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My Cross to Bear Hardcover – 1 May 2012


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My Cross to Bear + One Way Out + Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062112031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062112033
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

…This book is everything you could hope for: in a grizzled, laconic drawl, Allman provides a rambling backstage account of his five decades with the Allman Brothers Band, and he doesn’t seem to hold anything back. (New York Times Book Review)

A soul-searching rumination on a hard-lived life... For generations of fans, Allman’s book provides insights into the many turns in that long road... MY CROSS TO BEAR carries a welcome seal of honesty. (USA Today)

In his memoir, the rambling and rambunctious Gregg Allman lays bare his soul… In the end, Allman, writing with music journalist Light, has produced a fiercely honest memoir. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

This is a story about musical brotherhood. Rich and moving... Nothing less than profound. Life, love and music from one of the most influential American recording artists of the last 40 years. (Kirkus Reviews)

“Packed with juicy anecdotes, gripping details and raw energy…Fans of the Allman Brothers Band are certain to relish the revelations... MY CROSS TO BEAR provides a window into Allman’s tortured soul - he presents himself as a man cracked and flawed, yet somehow intact.” (Birmingham News)

From the Back Cover

As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. For almost fifty years, he's been creating some of the most recognizable songs in American rock, but never before has he paused to reflect on the long road he's traveled. Now, he tells the unflinching story of his life, laying bare the unvarnished truth about his wild ride that has spanned across the years.

The story begins simply: with Gregg and his older brother, Duane, growing up in the South, raising hell with their guitars, and drifting from one band to another. But all that changed when Duane and Gregg came together with four other men to forge something new—a unique sound shaped by soul, rock, and blues and brimming with experimentation; a sound not just of a band, but of a family.

Bringing to life the carefree early days of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg holds nothing back—from run-ins with the law to meeting girls on the road, from jamming at the Fillmore East to experimenting with drugs. Along the way, he goes behind the scenes of some of greatest rock music ever recorded, without shying away from the infamous and painful deaths of his brother, Duane, and Allman Brothers bassist Berry Oakley. Speaking for the first time about the profound impact that his brother's death had on him, Gregg offers a tribute to Duane that only a younger brother could write, showing how, to this day, he still confronts the grief of losing his big brother, even as Duane continues to guide and inspire him.

Setting the record straight about the band's struggles in the face of death, Gregg shows how the decision to persevere came with a heavy price. While the rock and roll excesses of drugs, alcohol, and personality clashes led to a series of breakups that culminated with the band's permanent reunion in 1989, Gregg fought his own battle with substance abuse, going to rehab no less than eleven times and floating through a string of failed marriages, including his tabloid-frenzied relationship with Cher, before finally cleaning up once and for all.

Capturing the Allman Brothers' ongoing, triumphant resurgence as well as his own recent fight against hepatitis C and featuring over one hundred photos from throughout the band’s history, Gregg presents a story as honest as it is fascinating, providing a glimpse inside one of the most beloved and notorious bands in the history of rock music and demonstrating how, through it all, the road goes on . . . forever.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R Raybould on 8 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an Allman Brothers Band fan of more than 35 years standing I was very keen to read Gregg's autobiography. Part of his justification for writing the book was to clear up a lot of the nonsense that's been written about him and the band over the last 40 years or so. It was very interesting to read his side of the story in particular about the relationship between the Band and Dickey Betts and how that all fell apart. Of less interest we also have some insight to his six marriages; in particular the one to Cher. Thankfully this was not the kind of demeaning kiss and tell junk that we see in the UK tabloids.

I most enjoyed the tales of life on the road and the making and recording of the music and of course the memories of his late, and truly great, brother Duane. Very insightful without being sickly sweet.

It's nice to read the story in one volume of a man (dare I say) in late middle age when he really has a lot of life to reflect on. The book is well written and so flows well; as I mentioned in the title.

You may well ask why not 5 stars? Well, there was a fairly constant irritant for me. A lot of the stories, many of more than 40 years vintage, were conveyed via quotations. The quotations contained a lot of strong adult language. Now given GA's admitted heavy use of drink and drugs I cannot believe that he can really remember exactly what was said all that time ago. I am no prude and would admit to using similar language myself with a bunch of male friends over a few drinks in private, but somehow it was just a bit too much on the printed page.

Never the less, this is a "must read" for all ABB / GA fans!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Buyer of CDs/DVDs & BluRays on 15 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
You can never get enough information into a biography and this book could have been 1000 pages and still been interesting. Gregg Allman lived a life of music, drugs,alcohol and partying that would make any rock star envious today.
I am a huge fan of his music and I admire him as an honest gentle human being.
I am not impressed with some of his lifestyle choices and being married 6 or 7 times has gotta be a record for a rock star.
The Allman Brothers had the best ever guitarist Duane Allman and one of the greatest singers in Gregg.
This book is an honest account of a man who is now prepared to enjoy his life and has become a spiritual man and a humble man.
It does cover his marriages, his issues with Dicky Betts and others. If your interested in how the recording process worked then you will be disappointed as little is covered there.
I enjoyed this book but I believe there is a lot more that could have been told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Ladde on 28 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great read which I recommend to anyone who hasn't yet picked up a copy.
I thought Gregg came over as full of warmth and very "human". He speaks again and again so positivey of the people he has met and worked with. Of course there is the exception of D. Betts. I felt Gregg was fooling himself a little there. He acknowledges the years he himself was fuckin up because of the alcohol and then seems quite hard when it comes to the shows ruined by the guitarist's drinking. And from the way he himself describes it, it does sound pretty much like he got the "you're out" news in a fax. But having said that, betts comes over very controlling and power hungry. I wasn't there, and it's one man's side of the story, but it does sound like he was a pain in the ass.
The deaths are covered with real emotion, and I think Allman writes about his loss with a depth of emotion that is very moving. But even though he says so himself, I don't think he realises how much he idolises his brother, and how much Duane became the father figure he needed. Subsequently, his feelings about the band became intwined so deeply with his feeings for his brother that it becomes impossible for him to treat the Alman Brothers Band in anyway separate to his loss or love for his brother. I may be reading too much into it there, but the continuation of the band seemed to become a way for him of expressing his love for Duane.
The Gov't Mule folk come out of it very well, and as well as leading me back to all my old Allman Bros albums I'm now in the mood to listen to more of their stuff.
A great, entertaining read that does sound like the guy is sitting there telling his story. The professional writers did a great job of keeping his authentic voice on the page. As a result of reading this I feel a lot closer and more engaged with music that enjoyed for many years but which has now taken on added meaning. Nice one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Boy on 22 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
Having never been a massive Allman brothers fan I would not usually have bought this book. However it was recommended to me and I'm glad I bought it as it was a really good read. Very interesting and an illuminating look at what it was like to be in one of America's biggest bands. You don't need to like the Allman brothers to like this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AB on 5 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
Very well written and flows along. A riveting read, showing the moments of greatness, weakness and humanity. The books shows the growth of a man, a universal story. The enhanced version was superb, with embedded audio and video (on the iPad make sure the little sound-effects button is on).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GARRY CONSIGLIO on 23 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent read for all Allmans fans, a real warts and all account of the band's history and music, written in an entertaining style. Of particular interest were Gregg's accounts of some of the fierce in fighting within the band and the factions that grew within it over the years, particularly the final few months of Dickey Betts' time in the band before he was fired. Very entertaining read.
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