bluesman riffing through a tale of love, loss, and redemption, Allman sings the story of the band's early days as Hourglass and the Allman Joys, the glory days of playing the Fillmore East, the struggles to pull the band back together after Duane's and Berry's deaths, and the failures and successes of his own solo career. In the end, Allman, writing with music journalist Light, has produced a fiercely honest memoir. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780062112033 Founding member, singer, and keyboardist of the Allman Brothers-pioneers of blues and country-based jam rock in the late 1960s and early 1970s-Allman (along with music journalist and critic Light) tells his life story in this conversational memoir. Allman recounts his Southern upbringing, early days learning music and playing in clubs, and the eventual rise to fame of the band that bears his and guitar-playing brother Duane's last name. Both Allmans faced their share of trials along with their musical success, and Gregg Allman honestly reflects on the tragic death of his brother in a motorcycle accident, his own struggles with drugs and alcohol, and his many relationships, including a high-profile marriage to Cher in the mid-1970s. Throughout, Allman conveys his deep love of creating and playing music as well as sharing that joy with an audience. Verdict This laid-back, occasionally contemplative book communicates a lifetime of adventures and many ups and downs. Fans of the Allman Brothers and related bands will want to read this accessible firsthand account of one of the icons of classic rock.-Jim Collins, Morristown-Morris Twp. Lib., NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.