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to keep it positive, so why then does he say so many blatantly negative things throughout the book? I mean, he slaps so many of my, and many of your, musical heroes right in the face with his words. In particular, The Marshall Tucker Band, who he dismisses completely, other than the late Toy Caldwell. He also manages to slam everyone from Jerry Garcia to Paul Hornsby, and so many more. One tale recounts his watching Atlantic Records President Jerry Wexler stealing coins from the pay phone in the Allman Brothers Big House. True or not, why tell that type of thing about a man without whom you would have never been where you are now. And then there is the late Capricorn Records co-founder Phil Walden, who Gregg calls “a mediocre business- man who claimed undue credit for the band's early success.”

And then there are the ladies. We have all known for years that Gregory was called the “coy- ote” with good reason. In the book, manages to kiss and tell, and kiss and tell, and kiss and tell again. Of course, it takes a certain amount of balls to admit that he was not always the best of partners, and it was interesting to learn that no less than two of his lady friends ended up com- mitting suicide. The story of one of them, the daughter of Gunsmoke star James Arness, is chilling.

Of course he writes at length about Cher, the third of his six wives, to whom he was married from 1975 through 1979, saying, “she smelled like I would imagine a mermaid would smell.” Of course that is lovely, but then comes the coyote. “She was hot to trot, man,” Allman writes, “and we made some serious love.”

He doesn't offer any real insight into the rela- tionship choosing to go out of his way to bash Cher as "not a very good singer" and their joint album (Two the Hard Way) as "just awful." It seems there is one brother he keeps coming back to, time and time again in the book. Founding band member Dickey Betts, the Allman Brothers’ longtime guitarist, who was fired in 2000. He gives Dickey props for woodshedding and learning to play the slide so quickly after the death of Duane Allman, but even when he says something halfway kind or respectful of Betts, watch out, because an insult can’t be far behind.

Perhaps the nicest thing he says about Betts is: “Dickey ain’t no devil,he’s just a mixed-up guy.” There’s no doubt this is a genuine rock and roll biography. Gregg seems to be in and out of rehab every other chapter. He appears to be sleeping with every woman he meets, and doing outrageous things all day and all night, and then he gets up on the stage and plays his ass off for three hours. Then the cycle starts again. In my humble opinion, a large part of the book seems mean spirited, self centered and massively egotistical. Is it a total washout? No way. There are many fun stories included herein. And Gregg proves without a doubt how much he loved his brother Duane. Not that there was ever any question. He also provides a short list of folks he seems to care a lot about, from Jaimoe to Chuck Leavell, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi - to name a few. And the last couple of chapters are very positive. I have been anxiously awaiting the publication of this book for years now, and while there are interesting passages throughout the biography, the attitude, to me, is a real turn off.

- Michael Buffalo Smith Recommended Titles

Below is a list of books I have read recently that I feel you may enjoy. Check ‘em out! - Buff

They Came To Nashville Marshall Chapman

(Vanderbilt University Press) Show Bidness

James Michael Bruce (Dog Ear Publishing)

Growing A Better America: Smart, Strong, Sustainable

By Chuck Leavell with J. Marshall Craig (Evergreen Arts)

Bobby Whitlock: A Rock 'n' Roll Autobiography Bobby Whitlock with Marc Roberty (McFarland)


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