Gregg Allman’s manager, Michael Lehman, spoke to Variety about his friend and client’s last few months. Here are a few excerpts:
On the last few weeks:
“We started talking about preserving his legacy, and especially the new record, Southern Blood — that made him light up… I would say he knew for the last six months that he was getting toward the end of his life, and he became resolved and peaceful. We cancelled [tour] dates when we had to, but we ended up playing through the end of October — we’d hoped to get through the end of the year but he’d had another bout of pneumonia and other respiratory ailments… He’d listen to music, read books, see his kids, he got married to Shannon in February so he was able to take advantage of that time with her and being at his house, sitting by the pool, playing with his dogs. And thank goodness he did not suffer at the end, he died peacefully at home.”
On the new album, Southern Blood, which will be out in the fall:
“He started recording probably a year to two years ago… His health at the time was OK, he was already struggling a little with the recurrence of his liver cancer. He would have good days and bad days, and we worked around it as best we could…but there were enough takes to make something really special. We documented a lot of the recording sessions, so we have a tremendous amount of video footage and still photography.”
On what we might expect from the archives:
“We have a lot of old concerts that we’ll put out over a period of time. We did a five-night run at [New York small venue] City Winery in 2015 and we plan on releasing that — it was an incredibly intimate experience playing for just 400 people each of those nights. There are earlier recordings of The Allman Brothers Band, I can’t really speak about those, but more specifically there are early recordings from Gregg’s solo career that we’ve been working on, some of them from the early ’70s… Gregg recorded every single show, so we have hundreds on tape.”
Allman died on Saturday 5/27 at age 69. He will be laid to rest next to his brother Duane, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon in 1971. Allman Brothers Band bassist Berry Oakley, who was killed in a motorcycle accident a year later, is also buried in Rose Hill.