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Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman Audible – Unabridged

4.8 out of 5 stars 286 customer reviews

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By J. Johnson VINE VOICE on 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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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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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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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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