Gregg Allman will be laid to rest on Saturday, June 3 at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, a final resting place that has deep significance to the late musician and the beloved group he fronted, The Allman Brothers Band.
The Macon Telegraph reports that a memorial service will be held for Allman — who passed away of liver cancer on May 27 at age 69 — at Snow’s Memorial Chapel on Saturday; the ceremony will not be open to the public.
Macon was the band’s home base during their formative years, and they frequently recorded at Macon-based Capricorn Studios. In a 1973 interview with “Almost Famous” director Cameron Crowe (who was then a writer for Rolling Stone), Allman discussed the band’s early years, when the members shared a house located down the street from Rose Hill Cemetery (where Allman Brothers members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley are both buried).
“We all used to go down there and have a good time,” said Allman of the cemetery. “[Guitarist] Dicky [Betts] would sometimes go down there at night with his acoustic guitar and write songs.”
A statement on Allman’s official website informed fans that Allman “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia.”
A founding member of The Allman Brothers with sibling Duane Allman (who died in a 1971 motorcycle accident), Allman was 69.
A pioneer in the Southern Rock genre that exploded in the early 1970s, Allman served as keyboard player and primary vocalist for the band, renowned for Allman’s husky, soulful singing and extended improvisational jams on such classic tracks as “Midnight Rider”, “Whipping Post” and “Rambling Man”.
“Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years,” continues the statement. “During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”
In addition to undergoing a 2010 liver transplant, Allman’s unspecified health troubles led him to cancel 28 shows in 2016. He then postponed his 2016-2017 winter tour due to a “vocal injury.”
“I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music,” said Allman’s longtime manager Michael Lehman in the statement. “He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”
Following his brother’s death, Allman continued to front the band for four decades, presiding over a lineup that, over the years, boasted such guitar heavyweights as Dickey Betts, Govt Mule’s Warren Haynes, Widespread Panic’s Jimmy Herring and Derek Trucks of Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Allman also toured and recorded as a solo artist, most memorably resulting in his 1987 hit “I’m No Angel”.
During the 1970s and ’80s, Allman’s musical gifts were nearly overshadowed by his hard-living, hard-drinking lifestyle, along with his notoriously short 1975 marriage to Cher (she filed for divorce after being wed for a mere nine days; their union produced a son, Elijah Blue Allman).
Following news of Allman’s passing, Cher shared the following tweet:
Last month, a report circulated claiming that Allman had entered hospice care, but Allman issued a denial on Facebook, insisting he was merely “at home resting on my doctor’s orders.”
“Gregg is survived by his wife, Shannon Allman, his children, Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn Allman; 3 grandchildren, his niece, Galadrielle Allman, lifelong friend Chank Middleton, and a large extended family,” concludes the statement. “The family will release a statement soon, but for now ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”
The late rocker’s Allman Brothers bandmate Warren Haynes — who was a member of the Allman Brothers from 1989 until the band’s final show in 2014 — offered a touching tribute on Facebook:
As news began to spread of Allman’s passing, a who’s who of the music world started to take to Twitter to pay tribute to the late rocker, including Ringo Starr, Keith Urban, Melissa Etheridge and more, along with celebrity fans such as Chris Evans.