©1971 Frederick Burger




Allman Brothers Leader Dies In Cycle Accident
(first published in 'The Macon Telegraph', October 30, 1971)

Duane Allman, founder and lead singer of the nationally prominent Macon based Allman Brothers Band, was killed last night when his motorcycle spun out of control.
Allman never regained consciousness from the accident and died at 8:40 p.m. at the Middle Georgia Medical Center.

The accident occurred at 5:44 p.m. as Allman was traveling west on Hillcrest Avenue through the Bartlett Avenue intersection according to investigating Bluecoat Officers Ray Gurganious and J. E. Lister.

Allman lost control of his motorcycle just after a truck driven by Charles Wertz had entered the intersection and turned north from Hillcrest onto Bartlett, police said.
In a statement to police, Wertz said, “After completing a half turn (onto Bartlett), I saw a motorcycle about 20 feet behind my truck. I slowed and heard a crush. I stopped and couldn’t tell whether the man on the motorcycle had hit me or not. “I saw a boy lying on the pavement with the cycle going as fast as it could, I walked over and shut it off.”
In his statement, Wertz said he felt no impact or jar; that he didn’t know if Allman had crashed into his truck or not.

Investigating police officers Gurganious and Lister said in their opinion the truck and the motorcycle did not collide. They said they couldn’t find any evidence that the two had hit. The officers said they also found no evidence that Allman had applied brakes before he swerved left to keep from hitting the truck’s right rear end.
The investigating officers said Allman skidded about 90 feet across the intersection’s center line. No charges have been filed.

Exam physician Dr. Charles Burton said Allman had a severe head wound and a bad chest bruise. In the course of the accident, Allman had lost his helmet.
Frank Fenter, president of Capricorn Records for whom the Allman Brothers recorded, described Allman as the world’s premier rock guitarist.

Allman had been in Macon for two days, coming off a Florida vacation which followed a west coast tour with the band he and his brother, Greg Allman, founded.
Born in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 11, l946. Duane Allman had called Macon home for three years after migrating from Florida to Los Angeles to Muscle Shoals, Ala.
“He was featured picker with Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Laura Nyro, Herbie Mann, and Wilson Pickett,’ said Fenter. “But above all, his memorable achievement was in forming The Allman Brothers Band, It was certainly the communally artistic rock and roll-band ever seen or heard."

“And with The Allman Brothers’ third album, “The Allman Brothers Band Live at Fillmore East” they achieved the highest accolade: the golden album for sales exceeding $1 million.”
The Allman Brothers were preparing for their next tour which would have begun Nov. 14 and played Boston, Providence, RI. New Haven, Conn. and Bangor, Me. The tour would have concluded with a New York City concert at Carnegie Hall.

The Allman Brothers last played Macon at a May 15 Grand Opera House concert for the Macon Jaycees, with all proceeds going to the High Hope School for mentally retarded.
The group had also played the closing in June at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East in New York, a concert hall which first heard many of the country’s most successful rock groups.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Memorial Chapel Funeral Directors.


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