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My Cross to Bear

My Cross to Bear

4.0 65
by Gregg Allman

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For the first time, rock music icon Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, tells the full story of his life and career in My Cross to Bear. No subject is taboo, as one of the true giants of rock ’n’ roll opens up about his Georgia youth, his long struggle with substance abuse, his string of bad marriages (including


For the first time, rock music icon Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, tells the full story of his life and career in My Cross to Bear. No subject is taboo, as one of the true giants of rock ’n’ roll opens up about his Georgia youth, his long struggle with substance abuse, his string of bad marriages (including his brief union with superstar Cher), the tragic death of  brother Duane Allman, and life on the road in one of rock’s most legendary bands.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Back in 1971, the Allman Brothers Band lost Duane Allman—by any standards one of rock’s greatest guitarists—to a motorcycle accident, and a year to the day later, Berry Oakley, the band’s bassist, died the same way. In his memoir, the rambling and rambunctious Gregg Allman lays bare his soul, carrying us back to his childhood with his older brother, Duane, their days at military school, the first time he picked up a guitar and started making music, the first songs he wrote, his love for Duane, his voracious appetite for drugs and sex, and his countless sexual conquests, his broken relationships and his addictions, and his deep love for music. Like an old bluesman riffing through a tale of love, loss, and redemption, Allman sings the story of the band’s early days as Hourglass and the Allman Joys, the glory days of playing the Fillmore East, the struggles to pull the band back together after Duane’s and Berry’s deaths, and the failures and successes of his own solo career. In the end, Allman, writing with music journalist Light, has produced a fiercely honest memoir. (May)
Library Journal
After major surgery in 2010, Allman launched a 2011–12 tour with the Allman Brothers Band and released a solo album, Low Country Blues, while still finding time for this memoir. With a one-day laydown and a 250,000-copy first printing; rock memoirs rock.
Kirkus Reviews
Assisted by rock journalist Light (The Skills to Pay the Bills: The Story of the Beastie Boys, 2006, etc.), Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Allman confronts the ghosts of his past and emerges with new insight into the familial and artistic bonds that bound--and continue to bind--the Allman Brothers Band. Addicted to drugs and alcohol for much of his adult life and married multiple times, the author certainly has a hayloft full of celebrity scandal to sift through. While ABB's principal songwriter and lead vocalist covers all of his lowlights, he's much more interested in exploring the fantastic blend of blues, rock and jazz that so famously bonded he and late brother Duane to four other maverick musicians starting in the late 1960s. This is a story about musical brotherhood. With gentlemanly charm and compassion, the author vividly recounts how a guitar first transformed the lives of two restless boys living in Florida with their widowed mom. Allman's portrayal of his complicated relationship with Duane is rich and moving. Although dead by the age of 24 following a tragic motorcycle crash, Duane (considered one of the greatest guitar players of all-time) nonetheless looms large in these pages. The author's ability to share his enduring guilt in the aftermath of Duane's tragic passing is nothing less than profound. After successfully receiving a new liver in 2010, Allman appears to have at least one more silver dollar left in his pocket. As his many-faceted memoir so effectively demonstrates, the road does, indeed, go on forever for the Allman Brothers Band. Life, love and music from one of the most influential American recording artists of the last 40 years.
The New York Times Book Review
Reading this book is like sitting on a porch with a garrulous scalawag who gives equal time to his dumb decisions and fantastic luck. Only the rascal talking your ear off is Gregg Allman, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. When you first pick up this autobiography…you might think the title My Cross to Bear more than a little self-pitying; after all, martyrdom is best conferred by others. But after you finish reading it, you'll probably think that, while it's unlikely anyone will base a religion on the sufferings of a millionaire rock star, Gregory LeNoir Allman passed a night in Geth­semane and then some.
—David Kirby
USA Today
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.
Birmingham News
“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.”
New York Times Book 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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.22(w) x 6.42(h) x 1.36(d)


Meet the Author

Gregg Allman is one of the original members of the Allman Brothers Band, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to make music as a solo artist and with the Allman Brothers and lives in Georgia.

Alan Light is a former editor-in-chief of Vibe and Spin magazines, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and Rolling Stone.

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My Cross to Bear 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
GaPeachBC More than 1 year ago
Highs, lows and in-betweens...the dude lets it rip! Great sense of humor, too! He doesn't expect nor does he ask for anything. I admire that about him. I know many have judged this man over the years, but I refuse to and never would. I think that I understand him. You can hear the pain and sorrow in much of his music, and there don't appear to be as many highs as there are lows in his life (and I mean that figuratively, not literally). Maybe those are to come! I can’t remember not loving this man, his music, Brother Duane, the ABB, and everything else as they were a huge part of my life (along with my three Brothers) while growing up in Georgia in the 60’s & 70’s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. It's like sitting on the porch with a bottle of cheap wine and a pack of cigaretttes with the whole night to listen to a good ole boy reminisce.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and it upsets me because the stories were fantastic and told honestly. I really get a sense that Mr. Allman is just as fantastic at writing books as he is at writing, composing, and playing music. I really enjoyed the rawness of his story. I feel like I was allowed to read his private journals because the story divulged so much information and never did he try to downplay his role in wrongdoing. I feel more connected by having read it and I always appreciate anything that makes me feel like i have learned lessons vicariously through the author. I sure hope one day that I can call him Gregory and congratulate him on this fantastic piece!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice way to look at a legandary group perhaps a bit hard on richard but greg is one great blues master
PIanoTunerNYC More than 1 year ago
First of all, the enhanced edition is excellent. Secondly, Gregg Allman did a book signing at Barnes & Noble's Union Square location on May 23, 2012, and was humble, warm, friendly and outgoing. A true southern gentleman. I've been an Allman Brothers fan from the first time I heard their debut album played on WNEW-FM in NY on Scott Muni's show. Gregg's book takes you through his incredible journey. Again, highly recommended.
PILGRIMS8 More than 1 year ago
Yikes! Wasted days and wasted nights. The liver transplant and the repentant heart make this an easy, worthwhile read. For those of us who are not fan's of Cher, kudos here, as she does not suffer fools gladly. Unless of course it's Hollywood Liberal politics. There are numerous accounts of people dying after their first hit of cocaine or heroin, this very talented man lived decades though what most addicts do not. Best song...2009 slow version of "Whipping Post."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enc Enhanced version offers wonderful interview clips & a song, which is great. Gregg tells his story honestly & engagingly. Any fan would love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a great read could not put the book down! he speaks from the heart just as his music always does. ABB is the best American rock band ever period.... get the book!!
Mattmatt More than 1 year ago
Not really insightful but if you are a big fan, you pretty much have to read it. There are no surprises or anything profound. Just a dude that partied hard, drank hard and drugged hard while being involved in and responsivble for some great music. This is the first enhanced ebook ive bought. The enhanced features (video and audio) are quite nice. I will now always spring for an enhanced edition when available.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's hard to rate this book objectively. If you are an Allman Brothers fan there is loads of interfering material in the book especially around there early years (which is over half the book) That being said, if you are not a fan, i think it's a tedious read. It's written like I imagine he talks and the subject are all over the place and the stories are often superfluous around most getting some
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gregg tells tales that only he would know and could tell. Fairly comprehensive. Worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThePirate More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly good bio.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved his look back over his shoulder in such a beautifully painful brutally honest fashion. I believe the real Gregory Allman be found between these pages .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a life! An incredible musician,you can really tell he loves to make people happy. A great read! Play on!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always a fan of ABB. He is all over in this book. Confusing to stay with his thoughts. How he can remember some of the things is beyond me. So i have to say that the book was disappointing to me even though he is honest. The man definately think very highly of himself and certainly puts himself before any of his kids. I love music.....all kinds so i had to read it. My Cross to Bear...disapointing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Readitreaditreadit More than 1 year ago
This is autobiography is very well-written and genuine. The writing style was easy to follow and the content was so good, you couldn't wait to turn the page. If you're a fan of the Allman Brothers, or from Macon, GA, I highly recommend this book. It's time well-spent.
South59 More than 1 year ago
Just goes to show you what God and the power of the Holy Spirit can do in our lives!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cootygirl More than 1 year ago
I got 3 or 4 chapters into this and wasn't impressed. I don't know whether it was the way he was telling his story or the story itself. I love Gregg Allman's music and respect his legacy, but didn't get much out of his story. I'll have to go back to it at some point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gregg makes himself out to be quite the anti-hero. I enjoyed the history and background of the ABB that he provided, but at the same time, the blase attitude about his drug habits was a bit disturbing. One minor issue: he claims that Eric Clapton didn't play slide until meeting Duane Allman. However, the timeframe provided for that meeting was after the Beatles' White Album on which EC played slide. Overall, though, good read. I had just recently started digging into the ABB catalog, so this book was a good companion to that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is very entertaining. I grew up in the error of the Allman Brothers bank and their musical influence. It was I time that I easily identify with and enjoyed. I would recommend it to anybody in my generation.