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Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman [Kindle Edition]

Galadrielle Allman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

A deeply personal, revealing, and lyrical portrait of Duane Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, written by his daughter
 
Galadrielle Allman went to her first concert as an infant in diapers, held in her teenage mother’s arms. Playing was her father—Duane Allman, who would become one of the most influential and sought-after musicians of his time. Just a few short years into his remarkable career, he was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of twenty-four. His daughter was two years old.
 
Galadrielle was raised in the shadow of his loss and his fame. Her mother sought solace in a bohemian life. Friends and family found it too painful to talk about Duane. Galadrielle listened intently to his music, read articles about him, steeped herself in the mythic stories, and yet the spotlight rendered him too simple and too perfect to know. She felt a strange kinship to the fans who longed for him, but she needed to know more. It took her many years to accept that his life and his legacy were hers, and when she did, she began to ask for stories—from family, fellow musicians, friends—and they began to flow.
 
Galadrielle Allman’s memoir is at once a rapturous, riveting, and intimate account of one of the greatest guitar prodigies of all time, the story of the birth of a band that redefined the American musical landscape, and a tender inquiry of a daughter searching for her father in the memories of others.

Praise for Please Be with Me
 
“Duane Allman was my big brother, my partner, my best friend. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but Galadrielle’s deep and insightful book came as a revelation to me, as it will to everyone who reads it.”—Gregg Allman

Poignant and illuminating . . . brings Duane Allman to life in a way that no other biography will ever be able to do.”BookPage
 
“Galadrielle Allman offers a moving and poetic portrait of her late father.”Rolling Stone
 
“[Allman’s] descriptions and scenes are vivid, even cinematic. . . . The pleasure of reading Please Be With Me lies as much in its lyrical prose as in its insider anecdotes.”Newsweek
 
“An elegantly written, heartfelt account.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
 
“Evokes a wistful, elegiac atmosphere; fans of the ’70s music scene may find it indispensable.”—San Jose Mercury News

“A compelling and intimate portrait of Duane.”The Hollywood Reporter
 
Illuminating.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Frequently touching . . . Readers will come away feeling more connected to the man and his music.”Publishers Weekly

The most moving music biography I’ve ever read. Better than that, Galadrielle has uncovered the heart and motivations, the desolation and saving graces, of the man, and lays it plain in a born-to-write southern voice. She has looked into absence, and from it she has salvaged two hearts: her father’s and her own.”—Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Duane Allman was my big brother, my partner, my best friend. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but Galadrielle’s deep and insightful book came as a revelation to me, as it will to everyone who reads it.”—Gregg Allman

Poignant and illuminating . . . brings Duane Allman to life in a way that no other biography will ever be able to do.”BookPage
 
“Galadrielle Allman offers a moving and poetic portrait of her late father.”Rolling Stone
 
“[Allman’s] descriptions and scenes are vivid, even cinematic. . . . The pleasure of reading Please Be With Me lies as much in its lyrical prose as in its insider anecdotes.”Newsweek
 
“An elegantly written, heartfelt account.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
 
“Evokes a wistful, elegiac atmosphere; fans of the ’70s music scene may find it indispensable.”—San Jose Mercury News

“A compelling and intimate portrait of Duane.”The Hollywood Reporter
 
Illuminating.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Frequently touching . . . Readers will come away feeling more connected to the man and his music.”Publishers Weekly

“If you have ever been part of a family that has no photograph left behind to record its wholeness, you know what the absence of that picture does to you: Its nonexistence is itself a portrait of an incomplete heart that doesn’t contain you. Galadrielle Allman grew up in the territory of that loss, trying to understand a father who held her but who she never got to hold in return. Her account of the life of Duane Allman—rock and roll’s most lyrical guitarist—is the most moving music biography I’ve ever read. Better than that, Galadrielle has uncovered the heart and motivations, the desolation and saving graces, of the man, and lays it plain in a born-to-write southern voice. She has looked into absence, and from it she has salvaged two hearts: her father’s and her own.”—Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart
 
“ ‘You can live forever inside a goodbye,’ Galadrielle Allman knows. But then you embrace it, explore it, and call forth its witnesses. In lyrical prose, and with love and wisdom, the now-mature daughter of guitar legend Duane Allman, who died at twenty-four when she was two, meditates on his outsized grip on her life, and retraces that life, and her mother’s, sending us to the South at the end of the sixties, when girls were hapless hippie goddesses, music was male and muscular, and even redneck culture was being transformed. But beyond that vibrant portrait is a comfort. We all idealize someone who left us long ago; we all romanticize some memory. This story invites us to savor our own secret intersection of nostalgia and emotional mercy, and it feels very, very good to have soulful, elegant company as we do.”—Sheila Weller, author of the New York Times bestseller Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—and the Journey of a Generation

About the Author

Galadrielle Allman is the producer of Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder Records). She lives in Berkeley, California. This is her first book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 13307 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (March 4, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F1W0RCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,575 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astoundingly good January 22, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I first read that Galadrielle Allman was going to write a biography of her father Duane I was underwhelmed. What could she add since she was two when he died? The answer-quite a lot. This is essential reading if you are an Allman Brothers fan and if you aren't its still a great read as a story of a young woman trying to figure out what it means to be the daughter of a legend she didn't know.

Ms. Allman writes beautiful prose. She has had access to stories that others wouldn't have simply because friends of her father want her to understand him. This is the first book about Duane that has put him into the context of his larger family. We hear Mama A's story, the story of his father's death. Much of the story is told through the eyes of her mother whose story is set to run parallel to her fathers.

All in all, a great read, the best of the many books about Duane Allman and/or the Allman Brothers Band
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The title of Galadrielle Allman's biography of her father, Duane Allman, is taken from Scott Boyer's song "Please Be With Me," which was recorded by the group Cowboy, with Duane Allman providing the slide guitar accompaniment, is so appropriate for this book of remembrances that chronicle the mostly ups, and a few downs, of the genius of Duane Allman. For anyone who has ever heard the silky tones of what his slide guitar sounds like, you soon begin to realize that at some point in his life, the gods of music touched Duane's heart and fingers, and they freed musical tones to be channeled through to a guitar for the rest of the world to hear and be in awe.

This is an extraordinary book, and one immediately recognizes it will be one as Galadrielle Allman begins it with these first sentences: "My father is killed in the first paragraph of every article ever written about him. His life story is told backwards, always beginning at the end: in the road, his motorcycle down, his body broken. People linger over the wreckage as if it says something meaningful about his life."

Galadrielle was two years old when her father died, and while one may ask, how can a two year old write a biography about someone she could not have possibly remembered much about, you soon realize she does have her memories, and more importantly, she has chronicled her father's life from others remembrances to give an almost "no holes barred" recount of her father's life. As you read her book, she recounts circumstances in Duane's life that went into making him the musical artist he was, whether it be how he took time to visit and write an injured friend or how attending a military prep helped in his developing as a band leader.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I've been waiting for March 10, 2014
By Alex
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When it comes to the Allman Brothers, I'm as hard core as it gets. I thought I'd picked up all the ephemera about Duane Allman that love and memory of those who knew him would let out. Then Galadrielle does this. Her prose is lyrical, beautiful, moving. Duane comes across as very human. Then she fills in the gaps. Mama A, Donna, Big Linda, Candy--all the names who were paper dolls in other books. It's the story of a time, of a special place, of change that I lived through. But this book was not written for me, the Allman Brothers fan. It's Galadrielle's personal history and we are privileged to get to share it. She is her father's daughter and her mother's, too.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, engaging, lovely and heartfelt January 29, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a fan of the band and the guitarist, this popped out from the choices available. I knew next to nothing about Duane Allman, a truly gifted and unique guitarist who died far too young, even by rock tragedy standards. In retrospect, it's amazing he made such a name for himself in such a short time. I was eager to learn about a man whose time in the spotlight was shorter than his peer Jimi Hendrix, but arguably no less influential and lasting.

While there have been other biographies of this storied artist, there might be none that possess such an aching personal motive. In fact, I've yet to read a biography of anyone written from this perspective. There isn't a hint of self-aggrandizement, no indication that Galadrielle took this on to capitalize on her famous ancestry, and no sense that she has any agenda beyond transforming this rock phantom into flesh and blood man. It's a unique perspective for a biography and as a first time writer; Ms. Allman demonstrates a talent that has a lot of potential.

For a first time author, she occasionally tries a bit too hard by peppering her story with descriptive passages that seem overstuffed with metaphors and excess, but nonetheless, there is a lyrical quality to her writing. It is a lovely mix of soulful diary-like musings coupled with a master storyteller's gift for keeping the audience riveted. Additionally, it's perhaps a bit long, but that seems understandable when you consider just how ravenous she was for every morsel available involving her dad.

Like most biographies, you know the ending, so what make the trip worthwhile are the details, anecdotes, and revelations of the person behind the myth. One particular recollection sits with me still.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardread but inciteful
It took me awhile to get into her writing style but I'm enjoying the book now.I see why Duane had a short life he seemed like a person that went 100mph all the time. Read more
Published 7 days ago by James R. Irish
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fine biography
An amazing accomplishment for a first time author, Galadrielle Allman has provided an intimate account of the famous father she never knew. Read more
Published 8 days ago by bigpull
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good, however long in some spots.
Published 10 days ago by SueBee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a great read, but I would read Skydog first.
Published 15 days ago by Master Peach
4.0 out of 5 stars Duane Allman from those who knew him
In-depth and emotional account of Duane Allman's life by his daughter with quotes from those who knew him. Read more
Published 16 days ago by The Big F
5.0 out of 5 stars Duane Allman from a unique perspective!
Wonderful read, especially for fans of 1970's rock and roll! Ms. Allman has shown a definite talent as a wordsmith! Read more
Published 16 days ago by Tech Mom
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Too soft core for me too much reminiscing
Published 20 days ago by Mike P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Allman has done an incredible thing for this ...
Ms. Allman has done an incredible thing for this life-long fan of her father Duane: Made this nearly mythical music icon and Guitar God accessible, a real human! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Debra K Rice
4.0 out of 5 stars Love taking the journey to discover her father with Galadrielle
Love taking the journey to discover her father with Galadrielle. Haven't finished it yet but sadly for all of us, I know how it ends.
Published 1 month ago by A. Augusta
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read! well done.
Published 1 month ago by Lynda J.
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