Remembering Duane Allman

(Gibson) Few musicians affected those close to him as profoundly as Duane Allman did. Time and again, surviving friends and musician-peers remember him not just for his prowess on guitar, but also for his personal charisma, his leadership skills and his devotion to those who comprised his inner circle. Below we've collected some of the more incisive remembrances about Allman and his lasting impact.

Johnny Sandlin (producer/musician), on Duane's ability to bring out the best in his fellow musicians (as told to Swampland.com): He was one of the most interesting, exciting and alive people that I ever knew. He was one of the most intelligent as well. Most of the time he was great to be around and he was so dedicated to music and it was a central thing in our lives. Whenever anyone played with Duane he would bring out the best in them. Not that it was a competition, but he was an inspiration. He was one of the best that there ever was.

Dickey Betts (guitarist), on how Duane developed his style on slide guitar (as told to Jasobrecht.com): Well, Robert Johnson. You've heard that name a million times, but he's influenced so many people. I guess that he was probably one of the biggest influences on Duane. [And] who's the guy, the slide player? Elmore James! He got really into Elmore James a lot for the electric part of it. You know, Robert Johnson never played any electric, of course. So Elmore James was a big influence on his electric slide.

Tom Dowd (producer), on Duane's diplomatic skills in the studio (as told to Swampland.com): [Duane was] a pussycat, an absolute humble, soft spoken, brilliant leader. He never provoked anyone in the band. He was never demonstrative, but he was in charge and he got everyone to go the right way, whether he did it by playing them something or saying something to them.

John Hammond (guitarist), on what it was like to record with Duane (as told to HittinTheNote.com): Everybody just fell all over themselves for Duane, you know. He was their idol. All of a sudden these [session] guys knew exactly what I wanted them to do. From having not understood a thing before, everybody understood what the deal was. Duane was the catalyst completely for that. To play with him was like feeling almost invincible, because he played everything right. He was just terrific. It was more inspirational than actually learning notes and stuff. He was a good friend. more.

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