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My Cross to Bear Paperback – Illustrated, February 26, 2013
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A soul-searching rumination on a hard-lived life... For generations of fans, Allman’s book provides insights into the many turns in that long road... MY CROSS TO BEAR carries a welcome seal of honesty. -- USA Today
In his memoir, the rambling and rambunctious Gregg Allman lays bare his soul… In the end, Allman, writing with music journalist Light, has produced a fiercely honest memoir. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This is a story about musical brotherhood. Rich and moving... Nothing less than profound. Life, love and music from one of the most influential American recording artists of the last 40 years. -- Kirkus Reviews
“Packed with juicy anecdotes, gripping details and raw energy…Fans of the Allman Brothers Band are certain to relish the revelations... MY CROSS TO BEAR provides a window into Allman’s tortured soul - he presents himself as a man cracked and flawed, yet somehow intact.” -- Birmingham News
From the Back Cover
One of Rolling Stone Magazine's 25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2012
As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. Now he tells the unflinching story of his life, offering the definitive account of the legendary Allman Brothers Band. From run-ins with the law to meeting girls on the road to experimenting with drugs, Gregg holds nothing back, while also speaking, for the first time, about the painful deaths of his brother, Duane, and bassist Berry Oakley. Describing the powerful impact that Duane's death had on him, Gregg explains how the band's decision to persevere came with a heavy price—for the band and for Gregg—as he fought a battle with substance abuse that led him to rehab eleven times before he finally cleaned up for good. Capturing the Allman Brothers' ongoing, triumphant resurgence, My Cross to Bear is an honest, fascinating glimpse inside one of the most beloved and notorious bands in the history of rock music.
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Illustrated edition (February 26, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062112058
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062112057
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #40,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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When he died just days after I had rekindled my love for his music I wasn't ready to let go and decided to read his book. I love how he wrote it, like the two of you were sitting drinking coffee and he was telling you the whole story. And the whole story it is, he doesn't leave out much. Sex, drugs and rock n roll! He wrote it with the kind of candor and honesty I expected from him and he did not disappoint. So sad he's gone but knowing he is with Duane lightens the loss.
So many great bands of that era, but one of the best was The Allman Brothers Band. Their sound was so distinctive, so lush, sensitive and moving.
Me being from the South, I loved the Southern tones that were so familiar and comforting, yet their music was so different. It was rock and roll, and so much more. It was in a category of its own. It got under your skin...and still does all these years later.
Such talent in the band, especially that of the two Allman brothers! Different, but equal in their genius. Every teenaged girl was in love with Gregg Allman. To hear that voice and those words, that of an old man who's seen it all, coming from a kid who looked like an angel.
The book does not disappoint. Here you get the story from the man himself, relayed like a conversation,
a frank and forthcoming one. I read it compulsively until it was finished. It fleshes out so much of the back story to the band and of Gregg himself. There was no internet in the 70's, information was gleaned from the news and magazines, or word of mouth. I knew the rough outline of what occurred in the band and the lives of its members, but so much I did not know. So grateful to Gregg for sharing his story.
I must admit that I'm brought to tears these days listening to old Allman Brothers music, knowing what I know now. Their story is an epic one, filled with the highest highs and deepest lows, None more so than Gregg Allman's life itself.
You're transported back to that era: the Vietnam War, the social upheaval, the youth rebellion, the racism. The Allman Brothers were in the thick of it all. This book has me thinking of things I haven't considered in years.
Rest In Peace, Gregg. Your music continues to live.
The book is like sitting down with him on a purchasing and listening to him tell the stories straight to me.
He is, and always will be, missed.
RIP Midnight Rider
I also feel as a women reading this that Gregg really liked to collect women like tokens. He really pushes the free loving to new heights. But really underplays his Heroin addiction. Doing the " I snorted it so it's not as bad as an addict who shoots it".
He glosses over his marriages too as if they were just pit stops in his sex addiction like daily fast food.
Not much on Cher!! Not much on his 5 kids!!
In response to failed marriages he simply says that "some people want to own you" and he doesnt seem to understand the word "fidelity". So every one of the women divorces him...maybe he needed to look at that too. But he doesnt get it! So yeah if a women wanted him to be true to them, it was a game changer. For some reason he saw being a one women man as being "owned".
He sure had a good time in that rock n roll era of greats and also paid the price of fame with addiction and craziness. He also tries to explain away how someone who got him his drugs paid a big price for his protection. He was known as a "rat" and really glossed over it in the book.
Back in the day Gregg lost alot of fans over this that he doesnt admit to. And was forgotten in the 90's when they had a resurgence of relevance (he even admits it).
I did enjoy his stories about his brother Duane. He always came a cross like a little brother with hero worship issues.
I also bought Duanes book and hope for different stories.
I think he was as gorgeous looking man but was he Chers best lover as he claims?
He comes across very well in this book, but is he likeable...?
Not my favorite rock biog (I'm as huge collector) but much better then Debbie Harry's "Face It " which was a waste of paper!!
Top reviews from other countries
I thought Gregg came over as full of warmth and very "human". He speaks again and again so positivey of the people he has met and worked with. Of course there is the exception of D. Betts. I felt Gregg was fooling himself a little there. He acknowledges the years he himself was fuckin up because of the alcohol and then seems quite hard when it comes to the shows ruined by the guitarist's drinking. And from the way he himself describes it, it does sound pretty much like he got the "you're out" news in a fax. But having said that, betts comes over very controlling and power hungry. I wasn't there, and it's one man's side of the story, but it does sound like he was a pain in the ass.
The deaths are covered with real emotion, and I think Allman writes about his loss with a depth of emotion that is very moving. But even though he says so himself, I don't think he realises how much he idolises his brother, and how much Duane became the father figure he needed. Subsequently, his feelings about the band became intwined so deeply with his feeings for his brother that it becomes impossible for him to treat the Alman Brothers Band in anyway separate to his loss or love for his brother. I may be reading too much into it there, but the continuation of the band seemed to become a way for him of expressing his love for Duane.
The Gov't Mule folk come out of it very well, and as well as leading me back to all my old Allman Bros albums I'm now in the mood to listen to more of their stuff.
A great, entertaining read that does sound like the guy is sitting there telling his story. The professional writers did a great job of keeping his authentic voice on the page. As a result of reading this I feel a lot closer and more engaged with music that enjoyed for many years but which has now taken on added meaning. Nice one.