For more than 40 years, fans have seen Gregg Allman
behind microphones, guitars and pianos. On Feb. 16, at the Savannah Book Festival
, Allman was behind a table where he was delighting fans who had lined-up to get his autograph on copies of his memoir, "My Cross to Bear."
Those who had purchased his book at the Book Tent in Telfair Square were given signature cards
, which grouped the patrons in blocks of 25. Fans began lining up about an hour or so before Allman was scheduled to begin the book signing event at noon on Saturday.
The skies became overcast and those of us in the lines talked of a certain eventuality...it would be raining shortly. Still, no one left the lines. It became very clear that little could keep us from having our books signed by a man who Rolling Stone
magazine listed as one of the "100 Greatest Singers" of all time
. Rolling Stone
ranks Allman at No. 70
, but it was quite clear that he is No. 1 to many people.
When a car alarm started going off just after noon, everyone in line turned toward where the sound was emanating. It came from a black stretch limousine parked nearby.
Within moments, the rock and blues legend emerged from the limo and casually made his way to the book signing tent, shaking hands with fans as he walked.
As Gregory LeNoir "Gregg" Allman, 66, founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, made his way to his table, there was electricity in the air and it had nothing to do with the weather. Gregg Allman's
presence thrilled fans and the book signing began.
Allman was scheduled for a two-hour book signing, and he went about it with a smile on his face, occasionally taking time to fix the long hair that he has long been known for.
As Savannah Morning New
, "For fans, the book has everything — juicy tidbits about Allman’s battle with substance abuse, his completing rehab 11 times, the band’s run-ins with the law and his six failed marriages, including the one to Cher."
"There are tragedies — the deaths of Allman’s brother, Duane, and Allman Brothers bassist Berry Oakley, plus Allman’s health struggles, including his battle with hepatitis C and his eventual liver transplant," Savannah Morning News
reports. "Then there are the triumphs — jamming at Filmore East, the band’s successful reunion in 1989, Allman kicking drugs and alcohol and staying clean and sober for years."
The book jacket describes Allman in this way: "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." For fans of Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers Band, getting "My Cross to Bear" autographed by Allman was a triumph. For those who may not be familiar with The Allman Brothers Band's songs, or, after reading this, are in the mood to hear one of their classics, "Midnight Rider" is featured in the video above.