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Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band Paperback – July 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0316294522 ISBN-10: 0316294527 Edition: New edition
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Among the most popular and innovative American rock groups of the last few decades, but also among the most fraught with infighting and scandal, the Allman Brothers band has had a turbulent history, and freelance journalist Freeman's well-written and meticulously researched band bio is an engrossing read. Describing with equal candor the group's greatest triumphs?its unique fusion of blues, rock and country music traditions, and its claim to have put "Southern rock" on the map?and greatest tragedies?the untimely deaths of frontman Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley, Gregg Allman's perennial substance abuse problems, the band members' various failed marriages (most famously, Gregg's to Cher)?Freeman's account is sympathetic and unflinchingly candid, and is supplemented by balanced assessments of each Allman Brothers album. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

It's hard for younger pop fans to understand how important the Allman Brothers Band was. Its record sales seem paltry in retrospect, as does the number of its releases. But commercial analysis misses the point. The original Allman Brothers Band was the first 1970s Southern rock band. Its dual lead guitars and its blues-based music were emulated by Lynard Skynard, .38 Special, etc., and filled 1970s airwaves with rebel yells and hearty endorsements of life on the road. Unfortunately, far too many of these bands shared management rip-offs and early deaths, too. Freeman follows the Allmans' madcap progress across the pop music landscape in as much detail as possible in a book of less than 1,000 pages. Between the scandals, deaths, busts, lawsuits, and the horror of the Cher (aka Mrs. Greg Allman) years, the band packed an incredible amount of living into a relatively short career. In a fitting tribute to its seminal influence, Freeman reminds us why the band was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mike Tribby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; New edition edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316294527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316294522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By G. J Wiener on October 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Scott Freeman gives a in depth portrait of one of most influential bands of the Classic Rock era. Most special is the description of Duane Allman's influence on the band. From reading this book, I realized that Duane was both a talented musician and a leader as he knew how to interact with every one of the band members including his sometimes irresponsible brother Gregg. It seems that after Duane died, the other band members carried on a piece of the legacy Duane created. However, each of these other band members has a special personality as well. There are some great stories interwoved in this book which are funny, sad, and historical in the shape of how blues rock music has evolved. Anyone who appreciates rock n roll music and even casually likes this band will find this book a winner.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Sutherland on April 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Midnight Riders: The story of the Allman Brothers Band" is a biography of the exciting life of one of America's greatest Rock & Roll bands. Scott Freeman has written a wonderful account of the band's beginnings all the way through their breakups and reunions. This band had some tremendous trials to go through such as two original members deaths as well as problems with drugs and greedy record companies. But it is pretty impressive they managed to not only survive Duane Allman's and Berry Oakley's death but also that they managed to still be a great band without Duane, the elder Allman and founder/leader of the band.
The story starts out with Duane and Greg's childhood in Florida and how they got hooked on "the fever." It follows the two from their attraction to "black music" or the blues all the way through the last incarnations of the band in the early to mid-nineties. This biography is written so well that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about all the amazing things they accomplished up until the time that Duane Allman dies, then I struggled to get through the rest of it just because I was so depressed that such an amazing musicians life was cut so short. Duane Allman actually died at the peak of his musical powers, but who knows, he could have taken the electric slide guitar to even more celestial heights than he already had on the Fillmore East album.
...
The author also gives album reviews of each album as they make them. This was helpful because they are done very well and it gives you a chance to picture the music more clearly. Another plus is the album reccomendations in the appendix, which is great because not very ABB album is fantastic so he tells you which ones to avoid and which to add to your collection.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence M. Mruskovic on September 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've had few literary journeys like the one I've just experienced. You are not only reading about places like Macon Ga. or the Fillmore East as examples, but you feel as if you are actually there. The story is well told as you are brought from the joys of success and good times to the tradgedies of death. This book gives new insights to one of the best bands ever in the history of rock and roll, and clears up some rumors that have followed the band for years. No matter how big a fan you think you are of the Allman Brothers, there are numerous things in this book that you didn't know. In addition, you will learn facts about other prominent figures of rock, recording sessions, and unseen members of the Allman Brothers family. We could probably find flaws with most books, I however, just took in what was given to me and enjoyed it completely. Fan or not, this book is a must for anyone into the music scene.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Meaux on August 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book very revealing in that it brought me back to the majic period that the ABB had in the early years. It was very apparent that really, the band had reached an incredible peak in the final year of Duane's life. The truth is, the band itself was already showing signs of wear. After reading the book, I can't see how the band could have gone on at the pace it was into 1972 and 1973 even if Duane and Berry been lived. Something had to give. We are fortunate that the band caught that peak on the Fillmore album. Of course, if Duane had been alive, he might have been able to keep baby brother out of all that trouble he got in. But then again, Duane was no angel either.

As a lifelong ABB addict (no pun intended), this book helped to answer many questions for me. I still love these guys but now I have a better understanding for how rough going it was and that it wouldn't have mattered who they were, no one could have survived that kind of lifestyle without things coming apart. Still, I hope they play forever.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Cioffi on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is another book that I've enjoyed from cover to cover about one of my favorite bands. Once again I came away knowing a ton more about the band, it's members and it's music than I did prior to reading it, which is exactly what I'm looking for. The authors did take it upon themselves to critique each album and songs rather than to just give the details of how they were written and recorded. I think they could have left that for the individual to decide. They also dwelled a little to much on the Gregg Allman late '70s situation, and while they could've expanded in other areas.
I highly recommend this book for those who would like to learn the details of one of histories best rock bands.
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