June 4, 2008
I discovered Duane Allman's music in 1975, four years after his death. That summer I started hitchhiking down to the Laguna Beach almost every day. There was a stretch of sand not far off the boardwalk that had an old wall which had been transformed into a memorial site: "The Duane Allman Wall".
It was nothing official, just something some devoted fans decided to do in his memory. It was a whitewashed brick wall about 20 feet long and 8 feet tall. Just a lone wall in the sand, that must have survived the demise of whatever it was once attached to.
I wish I had a photo of it to show you, it spoke volumes about how much Duane was loved and appreciated for his talent and how devastated his fans were when he tragically died. It was covered in notes to Duane, drawings of him, very colorful and very 70's.
I became intrigued and had to learn more about him. Back in those days you couldn't plug in your laptop and have instant access to information on any and every topic imaginable, I had to rely on word of mouth. I had a great source of musically info, my older cousin, Greg. I sat with Greg and listened to Duane Allman and got an education. He also taught me all about the other greats that I was too young to ever "know", Janis, Jimi and Jim.
This story also has a personal meaning because my son is planning on buying a motorcycle the second he turns 18 (dec. 7!) and I am in denial. I just can't bear the thought of it.
All this to say - Rock Revival has a great post on Duane today, you should check it out.