Book Report: Three Things We Learned From ‘Gregg Allman: My Cross To Bear’

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photo credit: Brian Ives

photo credit: Brian Ives

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In the past few years, a number of rock legends have picked up the proverbial pen to set the record straight on their personal stories. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Sting have all told their tales in book form, and this year has seen a lot of icons hit the book store. So, just in time for the holidays, we’re offering brief takes on some of 2012’s best rock tomes.

gregg allman book  Book Report: Three Things We Learned From Gregg Allman: My Cross To Bear

THE DEAL: It’s fascinating that this book even got published. Allman Brothers Band singer/keyboardist Gregg Allman generally doesn’t like being interviewed.  But after some health scares in recent years, he decided to set the record straight.

AUTHOR: Gregg Allman with writer Alan Light

PAGES: 378

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED: 

  1. On his solo album Laid Back, he pictured the music as cartoonist R. Crumb’s character “Mr. Natural.” “Mr. Natural’s feet always got to where he was going before his head did, so ‘laid back’ means don’t dive in there headfirst.”
  2. Don’t call him “Gregg”: “My mother still calls me Gregg — and I hate it.  To me, the name ‘Gregg’ sounds like a brand name for a product, especially put with ‘Allman.’ Gregory, which is my real name, that’s all right. To this day, you can tell my good friends, because they always call me Gregory.”
  3. Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks reminds him of his late brother and bandmate, Duane Allman. so much, it led him to believe in reincarnation: “Do I believe in reincarnation? After seeing Derek Trucks, how could I not? People ask me about Derek and my brother all the time, and I usually give them a pretty generic answer, because it’s a pretty heavy question. But I have good peripheral vision, and sometimes I’ll catch him out of the corner of my eye, and the way he stands looks just like my brother.

Of course, Gregg’s story is ongoing: The Allman Brothers Band have an open invitation to play New York’s Beacon Theater every year “until further notice,” he says in the book.  And although the band has slowed down their touring schedule they no doubt have a number of good tours left in them.

– Brian Ives, CBS Local

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