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Buy *Skydog: The Duane Allman Story* by Randy Poe online

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story
Randy Poe
Backbeat Books
316 pages
August 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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There were slide guitar players, and then there was Duane Allman. The tone he created on his vintage Gibson Les Paul when he placed a Coricidin (glass aspirin container) bottle against the strings was the sound of running water and fires burning. It was the sound everyone aspired to but no one else ever quite achieved.

In Poe's book, a revised and expanded version of the hardcover, he tells about Duane's life growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida, and his exposure to the full spectrum of Southern music: blues, R&B, rock, country, jazz, and gospel. The son of a minister, the elder Allman (he was about two years older than brother Gregg) was exposed to music at an early age - and he took to it. He began his musical life blowing on a trumpet, but that didn't feel the desire inside him. A cherry-red 1959 Gibson Les Paul Junior did.

It's all here - the early bands playing with brother Gregg, the Allman Joys, and eventually the Allman Brothers Band. And the terrible death-by-motorcycle that brought to a close the life of a guitarist so supremely gifted that he continues to be remembered today as one of the truly great artists who ever picked up an instrument.

There is a foreword by ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons, a player who knows a thing or two about slide-playing ... and more than a thing or two about Duane. Their bands often played together and, in Allman, Gibbons recognized the soul of an artist.

"So let's get on wit' it," Gibbons writes. "You've spent the dime, now take some time with this creation that paints a picture of this charismatic character of the slide guitar. Duane will do the rest. He stands as one of the very best."

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2008

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