Sunday, June 4, 2017

Going A Different Way

Song 358: This week on the playlist you’ll find It's Not My Cross to Bear by The Allman Brothers Band, written by Gregg Allman. When I posted an Allman Brothers cut 10 weeks ago, I didn't expect to return to them so soon, but Gregg Allman died a week ago yesterday, so I felt the need to honor his passing in this way. In June of 1971 I knew nothing about The Allman Brothers Band when I got off the plane in Atlanta, but the new friends I made there soon introduced me to their hometown heroes, and I certainly liked what I heard, including this track. I felt I would have some fine music to share with my Evanston buddies when I got back to the midwest, but then in July, the live At Fillmore East LP rocked the airwaves so strongly that by the time I returned to the Chicago area in September, my RnR chums already knew the Allmans, and we all felt the loss when a motorcycle accident took Brother Duane’s life. The band valiantly carried on, despite also losing bassist Berry Oakley to a Macon motorcycle accident about a year after Duane's fatal crash a few blocks away. Duane and Berry both died at the age of 24. Sadly, in January of this year, drummer Butch Trucks took his own life, at the age of 69, and about 4 months later, Gregg, at the age of 69, lost his battle with liver cancer. By one other number coincidence, Brother Duane died in '71, and Brother Gregg died in '17. At this point, of the 6 members who posed for the cover of the band's eponymous debut album that featured this recording, only Dicky Betts and Jaimo Johanson remain, and I hope that they will continue to make music for as long as they reasonably can. As for Gregg, now he’s gone, but his music will live on and be strong, so this tune seems like a fitting way to remember him.

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