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Gregg Allman Says He Hit a Personal Crossroads During the 1995 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

With the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies happening this weekend, it seemed like a good time to share the following story from Gregg Allman, who remembers the personally murky events surrounding the induction of the Allman Brothers Band in his forthcoming book ‘My Cross To Bear.’

As Allman writes, “it should have been the greatest week of my life, but instead I hit an all-time low,” referencing specifically his longtime issues with alcohol. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says that he was physically present for the Allmans’ 1995 induction into the Hall, but “otherwise I was out of it – mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”

Allman’s problems with alcohol came to a head the week of the induction ceremonies, a time period in which he says that he was drunk for five days including the ceremony. A media blitz surrounded the ceremonies with the band making two high profile television appearances – one on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ and another on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ later same week.

Recalling the ‘Letterman’ appearance, Allman says “I don’t even recognize the guy singing ‘Midnight Rider’.” Allman describes his appearance as “puffy and bloated from the booze” and says “I was really looking rough.” Of the two songs they performed on ‘Conan,’ including a long version of ‘Statesboro Blues,’ Allman says that “Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes really were unbelievable, but I was just trying to hold on.”

Allman was in such bad shape that he had to skip the scheduled Rock Hall rehearsal after the ‘Conan’ appearance, saying that he was “worn out and I couldn’t do it.”

When it came time to give his prepared remarks on the night of the actual induction ceremony, Allman says that he wanted to say a lot of things and thank important people like Bill Graham, his mother and the fans. But all he could manage to get out was “This is for my brother. He was always the first to face the fire. Thank you.”

Embarrassed by the events of the week, Allman resolved that it was finally time for him to do something, and made plans to enter treatment as soon as he had wrapped up his Hall of Fame-related obligations.

Thankfully, Gregg is still with us today, although his health remains fragile — he recently missed the final moments of the annual Allman Brothers residency in New York due to pain from bulging discs in his back.

‘My Cross To Bear’ will be released on May 1.

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