"In April 1969, the band came to Macon and changed the face of music.
They moved to Macon 40 years ago. No one here had seen the likes of people like them before.
They were hippies. Long-hairs. Rebels.
A band that had a black member playing with five white guys? A band that performed with two drummers?
They played a style of music that defied a definition. It wasn't just rock 'n' roll. It was blues, jazz, country, folk. It was eventually christened Southern Rock.
Duane Allman, a guitar prodigy, put the band together. His brother, Gregg, sang and played organ. Dickey Betts played guitar. Berry Oakley was on bass. Butch Trucks and Jai "Jaimoe" Johanny Johanson both played drums.
They were called the Allman Brothers Band. This is their story, in the words of those who knew them best."
It's a well-known fact the ABB spent a large part of their time in the early days in Macon hanging out at Rose Hill Cemetery. It is fitting that Duane Allman and Berry Oakely were laid to rest there.
Both Duane and Berry passed away before I was born, but I don't think one can live in middle Georgia and not know about them and the ABB. I first visited the graves of Duane and Berry several years ago. "Everyone" has heard the stories of the parties that have gone on at their gravesites. I never noticed any trash around or destruction of the sites, but that could've been a testament to the tenders of the graves.
At the time of my early visits, there was only a small rope-chain in front of the graves. I respected the barrier, but could've easily stepped over it. Now, 40 years after the ABB's arrival in Macon, things are much different. There are bars taller than I surrounding the graves. Considering people come from all over to visit the graves, and even well-meaning individuals sometimes harm gravesites, this is probably a good idea.
Philip Ramati's article includes some words from Joseph "Red Dog" Campbell, ABB roadie: "...Nobody would hang out with us, so we would hang out at Rose Hill Cemetery and go do our thing..." I wonder if Duane and Berry look down in amazement at all the people that "hang out" with them now.
Nov 20, 1946
Oct 29, 1971
Raymond Berry Oakley, III
Born in Chicago: Apr 4, 1948
Set Free: Nov 11, 1972
"...And The Road Goes On Forever..."