Red Carpet Chat with The Allman Brothers Band at the Grammys
Galadrielle Allman (the late Duane Allman’s daughter)
A great day for the band but tinged with a bit of sadness; that Duane should’ve been here for this.
I think I’ve turned the corner on the sadness. Today is just a purely happy, proud moment. It’s so wonderful to have everyone together. There couldn’t have been a better tribute to his life’s work, that his brotherhood is healthy and happy, moving forward, and playing inspired music. Every day without Duane is sad, but he is still with us. He’s walking with us. I don’t know how many people that before 25 did a body of work as powerful and lasting and relevant as he has. He had a lot of living left to do, but his songs are having the life he should have had.
What do you think Duane would’ve thought of getting dressed up in suits and ties and walking the red carpet?
I think he would’ve had a sense of humor about it and poke fun at them. He definitely had a little fiery streak, but I think he would clean up nice, put a big smile on, and would be so proud. To be here with George Jones and Glen Campbell and the Memphis Horns, he would have had a sense of being a part of the pantheon of great people who have received this award.
Berry Oakley Jr. (the late Berry Oakley’s son)
How do you feel your father would feel about this award?
He would be ecstatic. Considering he passed away when he was very young, to receive such an honor like this, a lifetime achievement, that’s a lot to say. Very happy, definitely.
You’re a musician, as well. Can you wrap your head around a lifetime of work in the music industry?
It makes sense, after this many years, decades of them doing it. Maybe when I’m in my late 60s I can come and pick up my own, too. (Laughs) You never know.
An event like this brings everyone together. How special is that?
It’s nice. Usually for me, I only get to see a handful of people once in a while at different shows. Tonight it’s not just the band members, but the families. It’s kind of like one of those old Southern family reunions. We’re all going to hang out and have a good time.
What does it mean to you to accept a Lifetime Achievement award as a member of the Allman Brothers Band?
It’s amazing. The Allman Brothers Band obviously deserves this award. The original band was one of my all-time favorite bands. To be a part of it is an extreme honor. I would vote for them to have this award based on what they accomplished before I even met them. The fact that they have remained together through all this time, the hardships, and still going on stage and sounding amazing every night is a lot.
What have you learned from it all?
It’s hard sometimes to put into words what you learn from your mentors. I learned a lot of how to sing from Gregg Allman before I ever met him. I learned a lot of how to play guitar from Dickey Betts and Duane Allman before I ever met Dickey; I never did meet Duane. After I met the guys, I learned so much that wouldn’t be possible to learn from listening to records. You learn from the inside and that’s a whole different thing. The Allman Brothers Band is at the top of my list of bands that I would want to be a part of. I’m a huge fan.
How does it feel to be here as a member of the Allman Brothers Band?
It’s pretty special because I wasn’t expecting to be in this band at all. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a part of a rock and roll band of this level, this magnitude. To be here for a Lifetime Achievement award is unbelievable. I’m on my 21st year with the Allman Brothers, 21 of their 43 years, basically half, and it’s been a magical run.
You’ve been a part of the band’s resurgence. What are some moments that stand out?
Being there for the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We won a Grammy for Best Instrumental in, I think, 1994. So, I’ve been a part of all the milestones they have reached in the second coming of the Allman Brothers. Just being a part of this crazy world that is music, that is rock and roll.
What experiences do you take away from the Allman Brothers when you perform with other musicians?
The other scenes I play in are Latin music, like Ruben Blades, and it’s not as organized as these upper level gigs like the Allman Brothers. It’s such a difference in the way they treat musicians. I appreciate what I have.