The Allman Brothers Band recorded and performed dozens of songs, including Rambin’ Man and Whippin Post, during the 70’s and 80’s. Vocalist, song writer and organ player, Gregg Allman, details every song writing session, band fight, drug overdose, concert, guitar and car purchase and rehab visit in his new autobiography, “My Cross to Bear.” And in a stroke of genius, publisher William Morrow of Harper Collins offers up an enhanced version of the e-book that makes this version a must-read for any true fan.
The hardback version and enhanced edition cost the same $14.99, while the regular e-book will cost you just $2 less. But for that $2 you get three songs, an interactive tour of the Big House Museum and 11 previously unpublished videos of Gregg Allman discussing his history, inspirations and thoughts on friendship and love; totally worth it. While you can find the enhanced edition of the book from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, you can only view it on the tablet versions of these company’s e-books. Sadly, the apps won’t play it. We went hands-on with this e-book on the Nook Tablet.
“It’s Not My Cross to Bear,” “Statesboro Blues” and “Whipping Post” audio files are spaced throughout the book, with the title page appropriately carrying the title song. We only wish you could swipe forward to continue reading while the songs played in the background. But, helpfully, if you flip away and flip back, the book saves your place in the song.
The Big House Museum, in Macon, Georgia, once served as home base for the band and is now devoted to the band and its memorabilia. In the book, this dynamic, interactive feature takes you through a video tour with the museum’s curator by showing you pop-ups of guitars, pictures and more. We only wish we’d seen more audio and set lists.
The story of Gregg Allman’s life covers a wild career filled with cars and guitars as well as drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll. The potty mouth of this Southern boy truly fits the subject matter and doesn’t detract from the message he’s conveying about a life filled with successes and mistakes. A down-to-earth picture quickly develops of a sensitive man with a passion for music and a love of women. His reputation as a player seems well founded considering the details of five marriages and a handful of children interspersed with scores of groupies.
Gregg Allman’s philandering is only matched by his unbridled alcoholism and drug use. Just the thought of starting off the day with two pints of vodka and ending it by putting a pint of beer under your bed to stifle shakes in the middle of the night is enough to convey quite the rock ‘n roll lifestyle. But, rarely did this downward spiral seem to interfere with the constant grind of performing the music he loved. The videos that often appear at the beginning or end of chapters really help illustrate a surprisingly humble side to a man who just wanted to play.