Allmans without Duane were 'bunch of head chefs'

Gregg Allman says the Allman Brothers Band were left leaderless after the death of sibling Duane.

And that’s one of the reasons he has no regrets about bringing their 45-year career to a close in 2014.

But he’s affectionately recalled his earliest days as the pair learned their trade at Daytona Beach, Florida, with the help of their mother, who died last month.

Allman tells Newsday: “There’s a big, long pier that goes into the ocean. On this pier, there’s a dance hall called the Ocean Pier Casino. That’s where me and my brother learned to play.

“We had a damn song list that was just endless. And we’d try anything.”

His mother bought him a guitar and station wagon so the brothers could drive to gigs. “She said if her kid was going to be a well-digger, be the best well-digger out there,” Gregg recalls. “A dancer – be the best dancer. Musicians – she could see how much we were into it.”

He says of the Allmans split last year: “Every organisation needs a leader, a focal point,” he says. “That’s something the Allman Brothers, after my brother died, never had.

“It was just a bunch of head chefs together. I’m not saying anything down about the Allman Brothers. It was a beautiful experience. It might have lasted a little bit long.”

Allman released the CD/DVD package Live: Back to Macon, GA earlier this month featuring the tracks I’m No Angel and One Way Out. He recently reported that he and ex Allman Brother Band colleague Dickey Betts could play together again.

Ten Of The Best: Gregg Allman