Southern rocker Gregg Allman was laid to rest Saturday near his older brother Duane in the same cemetery where they used to write songs among the tombstones, not far from US Highway 41.
Thousands of fans lined the streets of Macon to honor Allman, who was carried into Rose Hill Cemetery as a bagpiper played a somber tune. Family and friends, including musicians who played in The Allman Brothers Band over the years, gathered next to his grave and on a nearby hillside shaded by huge oak trees. Towards the end, a freight train rolled in and stopped alongside the cemetery, reminding some mourners of Allman’s lyrics to “Melissa.”
Police closed downtown streets to accommodate the crush of fans coming to watch Allman’s body being taken from the chapel to Rose Hill Cemetery, where he will be buried near his late brother, guitarist Duane Allman.
Their band began its rise to fame in the central Georgia city 90 miles south of Atlanta about five decades ago, and used to write songs while hanging out in the cemetery, Alan Paul wrote in “One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.”
“He was looking forward to sharing it with the world and that dream is going to be realized,” Lehman said. “I told him that his legacy is going to be protected, and the gift that he gave to the music world will continue to live on forever.”
Allman, who blazed a trail for many Southern rock groups, died May 27 at the age of 69 at his home near Savannah, Georgia, said Michael Lehman, the rock star’s manager. He blamed liver cancer.
With Gregg at the organ and Duane playing guitar, the band began its rise to fame in the central Georgia city 90 miles south of Atlanta about five decades ago. They used to write songs while hanging out in the cemetery, Alan Paul wrote in “One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.”
“He’s somebody who has been in my life first as an artist and later as a real person since I was about 8 years old, and so it’s shocking to think of the world without him,” said Paul, 50, who interviewed Allman many times for his book.