This weekend will begin another significant chapter in the rich history of the Allman Brothers Band. Not only is the band performing in the town where it was born for the first time since December 31, 1991, but at 2 PM on April 23 an Allman Brothers Band-themed museum, The Big House, will officially open its doors. The three-story Grand Tudor house has played a significant role in the history of the Allman Brothers since it was rented in January of 1970 by Linda Oakley, the wife of original ABB bassist Berry Oakley. Many ABB band members lived in this house, some timeless classics were written between its walls and, more recently, the band’s archives were kept here. Founding Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe will all attend the opening ceremony.
While April 23 marks the official opening, people have been allowed to preview the museum and its stunning collection of ABB memorabilia and its unique celebration of all things-ABB for the past five months.
“We are enjoying the response we are getting from Allman Brothers fans young and old,” museum director Greg Potter told jambands.com, “we have had people from every state but one and from 8 different countries since December. Gregg Allman and all of the band members seem genuinely happy with the place. I’m encouraged at how this will help continue the Allman Brothers Band legacy for years to come.”
After visiting the museum, Gregg Allman raved to the Macon Telegraph, “I thought it was out of sight,” he said. “It’s just gorgeous. I was amazed that there was so much memorabilia made about the Allman Brothers. There was so much of that stuff, and I don’t have any of it!”
The significance of the event was not lost on the producers of CBS Television’s esteemed CBS Sunday Morning program, who were among the many on hand yesterday shooting a segment on The Big House for future broadcast.
Band members were seen around Macon yesterday, visiting some Allman Brothers Band landmarks like the Rose Hill Cemetery (where Oakley and Duane Allman are buried), the H+H Restaurant and the Old Capricorn records building.
Another well-known Macon spot is Grant’s Lounge on Poplar Street, at which many Capricorn Recording Artists performed (sometimes in informal and/or unannounced fashion). Grant’s Lounge will also be the site of the official after-party Friday night. Announced performers include the Lefty Collins Band, Paul Hornsby, Chris Hicks, Tommy Talton and Caroline Aiken. There will also be a Family Jam Session at 11am Saturday at the Big House Gazebo. The weekend’s festivities will end in proper fashion when the Lingo and the Jack Pearson Band (and Friends) perform a Saturday night concert at the Cox Capitol Theater. The Allman Brothers Band itself will perform at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Al on Saturday night, and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Sunday.