The Allman Brothers Band, “Melissa”

  Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brothers and one of the citadels of Southern rock, died Saturday at age 69 due to complications from liver cancer. Revisit some of our past coverage on Allman, including this Behind The Song segment on “Melissa”, a 2013 interview that originally ran in that year's Legends Issue, and our 5-star review of the 1971 Fillmore East Recordings. Following the untimely death of Duane Allman, their founder and resident guitar hero, in 1971, the Allman Brothers Band easily could have crumbled beneath the weight of such a tragedy. The road beckoned, however. As a matter of fact, that road, with all of its heady highs and desolate lows, informed one of the first and most enduring triumphs of their post-Duane career. “Melissa” actually dates back to a time before there was an Allman Brothers Band, back when Duane and brother Gregg were in a band called The 31st of February and the latter was still trying to find his songwriting touch. As he recalled to the San Luis Obispo (CA) Tribune in a 2006 interview, Gregg struggled mightily to write something worthy. “I wrote that song in 1967 in a place called the Evergreen Hotel…

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