Sunday, May 28, 2017

Goodbye to Gregg Allman

I am powerless to resist.

Ever since I heard yesterday of the death of Gregg Allman, I have been listening to my CDs of his music — at home, in my car, wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.

Thoughts of Gregg Allman bring back many fond memories for me. The Allman Brothers Band may have been my favorite band when I was in my teens, and I still enjoy listening to those recordings today.

There is some music I listened to in my teens that makes me cringe when I hear it today. "What was I thinking?" I want to ask myself even though the answer is obvious. I was a teenager, and you know how teenagers are.

But the Allman Brothers music never affects me that way.

It is drizzly and overcast this morning in Dallas, Texas, and I have been listening to the Allmans and remembering those days in my life. It has always seemed to me that Southern blues/rock music was made for a day like today, which makes it an appropriate time to mourn Allman's passing.

The Allman Brothers were responsible for bringing that genre to us. There have been many Southern rock bands over the years, but Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers Band were the pioneers. They made sure we got the music, then passed the baton to others. Some handled it well; others did not.

But none ever matched what they achieved.

I feel a personal link between Dallas and the Allman Brothers. My grandparents lived here, and my family came here to visit frequently when I was growing up. I can remember buying cassettes of Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers during our visits — Dallas always had far better music stores than central Arkansas did, as far as I was concerned — and listening to them on my portable cassette player on my grandmother's porch.

Frequently, as I recall, it was raining when I listened to those tapes.

Farewell, Gregg Allman.