A daily book review
PLEASE BE WITH ME; A Song for My Father Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman on sale 03/14/2014. #duaneallman #allmanbrothes.
When I was 17 years old one of my favorite things was playing the drums to The Allman Brothers, Statesboro Blues. Either in my basement with headphones on, or in a band whose musicians were much better than I was. It always sounded great. I loved the rhythm and the changes, pounding the tom-toms and crashing the cymbals, sweating to keep up. So, when I heard of PLEASE BE WITH ME: A Song for My Father Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman, I hoped I would have an affinity for this book. And, I did. The music that echoes on these pages is terrific. You can hear the brothers Duane and Greg learning their craft, honing it through their playing, which they never could get enough of doing. You can hear it in the stories of Duane's history through the sessions with Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, or on the path from the Allman Joys to The Allman Brothers as like minded, talented musicians found thier way to Greg and Duane and his vision in sound. You can hear the sessions from the Brothers' albums culminating in the wonderful, "Live at the Fillmore East" -- and the detail on Duane's work on recording "Layla and Other Love Songs" with Derek and the Dominoes is fascinating and an eye opener on one of the greatest Rock and Roll records ever recorded. But what was a real eye-opener for me was just how personal PLEASE BE WITH ME is for the author and the reader. Galadrielle was two when Duane died and she has lived her life with a father that is larger than life in death. A man total strangers think they know intimately from his work. And, in a way, they do. Duane and Greg lost their father in a violent exchange when the brothers were both young and provides one more bridge between the author's father and his daughter. The women in the family are rock-like in their strength to keep the family together and provide stability for the brothers (and Galadrielle's) foundation. Ultimately this is the story of a girl coming of age and coming to terms with her father's legacy and love. Duane's daughter pulls no punches as she looks her father's demons squarely in the eye and is resolved and redeeemed for the experience. PLEASE BE WITH ME is a very brave book that must have taken a great deal of courage to complete. I feel like I have come to know the cast of characters in the music and feel like I too lost a friend. As a father of three daughters myself, I can only imagine that Galadrielle's daddy is very proud of her and her book.
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My bio is below:
Thomas "Tom" Nevins was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. where he still lives with his wife and three daughters. As a teenager he became interested in writing after hearing the lyrics of Bob Dylan and The Beatles. After High School, Nevins worked, traveled through Europe; Holland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway and across the U.S. before attending New York University School of Continuing Education. In 1974 he enrolled in the College of Staten Island, a division of City University System, where he was lucky enough to not only meet his wife, Debbie, but to study under John Shawcross, Armand Schwerener, and Herbert Leibowitz, who sponsored Nevins with a working scholarship to Bread Loaf Writers Conference in 1977. Upon graduation into a recessed economy, he found it difficult to land a job; one day he walked into Doubleday Bookshops in Manhattan to enquire about employment opportunities. They hired him, and from sales clerk he rose to assistant manager, to store manager, to buyer, to sales representative, to National Account Manager, and to author of THE AGE OF THE CONGLOMERATES. When he is not writing or working for Random House, he is watching The Mets ( groaning is more like it); or playing the drums in his basement. He likes his rock and roll loud, simple and with a beat, and if it's rebellious, or broken hearted, all the better. He lives with two teachers and great daughters who help keep him busy and keep it real. It seems, at all times, he has large cup of coffee on hand and a song in his heart.
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