The origin story of a groundbreaking album
“Beatty writes with the heart, emotion, and passion of a fan; the authority of an expert; and the deep analysis and factual grounding of a historian. This book is a valuable addition to the Allman Brothers canon.”—Alan Paul, author of One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band
“Students of the Allman Brothers Band and rock and roll in general will find Play All Night! an enlightening addition.”—Mike Mattison, vocalist, Tedeschi Trucks Band
“Beatty’s passion for the genre bending, social norms busting and ground-breaking Allman Brothers Band is evident on every page. There’s no question he’s a fan, but more important—and what he explains so deftly—is why we all should be.”—Christy Coleman, historian and museum executive
The 1971 Allman Brothers Band album At Fillmore East was a musical manifesto years in the making. In Play All Night!, Bob Beatty dives deep into the motivations and musical background of band founder Duane Allman to tell the story of what made this album not just a smash hit, but one of the most important live rock albums in history.
Featuring insights from bootleg tapes, radio ads, early reviews, never-before-published photos, and the memories of band members, fans, and friends, Beatty chronicles how Allman rejected the traditional route of music business success—hit singles and record sales—and built a band that was at its best jamming live on stage, feeding off the crowd’s energy, and pushing each other to new heights of virtuosic improvisation. Every challenge, from recruiting a group of relatively unknown but established musicians like Jaimoe and Dickey Betts, touring the American South as an interracial band, and the failure of their first two studio albums, sharpened Allman’s determination to pursue the band’s truly unique sound. He made a bold choice—to record their next album live at Bill Graham’s famous concert hall in New York’s Lower East Side, a gamble that launched a new strand of American music to the top of the charts.
Four days after the album went gold, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was 24. This book explores how At Fillmore East cemented Allman’s legacy as a strong-willed, self-taught visionary, giving fans of Southern rock and all readers interested in the role of rock music in American popular culture a new appreciation for this pathbreaking album.
Bob Beatty is a historian and musician who has worked in museums and nonprofits for more than 25 years.
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