One of the progenitors of Southern Rock, the Allman Brothers were originally composed of the brothers
Duane and Gregg Allman, guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley and drummers Butch Trucks and 'Jaimoe' Johanson. Founded in Jacksonville in 1969, they went two years in their original incarnation until Duane Allman was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971. Dickey Betts filled in for guitarist Duane and the group remained together, eventually adding pianist Chick Leavell. About a year later, they lost another member, Berry Oakley, also to a motorcycle accident.
The band limped through a few years fueled by drug scandals (including the arrest of Gregg Allman, though he avoided trial by testifying against some of his friends and colleagues). Afterward, the band broke up for a short time, only to reform in 1978 with a new album and a few new members.
Though the faces in the band changed over the years, The Allman Brothers always delivered strong southern rock, heavily influenced by the blues. The band recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and is still active and touring today. Their associated acts include Gov't Mule (Warren Haynes' band) and The Derek Trucks Band (who focus more on World Music and African influences.) Their notable songs include "Ramblin' Man" and "Midnight Rider," among others.
They/Their work feature the tropes:
- Badass Mustache - Duane Allman's mustache was so awesome it needed the support of muttonchops to contain its mighty power.
- The Band Minus the Face - After Duane died, there was some speculation that the band would break up or suffer, but they've continued on just as strong.
- Downer Ending - A common trope amongst many a Southern Rock band. Sadly, The Allman Brothers Band was no exception. Although that said, it wasn't an ending for the band.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: "Don't Want You No More" (see Siamese Twin Songs); within a single song, "Les Brers in A Minor" is a nine-minute instrumental piece with about three minutes of progressively epic false starts before the song actually gets going.
- Epic Rocking - The 23-minute version of Whipping Post off of At Fillmore East. The 33-minute version of Mountain Jam (based on Donovan's There Is A Mountain) from Eat A Peach surely qualifies, powering through There Is A Mountain, Third Stone From The Sun, and May The Circle Be Unbroken, over two sides of an LP.
- Fan Nickname: Duane is 'Skydog', named for his Badass Mustache and soaring solos when he was a session musician at FAME studios.
- Greatest Hits Album
- Instant Birth, Just Add Water: Implied in "Ramblin' Man": "I was born in the backseat of a Greyhound bus rollin' down Highway 41."
- Repurposed Pop Song - "Jessica" is now the theme for Top Gear
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll - Gregg Allman had several very public scandals involving drugs, and even flipped on his friends, bodyguards, and a manager to avoid jailtime.
- Shout-Out: "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd was one for Duane. "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed" (allegedly) was written after Dickey Betts noticed a headstone at a cemetery the band used as a rehearsal spot. Duane Allman and Berry Oakley would later be buried in the same cemetery grounds.
- Siamese Twin Songs: The first two songs on their first album, in fact: a cover of Spencer Davis' "Don't Want You No More" followed by Gregg's "It's Not My Cross to Bear", a medley that has shown up in countless concerts since.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute - Averted; though Dickey Betts filled in for Duane after his death, he never occupied the same prominence and didn't take over all his duties.
- Warren Haynes took the Duane role in The Eighties. Slide guitar prodigy Derek Trucks (drummer Butch Trucks' nephew) replaced Warren, then Warren later on returned and replaced Betts!