In Memory of the Allman Brothers Band: The Complete Allman Brothers Band Discography
Despite a 30+ year career full of high drama, almost no books have ever been published about the Allman Brother Band. Long-time roadie Red Dog recently published a memoir of his roadie days (www.LegendaryRedDog.com), and a search on Amazon.com finds exactly one book, Scott Freeman’s Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band, which I’ve never actually seen on the shelves of any bricks-and-mortar bookstore. In the meantime books on Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and The Who seem to hit the market weekly. Therefore Allmans fans should be thrilled to make the acquaintance of a new book, The Complete Allman Brothers Band Discography.
If the Smithsonian Institute had an Allman Brothers display, this book would be for sale in the gift shop. The Discography is the result of five years of work by Allmans fan Dean Reynolds. Reynolds is a former employee of the Cincinnati nightclub Ludlow’s Garage, and was instrumental in making the release of the Allman Brothers record of that same name happen. That Ludlow’s show was Reynolds’ first Allmans show, and after that he began collecting any and all memorabilia connected to the Brothers, and a few other groups along the way.
The Complete Allman Brothers Band Discography is a sort of collector’s guide to everything the Allman Brothers and their various associates ever did. There’s just nothing missed: There are charts detailing the release date of each of the Allmans’ albums on each of the band’s record labels and their subsequent catalogue numbers; details in the changes in the sticker labels on each vinyl pressing; the lineup for each record and who played what instruments, and what studios were used on what days. Not enough for ya? There are trade magazine ads, in-store posters, 8-tracks, cassettes, reel-to-reels, 45s, copies of the album covers translated into other languages, bootleg and video compilation info. There are discographies for each of the band’s present and past members’ side projects, from David Goldflies and Jack Pearson to Sea Level and Warren Haynes, including posters and ads for those albums, too. Is that still not enough? Here’s the clincher: a list of every song and album Duane Allman played on during his time at Muscle Shoals Studios, taken right from Muscle Shoals’ own records.
Everything is recorded in beautiful full-color photos from Reynolds’ collection, all on slick, glossy paper. Most of the info is in chart form, and all of the charts seem to be designed to fit in with the general color schemes of the album covers surrounding them. Reynolds has worked at General Electric in Cincinnati as an electrical maintenance man for the years since his Ludlow’s employment, but it would seem he missed his calling. Maybe he should have been doing layouts for graphic books all along. As it is, it seems as plain as the beard on Gregg Allman’s face that a professional publishing house should pick this book up and distribute it in retail stores coast-to-coast. In the meantime, get your special limited edition at Reynolds’ web site.