As some of you may know, I’m a big Allman Brothers Band fan. Not the biggest, but big enough. I’ve seen Gregg perform solo a good number of times and the Allman Brothers Band pretty much regularly at the Beacon Theater in New York. So Gregg’s autobiography was a must read, regardless of the reviews, which were pretty good.
My Cross to Bear is an interesting read. It’s like sitting in Gregory’s (his real friends call him Gregory, not Gregg) living room over a cup of coffee (since he’s alcohol/drug free) and listening to him ramble on about his life, his brother, his wives, bandmates, etc. He doesn’t ‘diss’ anyone nor does he reveal any major revelations. His alcohol and drug abuse, as well as that of his bandmates, made for a turbulent life.
However, My Cross to Bear is more notable for what it doesn’t say. Searching for Simplicity is far and away Gregg’s best solo album as well as, in my humble opinion, one of the best blues albums around. It apparently is one that Gregg’s proud of as well. Yet there’s scant mention of it and there’s no mention of why he never plays songs from it in his concerts. Hittin’ the Note is the best (and only) Allman Brothers album produced recently and he barely mentions it, other than to say Jaimoe came up with the title from one of Berry Oakley’s pet phrases.
While My Cross to Bear is a must for Allman Brothers fans, I’d rather have heard less about the tos and fros of his travels and more about the making of some of the best music we’ll ever hear.