My Cross to Bear by Gregg Allman, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
My Cross to Bear

My Cross to Bear

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by Gregg Allman

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One of Rolling Stone Magazine's 25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2012

As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. Now he tells the unflinching story of his life, offering the definitive account of the legendary Allman Brothers Band. From run-ins


One of Rolling Stone Magazine's 25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2012

As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. Now he tells the unflinching story of his life, offering the definitive account of the legendary Allman Brothers Band. From run-ins with the law to meeting girls on the road to experimenting with drugs, Gregg holds nothing back, while also speaking, for the first time, about the painful deaths of his brother, Duane, and bassist Berry Oakley. Describing the powerful impact that Duane's death had on him, Gregg explains how the band's decision to persevere came with a heavy price—for the band and for Gregg—as he fought a battle with substance abuse that led him to rehab eleven times before he finally cleaned up for good. Capturing the Allman Brothers' ongoing, triumphant resurgence, My Cross to Bear is an honest, fascinating glimpse inside one of the most beloved and notorious bands in the history of rock music.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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
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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 8.82(h) x 1.15(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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