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My Cross to Bearby Gregg Allman
Synopses & Reviews
As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. For almost fifty years, he's been creating some of the most recognizable songs in American rock, but never before has he paused to reflect on the long road he's traveled. Now, he tells the unflinching story of his life, laying bare the unvarnished truth about his wild ride that has spanned across the years.
The story begins simply: with Gregg and his older brother, Duane, growing up in the South, raising hell with their guitars, and drifting from one band to another. But all that changed when Duane and Gregg came together with four other men to forge something new — a unique sound shaped by soul, rock, and blues and brimming with experimentation; a sound not just of a band, but of a family.
Bringing to life the carefree early days of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg holds nothing back — from run-ins with the law to meeting girls on the road, from jamming at the Fillmore East to experimenting with drugs. Along the way, he goes behind the scenes of some of greatest rock music ever recorded, without shying away from the infamous and painful deaths of his brother, Duane, and Allman Brothers bassist Berry Oakley. Speaking for the first time about the profound impact that his brother's death had on him, Gregg offers a tribute to Duane that only a younger brother could write, showing how, to this day, he still confronts the grief of losing his big brother, even as Duane continues to guide and inspire him.
Setting the record straight about the band's struggles in the face of death, Gregg shows how the decision to persevere came with a heavy price. While the rock and roll excesses of drugs, alcohol, and personality clashes led to a series of breakups that culminated with the band's permanent reunion in 1989, Gregg fought his own battle with substance abuse, going to rehab no less than eleven times and floating through a string of failed marriages, including his tabloid-frenzied relationship with Cher, before finally cleaning up once and for all.
Capturing the Allman Brothers' ongoing, triumphant resurgence as well as his own recent fight against hepatitis C and featuring over one hundred photos from throughout the band's history, Gregg presents a story as honest as it is fascinating, providing a glimpse inside one of the most beloved and notorious bands in the history of rock music and demonstrating how, through it all, the road goes on... forever.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is a story about musical brotherhood. Rich and moving....Nothing less than profound. Life, love and music from one of the most influential American recording artists of the last 40 years. Kirkus Reviews
"A soul-searching rumination on a hard-lived life....For generations of fans, Allman's book provides insights into the many turns in that long road....My Cross to Bear carries a welcome seal of honesty." USA Today
"Packed with juicy anecdotes, gripping details and raw energy....Fans of the Allman Brothers Band are certain to relish the revelations....My Cross to Bear provides a window into Allman's tortured soul — he presents himself as a man cracked and flawed, yet somehow intact." Birmingham News
"This book is everything you could hope for: in a grizzled, laconic drawl, Allman provides a rambling backstage account of his five decades with the Allman Brothers Band, and he doesn't seem to hold anything back." New York Times Book Review
For the first time, rock music icon Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, tells the full story of his life and career in My Cross to Bear. No subject is taboo, as one of the true giants of rock 'n' roll opens up about his Georgia youth, his long struggle with substance abuse, his string of bad marriages (including his brief union with superstar Cher), the tragic death of brother Duane Allman, and life on the road in one of rock's most legendary bands.
About the Author
Gregg Allman is one of the original members of the Allman Brothers Band and a legend of American music. A recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and continues to make music as a solo artist and with the Allman Brothers. A multiple Grammy Award winner, he has sold millions of records around the world, with his most recent album, Low Country Blues, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard chart. He lives in Georgia.
Alan Light is a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone and the New York Times. The former editor-in-chief of Spin and Vibe magazines, he is a two-time winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music writing.
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