The Truth Behind The Motorcycle Crash Caused The Death Of Duane Allman

The Allman Brothers Band’s original leader and guitarist, Duane Allman, was regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time thanks to his expressive slide guitar playing and inventive improvisational skills throughout his brief music career that lasted only for a decade which, unfortunately, ended with his tragic passing at the young age of 24.

Duane Allman started playing guitar at the age of 14 and formed the Allman Brothers Band only nine years later in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969 and achieved its greatest success in the early 1970s. One of the unique aspects of the band was that they placed more emphasis on their live performances rather than albums; according to Allman himself, the band members didn’t enjoy being in the studio and recording music.

In addition to his music career with the band, the Allman Brothers band leader also performed with other brilliant artists such as Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, Derek and the Dominos, and many more. Allman was such a great guitarist that he was ranked number 2 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time in 2003, after the iconic Jimi Hendrix.

Despite being regarded as a legendary guitarist at a young age, ‘Skydog,’ which was his nickname, passed away following a motorcycle crash in 1971 at an incredibly young age of 24. Let’s break down the tragic passing of a talented musician who had a promising future and music career which abruptly ended with his death.

Duane Allman Passed Away After A Motorcycle Crash

Shortly after releasing the band’s first live album, ‘At Fillmore East’ in July 1971, while the band was on a break from touring and recording, Duane Allman was riding his Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycle at high speed on Hillcrest Avenue in the western part of Macon. According to reports, when he approached a flatbed truck carrying a large crane boom that was making a left-hand turn in front of him.

Allman attempted to pass the truck by moving to the center of the road, but the truck suddenly stopped in the middle of the turn, leaving Allman with no room to maneuver. He collided with the crane boom’s weight ball and was knocked off his motorcycle, which then landed on his chest. Despite having no visible injuries other than some bumps and scrapes, Allman died later that evening during surgery on October 29, 1971, at the age of 24.

The young guitarist’s funeral service was held on Monday, November 1, 1971, at Snow’s Memorial Chapel in Macon, Georgia to, which his family, friends, and fellow musicians attended. His band, the Allman Brothers Band, performed several tracks during the ceremony, concluding with a band’s favorite, ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken,’ and Allman’s musical achievements, his dedication to Southern gospel, country, and blues music have been praised during his funeral service as well.

Despite dying at a very young age during the peak of his music career, Duane Allman managed to create a legacy in only ten years and continued to influence countless other artists still to this day. The Skydog Musical Festival began on Duane Allman’s 60th birthday and is celebrated every year in November in Macon’s Central City Park, and numerous musicians released tracks dedicated to the late guitarist, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant’s song ‘Free Bird’ which is dedicated to Allman’s memory.