Today would have been the 73rd birthday of Duane Allman. With only 24 years of life, Duane Allman contributed a legacy beyond just co-founding the Allman Brothers Band. A true pioneer of slide guitar, and an avid session musician for many (including Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Otis Rush, Eric Clapton, and countless others), Duane was taken too soon in a motorcycle accident nearly fifty years ago.

From Muscle Shoals to Capricorn Records, the southern-rock, guitar-god brought his feels to the R&B scene on recordings like Wilson Pickett’s version of ‘Hey Jude’, Boz Scaggs‘Loan Me A Dime’, and, most-notably, lays down the illustrious final solo in Derek and The Dominos ‘Layla’. No one played guitar like Skydog did.

But he also touched people in a way that was almost superhuman. His influence was profound, with a life full of teachable moments. Any door he walked through was with purpose and those who stood before him knew not to stay in his way. Those lucky enough to know Duane knew that his power was inimitable and that his legacy, no matter what, would live on.

In memory of Duane Allman, hear some of these great stories on how he affected the lives of many…

Eric Clapton names Duane the “greatest rock guitar solo ever recorded.”

Bobby Whitlock from Derek And The Dominos recalls meeting Duane:

Jaimoe, Tommy Talton, and Scott Boyer wish Duane Allman a happy birthday with these stories:

Dickey Betts on Duane Allman:

Roger Hawkins and David Hood of Alabama’s legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section describe Duane Allman’s early days as a studio musician:

Boz Scaggs talks about his beginning and also the beginning of the Allman Brothers Band:

Butch Trucks reflects on the impact Duane Allman had on his life:

We spoke to Butch Trucks about Skydog in 2015, and he had this to say:

He has had probably the greatest impact on my life of anyone I have ever known. Have you heard the story about the day he reached into me and turned me on? If it wasn’t for that moment of epiphany I would have spent my life teaching math in some high school. That’s ok, but I’ll take the life I’ve had any day. Duane was the type of person who, once you met him, changed you for the better. I’ve never met anyone so powerful and positive. I still, after 45 years, have dreams that I run into him somewhere. There is a piece of me that will never let him go.

Rest in Peace, Duane and Butch.

[Originally published 11/20/16]