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Gregg Allman: December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017

Classic Rock looks back on the life and legacy of a southern rock legend

Gregg Allman’s life was shaped by death. On Boxing Day 1949, his father, Willis Allman, was murdered near Norfolk, Virginia, where he was stationed with the US Army. The details are unclear; perhaps he was shot by a hitchhiker, perhaps by a drinking buddy (it was the former, Gregg, who had just turned two at the time, said later). And although most accounts say Willis was a captain in the US Aarmy, his own gravestone is inscribed with the rank of second lieutenant.

Twenty-two years later, on October 29, 1971, Gregg’s older brother, Duane Allman, was riding his Harley-Davidson too fast along Hillcrest Avenue in the brothers’ adopted home town of Macon, Georgia, when a flatbed truck stopped suddenly ahead of him. Duane hit the truck and skidded 90 feet with the bike on top of him. Just hours later he died in hospital.


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