The music of the Allman Brothers Band has proven itself timeless, as recordings from nearly 50 years ago continue to circulate radio stations, television programs, vinyl record players, and our own at-home devices on a regular basis. And while the passing of founding member, lyricist, vocalist, and organist Gregg Allman seals the end of the live performance era, it’s certainly not the last fans will hear from the Midnight Rider and the Band that paved the way for southern rock and blues.
Gregg Allman was recently in the studio with Don Was, promising an album of new material expected to come out this fall, “likely in September, with more details on that soon,” according to Billboard. According to longtime Allman Brothers Band manager Bert Holman, there’s also a great deal of Allman Brothers Band archives that have yet to be released via the band’s own label and RED distribution.
“We’ll keep putting things out as long as there’s an appetite for it,” Holman tells Billboard. “There’s a great deal of material [left], and still a lot of interest in hearing these things, we think. We’re working on other stuff right now in the creative pipeline.”
The band’s most recent release was The Fox Box, a three-night run at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre from September of 2004. According to Billboard, “A number of other releases are in motion, including the individual digital release of six 2003 shows from the Instant Live series, as well as a ‘best of 2003’ four-disc set that Holman says will ‘cull the best songs and put together a mega-concert in terms of sequencing.’ Also on the near-term docket is a package featuring multiple shows by the original Allmans lineup at the Fillmore West in San Francisco.”
Holman also reveals that the Allman Brothers’ legendary July 19, 2005 concert at the Warner Theatre in Earie, Pennsylvania is under strong consideration for release – a show that is greatly appreciated by ABB fans as one of the best the band has ever played, under a similar scope of the Grateful Dead’s 1977 Cornell University show. He also says that a “ferocious” small show from Fresno, California is also a potential release. The band’s manager is also working to release the Allman Brothers Band’s final concert from October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theatre in New York in physical form. A release that features guitarist Jack Pearson (1997-1999) is also in the works.
The archival decisions are made by a committee that features veteran music industry executive Bill Levenson, Warren Haynes, who Holman describes as having “an encyclopedic mind about shows, certain song performances,” among other brilliant minds and historians of the Allman Brothers Band legacy.
While the group’s musical collection will continue to grow, so will its museum in Macon, Georgia. The Big House is the current home to all Allman Brothers Band memorabilia, from instruments, clothing, and show merchandise, to the very walls that inspired songs like “Blue Sky.” The museum has expanded so much over the last few years, that they were able to acquire the neighboring house to utilize as the headquarters and open the museum’s third floor as exhibition space.
“More stuff keeps showing up, a lot of memorabilia and other stuff,” Holman tells Billboard. “They recently found one of [drummer] Jaimoe‘s conga cases from the back of the Fillmore album in a building in downtown Macon where the old Macon Recording Studios were. Who knows how it ended up there. So that’s in the museum. And as the audience is aging, people are loaning and donating all kinds of stuff to us. Every time somebody comes to the museum they’re like, ‘I have a button you don’t have. I have a poster you don’t have.’ Well, we’d love a picture of it, and if you’d like to donate it, all the better.”
Holman also comments on the passing of Gregg Allman, saying “During the last months of his illness he really wanted privacy. He had been deteriorating for a while; He just kept it private. He didn’t want people calling, didn’t want to see stuff on TV. He wanted dignity, and fortunately he was able to do that. I think it’s great he died peacefully at home rather than hooked up in a hospital room with tubes, listening to that high-pitched beep, beep, beep.”
The closing sentiments from Bert Holman reveal that the rock legend perhaps could have avoided further health issues, but that his main concern was always to play music. “He maybe came back too soon, by his own admission, but Gregg lived for the music. That’s the only thing he really loved. Playing in his bedroom is not what he means by playing; He wants to play with a band and in front of an audience. He just loved to play, so of course that’s what he would do.” You can read the full story here.
Funeral arrangements have been made for this Saturday in Macon, Georgia at Snow’s Memorial Chap. It will be very small and intimate, with a “no suit” rule, as per Allman’s request. According to the Macon telegraph, fans who would like to pay their respects are asked to create a mile-long motorcade route between the funeral home and Rose Hill Cemetery, where he will be buried alongside his brothers Duane Allman and Berry Oakley. It is in this cemetery where songs like “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Little Martha” were written, and much of the band’s early history was spent.
Rest In Peace, Gregg Allman.
[photo by Phierce Photo]